Friday, May 18, 2012

Super Skinny Margarita

A few months back I discovered Crystal Light's new Mocktails, the Margarita and Pomtini flavors.  They were good on their own, but on my quest for guilt free libations, I thought I would see how they stood up to cocktail hour.  I was pleasantly surprised. While not quite the same as the pure unadulterated Margarita that I prefer, these 'rita's definitely rival Skinny Girl.  Light, refreshing, not too sweet and a big calorie savings.  Margaritas from a typical mix are somewhere around 500 calories; Skinny Girl is 100 calories for a 4 ounce serving.  This one, made with Crystal Light, is just about 100 calories for a whopping 9-1/2  ounce margarita. I think I'll have two!

8 ounces Crystal Light Margarita, prepared according to package directions
1-1/2 ounces tequila
squeeze of fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker.  Shake well and pour into salt rimmed margarita glasses.


Pretty in Pink

The sun is finally back out and spring is most definitely in the air.  Time to spruce up your pedicure and break out the sandals if you haven't already.  I'm just loving all the funky colors and patterns for this spring and summer season.  Especially interesting are how the colors and patterns continue right through to the heel, for an extra sexy and playful look peeking out from under those jeans.

Steve Madden - Xcess
Naughty Monkey - Saint Tropez
Jessica Simplson - Dany
Betsy Johnson - Mystifyy

Nine West - Poolside

Monday, May 14, 2012

Southwest Tuna Salad

When you are watching your calories, every meal really counts and  you want everything you eat to taste delicious and satisfying.  In this tuna salad, I've replaced the fat with flavorful ingredients, so you never miss the mayo and every bite is a flavor explosion!
Serve it over greens, or I like it wrapped in a whole grain tortilla.

1 5 ounce can solid white tuna, water packed, drained
1/2 cup low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
few dashes Chipotle Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients, serve over greens or in whole grain wraps or tortillas.

Makes 2 servings.

Explore your supermarket for interesting new (to you) healthy products.
I found these Smart & Delicious Tortillas by La Tortilla Factory.  They're low carb, high fiber.
Each tortilla has only 50 calories (15 from fat) and has a whopping 7 grams of fiber....oh, and they're delish!

Weight Loss Challenge - Week 3

It's already Week 3 of the weight loss challenge and I am happy to say that I am down 11.5 pounds.

3 things have been key for me as I have continued to shed those unwanted pounds:

Daily Exercise
Meal Planning
Smart Choices

And I've managed to stick with the program despite the busy weekends that come along with the Spring season.  I spent this last weekend in a hotel in Pittsburgh packing Hannah up to bring her home for the summer, not exactly conducive to sticking with diet and exercise, but here are some tips to how I stuck with it.

I  took a lovely run through the neighborhood that I've pretty much only explored by car.  I have always found that it's much more interesting exploring new neighborhoods on foot than by car.   I didn't feel like running both days, so I checked out the "On Demand" section on cable and was able to find quite a few nice workouts, so I opted for a core workout right in my room, and I have to say, it was pretty challenging.  So, you see, there really is no excuse to miss a day.

Meal Planning:
Decide what you are going to make ahead of time for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Look for new recipes or try to find ways to lighten up your old favorites.  Little things can help.  Try reduced fat salad dressings or make the switch to balsamic vinegar or lemon or lime juice.  If you drink 2% milk, change to skim, you can even make a nice creamy dish when you thicken skim milk.  Half and Half in your coffee? Try Skim Plus Half and Half, much less fat and calories.  All of these little things will add up. Explore your grocery store, read labels, see what's out there and remember to include lots of fruit, veggies and whole grains.

Smart Choices:
Again, spending the weekend in a hotel can be tough.  I made sure to pack some containers of yogurt for a breakfast as well as some fruit for snacking.  When choosing restaurants I scoped out the menus ahead of time, so I knew there would be healthy, yet still satisfying and delicious choices.  I made smart choices, didn't stuff myself and even had a few cocktails.  So no feelings of deprivation for me!

(The unexpected stop at Bob Evans on the drive home was challenging, especially for a non meat eater.  But a vegetable filled breakfast omelet with a side of fruit was not all bad.  I have now made a mental note to always eat before leaving Pittsburgh for the ride home, as the choices along the way leave much to be desired.)

As of last week I was tied for 4th place out of about 300 people...not to shabby!  Let's see what tomorrow brings when this weeks results are posted!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Cinco De Mayo and Kentucky Derby...not sure what too serve?
This recipe fits the bill for either party you may be having.

Not so typical ingredients put a healthy spin on an iconic party appetizer.  Creamy avocado and Greek yogurt replace the saturated fat that typically comes from mayonnaise.   Chipotle and cumin kick up the flavor, while cilantro and a splash of lime keep it fresh.  Invest in a pastry bag and star tip and pipe the mixture into the egg whites for a gorgeous addition to your party menu.

12 large eggs
2 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons nonfat greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 green onions, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
smoked paprika

Place eggs in a singe layer in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes.  Drain water; run under cold water to cool.  Peel eggs and chill in refrigerator for about an hour.

Halve eggs lengthwise and remove yolks.  Arrange egg white halves on a platter.  Place yolks in a large bowl.  Add avocado and mash well.  Add green onion, cilantro, yogurt, chipotle chili powder and cumin.

Spoon or pipe yolk mixture into eggs whites.  Sprinkle with smoked paprika and additional chopped fresh cilantro.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Potato and Avocado Salad

Classic Potato salad gets an update when potatoes are combined with creamy avocado, lime and chipotle.  A great addition to your Cinco de Mayo menu but this side dish will also take center stage at any barbecue!

3 pounds red skinned potatoes
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
2 avocados, cut into chunks
2 eggs, hard boiled and coarsely chopped
3 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Place unpeeled whole potatoes in a large sauce pot and cover with water.  Add about 1 teaspoon of salt to the water if desired.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer potatoes, partially covered, about 15 minutes or until tender.  Drain potatoes and let sit until cool enough to handle.  Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces.

While potatoes are cooking, combine mayonnaise, lime juice, chipotle chili powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, add potatoes, avocado, eggs, green onions and cilantro.  Toss gently with mayonnaise mixture until evenly coated.  Chill until ready to serve.

A great addition to your Cinco De Mayo menu and a perfect accompaniment to

Cinco De Mayo isn't complete without Homemade Guacamole and Margaritas!
Classic Margarita