Ground Beef Stroganoff

This recipe was a favorite of mine and my sister’s growing up. It was one my mom had found either in the newspaper or a magazine for the electric skillet and when Mom made it, it was such a treat.

Until the year she subbed out calf’s liver for beef. I am still scarred.

The original recipe called for butter, sour cream, chuck roast and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. Yum. Over the years, I have modified the recipe to make it lower in fat. My modifications have much less sodium and is only 4 Smart Points per serving.

Here is what you will need:

1 pound of lean ground beef, 1 pound of sliced baby bella mushrooms, 1 medium onion, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 can of fat free cream of mushroom soup, 1/4c of V8, and 3/4c of nonfat greek yogurt.

Start by slicing your onion.

Then mince your garlic.

Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium high heat. Add onions.

And your mushrooms…

And half your garlic.

Saute for 5 minutes over medium high heat until cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.

Put your pan back on the stove and add your ground beef. Season with salt and pepper.

When the meat is about 75% browned, add the other half of the garlic.

Once the meat is browned, add 1/4c of V8.

Stir in the juice. Cover your skillet. Reduce the heat to simmer for approximately 15 minutes, until the juice is reduced almost completely.

Add back in your mushrooms and onions.

Stir in your can of cream of mushroom soup.

And then stir in your yogurt.

It will turn out creamy, and garlic-y, and delicious.

We serve ours over rice or egg noodles. You can also serve over riced cauliflower or just on its own!

With 96% lean ground beef, it comes to 4 Smart Points per serving and makes 4 servings.

Ground Beef Stroganoff

  • 1lb 96% lean ground beef
  • 1lb baby bella mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1/4c V8
  • 1 can condensed fat free cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4c nonfat Greek yogurt

Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium high heat. Saute onions, mushrooms, and half of garlic until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove veggies from heat and set aside in a bowl.

Return skillet to heat and add meat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Brown ground beef, and when nearly browned, add remaining garlic and finish browning.

Add V8 to meat, cover skillet, and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until juice is reduced.

Add veggies back in to beef. Stir in cream of mushroom soup. Then stir in yogurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings. 4 Smart Points per serving. Serve with rice, cauliflower rice, or egg noodles.

What I Eat in a Day Office Edition

Last week I did a blog post about what I eat in a typical day on a work from home day, but today, let’s talk about how I handle things in the work environment!

I wake up at 3:45am and immediately have a glass of water with my thyroid meds. No pic was taken because no one on earth needs to see me at 3:45am.

Then I work out…home routine. Today started with a plank, and then Leg Day.

Followed up with a bottle of water.

And then it is time for my magical “Be Nice to People” potion. My coffee is 1 Smart Point today as I am out of my coconut creamer. I used Natural Bliss Honey Cream…1 tbsp is 1 Smart Point. Plus 1 ounce of Evolve plant based protein. Total of 35 calories. Here is hoping the lactose in the cream doesn’t make things difficult today.

Jamming out for my drive in. Felt like country today.

Breakfast happens when I get to the office, usually around 7am.

Today I have my Blueberry Baked Oatmeal (3 Smart Points), 1 tablespoon of Nonfat Greek Yogurt mixed with 1 tsp of honey to pour on top (1 Smart Point), and 1c of canteloupe (0 Smart Points). This is approximately 225 calories.

I also have 16oz of water and I am trying a sample of Perfectly Posh So Perky Drink Sticks (sent to me by a friend).

At 10:30 it is snack time! A banana…0 Smart Points and 90 calories.

12:30 is lunch.

Today I had oven roasted turkey (0 Smart Points) with Lettuce and Tomato (0 Smart Points) on an Everything Bagel Thin (3 Smart Points), some cucumber slices and a bag of Veggie Straws (4 Smart Points). And more water! Total calories for lunch is 346.

Snack time around 3pm!

1 cup of grapes and 2 of my zucchini muffins (3 Smart Points). I did.not finish the grapes. 218 calories.

I get home around 4:15, and pack lunches for tomorrow. In full honesty, I ate a handful of Cheetos while packing my husband’s lunch. 5 Smart Points. 150 calories.

Dinner at 5:45.

My eyes were bigger than my stomach. What started out being an 11 Smart Point dinner ended being 5 Smart Points and 271 Calories. I had 4 Trader Joe’s Pork Gyoza (4 Smart Points). The sauce was too salty for me, so I gave it to my hubby. I ate about 1/4c of the rice (1 Smart Point) and half a cup of succotash (0 Smart Points). These gyoza are so yummy!!

Dessert at 7pm.

2 rice cakes (2 Smart Points), 2 tablespoons of Great Value Peanut Butter Powder mixed with cocoa powder (1 Smart Point), and half a small banana (0 Smart Points)…a total of 165 calories. Plus the last 16oz of water.

Total Daily Smart Points is 28 (Blue Dot number three this week!) And a total of 1512 calories for my day!

Transformation Tuesday

I am a slow loser. S-l-o-w. The first picture was from January 1st and the second is this morning. That is a 15 pound loss. 15 pounds in 8 months.

I get discouraged when I look at pics like this because I don’t see many physical changes. I see some, yes. I know I have toned up. I know I have lost inches. But I don’t physically see it yet.

However, changes are so evident on the inside. I am healthier. I eat so much better. I exercise at least 5 days a week. I am active. I have cut out soda. I have a better attitude.

This is the longest my husband and I as a couple have stuck with a healthy lifestyle in, well….ever.

Changes are cumulative. Eventually it will show on the scale. But I will embrace the internal changes in the meantime, and push forward to those goals!

Weekly Weigh In and Sleep

I learned months ago that I need my weekly workshop in order to be successful at weightloss and maintaining healthy habits. The responsibility of checking in with my squad keeps me on track, even during weeks that I get off track.

I am a slow loser. Like, super slow. But that is ok. My body has made changes, and I am learning to put myself first. Because that’s what I need – to make myself a priority. Too often, people like to use me to vent. And I get it. But as a result, I tend to bottle up my own feelings, which manifests in anxiety and frustration. Which leads to binging.

This weeks workshop topic is one I struggle with. Sleep.

Obviously, getting enough sleep is vital for everything. Not enough sleep and being overtired leads us to make “easier” choices…or choices that aren’t as healthy. It tends to lead us to overeat.

This is going to be my challenge this week. I do not get enough sleep. My game plan is to start a nightly bath and then powering off around 7:30. No screens. Just relaxing. We will see how that works.

I have been using melatonin to help fall asleep, but I have problems staying asleep. So let’s see how this week goes.

Weekly Meal Plan and Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

I spent the morning doing my meal prep today so I can veg out tomorrow and binge watch Netflix.

Here is my plan for next week!

Breakfasts will be a Blueberry Baked Oatmeal. Recipe at the end of this post.

Lunches will be tuna salad and likely leftovers. My brain isn’t functioning well this week.

Dinners – my goal is to use up a bunch of stuff from our freezer.

Sunday: grilled chicken with hibiscus rub, corn and air fryer potatos.

Monday: grilled pork chops, green beans and rice.

Tuesday: Trader Joe’s Pork Gyoza and Soycotash

Wednesday: buffalo chicken egg rolls (nom)

Thursday: Beef Stroganoff

Friday: sweet and sour salmon with rice and asparagus

Saturday: burgers and air fryer sweet potato fries

Now, let’s get to this scrumptious Blueberry Baked Oatmeal! The blueberries have been fantastic this summer! Bug and sweet and juicy!

First, here is what you will need:

Unsweetened Almond Milk, monk fruit sweetener, rolled oats, vanilla, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, 2 eggs, and 1c of fresh blueberries.

First, preheat your oven to 375° and spray an 8″ baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, combine 2c of rolled oats.

And then add 1 tsp of baking powder 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2tsp of nutmeg, 1/4tsp salt and 1/4c of monk fruit sweetener.

Stir to combine. Then add 1 3/4c unsweetened almond milk.

Two eggs.

1 tsp of vanilla.

And mix it together.

Fold in 1/2c of blueberries.

Pour your batter into pan and top with the other half cup of blueberries.

And bake for 40 to 45 minutes. I took mine out at 42 minutes. The middle will be set up and a knife inserted will come out clean.

Look at those amazing blueberries! They have been so yummy this summer!

This whole recipe makes 6 servings and has 3 Smart Points per serving. Each serving has 149 calories with 22.8g of carbs, 4.5g of fat, and 5.9g of protein. Top it with a drizzle of sugar free syrup or a dollop of greek yogurt and extra blueberries!

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

  • 2c rolled Oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1/4c monk fruit sweetener
  • 1 3/4c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1c fresh blueberries, divided

Preheat oven to 375 and spray an 8″ square baking pan with nonstick spray.

Mix oats, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and sweetener in a medium bowl.

Stir in almond milk, eggs, and vanilla. Fold in half a cup of blueberries.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and top with the other half cup of blueberries.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the oatmeal is set.

Makes 6 servings. 3 Smart Points per serving.

Zucchini Muffins

I have had a craving for zucchini bread and as fate would have it, I have recently seen a bunch of recipes lately. Most of those recipes have a ton of oil, or sugar, or wheat flour (which gives me a stomachache).

But I decided to play tonight, and came up with a delicious recipe with just 1 Smart Point for 1 muffin (3 for 2 muffins). These are delicious and moist (ha). Even my picky husband approves.

Here is what you will need:

Preheat your oven to 350° and then spray a muffin pan well with non-stick spray.

Now, grate your zucchini. You will need one and a half cups of shredded zucchini.

In a bowl, mash one really ripe banana. My original recipe calls for 6 eggs, but I only wanted to use 4. The banana acts as those extra eggs.

Now. Beat in 4 eggs, one at a time.

Next, add in 1/2c of Monk Fruit sweetener. I use Lakatano.

Then, add 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

Once that is beaten in well, add 1c of coconut flour.

Add 1 tsp of baking soda.

Add 1 tsp of cinnamon.

Add 1/4 tsp of nutmeg.

Mix that all well. Now you will add 1/4c of unsweetened applesauce.

Then, gently fold in your zucchini.

Divide your batter evenly into your prepped muffin pan.

Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes. Mine took 25 minutes until my cake tester came out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the muffins to a rack and cool completely.

These muffins are yummy. Like, seriously yummy. The banana and zucchini make them so moist and the coconut flour gives it an extra hint of sweetness. You can add whatever you want…nuts, raisins, coconut (um yum!) But that will change the point value.

Also, these are dairy free, gluten free, and low in Smart Points! 1 muffin is 1 Smart Point, and 2 are 3 Smart points.

Zucchini Muffins

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2c Lakatano Monk Fruit Sweetener
  • 1c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 c shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, mash banana. Add eggs and beat in one at a time. Mix in vanilla and stir in monk fruit sweetener.

Add in coconut flour, baking soda, and spices and mix well. Stir in applesauce. Fold in zucchini until well incorporated. Don’t overmix.

Divide evenly in muffin pan and bake 20 to 30 minutes.

Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Then remove muffins to rack and let cool completely.

78 calories per muffin. 16.9g carbs, 3g fat and 3.7g protein. Recipe.makes 12 muffins.

1 Smart Point per muffin, or 3 Smart Points for 2.

What I Eat In A Day On WW, or a Typical Day In The Life

I thought I would start to do an occasional post about what I typically eat in a day on WW! I usually post my food diaries on Instagram but I thought I would group everything together.

This is a typical Work from Home Day for me as I rarely go into the office much, but I can do one of those the next time I go.

On a typical work from home day, I start at 4:15am with an 8oz glass of water and my morning meds (thyroid, heart meds, and an 81mg aspirin). Then I immediately get dressed and head to Planet Fitness with one of these 16oz bottles of water. My aim is 80oz a day.

I drink this during my workout. Today I hit the treadmill and laid off strength training because yesterday was a full body workout.

When I get home from the gym, I fix my hubby a quick breakfast and grab a quick shower. Then I make my protein shake. I have been doing shakes pretty much every day since I had Gastric Bypass in 2009 as I have a requirement of 80 to 120g of protein a day. Being lactose intolerant, on top of having to limit soy has been difficult, but I have been experimenting. This month I have used the Care Of products.

I use 1c of unsweetened almond milk (1 Smart Point), 2 scoops if the Care Of Protein Powder (2 Smart Points) (blended just for me…it is a pea protein), and once a week I throw in Maca (0 Smart Points). I also add ice, cocoa powder and a tsp of espresso powder. My shake is a total of 3 Smart Points. Sometimes I add half a frozen banana. No, I don’t count Points. I am a WW rebel like that. Your mileage may vary. I also have another one of these.

After my shake today, I had breakfast. Today I had an egg scramble. Here is what went in it:

2oz of no nitrate added ham (1 Smart Point), 1 slice of Go Veggie Cheese (1 Smart Point), diced zucchini, mushrooms, green onion, and 2 eggs.

I had this with a 3 Smart Point English Muffin (total Low Carb Fail) sprayed with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray (0 Smart Points), 2 tablespoons of homemade guacamole (1 Smart Point) and 1c of fruit. I do measure my fruit. Total points for breakfast are 6 Smart Points, or 9 total for my morning.

I also make myself a cup of Cold Brew.

Zero Smart Points. I use 1 oz of the Evolve Plant Based RTD protein Shake (0 Smart Points), 1 Tablespoon of TJ’s Coconut Creamer (0 Smart Points), and the SF Torani Syrup.

Around 11:00am, I am ready for another bottle of water and the first of my daily supplements…600mg of chewable calcium.

At 12:30 it’s lunch time! Thanks to meal prep, I have this amazing Big Mac Salad all ready to go! It has 3oz of 96% lean ground beef (2 Smart Points), 1/4c of Go Veggie Cheese Shreds (2 Smart Points), 1 serving of Homemade Thousand Island Dressing (1 Smart Point), romaine, tomato, red onion, and diced dill pickles. Having that with more water and a banana. That saladis DELICIOUS…you MUST try it.

At 3:00 I am ready for a snack and all of this is just 2 Smart Points!

I am treating myself to a hot cup of coffee with 1 tablespoon of coconut creamer. Lots of veggies with homemade ranch dip (nonfat greek yogurt with ranch seasoning), an egg, and 2 tablespoons of hummus with Everything But The Bagel Seasoning. Also, half a cup of beautiful blueberries!

Also, here is said dog who I work so hard for. 😂

At 4:30 it is time for the last bottle of water and my afternoon supplements and meds.

I take my Care Of Supplements which include magnesium and garlic among other good things. Plus I take B12, Vitamin C, Colace (ha), 2nd calcium dose, multivitamins and a prebiotic with fiber. Just hit 88oz of water for the day! Huzzah!

5:45 and it is time for dinner. Taco Tuesday!

2 taco shells (3 Smart Points) with 1/4c of Go Veggie Shreds (2 Smart Points), 2 tablespoons of Guacamole (1 Smart Point) and 99% lean ground turkey and veggies. Zero Smart Point Black Bean and Corn Salad on the side. 6 Smart Points total for dinner. This puts me at 22 Smart Points for the day (out of 23).

Finally, a little something sweet before bed!

A little nonfat Greek yogurt with stevia, vanilla, cinnamon, strawberries, and 2 tablespoons of Almond Milk Reddi Whip.

Total Smart Points for the day is 22 out of my daily 23!

If It’s Sunday, It’s Meal Prep and Buffalo Chicken Salad

I spend Sunday’s prepping. It sets us up for the week and saves me time in the kitchen later. I decided to try some new things this week, like The Pound Droppers’s Big Mac Salad, and a recipe I threw together for Buffalo Chicken Salad. That recipe will be at the end of this post.

So, here is what I got done today!

First, water dispenser was filled.

We cut the cord to plastic water bottles a while ago and haven’t looked back!

Next up, I prepped all the ingredients for the Big Mac Salad and bagged them up. 2 portions for dinner tomorrow night, and 2 more for my lunches this week. I made the Thousand Island Dressing for it as well. Forgot a pic.

Then, I prepped the stuff for taco night on Tuesday. We have taco meat in the freezer, so I just have to thaw it and heat it up.

I am working on a pineapple chicken recipe for later this week, so I prepped the veggies…red pepper, onion and green onions.

We are having a vegetarian cauliflower gnocchi this week with a hearty veggie tomato sauce, so I cut up the veggies for that.

Plus, I made guac, boiled eggs, and chopped veggies for quick snacks.

Now, for the Buffalo Chicken Salad (which is zero points), here is what you will need:

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast.

Put that in your Instant Pot with 1c of chicken broth.

Add a sprinkling of Ranch Seasoning and dried parsley.

Seal your pressure cooker, and cook for 15 minutes (my chicken was still mostly frozen), and then Natural Pressure release for 20 minutes.

You can cook the chicken however is easiest. Instant Pot is not required.

Once the chicken breast is done, shred it. I put mine in a bowl and take my hand mixer to it. Easy peasy.

Now, here is what you will need for the salad.

Hot Sauce

More ranch seasoning.

Nonfat Greek Yogurt (I have recently discovered that it does NOT bother my lactose intolerance).

1 large rib of celery (or 2 small) and 2 green onions.

Now…add 1/2c of the hot sauce to the chicken. This ingredient is a Your Mileage May Vary Ingredient. I like mine on the spicier side.

Next, add 2 tablespoons of ranch seasoning.

Chop your celery and green onions and throw them in.

Add 1/2 c of nonfat Greek yogurt.

And stir to combine.

I planned to have this for lunch three times this week, so I measured out 3 equal portions.

Here is the finished salad. It is yummy. I will have it with veggies or on a low carb wrap.

This is an easy zero smart point lunch, or is great for a dip. Or even for pot luck. Or just out of the bowl with a spoon. 😂

Do you prep ahead?

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Salad

  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2c hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Ranch Seasoning
  • 1/2c nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 large rib of celery, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Add all ingredients to your shredded chicken breast, stir and chill.

Makes 3 servings at zero Smart Points per serving.

#sunweigh, WW Workshop and Happiness

First thing’s first.

I had been down quite a bit this week, but someone didn’t drink enough water yesterday, so today, I was only down 0.2. Still, I will take it because it wasn’t up.

Our workshop was amazing as usual. Seriously, our coach and our squad is amazing. I love how everyone is so supportive! And not just because they are the greatest cheerleaders in the world, but they are so helpful!

Today’s topic was on Happiness. How perfect that it worked into the #feelgoodaugust Challenge! We spoke about the fact that we alone are responsible for our own happiness, and that we need to plan ways to do something every day that makes us happy and puts us in a positive mindset. I mean, how perfect is that?

I haven’t posted too much about my #feelgoodaugust but I am chugging along. We went fishing again yesterday. How can you be unhappy when this is your view?

Here is where I stand with my #feelgoodaugust challenge.

Today is meal prep. I plan on hitting up my meditational app headspace later today, and maybe a nap.

What are you doing to take control of your happiness?

Comfort Food and Weekly Meal Plan for week of August 11, 2019

I am not feeling great today. One of the downsides of Graves Disease is that there are days when your symptoms hit you like a ton of bricks. Today is one of those days.

One of my favorite comfort foods when I was younger was scrambled cheese eggs. My Aunt Elizabeth could make them like nobody else. They were creamy and delicious. For years, I tried to replicate the recipe, but mine would always come out too hard, or wet. And the cheese would separate.

But as I aged, I learned scrambled eggs need a creamy cheese and to be cooked low and slow.

I wanted cheese eggs today. Because I feel blah. So I made them.

I find the Go Veggie Cheese Slices are the best for melting, so these came out perfect and dairy free. Three eggs scrambled in 1 tablespoon of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light with two slices of Go Veggie American.

Perfect.

So, here is this week’s meal plan:

Breakfasts will be catch as catch can and lunches will be buffalo chicken or tuna.

Dinners:

  • Sunday we will have fresh fish on the grill with sauted veggies and air fryer butternut squash
  • Monday will be The Pound Dropper’s Big Mac Salad
  • Tuesday is Taco Night
  • Wednesday is cauliflower gnocchi with marinera
  • Thursday will be pineapple chicken with herbed cauliflower rice
  • Friday we are having steak!
  • Saturday will be grilled pork chops and air fried squash