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Monday September 24th with TFD

September 24 food for Shelley's THE fresh diet

Yesterday was my first day back with THE fresh diet. On Sunday I anticipated the arrival of the “little green bag” waiting for me next to my front door. And there it was when I came downstairs nice and early. This is one of the things that I love about THE fresh diet; it is fresh food delivered everyday to my front door. I mean how much easier does it get then that? No weighing, no measuring, no points to count, just open and eat… I’m not saying that this is a lifelong way to eat but for someone who wants to jump start their healthy eating for a while before you settle back into “life” it is a great way to start….. or for those pesty 10 pounds I hear so many people talking about take a month or two and just do it! And you know the food is pretty tasty too!!


Artichoke & Brie Cheese, Parsley Omelet with Seven Grain Toast

This is one of my favorite breakfasts from THE fresh diet, I love the creamy brie and the artichokes!!!


Santa Fe Style Salad with Monterrey Jack Cheese, Corn, Black Beans, Tomato, Jicama Bel Peppers and Romaine Lettuce with Ranch Dressing

I could not believe how much salad fit in my container!! I took the salad out to toss the dressing in one of my glass bowls and could not believe it filled the whole bowl up, and I’m talking lots of sweet jicama too! The cheese was shredded which is a good way to “spread the love” as it seems to give you more when actually it isn’t… And I do love how the dressing is real dressing not low fat stuff that just tastes nasty, it was delicious Ranch!


White Bean Hummus with Pita Chips

What’s not to love about hummus? Well maybe it seemed like a smidge in size, but after I enjoyed it with some tea it really was the correct amount, ya know how I knew? I wasn’t hungry!!! I always remember my old nutritionist who used to ask me “Are you hungry?”


Vegetarian Meatball Peperonata with linguine Pasta with Onions and Peppers. with Chipotle Whipped Cauliflower Puree and Herbed Barley Pilaf

When ordering my food this week i decided to try a few vegetarian meals so I could write about them for those who don’t eat meat. The meatballs did have a “meaty” consistency and they were rather good. But by far my favorite item of the meal was the chipotle whipped cauliflower. I’m going to have to get this recipe to share with you because it is delicious and makes a great alternative to white whipped potatoes!!


Pink Poached Pear Filled with Creamy Ricotta Cheese & Honey Roasted Walnuts

While waiting to juggle the remote between The Voice and Dancing with the Stars I enjoyed my pear with sweet ricotta cheese and a cup of tea it was a nice way to complete my cuisine for the day.

My get up and go got up and went…

photo credit: George M Grouta

…and now It’s a new day!

I did it! I took the “first step” in getting my wellness journey back on track… You know what I did? The dreaded… stepping on the scale! How many of us just fear this number sooo much? Last night I even dreamed about it in anticipation of my “Monday morning Weigh in.” Ha now I’m wishing my weight in my dream was the weight in reality… NOT! Of course NOT! And let me tell you it wasn’t a “small” number of wishful thinking… just a few pounds under where I am now!

But… I’m not going to beat myself up. I had a wonderful start last year with Rebecca and she taught me a LOT about mindful eating. I do know and understand I am an emotional eater and like with any “addiction” which I am beginning to feel that emotional eating falls into, I need to really take control of it.

Unfortunately, I have had a few really bad months and really have been suffering with panic which of course stopped me from going to the gym. You ask why, well I panic in the car and from January till the present have “locked” myself away at home not wanting to do anything. I’m telling you there were days that taking a shower was a struggle as I was panicking so much. But that is a whole other topic which I will be exploring.

The good news is I am taking this day by day… Meal by meal…. Work out by work out… and not looking for the short fix… I’m back on track with understanding this is for the long haul… So please welcome me back to the world of the living and caring about myself… again.

Let’s challenge each other!

However, this picture isn’t from today, it is pretty current, it’s from a few weeks ago when I went away to celebrate my 26th anniversary with my husband.

Day One:

• Step on the scale! I dare you! Just do it! It will be the beginning of your journey too! Cry, Scream, throw a fit… and then get over it and move on!

• Write down the number… Hide it in your drawer… Post it on the fridge.. or above your desk

• Take a photo of yourself today!

Now who is with me? Jump on board and follow my wellness makeover both here and on my facebook where I will be putting up recipes and inspirational posts-well I hope you find them inspirational!

Ahoy there Pirate Booty

photo credit: Pirate Brands

Dear “Pirate Booty” Producers,

I recently came across your little fluffy balls of rice or air or whatever they are and I just want to tell you I am in love! Thank you so much for creating a crunchy and sinfully delicious um do I dare say “nutritious” and guilt free snack…. Butt, please please please can you come up with a honey barbeque flavor that rivals Frito’s flavor; I just yearn for that sweet and salty taste and I don’t want to be forced to abandon my “healthy living” and run back to the “dark side” of snacks… Um K! Thanks so much,

Your little snacker!

Who is with me? What is your guilty pleasure?

*Oh food that is a guilty pleasure; my nutritionist is going to have a hay-day if she sees this!

5 Reasons to put back on the “bug”

A few weeks ago I was all gung ho about getting my butt back to the gym and went ahead and purchased a body bugg to monitor my calories in and out. That was going fine and dandy; well not the calories out part because I have been having a little “dry spell” lately with my exercise routine. However, in the past week I took the little sucker off for a “brake” so now I have not been entering my calories in either.. This has to stop! I need to get bitten by the bug again and start to exercise, these are the top 5 reasons to put the bug back on and exercise!

1. When I am exercising I feel better about myself; the little endorphins start to kick in and I feel “happier.” Who likes to be around Miss Grumpy Gills?

2. I have more energy to take care of Hadley.

3. I sleep much better when I am exercising. I don’t know why, maybe I am just plain exhausted when my head hits the pillow but I know I am “out” for some good sleep.

4. My heart; I know that exercise is good for my heart. I have been taking blood pressure meds since my pregnancies and I really would like to get off of them… Yes we are talking 19 years…

5. My calories out exceed my calories and yes by golly, I lose weight-that is kind of a little goal here. And inevitable then I like what I see in the mirror.

Inspire me… What are your reasons for exercising?

*I’d love to have you join in the journey to healthy living with me. For healthy tips and musings from me as I reach my goal of healthy living within a special needs household.

“Diet” is a four letter word

photo courtesy of Weight Watchers

Over the last few months I have been making “healthy choices” choosing to eat just about everything but in moderation. Obviously not chowing down on chips and cookies but rather eating those things that we ate at the beginning of time to “sustain life.” You know fruits, veggies, and grains, and leaving out processed foods.

I have stopped many times to think about the several hundred times that I went on a “diet.” And pondered as to why they never worked… Why did I never “keep” it “up” so to speak? The answer is simple because I never “learned” to eat properly!

Let’s see if there has been a diet I have been on it… I have:

• Counted points
• Drank only liquid shakes for 3 months now that was real healthy! NOT!
• Ate prepacked foods… which I don’t care what anyone celebrity or not says is “awful” food period!
• Did the “big gulp” diet coke diet-that’s where all you drink is diet coke all day and eat a salad for dinner (how stupid is that?)
• Ate high protein and used lots of cream in my coffee-can you say “cholesterol?”
• Drank the popular store bought shake diet, which should be dubbed the migraine and diarrhea diet…
• And went back to the counting points people a few more times… where they actually teach you that “hunger” is a bad thing!

I never realized how important it was to respect your bodies craving for food and understood the meaning behind being “hungry.” It wasn’t until Rebecca came into my life in March and she kept trying to drill the “Are you hungry?” into my head…

How many of you actually eat when you are hungry? And not with the clock, because it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner time but when you are hungry. This really is hard. I know I have been trying to track it. But I have found those days after I have a tough Zumba class or extra hard work out, I feel a bit of “hunger” in the day. It’s like an “ah ha” moment. And now I really respect those times. First I jump for joy and then I go and eat a snack something with protein and carbs usually an apple and almond butter, or cottage cheese and fruit, even jelly.

I have spent the last few months trying to really do things for myself and trying to “unload” excess baggage so to speak so that I can concentrate on keeping myself well which was always a small problem of mine; I’ve said it before, I’m an emotional eater. So I have been trying to distress other ways then through my mouth… The stress in my life has not gone away, I will always be a special needs mom and with that comes A LOT of stress and worrying. But I have learned to take the “eating” out of worrying, the chips, or whatever is not going to change my daughters’ disability it will only keep me unhealthy and possibly shorten my life, so no more to that!

I know how easy it is to get “sucked” into the billion dollar diet industry! Trust me I have been there so many times over the last 20+ years I shudder to think about how much money I have wasted. But it is a very hard concept to learn “hunger.” Especially if you have “done” all of the diets that I have. But this is my small plea for all of you out there, Stop! Stop looking for the “easy fix” because it isn’t an easy fix it is just temporary. Believe me this I am pretty sure I can say I’m an “expert” on because of my history. It is very rare to meet someone who has done one of these “diets” and kept their weight at a healthy weight without changing their eating habits.

Who is with me? How many “diets” have you been on?

I’m not a member of the “Clean Plate Club” anymore!

photo credit: blogs.citypages.com

It’s been 30 days and I’m proud to say I’m not a member of the “Clean Plate Club” anymore! Although this is a huge leap for me I have to tell you this is a journey that I know is a lifetime change and to get to a “healthy” lifestyle will take me a good 6 months of continuing to do what I have been doing this past month.

So let’s recap for all of you new friends who don’t have a clue of what I am talking about. In February I was contacted by Nutritionist Rebecca Scritchfield who wanted to know if I knew of someone who would be interested in a “Wellness Makeover” which would be part of a month long segment which would air weekly on ABC’s “Let’s Talk Live.” I thought about it for a moment and then thought hmm I was just about to call a Nutritionist that a friend of mine was using, because I was tired of looking in the mirror and seeing a distant memory of myself. I asked Rebecca would the person have to stand on a scale in front of all of Washington DC and the world or have measurements taken on TV and she said “No.” So without a second thought I jumped at the opportunity and said “Yes, Me!” That was the beginning of the journey.

I am not a dummy and know that in order to really be successful you need to actually move your body to reduce the number of calories you take in and as much as I don’t love exercise I thought I would like to have a trainer to help get this party started so to speak. That is when I met Ryan Walker of Alchemy Fitness. He and I began to work out weekly 3 days a week to work on Strength training. Which is a bit hard because over the years my balance has gotten “off” if you know what I mean, but I was determined and Ryan was great about working on a program that was tailored to a person who has high blood pressure. In addition to strength training I rode the bike for a cardio workout 2-3 other days. This in itself was another huge milestone for me. I only missed working out with him once due to a migraine, which is another topic for another time.

So what did I learn?

Week 1 & 2

1. I am an emotional eater, which is why I “graze” all day in the kitchen like a cow would do. I eat not because I am hungry, I don’t think I even would taste the food I was just shoveling it into my mouth to ease my emotions, if I was sad I ate, mad, I ate, upset I ate, worried, I ate… you see the pattern here? Does it sound familiar? Because I never stopped to realize what the heck I was doing.

2. I have been a chronic dieter my whole adult life. I have done Optifast, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystems and was very successful each time I was “on” a “diet” but when I was done well back to #1 and you know what would happen, bloob bloob bloob over a few months I’d put back on the weight and sometimes more because I never “got it.”(this in itself is another whole post lol)

3. So what was it, what made me “get it?” I think maybe realizing that I’m not getting any younger i’m in my late 40’s and I don’t want to keep this up and possibly become diabetic at my own hands, or maybe have a heart attack, and not see my grandchildren. I woke up one day and realized I want to “live” I want to dance, I want to travel, I want to be healthy to take care of my disabled daughter. I needed to change and not for a minute, for forever.

4. We shopped for food. Rebecca and I went to Balducci’s which is where I love to shop since our local grocery stores produce taste like nothing; seriously I don’t know where they buy there produce but attention people at Giant and Safeway your produce is awful! So back to our adventures at Balducci’s we picked up a few new things like, Almond butter, and Pomegranate/Cherry Juice, and Quinoa. It was a true adventure shopping through the eyes of a Nutritionist not thru my Junior Chefs. Always try and take a shopping list with you to the store and follow it! One other little tip I picked up this week is stay away from the “middle aisles” in the store or what I will call the heavily processed foods and saucy foods. Eat fresh and clean!

5. Rebecca took a look through our kitchen and I’m happy to report that it wasn’t so bad! Not that I’m really surprised we usually don’t have a lot of “craparoo” around.

6. This was a big one for the week, eat “if” you are “hungry” hmm what a novel concept of eating when one’s body wants to be fueled. But that is what I really tried to concentrate on, “am I hungry?” And then “stop” eating when you feel satisfied! Do not continue, put down the fork and walk away from the table! I did it a few times, not all the time, but enough to know that I am ready to turn in my membership to the “clean plate club.” Parents please do NOT teach your kids to clean their plates you are doing them such a disservice in the long run, just ask me!

Week 3 & 4

1. You can eat out; just make it more about the “experience” and less about the food. I mean eating out is not something that most people do every night or every week even so when you do make it about the experience enjoy the company you are with and the surroundings. With that said, I learned I was eating way to fast! Slow down, “try” and I say that lightly because I know it is hard but try and chew each bite 30 times. Put your fork down when you have had a few bites, drink your beverage, ask your company a few questions and then go back to eating. When you eat out most restaurants give you wayyyy to much food, actually a salad at the Cheesecake Factory could easily feed a family of 4 if you eat the proper amounts of food. So what are the proper amounts of food? Take a dinner sized plate ½ of the plate should be your veggies, and ¼ of the plate grains and the last ¼ protein. That’s it, it’s that simple. And stay away from extra’s like salt, butter, creamy sauces or dressings those are just unnecessary and unhealthy.

2. We spent a lot of this week making over recipes which I loved from Ina, (my favorite gal) and I was introduced to a new friend/chef Ellie Krieger. After making the first recipe from Ms. Krieger’s cookbook “So Easy,” I was hooked and knew we would become good friends! As I said I do love to cook and entertain and I spent a good deal of time trying “new” things.

3. Step up the exercise a bit more, Ryan and I continue to work out but I was getting “tired” of sitting on the bike, I wanted to “move” so I saw this dance/exercise class called “Zumba” and I gave it a try (yup you know it, another post lol) and I loved it, you can bet I will be Zumba-ing 3 days a week from now on!

Although this is brief and in an outline type form it gives you a pretty good idea of how things have gone the first 30 days and I’m proud to say I’ve lost 11 pounds and 18.5” all over. So I would have to say this is a great beginning, and although I know this is a journey I keep telling myself that I’m taking it one day at a time.

Here is a the video of Rebecca and my last segment on Let’s Talk Live, but don’t worry the journey continues and we will be back to check in with them next month and will keep you updated!

In honor of my wellness makeover and to introduce Ellie Krieger to some of my friends I am having a giveaway of her new cookbook which will be through April 9th so go and sign up!

I would love to hear from you! Are you an emotional eater? Are you a member of the “Clean Plate Club?” Join me nowand QUIT!

it was a green-green week!

This past week was a “green green” week full of eating out, shopping and sights of new green growth.

This past week my oldest was home for her last spring break from college, here we go again with the “lasts” it is easy to do this year since it is her final year at school down south. I was a bit fearful for what the week had in store since I knew her two favorite things to do when she is home is eat and shop… Uh, in the midst of my “wellness makeover” I was honestly a bit freaked. If that girl could eat out morning noon and night everyday I think she would be happy, but I really enjoy cooking and eating at home, not that I don’t like to eat out for the experience once in a while, I just don’t think that it is the best thing to do for me financially or for my nutrition, since we all know that most restaurants give you double what you should eat at one sitting.

At the beginning of the week, we had lunch with Rebecca who enlightened me yet again in about the first 10 minutes when I was half way done with my fish that I was eating wayyy to fast. Hmm, no wonder I’m done with dinner in 15 minutes. But actually I was never a slow eater and again, probably never tasted my food just fork to mouth.

Rebecca told me to try and chew each bite 30 times… OMG, 30 times per bite… at around 10 my throat glands are ready for “swallow.” This was hard. She also told me to try this, after 2 bites (and chewing 30 times each) put down my fork, have some water, and chat for a bit, then go back and start over. She explained this way when you are eating out it becomes more about the experience and the company as well as the food, relax and enjoy. Well, I tried it and I brought home a bit of my lunch because I did stop for a while and realized I wasn’t hungry anymore. Hmm, just think about all of the calories I have ingested over my life when I wasn’t even “hungry.” That was a big eye opener.

I knew we had a dinner with our contributing writers for the DC Ladies on Tuesday evening and now I felt a little more prepared about going out with them, plus it was an exciting event because it was the first time we were actually getting together with these fine ladies who write for us on a weekly basis.

Our dinner was a success! And my dining out experience was a success too; I stayed away from “saucy” foods, and asked for a grilled chicken salad with the dressing on the side. The salad had a huge variety of veggies in it along with apples and walnuts. I tried to follow as Rebecca had told me the day before and I did pretty good, I ate about ½ the salad in about 30 minutes, and I brought the rest home, and I enjoyed the evening very much!

On St. Patty’s day we had one of our “mommy and me” shopping days. We saw some very funny folks, some yummy green chips, cupcakes, and in the spirit of “green” I spent some on my little girl. Lol I guess I should tell you I didn’t eat the green chips but did eat some guacamole with my chicken at lunch at Rio Grande, and the cupcakes although I’m sure if I was “hungry” I could have had a bite I brought them home for my family.

Gotta love Georgetown Cupcake!

even the chips were green today.

this lady was a bit crazy with all of her green!

Friday, we were back at it shopping and eating… We headed down to Georgetown for the day and were having lunch with a friend from California who was here for a meeting. So another meal, a few more shops, some great conversation, and yes at that lunch I ate in 30 minutes but we talked for 3 hours…

I knew that Sunday morning was “weigh in” day, I actually was curious to see just how I did this week eating out as much as I did Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. I know I followed what Rebecca told me and so I wasn’t so scared, and I kept telling myself this is all part of the “journey” and I am proud to say that I lost 1.5lbs this week so that’s 10 pounds in 3 weeks, I think I’m doing pretty good. I’m just learning to do things a little differently and take it one meal at a time, be it at home or away…

and yay for the green buds of the trees

How often do you eat out?

Follow my wellness makeover on facebook.

A single step

photo credit: LA Times Magazine

Well, it’s been a solid two and a half weeks now since my “Wellness Makeover” kicked off and I’ve been pretty successful. I hate to write down how many pounds I’ve lost because that is sooo not what this whole process is about. Plus I am having a “little” inner self struggle with the fact that I only wished I had started this journey last summer. But that is me “beating myself up.”

Last week when I spoke to Rebecca on our check in phone call, she asked how everything is going and I told her that I only lost a measly ½ pound that week. I think she wanted to jump through the phone and strangle me. Seriously, she was pretty upset with me not for the ½ weight loss but for my “attitude” towards the whole thing.

I guess I am still having “dieter’s remorse.” After being a chronic dieter for so many years I am sooo married to the scale and the number it reads, and it is hard not to focus on that because we all know at what “number” or around what “number” we look good in clothes and out of them. If you have ever been a “dieter” you know what I’m talking about. And I was also focusing on the fact that “if” I had started my wellness make over last summer the “number” I started out with would have been 15 lbs lower and therefore would take me a shorter time to reach my ideal weight where I will live “healthy ever after.” Butt, then I think, well, I could have waited a few months longer and then started at a much higher number too, if I kept on gaining weight.

The other day on the way to the TV studio Rebecca shared the following famous quote… “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” That is exactly what I need to concentrate on the “journey” and this moment in time “Right here Right now.” This is where I am starting and I am moving forward towards a healthy attitude about my “wellness” as much as my nutrition and exercise.

I laughed in the car when Rebecca gave me an A for both nutrition and exercise but an F for well being. An “F” yup, that’s right you know failing grade! Uh, and one thing I know is I am my worst critic! Unfortunately again that falls under what we shall call “unfinished business,” which Rebecca and I have also spoken about. One really needs to get as clear a mind about one’s self image as possible to move forward with a “healthy lifestyle.”

A healthy lifestyle change is about the long term but I need to not beat myself up over the past and concentrate and move forward in the present one step at a time…

Follow along on facebook!

Tune in Tuesday

Week Number three, we talk about healthy eating and cooking. I spent a good part of last week remaking family favorite recipes and also trying some of Ellie Kriegers new recipes which our family loved. I will be posting the recipes through out the next few months under “shelley n ellie.” You can also hop over to my facebook fan page for shelley’s healthy makeover to check out more.

How are you doing with your healthy living?

Tune in Tuesday

Well week number one done! Yay!! And I’m proud to tell the world that i have lost 8 pounds! And that is without being hungry, or having “boxed” foods, or counting points but actually “listening” to my body and asking “Are you hungry?”

I would love to help a few of my friends in blogaspher out, I know I’m not the only one who has been a chronic dieter! Please join my facebook fan page, you can ask any questions of Rebecca, Ryan or me!

Until next week, I’ll keep going, and hope you will stay tuned!