Broccoli and Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Who else LOVES pizza? Let me tell you, my kids and I could eat pizza every day. Does anybody else love cold pizza for breakfast the next morning? It’s like I’m a college kid still! I can only think of one single issue with pizza….you know, it doesn’t go well with the word DIET. Alas, there is hope!

We made some flatbread pizzas for dinner tonight and my kids absolutely loved them! If you’re a parent you know how hard it can be to make everybody happy at meal time. You also know how difficult it is to continuously make multiple meals. I think that’s part of my reason for failing previously on diets. So, these pizzas are heaven sent. They’re kid approved and 21 Day Fix compatible!

My kids wanted the stereotypical cheese and pepperoni, while I opted for chicken and broccoli to keep it on the healthier side. Get a load of this recipe:

Chicken and Broccoli Flatbread Pizza (3 Servings)

Container Count

  • 1/2 Vegetable
  • 1 Protein
  • 1 Carb
  • 1 Fat/Cheese
  • 1 tsp

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cup Cooked or Fresh BroccoliIngredients
  • 2 1/4 Cups Cooked Chicken Breast
  • 6 Mini Whole Wheat Flatbreads
  • 1 Cup Pizza Blend Cheese
  • 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 Clove Crushed Garlic
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 6 TBS Pizza Sauce
  • Cooking Spray (Coconut Oil/EVOO)

Instructions

  • Let’s start by making the crust a bit crunchy. While Gathering your ingredients preheat your oven to 350F.
  • In a small bowl combine the EVOO, Crushed Garlic, and Italian Seasoning. Mix well.
  • Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray.
  • Spread the six mini flatbreads out onto the sheet pan. Bake for 2 Minutes.Flatbread
  • Take the flatbreads out of the oven and brush with the EVOO mixture.Brush with EVOO Mix
  • Bake for another 2-3 minutes, until the bread starts to brown slightly.
  • Top each bread with 1 TBS of Pizza Sauce, 1/6 cup of Cheese, 1/4 cup Broccoli, 1/4 cup Cooked Chicken (and taste test)

TastingToppingsAdd CheeseSpreading Sauce

  • Return to oven for another 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

As you can see my kids made pepperoni. We did use turkey pepperoni so it’s a bit more healthy. This recipe can be changed to suit your tastes or mood. Replace the vegetables and protein with whatever you choose.  These were delicious and filling. I cooked an extra 1/2 cup of broccoli and a cup of baby carrots to add some of my veggies for the day. I couldn’t even finish. As you can see my kids got cucumbers and carrots on the side. I’m slowly trying to convert them 🙂Pepperoni PizzaFinished

 

 

Portion Based Diet

Good morning everybody!

It’s a beautiful day outside, although it’s looking pretty chilly. The sun is shining and I’m feeling great!

I wanted to talk a little bit about the lifestyle change I’ve made recently. I don’t know about you, but I always failed at this dieting stuff because I was craving things or always felt like I was starving. I don’t know if it was because it was all in my head or if it was legitimately my body crying out for certain things that it wasn’t getting. Maybe I’m just THAT ready for change? Either way I have to tell you that I have had zero of that this week, which is unheard of. I’m always “in the mood” for something. Do you get cravings and REALLY NEED a certain type of food? Are you still hungry when all is said and done while dieting? Maybe this is for you, too.

Now, I’m basing my diet off of the 21 Day Fix Diet. There is an amazing amount of information out there about this diet, which is helpful. Hop onto Pinterest and you’ll find a million different recipes and the break down of how many of each “container” are in the recipe. There are very few things that are fully excluded from this diet. Sure the usual cakes, junk food, and alcohol are no go’s. BUT I’ve found a lot of different recipes that are great substitutes for your normal snacks and desserts.

There are 2 different levels of the diet I guess you would call it. There is a formula that will help you determine how much of everything you’re allowed to eat. I’m on the highest level ’cause I’m a super fatty. Let me give you an idea of what I’m allowed to eat on a daily basis.

  • 4 cups of fruit
  • 6 cups of vegetables
  • 4 and a half cups of protein
  • 2 cups of carbs
  • 1/3 cup of fats/cheese
  • 2 TBS seeds/salad dressing
  • 6 tsp nut butter/oils

I know that looking at numbers doesn’t even begin to allow somebody to visualize just how much food that is. I’m going to show you…it’s a MOUNTAIN of food! The below picture is from my lunch today. It includes 2 servings of veggies, 1 serving of fruit, 1 dressing serving, and 2 protein serving, and my dressing for the day. As you can see that is one large salad! It included 1 cup of Romaine Lettuce, another cup filled with carrots, celery, and cucumber, 2 boiled eggs chopped, 3/4 cup of chicken breast, 1/2 cup of apple, and 1/2 cup of grapes. I used 2 tbsp of low fat Greek Dressing. With breakfast and now lunch over this doesn’t even bring me to my HALF WAY mark of available food.

I will say that I have yet to finish all of my available food in any given day. I’ve heard varying things as far as carrying servings over to future days. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt if you were actually hungry and needed the food. What you DO need to make sure of while doing this program is that even if you don’t eat everything, make sure you try to eat the required variety. You can’t eat all protein and carbs and forget about your fruits and veggies. Doing this will be inviting that little craving demon to come crawling back into your life! And nobody wants him around!

Also, don’t forget about your water intake! This is important regardless of your lifestyle. Replacing your normal beverages with water will help tremendously in keeping you healthy and probably losing a little weight as well. Check out my previous blog A Sea of Coffee to see exactly how much you should be drinking and all of the amazing benefits.

I know this post wasn’t the longest or even the most informative. It’s just a little piece of what’s to come. I hope you don’t mind recipes? I’ll be sharing lots of them with you as I create them and make them for you. I’m no food blogger so you’ll have to cope with my not awesome food pictures to come 🙂

I have been considering sharing what I’m eating on a daily basis with everybody to give you some ideas of what I’m doing, and to keep myself on track. What are your thoughts on such things?

 

Blueberry Banana Pancakes

We started out this morning with the most wonderful smell. My kids crawled out of bed and all but flew to the kitchen table to take part in breakfast. I have to admit, I was a little nervous that it would have been a wasted effort as these were definitely healthy pancakes. I looked up several recipes for pancakes and came up with my own concoction which was “DELICIOUS!” according to my 3yo. Both kids inhaled their breakfast and all of us were fully satisfied. This was actually 4 hours ago and I have had zero desire for my usual morning snack it was so filling. I apologize for the lack of pictures. Posting the recipe was an after the fact decision.

Blueberry Banana Pancakes (1 Serving)

Container Count

  • 1 Fruit
  • 1 Protein
  • 1 Carb
  • 1 tsp

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries (divided)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Grease a griddle with coconut oil and heat until sizzling.
  3. Slowly poor batter into 3 small or 1 large pancake.
  4. Cook until bubbles begin to form on the top side of the batter.
  5. Flip and continue cooking until golden brown.
  6. Top with remaining blueberries and an optional teaspoon of 100% pure maple syrup (deduct another tsp for the day).

I want to hear if you use this recipe and how it comes out! I’m sure most fruits could replace the blueberries for some variety.

Hitting Rock Bottom

Anybody who has read my posts could have seen that I struggle to feel even a little good about myself. I blame things in my relationship on my weight. I have cried in the shower more times than I would like to admit. I disappeared from here as my whole life seemed to have gone up in flames. I didn’t take care of myself through the destruction. I slipped and gained all of the weight right back, not that I had managed to lose a lot. My heart still hurts, and the stress is eating away at me day in and day out, but I have come to peace with the changes in life and am ready to move forward.

All of my concerns for my relationship were not in vain. Although none of the issues were about me, but about his own mental demons, my fears came to light. He is leaving. This happened days after my last post. We have been living together still for the last 2 months and have 1 more to go. During my hiatus I have been trying to come to terms with this and understand how it’s happened. How does somebody who still says they’re madly in love with you still want to leave? Mental illness is a bitch that’s all I know. Not only have I been struggling with the heartbreak, but the financial burden of it all as well. I’ve applied for a mortgage that is supposedly impossible not to get, though I’m not holding my breath. I’ve been hunting down apartments and looking at houses. Do you know how difficult it is to find a rental with dogs? Did I mention one of the dogs is a pitbull? I’ve started working a second job to attempt to make ends meet and save to move. I’ve been trying to keep my kids together through all of this. My daughter is an emotional mess between losing the only father figure she ever had to leaving a school she loves and her sports teams. So, naturally I turned to food to suppress the sadness, anger, and fear of what’s to come.

I spent two months wallowing in ice cream and fast food. Finally one day I looked in the mirror as I got out of the shower. I mean REALLY looked at myself. I was ashamed. Not just because I’ve gained weight, but because of how I let myself go mentally and emotionally. What happened to the strong person that I use to be? Where the hell was she? In that moment I decided enough was enough. How could I try to teach my children to be strong and independent individuals if I couldn’t do it myself? How could I tell them that they need to love every inch of their body and to appreciate their mind if I couldn’t do it? How can I look at them and let them know that they can’t allow otShower Cryinghers to bring them down and to effect their mental and emotional well being when I allowed it? That’s it. I’m done. All of these new changes are here having been forced upon me. It’s time to make a complete change. Screw everybody who made me feel like crap including that little voice inside of my head. I’ve never actually felt so ready for change as I do now. I want this.

I started my new lifestyle, let’s not call it a diet, on Monday. I already feel SO much better. No more of this “let’s take baby steps” crap. I jumped right in. I’ve started using the 21 Day Fix plan which so far is AMAZING! I can tell you that I haven’t finished my allotted food at all this week. I’ve been so full. I’ve been drinking more than enough water and have been doing the T25 Focus Workouts. Can I tell you that for 25 minutes of working out I feel dead after. Once I shower though my energy level is already soaring.

For the first time in years I actually feel good about myself. I’ve lost 5.2lbs already and it’s only been 3 full days. I feel full and satisfied. I have more energy despite working 65 hours a week and being a single mom of 2. This. Is. Amazing. I seriously hope that any of you out there that are teetering where I was fall over to this side of the fence. Let’s do this together. I’ll be sharing a lot of information about the 21 Day Fix as we move forward including some recipes.

Have any of you tried the 21 Day Fix? What were your results?

Moving my Fat Butt….

I haven’t weighed myself in several days now. I decided to stop obsessing and stepping on the scale once or twice a day. I have given up and will now only pull that cursed hung of plastic out from under the closet once per week. I’m concerned about tomorrow. I don’t feel like I’ve lost any weight. I don’t feel any different. My clothes fit the same. I’m eating fairly healthy.

So what should be the next change? Exercise seems to be one piece that I’m missing. Contrary to what you may believe I use to love to exercise. I went to the gym at least once a day, many times up to three times a day. I was obsessive with it. It seems to be how I’m made up. I’m actually a member of a gym, but I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve been there. Honestly, I find the gym boring. I use to go with friends, but I have nobody locally any more. I’d much rather be outside. So, I decided to start walking more. I think it’s a good gateway back into the world of working out.

I dragged my daughter out for a hike on Monday. I’m not positive how long we went, but using google eIMG_1084arth it looks to be about 3 miles. We live on 16 acres with state forests behind us. We started out down through our property to the snowmobile trail that runs perpendicular to us, and made our first stop the cow field. Unfortunately the cows were just too far away to get some good photographs of them, of course I didn’t think to bring my telephoto lens.

After attempting to convince them to come closer by mooing, whistling, calling, tapping the gate, etc we finally gave up and made our way to a pond that is situated right in the middle of the state forest. I mean, no trail actually goes to this pond. Well, maybe on the other side of the pond, but not from where we are. It’s a peaceful place. In the early spring there were a few pairs of herons nesting in the trees. There are at least 4 beaver dams spotted through the area, and you can see stumps of trees where they had taken trees. There was one very large tree with scrape marks from their teeth that I think they had underestimated. They hardly made a dent in it.

Today I took Halo on a quick walk during a break at work. We just went down our dirt driveway, turned right onto our road, took another right onto a little cul-de-sac, and then came back. It was interesting to me that although I was hot and sweaty during our hike I wasn’t really sore at all. Today my joints felt like they were going to die doing this 3/4 of a mile walk. My right side from the waist down was stiff and had shooting pain. Does anybody actually stretch before walking? Maybe I should start. I’m wondering if the surface has something to do with it. I was on a natural surface almost the whole time on Monday, yet this was a sand driveway and the street where I was sore. I’ll be heading out in the woods shortly again for a small little hike around the property and to let our dogs run. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s a difference.

I added a couple of mobile apps to my phone for walking. I’m not sure how much I like them yet, because I’ve only used them once. I really like the concept of one of them. This app is called WoofTrax. Being an animal lover I was drawn to thithumbnail_Screenshot_20160824-151228s right away. Once you download the app you can create a profile for each of your dogs and choose a shelter or rescue. Every time you take your dog for a walk you choose the dog you’re walking and carry your phone along. Every time you walk your dog they donate to your rescue of choice. You’re walking anyway, might as well help animals in need while doing it!

The second app that I downloaded is MapMyWalk. This app seems like it’s going to be great. I tried it out for the first time today on the short walk I took Halo on earlier. I like that it saves your previous walks so you can see how you’ve improved, or can choose a same walk based on time/distance. You can also see routes that others took in your area. I was surprised to see routes from at least 4 different people just off of my street alone. You can also set goals, follow training plans, and choose how you completed your route (bike, jog, run, walking dog, etc). You can add friends for support as well. I’d love for all of you who download the MapMyWalk app to find me and add me as a friend. You can find me by searching for my email address, pittylova@hotmail.com.

You can download both apps at the Google Play Store, or at the iTunes Store for iPhone. They are both my favorite kind of apps, FREE!

Do you find that you’re body reacts differently from exercising on different surfaces? Do you have any mobile app suggestions that can help with exercise or weight loss?

A Struggling Soul

Well, it’s been a rough couple of days. I mentally broke Thursday night. I don’t know what set me off. It started as me just simply wanting to be a lone, although I knew my kids and boyfriend were all going to be gone for the weekend. Normally that would make me want to spend more time with them. But as soon as the kids were tucked in I found myself flopped on our bed staring off into space. My mind was empty. Maybe it was him going away for the weekend that began to break me. I’ve already been teetering. I trust him, but some times there’s always that little voice in the back of my mind “but you’re gross…bet if a hot chick’s there he won’t think twice”. I didn’t hear the voice, but perhaps it was there? Was it the fact that he was leaving and deep inside I know I need him to help me through this, although I can’t bring myself to talk to him about any of it? I don’t know, because like I said I was empty. My mind was silent, my heart felt like it had shriveled to nothing, and my soul felt like it no longer existed.

As I laid there staring off he came in and leaned on the bed trying to engage. I remember looking at him and nodding in agreement to whatever he was saying. I don’t remember what it was, or if I ever really followed the words that flowed from his mouth. I vaguely remember the video he showed me of a very large rattle snake that was at his uncle’s house. My response was “cool”. I like snakes, I find them fascinating. That’s when everything officially broke inside. “You’re dumb”. It’s not the first time that he’s said it, and I know it’s not really meant as a personal attack. It never bothered me before. But I immediately felt my throat tighten and my eyes sting. My heart was definitely steal there as I could now feel it’s anguish. I simply rolled over and held my breath until he gave up and wandered out of the bedroom. As my breath hissed out from between my teeth the tears flowed. I sobbed for what seemed like forever. My face smashed into the pillow so he wouldn’t hear me.

I thought I had nothing left. It had to be all over. I pushed the one pillow aside that was now sopping wet. He crawled into bed only moments later and it began again. I couldn’t hold it back so I hopped out of bed and scurried into the living room closing the door behind me. I curled up on the couch the tears a never ending, silent stream down either side of my face. There I stayed, lying awake for the remainder of the night. 6am my alarm went off and it was time to start my day. It was Friday morning. I had to drop the kids off at their summer programs, and he was leaving for his weekend away. I still hadn’t talked to him. I took the opportunity as he went to use the bathroom to run into the bedroom and get dressed. I never undress in front of him. Who would want to look at me? He didn’t take as long as expected so I grabbed the remainder of my clothes and scooted to the bathroom to finish dressing. I heard him calling after me, “it’s not like I haven’t seen it before”. Oh I knew…and I felt sorry for him.

As we finished getting ourselves ready he blocked my way out of the office. A hug….who knew that such a simple thing could make me boil over with emotion? He wrapped his arms around me and asked what was wrong with me. It wastreesn’t his usual smart ass “what the hell is wrong with you”. It was sincere. I didn’t answer. I couldn’t answer. My eyes had welled up again. I really needed that. I needed to not feel so alone. I needed to feel like somebody gave a crap. I needed to know he was paying attention. Yet, why can’t I talk about it?

I took a couple more days to emotionally heal. I had Friday off from work. Originally I was planning on going with him for the weekend. He had asked me to go, told me he really wanted me to. I had made arrangements and then no longer wanted to. I’m fat and have a snoring issue because of it. I didn’t want to share a room with his friends. I didn’t want to stay at his friends’ house. So, when I found out most of them were taking the motorcycles and I MAY have to drive alone I took that as an opportunity to not have to go. I never got my passport so even if sculpture parkthings changed I wouldn’t have to go. I was exhausted, but couldn’t sleep. So I took all three dogs for a hike on the property and then packed up my younger dog and headed over to the lake.

It was actually an enjoyable day. We walked through sculpture park. Meredith, NH is quite busy in the summer time. There were people bustling every where although it was during a weekday. It was just what I wanted though. I do competitions with Halo, my American Pitbull Terrier (who has her own blog….though I have to do some work on it before I get it going steady), so it was a good training opportunity. We trained, I let her swim, we trained some more. It was good to get my mind off of things, to let me work on something I love doing, spend some time with my favorite pooch, expose people to the breed in a positive manner, and to just be outside in the beautiful summer weather.

withhaloI had big plans for yesterday as well. I was going to get out into the woods and take some photographs after cleaning the house in the morning. There’s a field a short hike from my property with cows there, and I wanted to photograph them. After I was done there I was going to camp out along the pond and see what I could find. I cleaned the house and went to plug my phone in next to my bed so it would be fully charged when I headed out. The next thing that I know it’s dark outside. The exhaustion from my mental and emotional gymnastics must have finally kicked in. I at least cleaned.

During those two days my diet was off. I didn’t eat enough, and I didn’t eat right. I think that I just couldn’t deal with that one more thing to worry about. My soul needed to heal. Today is a new day though and I’m hoping I can get on track. I’m feeling a little better. I have to be out of here in a few hours to fetch children, but in the mean time I’m going to go find those cows.

What are some ways that you heal yourself?

How Did I Get Here?

Weight effects us in so many ways. We have the obvious effects. When we first start to gain there’s the issue of our jeans becoming a little snug, that sexy, black dress doesn’t fall just right anymore, and the bands on our underwear begin to scoot off of our growing rumps from the elastic stretching. Not long after it becomes more and more difficult to get around. Walking up the stairs causes you to lose your breath, playing games outside becomes increasingly more strenuous, and your energy plummets. Then come the health concerns. Your joints hurt, you have all sorts of aches and pains, maybe you can’t sleep well any more, you run the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes is a word thrown around all too often, liver disease, heart disease, kidney disease, and this only names a few. One of the ways it effects many of us isn’t a disease, and it isn’t visible. I don’t often hear the mental and emotional struggles spoken of too often.

Anybody who knows me on a personal level will tell you for certain that I’m a quiet, unemotional person. Only those the closest to me know otherwise, and even I surprise them some times when I talk about what’s going on inside this head of mine. The truth is for as long as I can possibly remember I’ve built a wall. And I mean, this is one serious wall. It’s no flimsy piece of drywall, I’m talking steel surrounded by stone. Like…I think my wall outdoes any castle in history. Emotion is hidden deep within that wall and very few ever see it’s glimmer. Honestly, I surprise myself some times! This has led to the demise of that once aesthetically pleasing physique.

wall_stock_by_colourize_stockFood is comfort and assists in suppressing the emotions. Prior to getting pregnant with my daughter my emotional outlet was much more healthy. I use to ride and train horses every single day, and I went to the gym at least once a day. With the addition of a newborn I was thrown violently into adulthood as a single parent. I lost the time I had while in college to go to the gym. I lost the funds to own a horse so she was sold. I lost the time to go to a barn and ride. So, I turned to food. I was depressed. And honestly I feel like most people would never have known, even those who were closest. I was good at hiding everything. Truth be told I would have denied it if anybody said otherwise. Not because I wanted to hide it, but because it was hidden so deep within me that I couldn’t see it myself. Isn’t that how parents just feel? Like they’re dead inside and they go through the motions of raising and caring for their child? No, it’s not how it’s supposed to be, and I’m aware of that after much self examination.

I wasn’t always in a depressed state over the last 10 years. There have been good times. There has been much fun had where I was actually happy. But at the end of the good time all it took was for me to see the pictures from that day and the downward spiral would begin again.

Here’s where this whole analysis of my emotions and mind take a funny twist.

See, I’m not an overly emotional person and value the fact that I can think more logically about things than most women I know (let’s face it, us females tend to be naturally emotional creatures). Therefore, I like to analyze everything including the people around me. I was always secretly scared to do it to myself. Did I really want to go into why I did certain things and felt certain ways? Would that force me to be in touch with those emotions? One day, not too long ago, I went into a heavy downward spiral again. Crazy thoughts began to flood my mind and even though I knew they were nuts I just couldn’t help myself.

All of us who decide it’s time to make more healthy choices have something that makes us snap out of this indulgencetexture__marble_by_mehreenfreed stage. We spend months or years gaining and feeling horrible about ourselves. I know that maybe logically my reasons probably aren’t the best, but whatever makes me change, huh? See, I’m with this guy. This isn’t our first time together, we took a break previously for his own personal reasons. We live together with my 2 kids. He’s great with the kids, and he does right by our little family. Then I went into this dark place again. I began (and admittedly still do) picking apart everything he did or didn’t do and taking it to heart. He’s not a very affectionate person by nature, and he has his own demons he deals with. My mind would swirl, “why doesn’t he ever want to kiss me, what the hell do I have to do just for a hug – I really could use one, why does he seem uninterested, he never wants to spend time with me – it’s always about his friends and his club…” The thoughts consume me at times. Then I came across a picture of him and his ex-wife, and would think of the pictures I had seen previously….”you know, he never looks at me like that….obviously he cared more for her than he does me, he has yet to tell me he loves me since the first time we were together….” They continued to get worse and worse, filling my mind on a daily basis, often for a large part of the day. I had come to the realization that he didn’t want to touch me because I’m gross. Our sex life has dwindled down to the occasional “let’s get it over with” quick exercise because he can’t stomach me. He doesn’t, and may never, look at me like that because I’m fat. My mind knows better, but I still can’t stop feeling this way. And so I decided to change.

I know that nobody should change to make a guy happy. Truth be told I don’t think he cares as much as I feel he does. Isn’t it strange how you feel certain ways even when you know you’re an idiot? That was definitely the final push to make me want to fix myself. However, I also have become very antisocial, because I don’t like showing myself in public to people. I’m grouchy and tired all of the time because I don’t sleep well from the snoring due to being overweight. Plus, I got tired of hiding in the shower to cry, because, ya’know, I can’t show the weakness. So there ARE other reasons, so don’t be too harsh on me!

My curious mind wants to know if I’m the only one who is crazy and had something like this for the final push for them to get their act together? What finally made you decide to make a change?