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GOAL!

I hit my goal weight this morning :-)!  Let’s see…I am down 53 lbs since the end of my pregnancy with Sav in March.  I am 7 lbs lighter than when I started Landon’s pregnancy.  I am down 28.6 lbs from when I started really trying to lose weight in early May.  I did it the slow and steady way by counting calories and walking on the treadmill while reading books!  So proud of how far I have come and yet now I want to go further.  I have a pair of jeans that I tried to put on 2 months into my weight-loss journey – in early July.  This is what they looked like:

Here are the same jeans today:

My new goal is to have these jeans fit loosely – however many lbs that takes.  Some quick things about going through this process…

While pregnant with Sav I started reading about “clean eating” and cutting out processed foods.  This made a lot of sense to me and I have slowly been making changes to what we eat.  I haven’t gone 100% “clean eating” and probably never will, but I try to make smarter choices for us.  One thing we have started doing is we no longer buy pre-shredded cheese.  We buy the blocks and shred it ourselves.  I read bad stuff about the “anti-caking agent” used in pre-shredded cheese and it’s not hard to shred it ourselves so that’s what we do now.

We have always bought the natural peanut butter – the kind with only peanuts in the ingredient that you have to stir and keep in the fridge.  Another very easy thing to do.

I have started trying to cut back on sugar when cooking and have been looking into other natural alternatives.  My favorites are honey, maple syrup and dates.  I had never had dates until I started this and although they look a little scary they make a fantastic substitute for sugar.  I soak them in water and then stick them in the food processor :-).

When I make tacos I now make corn tortillas from scratch: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/04/26/recipe-easy-whole-grain-corn-tortillas/#more-1412.  And I no longer buy the packaged taco seasoning and instead make our own: http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-taco-seasoning/.

My newest favorite food is baked oatmeal.  I use this recipe and adapt it a little: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/03/15/cookie-dough-baked-oatmeal/.  I make it with oats, salt, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, cocoa (1 Tbs), unsweetened applesauce and non-fat milk.  I make it the night before in 2 muffin tins so it is ready to go in the morning.  I can have 2 muffin-sized servings with a huge glass of milk for 400 calories.  YUM!

My favorite treat is powerballs: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/06/05/recipe-powerballs-two-versions/#more-506 and frozen hot chocolate that I sweeten with honey: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/03/29/frozen-hot-chocolate/.

Some other favorite recipes that are “clean” or otherwise relatively healthy are:

http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-shrimp-scampi-recipe/

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/09/skinny-baked-broccoli-macaroni-and.html

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/04/healthy-baked-chicken-nuggets.html

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/broiled-tilapia-parmesan/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=tilapia&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Recipe

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/02/chicken-and-broccoli-noodle-casserole.html#more

http://healthyeasyrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/11/shredded-chicken.html

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/day-305.html

I would love to start making my own bread but need to pick up a bread machine first – otherwise it’s too much work ;-).  Jason and I have also talked about expanding our garden next year so we can have even more fresh veggies.

I leave you with a granola bar recipe that is a good snack or even breakfast.  The boys both eat it for breakfast everyday.  I got it from a friend from church and changed it up just a little so it no longer calls for sugar.  That way I don’t feel too bad feeding it to the kids for breakfast ;-).

2 Cups of Rolled Oats
6 oz dates – soaked in water and then put in a food processor
1/2 cup Wheat Germ
3/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Cup of wheat flour
3/4 Cup of Chocolate Chips
3/4 teaspoon of salt

Mix Dry ingredients in large bowl then form a well in the center. Put the following ingredients in that well:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1 egg beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix everything together then put in a greased 9 by 13 pan. Bake for 25 minutes at 350. Let cool for 5 min. then cut. Finish cooling.  If you cut them into 18 bars they are around 175 calories each.

The other thing that has helped me is to brush my teeth after meals!  Makes me much less likely to snack throughout the afternoon and evening if my teeth are clean :-).  I definitely don’t let myself get hungry though or else I get grouchy.  If I get hungry and know I won’t last until the next meal I snack on either a granola bar or some kind of fruit – usually an apple.

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