Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Quest Protein Bars are AWESOME!

Even my picky kids liked the protein chocolate peanut butter cups!

Heath tried the Double Chocolate Brownie and loved it. I'm torn between the Strawberry Cheesecake and the Apple Pie. I had the Apple Pie bar this morning and was in taste heaven!

I totally recommend these bars. They fill you up so you're not hungry for a long time afterwards. I think it was at least 3 hours before I started to feel hungry again.

Taste-wise, I prefer the fruit flavored bars. Maybe because I'm getting sick of chocolate stuff? Nah, I still love chocolate...I'm just sick of chocolate protein shakes. That's all we've had lately. I need to get some Syntrax Iced Tea or Roadside Lemonade again. Shake things up, no pun intended.

I have plenty more bars to get through....thinking I'll try the Vanilla Almond Crunch tomorrow. With a chocolate protein shake....*sigh* I really need a new flavor of protein shake....Oh, well!

I want to thank Quest Protein for generously sending me so many things to review and sample. I definitely plan on purchasing a LOT from you!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Bounty to Review from Quest Nutrition!

I went to the post office today to acquire my copy of Doctor Sleep (I'm a MAJOR Stephen King fan), and there in my mailbox was a second package. It contained this:

A GIGANTIC bounty from Quest Nutrition!

As many of you know, I've been slipping on my diet and exercise. I was one of the most gung ho people about going to Zumba and getting myself fit and healthy. Then Heath lost his job. All thoughts of getting quality protein went out the window, and first thing cut was my twice weekly Zumba classes. 10 bucks a week doesn't sound like much, but when you don't have a kid out of diapers, that 40 bucks a month is two boxes of diapers.

But self pity only goes so far, and I know the bad choices I've been making. Chips, my total bane, have been the biggest problem. Nutella is another (my youngest ADORES Nutella, so keeping it out of the house is not going to happen). Fortunately for me, Quest has graciously sent me a HUGE amount of stuff to review, which will help me get back on my Quest (pun fully intended) to get healthy again!

Heath and I already broke into the stash, dividing up a two pack of peanut butter cups. If you know me IRL, you know I LOVE Reese cups. I eat them really weird, too. I nibble off the pointy pieces around the top, nibble off the sides, then scrape the chocolate off the top and bottom, then eat the peanut butter. Yes, I told you. Totally weird.

He took one bite and was in instant love. Those will be getting a reorder, definitely. I ate one...well, most of one....Xander asked for a bit and I gave it to him. He promptly shared it with his big brother, Rowan. Even THEY liked it and they are SUPER picky kids. I loved it, too. What I got of it anyway.

The best thing? I was super hungry when I went to the post office. I ate only half of one of those peanut butter cups and started drinking a bottle of water, and BOOM! No more hunger!!!! Sah-weet!

I highly recommend those PB cups if you've got a sweet tooth! They are AWESOME!!!!

I'm going to eat a Cinnamon Roll bar for lunch today. I hope to get our local GNC to stock up on Quest bars.

Thank you so much, Quest Nutrition, for sending me the box of products to review. You have helped revive my spirit and my desire to get back on track!

Best Birthday Present Ever! (Did I mention that my birthday is tomorrow?)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Kickoff to Autumn!

Good morning, everyone!

Since my last entry, I've lost a pound and I'm quite happy with it. I've been very lax in logging my food and it really DOES help. We've been busy here, but that's not an excuse. In fact, it should be an impetus to do better, because my day goes better when I schedule things out. We're potty training Xander, and Heath is still doing a job search, but we have several possibles, which are great! We are very hopeful and quite excited about the possibilities that are opening to us right now.

I'm super stoked about the Autumn starting up. Autumn is my favorite season...well, it's tied with Spring. I like Summer and Winter, but I don't like temperature extremes too much. Heath loves Winter, and so do the boys. They love to play in the snow :)

One reason I love Autumn is the plethora of pumpkin treats and sweets that come with it (that and the changing leaves, crisp apples, smoky bonfires, harvesting flower and herb seeds, and comfy, snuggly clothes and blankets!). This morning, it's rather cold in the house (as it usually is because Heath keeps it super cold) and I wanted a fall themed treat for breakfast. I opened the refrigerator, and I saw the remainder of a can of pureed pumpkin. I had used the pumpkin the other day when I made No Bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from Chocolate Covered Katie's blog.

They were spectacular! Heath ate one...I ate like 10...or more...

They were THAT good!

Anyway, I saw the pyrex measuring cup full of pureed pumpkin and saw the container of Greek yogurt on the shelf below. I figured I'd see what I could come up with. I scanned my counters, and I found one of my new delicious ingredients - raw pumpkin seeds. Add in some maple syrup, stevia, and pumpkin pie spice and you have a really tasty Autumn treat!

Heather's Pumpkin Pie Delight Yogurt

1 cup Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (shelled)
stevia (to taste)

Mix all the ingredients except the pumpkin seeds. Top the mixture with pumpkin seeds, and drizzle a little extra maple syrup on top with a dash more pumpkin pie spice.

It's quite yummy! Here's the macro breakdown:

Serves 1

Calories: 329
Carbs: 39
Fat: 8
Protein: 29
Fiber: 5
Net carbs: 34

It's a little carb heavy for most people, but I prefer to get the carbs in me in the morning, when I'm more likely to be able to burn them off. I made a Blueberry Banana Green Smoothie to go with it....but I don't think I have enough room for it!

Well, that's it for the day. I'm making Paleo Stuffed Peppers tonight for dinner, and I might take Xander for a walk in a little while. Enjoy your day!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

An Explanation for Our Absence...and a Simple Breakfast Recipe!

We are back! So sorry for the extended absence, but we've had job issues and I started doing community theatre, which is something that I love to do. We are probably going to be moving to a new community for a new job, and we've had a LOT going on....

That being said, here's some more that's been going on:

We've gained back some weight.

Yes, it's possible! We're proof of that.

During the run of the shows I did, I started eating a lot of fast food and junk because it was easy, portable, and fast, hence "fast food." Now that the shows are over, I see that I've gained nearly 15 lbs....and so it's back on the horse for me AND Heath. It doesn't help that we share a house with someone who adores all kinds of junk food, but that's our problem and one that needs to be solved.

During this past summer, I've realized my big issue comes from emotional eating. I don't necessarily have to be hungry to eat. I eat when I'm bored and so I need to find ways to fill my time that don't involve eating. And, I just love food. I honestly do. I love to cook and try new things, but I also eat for my mouth and not my body all the time. That needs to change, for sure. So, we are back at it and more gung-ho than ever!

Our exercise has pretty much stopped (I have exertional headaches that are stress triggered), but we're working on finding new things to do to keep our bodies guessing and have fun. I've been doing some kettlebell workouts and boy, do they burn the calories! I actually sweat while doing them, and I barely broke a sweat in Zumba class!

But, in any case, we are BACK!

So I was peeking in the fridge today, wondering what to make that wouldn't kill the calorie bank or the carb limit too early in the day, and I saw my container of Greek yogurt. It's a staple in our house, just plain ol' unflavored Greek yogurt. I normally mix it with sugar free pudding mix and make a mousse, but today I chose something different.

I took a banana (118 grams), and sliced it into the yogurt, which I had sweetened with stevia, sugar free caramel syrup, and a little bit of Hershey's syrup (unfortunately not sugar free, but it was all I had). It's like a guilt free banana split! I'd have taken a pic, but my iPod is dead. I should probably keep it on charge....

But it was a super simple brekkie (that I'm still working on eating)!

Heather's Guilt Free Banana Split


1 large banana
1 cup Greek yogurt (plain)
1/2 tbsp sugar free caramel syrup
1/2 tbsp chocolate syrup (use sugar free if you can to cut the carbs)
stevia to taste (I like it super sweet, so I added 5 packs. Yes, 5)

Put the yogurt in a bowl, and add the stevia and caramel syrup. Stir.

Slice the banana on top, and drizzle on the chocolate syrup.


You can vary the toppings (like subbing strawberries or raspberries for the bananas, or changing the syrups for a different flavor), and you can add more if you like (can anyone say sprinkles?).

I hope to be back later in the week with a new post, and a new product review!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Low Carb Lasagna Roll Ups - Today's Recipe - January 29, 2013

Hey! Sorry it's been super long. I know I said I'd post soon, but the kids got sick (yet again - eldest with strep and the youngest just had his month post op follow up from ear tube insertion). But you don't want to hear about our problems, you came for the tasty recipe, right?

I would! Cause these lasagna roll ups are awesome...at least Aaron thinks they are!

Heather's Low Carb Lasagna Rolls Ups

Serves 4-6 (depends on the # of rolls you make)

1/2 box of Dreamfields Lasagna Noodles (these are really good, and only 5 digestible carbs!)
1 lb extra lean ground beef (you can sub ground turkey, or even make it vegetarian with cheese and spinach)
1 bottle of spaghetti sauce (your choice, or homemade, which I sometimes make if I have time)
mozzarella cheese (I usually use about a tablespoon per roll, and I make about 8-10 rolls)

Brown and drain the beef, adding salt and pepper to taste. I also add some garlic powder and onion powder if I use bottled pasta sauce. If I make homemade, I usually put in a few cloves of garlic. No vampires welcome here....especially if they sparkle.

Add in the sauce and any spices you want to add (the amount of calories they add are pretty negligible in my opinion). Heat through and set aside.

Boil salted water and add the lasagna noodles. Boil until al dente (or softer if you prefer). Drain and let cool until they are easily handled. When they are cool enough, lay one noodle out on a clean plate. I use my cutting board. Spoon sauce into the center of the roll and top with cheese. Take one end and roll up. Place in a 9x13 pan (I have a heavy Pyrex casserole dish for this). Top with the sauce that oozes out when you roll the noodle up - because it WILL ooze out. I just spoon it up and place the sauce on the top of the rolled noodle. Do this for all the noodles, making room as best you can. I end up cramming them in pretty good. Put any leftover sauce on the top of the noodles and sprinkle some cheese on top. How much is entirely up to you. I usually end up with about an ounce or two on top, as well as what's in the rolls.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until the cheese is all melty and yummy. Let cool slightly, and serve hot.

According to the nutritional database I use most frequently, the recipe (without the added cheese on top, mind you) has the following nutritional content per serving (calculated using lean beef, for 4 people):

Calories: 472
Fat: 17
Protein: 40
Fiber: 5
Carbs: 11

Yes, 11!!! A pasta dish with only 11 carbs! And LASAGNA!!! I love Dreamfields! They also make elbows, penne, angel hair, and spaghetti! SO delicious :)

In fact, I was unable to take any pics because I wasn't planning on doing this post tonight, and the leftovers are packed away, lest they get nibbled on all evening. Aaron is taking some for lunch tomorrow, and I have mine set aside for lunch tomorrow.

I may take a leftovers pic tomorrow and add it on here. What do you all say?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Brief Hiatus is Over!

Greetings everyone! Sorry for the unexplained disappearance, but things have been pretty wild here.

Despite that, we are still committed to posting up recipes, and talking about our progress.

I have been trying to get my skin removal surgery dealt with, and I have an appointment at my surgeon's office on the 15th to discuss whether or not I'm ready for that. I'd like to lose another 12 pounds, but I don't know if I can. My body seems to be pretty stable right now (I've pretty much plateaued between 160 to 165). I've had things get stuck a lot lately, too, but that's my fault, not the band or the fill. I may get another fill to keep me from being able to eat more because I think my stomach pouch has stretched somewhat. It gets on my nerves. Plus there has been more junk food than usual here.

But those are just excuses.

I've ALSO....stopped...doing Zumba. My instructor had to stop teaching, and while I have my certification, I don't have the insurance yet. That's something that I'm also saving for. Once I get my insurance, I can start teaching, which will make me feel a lot better, because I feel like an idiot doing it at home...unless I'm totally alone, and then I prefer to do things that I can't do with the kids home...like nap!

But, again - just excuses.

They say that you're ready to make a change when you run out of excuses. We've both seen how stupid our excuses have been and are ready to put 110% back into this. Otherwise, why should we have gone through all the pain, work, and sweat to get where we are now?

So be expecting a weekly post from us from now on.

I have a couple of new smoothie recipes to toss out there, and Aaron has several updated recipes, including an experimental cookie!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Product Review - WonderSlim Spicy Cheese and Pasta and Isopure Zero Carb Protein Drink

Good morning, everyone! We here at the Thompson household have gone through most of the box that we received from Bariatric Choice and there really hasn't been anything that we didn't really like, so far. We also received a package from Nature's Best (Isopure). Aaron LOVES their Zero Carb drinks. I haven't been super impressed with them.

Until now.

This is Isopure's Pineapple Orange Banana Zero Carb Protein Drink. I can honestly say, this is one that I really liked. I think the Grape one tastes like medicine, but that's just me. Grape Frost is Aaron's favorite flavor. I didn't care for (and still don't care for) the dry mouth that follows the drink, but for 160 calories, ZERO carbs, and FORTY grams of protein in one bottle...well, I think I'll take a little dry mouth for that! I still have my second one to drink - they sent a Mango Peach bottle as well (Aaron claimed the Alpine Punch and the Blue Raspberry for himself, mainly because he hates Peach!), so I may drink that one tonight.

I give it 4 stars - it would have been 3 for the dry mouth, but I just can't get over how much protein is in there!

My second review is for:

I made this for lunch one afternoon with a veggie wrap (with a low carb veggie wrap that I'll post up soon - along with a recipe for one of my favorite wraps). It had good flavor, and cooked very quickly. The only downside to this product is most likely an error on my part - anytime you make anything like this in your microwave, you have to be like a vulture, watching it constantly to make sure that there is still enough water in there, and it's not boiling over. I did not do that. So when I got it out, it was a little drier than I thought it should be. Other than that, it makes about a 1/2 cup and that's a good serving size for a side, not necessarily an entree, though. It tasted pretty good, and I would recommend it if you like stuff like Hamburger Helper. 

3 out of 4 stars (rather small portion size, but good for a side instead of the entree)

Calories: 130, protein: 12g, carbs: 17g.  Pretty good on the stats, in my opinion.

So that's the review for the day. Next review will most likely be WonderSlim's Vegetable Cheese Omelet (Loved it!)