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Topics - Sunshine

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I'm not certain I'm still operating at 00% after the roller coaster we've been on the past few months - however when you move you get reacquainted with what you have.  After eating out for almost a month straight I was a little tired of wings, burgers, etc, so yes, I slipped and decided I wasn't going to stress over it - it was just the cards life dealt us.

So as I've begun getting back on track - I've relied on fiber to stay focused.  I've used Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Flax Seeds, Powdered Psyllium Husks and Powdered Gluccoman, etc.  And don't gross out - yes, some crumbled up GG Bran Crisp Breads.

Making a simple almond milk smoothie with a few pinches of this or that (from above) makes for a thick smoothie that you can almost eat with a spoon and yes, one I made sure was extra think so I could freeze and eat like ice cream.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Cheers to the holiday season!!

We're in the process of moving and the last few weeks have been a blur!  Moving from the South back to the North wasn't planned but you can't say no to great opportunities these days!  So I'm in Baltimore, MD house hunting while the hubby started his new job.  We're right downtown on the Inner Harbor and there are grocery stores within walking distance.

It's been fun but tricky to stay on track eating out - which is what we did our first week while house hunting together!  But here's some fun things I've tried:

A burger topped with jumbo lump crab meat topped with pepper jack cheese and melted - yum!

A crab sandwich (skipped bread) - bottom layer was thick slices of ham, then crab meat, then Swiss cheese and tomato - another winner!

Plus just an abundant supply of crabs, shrimp topped with crab and I could go on forever!

We're finally into a furnished corporate apartment - so I made a nice chuck roast and steamed green beans with bacon and butter :)

So if you like crab ... Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll have more ideas!

Sides and Snacks / A different take on Deviled Eggs (at least for me)
« on: July 09, 2014, 05:51:00 PM »
Deviled Eggs:

6 eggs (older eggs are better than farm fresh)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon garlic confit oil or vegetable oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the garlic confit: Cut the tops off of the tip of the garlic heads, leaving the root ends intact. Add to a small saucepan and cover with the vegetable oil. Cook gently over medium-low heat until the oil is infused and the garlic is soft to the touch, about 45 minutes (it should not come to a simmer). Remove the garlic heads from the oil and allow to cool prior to removing the softened cloves. Squeeze out the cloves from their skins and mash slightly; set aside. Reserve the oil.

For the deviled eggs: Lay the eggs flat in a saucepan and cover with water. Put the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid, turn the heat off and let the eggs sit for 12 minutes. Submerge or rinse in cold water until cooled.

Peel the eggs, cut lengthwise and separate the yolks. Mash the yolks in a bowl with the melted butter, mayonnaise and mustard until smooth. Stir in the oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the filling into a piping bag, no tip needed. Season the egg white halves with salt and pepper and drizzle with some of the garlic oil. Refill the egg whites with the filling.

Breakfast Recipes / "Cheesecake" Coffee
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:27:21 AM »
A while back I made some cheesecake bites (no crust) and kept in the freezer as little cold treats to enjoy.  I decided to toss a couple in the blender with my coffee.  Mmmmmm - frothy and creamy deliciousness!

Sides and Snacks / Bacon Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks
« on: July 08, 2014, 02:17:13 PM »

Bacon Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks - Low Carb and Keto Recipe
Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  3 mins Total time:  13 mins
Serves: 2

Surprisingly these bacon wrapped mozzarella sticks reheat well (use toaster oven for reheating for best results) and are great for a quick breakfast!


1 Frigo cheese heads mozzarella cheese stick (cut in half)
2 slices of bacon (I used thick sliced but I think thin would be better)
coconut oil for frying (expeller pressed works well for this purpose)
low sugar pizza sauce for dipping (optional)


Preheat your coconut oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees.
Wrap your cut in half cheese sticks with the bacon, overlapping as you go just a bit so the bacon stays on. At the end of the wrapping, secure with a toothpick. It's ok to not cover the ends of the cheese with bacon, actually it turns out better that way.
Drop the bacon wrapped cheese in the hot oil and cook until the bacon is quite brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes (depending on the thickness of your bacon). Watch them closely because they will cook quickly.
Remove to a paper towel to cool for a few minutes. Remove the toothpick and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!

Net carbs = 1 g. per piece (half a cheese stick wrapped with one slice bacon - not counting the pizza sauce)

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 piece Calories: 103 Fat: 9 Carbohydrates: 1 Fiber: 0 Protein: 7

I'm so happy to report that all the "dimples" around my ab area are GONE!  I still have work to do - but I'm seeing results so it keeps me motivated.  I haven't done a sit-up/crunch in 4 weeks!  I read an article from U of Michigan (which was right in my backyard for many years) - that highlighted some of the more effective ab exercises … the plank, reverse plank and side plank.  The first week of doing the side plank was a nightmare because I had very little balance.  Now I can go a minute on each side!  The reverse plank is harder for me as it hurts my shoulder.  There is also a technique called "the vacuum" which you can do anytime anywhere - I try to do them while driving :)

The other super favorite is the stability roll out and stability curl up.  I don't have a stability ball at home so I use a towel on the floor - and it works.  Think of the ad for the "ab wheel".

Here's to swimsuit season!  Have a great 4th!

As I've been increasing my weight lifting to help give me the body shape I'm looking for … I noticed I was feeling more hungry.  Everyone said add carbs to help your muscles recover.  Hmmm, wasn't sure I wanted to go down that road.  So I thought - maybe adding some extra fat would help and low and behold I came across this book.  There are 50 recipes 80% fat and higher.  I've had great results adding in a few items to hold me over.  The book explains the original "Fat Fast" but gives some ideas that I hadn't thought of personally - but the more seasoned person may find this unnecessary.  Anyway - there's my thoughts!  Have a great 4th!

Girly Girl Talk / Sunless Tanning - more options I've tested!!
« on: July 03, 2014, 08:39:44 AM »
So yes, I'm a huge fan of self-tanning.  And my favorite product is pricey.  So I went ahead and tested some store brands and also some other brands you can get online.

Store bought - Loreal.  I like the individually packaged wipes.  No orange and nice color and easy to apply.

Online (unless you're have a beautician license and it's in your supply stores) - Brand Fake Bake.  My favorite is their Original lotion.  You apply at night and I find beautiful streak free color by morning.  Next favorite is their 60 minute - it's a spray so sometimes it is harder to get it as flawless as the lotion - but it's good color.  Then I've tried their Flawless Darker - if you read reviews online - you'll see people want more "color" from the Flawless Original.  It works well too.  I've seen online for under $15.  I have used these on my face without trouble and I'm a super oily gal with sensitive breakout prone skin.

Hope that helps!  Be sure to put the lotion on your elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, etc.  Exfoliate well in the shower prior.

Ask Umpa / Help with converting a muffin recipe to FTS
« on: June 25, 2014, 09:55:38 AM »
I have to make some muffins and this was the recipe they sent me.  Can it be tweaked and still low cal for the ladies?

1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
3 tbsp. brown sugar (not packed)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup light vanilla soymilk
1/4 cup sugar-free pancake syrup
1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown), room temperature
2 tbsp. no-sugar-added applesauce
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a standard 6-cup muffin pan (or 6 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan) with foil baking cups or spray with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, Splenda, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In another large bowl, whisk all other ingredients except chocolate chips. Add the flour mixture and stir until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.

Evenly distribute batter among the 6 lined or sprayed cups of the muffin pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 22 minutes. Enjoy!


Serving Size: 1 muffin
Calories: 175
Fat: 5g
Sodium: 299mg
Carbs: 29g
Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 11g
Protein: 4.5g

PointsPlus® value 5*

General Discussion / Mexican Night Out w/ Friends
« on: May 29, 2014, 10:36:00 AM »
Gosh do I LOVE Mexican.  We went out with friends - and here's how I ordered (without making a scene) …

- I asked for a grilled chicken breast - plain, so sugar or wheat products added.  Then I asked for it to be topped with melted cheese.  And to go with it - a side salad with lettuce, 2 small avocado slices and some grated cheese and taco sauce (not salsa, since I find taco sauce more often has 0 or fewer carbs) and sour cream (which I used to make a dressing).  It was filling and incredibly delicious!  And they didn't up charge for the special request - bonus!  And I passed on the chips, salsa and cocktails and didn't miss any of it.  Every small victory helps!!

I got inspired from a visit to Macaroni Grill where they offer an appetizer of fresh mozzarella balls wrapped in proscuitto and baked in a marinara sauce.  My version - I rubbed down a couple boneless pork chops (0 carb) in dry Italian seasonings (made sure used 0 carb) and filled a casserole dish with Walden's Tomato Basil Sauce (0 carb) and took a few mozzarella balls (Burrata, 0 carb) that I wrapped in deli ham (0 carb) and baked it as one dish.  Then sprinkled grated fresh Locatelli cheese over the top before serving.  Quite delicious if you like those flavors  ;D

Product Reviews / GNC Fit 15 Protein Powder
« on: May 18, 2014, 06:22:00 PM »
With all the traveling we've been doing I've been experimenting with different levels of protein and fiber to help me through any unexpected situations.  When we've traveled by air - protein powder was a lot lighter weight to pack than protein bars.  I've had nice results from Fit 15 from GNC.  I've tried both the Chocolate & Vanilla Flavors and like them about equally.  They mix easily in a shaker bottle and I use the 30 calorie/less than 1 carb (per cup) Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (which I buy when we land).

I haven't experienced any negative side effects and enjoy the taste.  Here's the link to the product; it's basically 100 calories per scoop with 1 net carb/only 1g sugar.  And it says it has some weight management properties which I can't really comment on their effectiveness yet as it's too early.

All in all - it does what I need it to do and is portable!

General Discussion / SOS - My dad has now been diagnosed with ...
« on: May 17, 2014, 11:57:23 AM »
He was told he has a very fatty liver and is diabetic.  My mom is reading the red book now but doesn't feel it will work for him and is highly skeptical.  What do I tell them to help as a concerned daughter?

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