Watermelon and Cottage Cheese


I am sure the combonation of watermelon and cottage cheese isn’t a new food item to most of you out in the blog world.  I have eaten peaches with cottage cheese many times.  A few weeks ago I had some cottage cheese that needed to be eaten up and a big ‘ol watermelon on hand.  I love watermelon and can eat a whole one in one setting!  Yum!

I eat low fat cottage cheese and a 113 gram serving is 2 PPVs.  Cottage cheese is one of those foods where you don’t get very much for your points value.  Regardless, it is still delicious!


I prepped this for work and I might have added a little more watermelon then necessary but this really is close to a serving of watermelon for me.  I just love it.  Plus, it doesn’t keep really long so I feel the need to eat it fast!

By the time I get to work I just pour my serving of cottage cheese over the watermelon and eat it up.  I prefer to pack them separately as the watermelon juices up and I don’t want my cottage cheese to be all soggy.  That sounds funny.  Cottage cheese is sort of soggy to start with.

Regardless, enjoy!


How To Raise Your Heart Rate

[image source]

I am afraid of dogs.  Well, I am afraid of all animals but really afraid of dogs.

I got bit by a dog when I was little.  It wasn’t the dog’s fault and I learned a huge lesson that day: don’t ride the dog like a horse!  Regardless, I am now very much afraid of dogs.

I walk the same two routes on a regular basis around my neighborhood and the neighborhood next to ours.  I have learned which houses have dogs and which dogs are behind fences.  After a few “close calls” I have also learned to watch the houses with garage doors open as sometimes a dog will appear out of nowhere to bark and growl at you.  It is worse in the summertime. 

Yesterday while out for a walk on my normal three mile loop I was surprised by two dogs that came barking and running down the driveway from an open garage door.  I guess I wasn’t paying attention or just had not seen dogs at this house before.  I instantly froze and shouted a few choice words.  I have been trying to get better when being approached by a dog when I am out for a walk.  I try to stay calm and use a forceful voice to tell the dog to “go home.”  However, yesterday this was not the case.  I didn’t have time to react before both large dogs were right up on me.  Thankfully, the pet owner came out of the garage quickly and called off her animals.

If I had a chart showing my heart rate at the time this occurred, you would have seen a clear spike at that very moment I heard and saw those dogs running towards me.  I am so afraid of dogs I will sometimes cry when approached by one that is barking.  That is why I try really hard to just stay calm and use my voice. 

The rest of my walk wasn’t as relaxing as I had hoped it would be.  I was just on edge and every little noise from then on out made me jump a little.  I hate that feeling.  I will now remember that house and those dogs as I come upon it next time.


Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Contest

I am in the process of submitting my before and after photos, weight records, and an essay to Weight Watchers for their 50th Anniversary Celebration contest.

I will probably jinx myself by talking about it though!! It has been a dream of mine to tell my story. I so desperately want to be on The Joy Fit Club on the Today Show and have submitted my story to them as well. I even got contacted once by a producer but that is as far as it went.

There are many of us out there that have lost over 100 pounds and are maintaing our large weight loss. It isn't always easy but it is always worth it. I hope my story will be featured in WW. I love this program so much and without it, I wouldn't be where I am today.

When I walked into the Nampa WW center six and a half years ago I could not have imagined how much my life would change. I am so happy and each day I strive to continue the success I worked so hard to achieve. I love sharing my story.

Thanks for reading my blog.  

These are the photos I submitted along with my weight record. Starting weight on 01/22/2007 was 304.8. Goal weight (175) of 174.8 was achieved on 03/14/2009 with a total loss of 130 pounds. I have kept my weight off of four years....and counting!

Here were the other photo options.


Overnight Oatmeal

I first learned about Overnight Oatmeal (aka Overnight Oats) from Kath’s blog.

There are many ways you can make overnight oats to your specified eating pleasure.  It is fun to play around with different fruits, toppings, yogurts, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

Overnight oats is basally equal parts raw oatmeal, yogurt, and milk.  Here is what Kath says,

Overnight oats are just oats soaked overnight that absorb the liquid you put them in – any kind of liquid you like! The most common mixture is equal parts raw rolled oats, milk and yogurt (I like 1/3 or 1/2 cup of each). You can use any kind of yogurt or milk. Put in the fridge overnight (uncoverd or covered, your choice) and let ‘em soak up the liquids. That’s the base, and toppings are endless. Add the toppings the night before or the next morning – either way works. Just don’t put anything in you don’t mind getting soggy (i.e. crunchy cereals) There is NO COOKING involved at all! (Although you could heat them just a tiny bit in the microwave to take the chill out)”

Kath uses 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup milk, and 1/3 cup yogurt.  Adding more yogurt makes a thicker consistency and adding more milk makes a thinner consistency.  Also, the more oats, yogurt, and milk you add, the higher the PPVs.  So that could determine if you add more or less.  She also adds banana and chia seeds.

Raw oats are an acquired taste.  If you don’t’ like overnight oats the first time you try this, you might need play around a bit to see if a flavored yogurt or adding frozen berries to thaw and juice up might make it taste better.  I also like the addition of cinnamon and honey.

I like my overnight oats best if I have a peanut butter jar that is mostly used up.  I put the oat mixture into the used peanut butter jar so I can scrape up the residual as I eat it.  If I don’t have a peanut butter jar available I will mix it up into a bowl or Tupperware and then add some peanut butter in the morning.  Delicious!

Here is what I used in my overnight oats.

I made a personal decision to cut out milk from my diet so now I just use water to thin my oats out a bit.  I added 30 grams oatmeal, 6 ounces of non-fat plain Greek yogurt, several shakes of cinnamon, drizzle of honey, and one Stevia packet.  I mixed it up inside a mostly used peanut butter jar and added a little water to thin it out. 

At this point, if I was using frozen berries, I would add them in now so they can thaw as my oats sit overnight in the fridge.  I am using fresh strawberries so I add them when I am ready to eat.
My overnight oats is 8 PPVs. 

3 PPVs for the oats, 2 PPVs for the yogurt, and I count 3 PPVs for the peanut butter jar.  It can be tricky on counting PPVs for the left over peanut butter jar.  I try to be fair and just leave about 1 tablespoon worth.  However, I will count 5 PPVs if I feel there is more like 2 tablespoons in there.  If I am making my oats in a bowl and not in a peanut butter jar then I will just add my own peanut butter after and count the points.
8 PPVs can seem like a lot.  I will sometimes only put in 20 grams of oats and 4 ounces of yogurt.  I actually like mine a little thicker and needed to use up the last of my yogurt container so I added the full 6 ounces this time.  I have also cooked an apple on the stove with cinnamon and then added that to my oats when I am ready to eat.  I have also just cut up a fresh apple.  It is really good with fresh fruit and thawed frozen berries.  You can top with granola, nuts, or other toppings.  You can also add chia or flax seed as Kath does.  Chia seed will help thicken it up too so you might need more milk or water.
I hope you will consider trying overnight oats.  Get creative and comment on your thoughts!


Why I Gave Up Dieting

I don’t remember where I found this postcard.  Sorry for the glossy look but it is a photo of the original postcard.

To me, dieting sounds like a “bad word.”  Okay, maybe not the traditional bad word we are used to but the word feels like it has a negative meaning.  When we diet, we often deprive or restrict.  That is why it feels negative.

I have always viewed my weight loss as a journey.  I would correct anybody who called it a diet!  It was never a diet.  It was a lifestyle change.  It is because I made this journey a lifestyle change that makes sticking to it that much easier.

My friend Dawny posted on the WW message boards and on Facebook that it was nine years ago that she walked into her first WW meeting.  Dawny has lost over 260 pounds.  What an accomplishment!  She said something in her post that I agree 100% with.  Weight Watchers didn’t do this work for her.  SHE did the work.  SHE lost the weight.  WW just provided her the tools to assist her in this lifestyle change.

Regardless of what tools you seek out to aid you in your journey I hope you will find a support group.  Not everybody is as social as I am and not everybody would feel comfortable in a WW meeting.  It doesn’t have to be WW.  That is just what worked for me.  But somewhere find some support.  

Since I refused to look at my weight loss as a diet, it made moving on from a high PPVs day easier.  Sure, I slipped up.  I wasn’t “bad” because of it.  I didn’t need to give up all my good effort just because I ate more food than necessary.  I just picked myself up and moved on.  There is always a next meal, a next day, and a next week.  The slate starts clean again.

Lifestyle change…not a diet.  Adjust your way of thinking and you might find this journey you are on just a teeny bit easier.


Mini Meatloaf

I can’t remember where I first learned of this mini meatloaf recipe.  It is written on a piece of paper so I am not sure where to give credit.

I love these mini meatloafs and since I started adding liquid smoke and BBQ sauce it makes them very moist and even more delicious.

Here is what you need.


Oatmeal (I prefer old fashioned but I am sure instant would work too)
Ground beef, turkey, chicken, etc
BBQ sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Liquid smoke
Green pepper
Munched onion
**You will find both the Worcestershire sauce and the liquid smoke in the same section and will usually be the BBQ sauce area.  I have really like using liquid smoke in many recipes and it is only $1 a bottle.
**I also use the foil baking cups for ease of clean up.  Meatloaf can stick to the inside of the muffin pan and clean up is tough.  If you have a silicone muffin pan that would make it easy too.

Meatloaf is such an easy dish because it all goes into one bowl, mix with hands, and scoop.  I eyeballed the sauces so I don’t have measurements for those.  But for this round of mini meatloaf I used 8oz of 96/4 ground beef (found at Walmart) and 20 grams of oats.  If you want to use 1 pound of ground beef you will get 8 mini meatloafs and I would also use 40 grams of oats.  You don’t need a lot of sauce as the egg will provide the binding agent.  I add just enough for flavor so maybe a serving of ketchup and BBQ sauce and then a shake or two of the liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce.  I chop up the green pepper into smaller bits and use minced onion as I don’t always have fresh onion on hand.  I used half of the green pepper for this recipe. 

Mix it all together with your hands until it is all incorporated and scoop into the foil baking cups.  Place on a cookie sheet (sorry mine looks so drab, I usually cover it with foil) and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  I use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. 
I mix a little bit of BBQ sauce, ketchup, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce to top each mini meatloaf before it goes into the oven.

Serving size is 2 mini meat loafs and 4 PPVs (unless you put in a lot of BBQ sauce and ketchup.


Our Honeymoon

Kenyon and I were married in March. We had our reception three months later in June. Then, we had our honeymoon in July. I joked at the time this is how you get through your first year of marriage. Just wait a few months between each event!

In all seriousness, we did have a good time on our honeymoon. We decided to drive to the Oregon Coast for a few days and then continue to Seattle. We have visited the Oregon Coast and Seattle twice now and I enjoy both places.

Here are some photos of our honeymoon, July 2008.

I painted the car JUST MARRIED and drew hearts and such all over it. This worked out to our advantage as we had tire trouble on our way home somewhere in Washington. We limped my car to the nearest town where the residents took pity of us since we were "just married". The guy that helped us shared his own story of their wedding/honeymoon.

The first stop along the way was Multnomah Falls. It was stunning! This was my first time visiting the falls and I would highly recommend it if you are traveling by sometime. It can be crowded but worth the extra hassle.

We stopped in Portland to see my friend Lisa and meet her boyfriend Brian. Lisa and Brian are now married with a little boy who will turn two in October.

No visit to the Oregon Coast is complete without a stop at TillamookCheese Factory. I miss our Cheese Factory I Boise, although ours was not as neat. In addition to watching cheese being made and packaged you can sample all kinds of cheese and also ice cream! YUM!

We stopped at Cape Meares to tour the lighthouse. I love lighthouses and enjoy taking lots of photos of them. There is just something really neat about them.

We stayed the night in Seaside Oregon. Our hotel had an amazing view of the ocean. I am jealous of all the people out flying kites and wished I had thought of that. We enjoyed walking around the tiny costal town.

Next stop, Seattle, Washington. This was my first trip to Seattle. We did several of the touristy things.  We visited the Space Needle.

We did the RideThe Duck tour, which is a super fun land and water sight seeing tour.

We did the Underground Tour and also walked around the pier.

We took a cruise out on the water on a sail boat. This was my first time on a sail boat.

Finally, we also stopped at the Museum of Flight.  It was impressive to see Air Force One.

My favorite thing about Seattle was seeing The Public Market and all the beautiful flowers. Despite some hassle with airport security (the liquid in the baggie with my flowers appeared to look to be OVER 3 ounces...sheesh) I managed to bring a bunch home to enjoy for a bit. If I lived in Seattle I would get fresh flowers from the market each week.