Thursday, April 29, 2010

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwich

This is from Eating Well. Barbecue always hits the spot, so why not make an amazing barbecue chicken sandwich for less calories, at home? This recipe takes a little longer, but might be perfect for a Sunday get together with friends and family. This is from their series of 25 Chicken Recipes under 350 Calories.

Barbecue Pulled Chicken

8 servings

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 5 1/2 hours


  • 1 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.
  2. Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.


Per serving: 184 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 3 g added sugars; 20 g protein; 1 g fiber; 257 mg sodium; 303 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (19% daily value), Vitamin A & Vitamin C (15% dv).

1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1/2 other carb., 2.5 lean meat

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the positives

SunnySideUpB @becomingTHEyou killed my 5mile bike ride though not wanting to & being wicked careful with my portions

Do your best to be your best

Excellence is not an art, but a habit

Excellence is not something that anyone is; instead, it is something that we create on our own. The only standard of excellence is the one that you create. As long as you put your best into everything you do, you will find excellence.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the positives

BedazzlerJay @becomingTHEyou My SafeAssignment that I had to turn in for my literary analysis finally worked after many failed attempts last night :)

SunnySideUpB @becomingTHEyou instead of going on a emotional binge I went got a bike pump and went for a ride!

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou did well on my marketing research and didn't let myself eat the pasta AND the bread at dinner

Skinny Caesar Salad

Here is a Caesar Salad recipe from Delish that has all of the taste for a lot less calories. For you Caesar Salad lovers, keep this recipe and enjoy it; it's not often that you can enjoy a Caesar Salad and not feel guilty.

Healthy Makeover: Caesar Salad

From Good Housekeeping

We've given high-calorie Caesar a healthy makeover. We coated the croutons with cooking spray instead of olive oil, then replaced egg yolk with light mayonnaise to keep the classic dressing’s creamy texture — without the classic guilt.

Serves: 6 Edit

Yields: 6 first-course servings

Total Time: 25 min

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Oven Temp: 400


  • 4 ounce(s) Italian bread
  • 1 clove(s) garlic, cut in half
  • Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup(s) light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup(s) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) anchovy paste
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 package(s) (18-ounce) hearts of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Rub bread slices, on both sides, with cut sides of garlic. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes; place in jelly-roll pan. Spray bread liberally with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes or until golden-brown and crisp. Cool croutons in pan.
  3. Meanwhile, in large salad bowl, with wire whisk, mix together mayonnaise, Parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil, anchovy paste, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Add lettuce and croutons to dressing in bowl; toss to coat.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Total Fat8g
Saturated Fat2g
Total Carbohydrate13g
Dietary Fiber2g

Monday, April 26, 2010


smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou had an amazing weekend with great friends and my a presentation over with for class

kristi_crow @becomingTHEyou despite the concert being cancelled, we still had a great time in atlanta today!

Beyond Exhaustion: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

I actually watched this on Dr. Oz a couple of months ago and related to a lot of what he was saying. I don't sleep well to begin with, but lately it's gotten out of control with stress and other things added in. Here is his synopsis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Being fatigued all the time does not make life enjoyable; it can actually take away from the quality of life that you are trying to live. It's important for all of us to take care of ourselves, and I thought that this might come of some use to some of us.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has received relatively little consideration since it was first described in 1988, but the recent finding published in the prestigious journal Science showing an association between CFS and a retrovirus, XMRV has focused media and medical attention on this serious, devastating and debilitating neuroimmune condition. While there are some people with CFS (PWC) who are able to continue working and doing some of their activities of daily living, there are also many at the opposite end of the spectrum who are bed-ridden, completely disabled, and can’t even get to the bathroom without assistance. While CFS doesn’t kill many people, it does take away their lives and, in many cases, their livelihood.

CFS affects anywhere between 1 and 4 million Americans, but many more may “carry” XMRV. It affects people of any age, race, or socioeconomic group. It most commonly affects women 20--50; women are affected about four times more commonly than men. In teens and children, the average age of onset is 11.5. As teens, males and females are equally affected, but males tend to do a little better after puberty, whereas females tend to do worse.

While there are many middle aged women who feel that they’re “tired all the time,” we have to distinguish between Chronic Fatigue SYNDROME and “chronic fatigue.” This confusion is because CFS was a poor name choice, akin to calling Parkinson’s disease “chronic shaking” or calling tuberculosis “chronic cough.” Other more appropriate names for CFS include the British choice myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and XAND (X Associated Neuroimmune Disease). How can you tell if you have CFS or have fatigue for some other reason? Go through the check list below, print it out and take it to your doctor if necessary. It is most important to understand that the diagnosis of CFS is based upon having 4 or more of the following symptoms in addition to the first one (which is required for the diagnosis), and having no other medical problems to explain these symptoms. Currently, there is no “test” for CFS; it is what we call a “diagnosis of exclusion” which means that all other possible causes of your symptoms have to be ruled out before the diagnosis of CFS can be made.

Dr. Donnica’s Decisionnaire for CFS

I have had new, unexplained, persistent, or relapsing physical and mental fatigue for at least 6 months. This fatigue is not the result of ongoing exertion or another medical diagnosis; it is not relieved by appropriate rest.

I have at least 4 of the following symptoms:

  • Unrefreshing sleep, insomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness, despite sleeping for more than 9 hrs per night
  • Weakness and exhaustion, lasting more than 24 hours, following mental or physical activity (“post exertional malaise”)
  • Substantial impairment of short-term memory or concentration, problems with my short-term memory, confusion, disorientation, “brain fog”; difficulty finding the right words or numbers
  • Widespread or migratory muscle pain; pain in the joints (without swelling or redness); headaches of a new type, pattern or severity that don’t respond to OTC medicines
  • Tender armpit and/or neck lymph nodes
  • Persistent or frequent sore throats
  • In addition to the symptoms of the case definition, many patients develop other symptoms commonly associated with CFS including:
  • Neutrally mediated hypotension or orthostatic intolerance
  • Multiple chemical sensitivities
  • New allergies or food intolerances
  • Painful gastrointestinal symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome
  • New onset of asthma
  • Hypersensitivity to light (photophobia) or noise
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Low body temperature or intolerance to heat or cold
  • Often feeling “feverish” (without an elevated body temperature) or having chills
  • Inappropriate sweating
  • Abnormal appetite or decreased sense of thirst

What CFS in Not
CFS is NOT “all in your head.” We have known for years that it clearly has a biological basis and the new findings associating it with the retrovirus XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia-virus related virus) is just one more piece of evidence confirming that. While we do not yet know whether XMRV is a causative factor for CFS, a “piggy-back” virus, or a virus that PWC react differently to than others, we do know that CFS is NOT “psychosomatic” or a over-reaction to stress. We also know that CFS is NOT a manifestation of depression. How can we tell the difference? There are 3 principle distinguishing factors:

  • People with depression classically lose interest/satisfaction in their social and previously enjoyed activities, while PWC desperately WANT to do social and “normal” activities of daily living, but can’t…or if they do, they pay the price for 1 or more days with a complete crash afterwards (post-exertional malaise).
  • If you asked a PWC what they would want to do if they became “well” tomorrow, they would generally have a long list of activities they longed to do. Someone with classic depression would be more likely to respond to this questions saying “I don’t know” or “I don’t care.”
  • People with depression do not have persistent lymph nodes in their necks, persistent chronic sore throats, feel feverish, have night sweats or chills; PWC have these symptoms more often than not.

If you take a thorough history, most people with CFS were NOT depressed when they first became ill with CFS or for some significant time thereafter. While many PWC later develop depression, it is clearly long after the onset of their illness. This is called co-morbid or secondary depression, very similar to the co-morbid depression developed by post heart-attack patients. As with those patients, patients with CFS do a little better when their depression is also treated, but just as the heart attack patient still has cardiac risk, they still have CFS.

The recent data associating CFS and XMRV raises the critically important question about whether CFS is “contagious.” While many experts believe that CFS has an infectious etiology, we do know that it is not contagious in the typical sense. While we know that there have been at least 3 reported community “outbreaks” in the past 25 years, most PWC are isolated cases in their communities. While housemates and sexual partners of PWC may have a slightly increased risk of developing CFS, 80% of PWC have no known family history of CFS. We also know that XMRV is not transmitted in an airborne fashion (as is the flu, for example), but XMRV has been identified in the white blood cells of patients with XMRV, raising questions about the safety of our blood supply and whether XMRV can be sexually transmitted or passed in breast milk or other bodily fluids. This is clearly an issue the CDC needs to study imminently, especially in light of XMRV findings. In the meantime, PWC should NOT donate blood, primarily due to concerns for their own health, but also to be sure not to pass this onto others.

Top Tips for People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Identify a physician as close to your home as possible who is knowledgeable about CFS and willing to take you and your condition seriously. Get a proper diagnosis.
  • Educate yourself first, then friends & family members & develop as close a support system as possible. Because CFS patients are often homebound, they can easily become socially isolated.
  • Put yourself on an “energy budget.” Eliminate all non-essential physically draining activities and “save” your energy reserves for your most important activities.
  • The healthier you are in general, the better you may manage your CFS. While CFS is not caused or treated by vitamins or supplements, they may help compensate for nutritional deficiencies due to decreased appetite, decreased ability to shop or cook, or dietary imbalances. For example, many patients have anecdotally reported benefits from omega-3 DHA for “brain fog” symptoms; probiotics for GI symptoms; melatonin for sleep problems
  • Avoid these things like the plague: alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, perfumes/chemicals. Avoid noisy environments.
  • Treat all symptoms independently: sleep medications if needed; allergy medications if needed; avoid known relapse triggers; treat headache/pain complexes; treat secondary depression with talk therapy and medication.
  • When you are well enough, practice MILD exercise. This does NOT mean low-impact aerobics! It means starting with 1 minute of slow walking and increasing by 15 seconds per day if possible. Do not exercise during a “flare up” period other than mild stretching.

Friday, April 23, 2010

the positives

b_j_d @becomingTHEyou talked to friends I haven't seen in forever

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou i think i finally learned that sometimes you just need to say good bye

smashley_ashley @becomingtheyou met some really awesome people tonight and had a great time with my aunt at the mets game

friday follower

Today's randomly chosen Friday Follower was @playmyhsnjb

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou ..@playmyHSnJB is so sweet and so supportive..she's also so fun to talk to!

Here is what @playmyhsnjb had to say

playmyHSnJB @becomingTHEyou awwwwhhhh thank you!! I feel so honored!!! :) I could say what I love about @smashley_ashley! She's sweet and a great friend

Thursday, April 22, 2010

the positives

ebwootwoot @becomingTHEyou I got to cross off something off of my list of things I need to buy.

SunnySideUpB @becomingTHEyou working on my last article for Daytona State College :)

Sensual, Slim Dessert

From Self's November 2008 feature of Eat Healthy All Week, here is an easy way to make delicious chocolate covered strawberries that won't ruin your healthy eating plans.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Makes 4 strawberries


  • 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 4 large fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds


  1. Melt chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe glass bowl in the microwave on high until chips melt, 20 to 30 seconds. Dip each strawberry into chocolate, then almonds. Set on a sheet of wax paper or a plate until cool. Serve 2. (Refrigerate other 2 in a resealable plastic bag for Friday's dessert.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cooking for One: Part 3 Tandoori Chicken

Check out the past Cooking for One posts if you missed any of them. Marie Claire continues with more great ideas for cooking for one with an easy recipe for the delicious Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken

2 lbs. chicken (cut into 1-inch cubes)
1 cup plain yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
2 cups cooked white rice

In a bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, curry powder, garlic powder, ginger, cayenne and salt. Add chicken and stir until chicken is completely coated. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent and tender, about 10 minutes. Add chicken and cook about 7-8 minutes, stirring often, until completely done.

Serve over rice and top with fresh cilantro.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

the positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou made a lot of progress on fixing my car and getting reports filed

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou found someone to tune my guitar :)

Let your dreams soar

For those of you that know me, you'll know that I am a huge There For Tomorrow fan and my favorite member happens to be Christian Climer.
Among his many tattoos, there is the above quote...

To me, it really just means don't let anything stand in the way of your dreams. Your dreams can never be a reality unless you get over the fear of failure and let them take you where they will.
So in closing I say, good luck to all of you dreamers, and fuck off to your fears.

Xoxo, Allison

Monday, April 19, 2010

the positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou had a great workout today :)

The Only 20 Things You'll Ever Need To Know How to Cook...Part 3

We continue with Glamour's twenty recipes with a recipe for 3 Ingredient Pasta Sauce and Basic Guacamole

If you missed part one, check out this post
For part two, check out this post

3-ingredient pasta sauce

Pour contents of a 28-oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes into a large skillet. Squish tomatoes with your fingers, discarding any stems. Add half a stick of butter and a medium onion, peeled and halved (place cut sides down). Bring mixture to a simmer (no lid!); lower heat and stir occasionally until sauce thickens, 30 to 45 minutes. Discard onion and use sauce immediately, or store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Makes 5 cups.

Basic guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red or Vidalia onion
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped, optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional
  • Salt to taste
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
Scoop avocados from shell. Cover with lime juice and mash (a potato masher works great). Stir in onion, jalapeño and cilantro; season with salt to taste. Eat immediately, or cover with plastic wrap placed directly on surface of the guacamole so it doesn't discolor. Makes about 2 cups.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

the positives

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou i got to sleep in this morning and it was amazing!

Rokkmommy's Taco Salad

Rokkmommy's (Fairly Healthy) Taco Salad
(quick for when you don't want to slave, and it feels like it should be worse for you)

1 pkg ground turkey (about 1-1.3 lb size)
1 pkg low sodium taco seasoning

-Cook turkey thoroughly. Add taco packet and water per directions on packet)
-While that is cooking chop!
1/2 head or so iceburg lettuce (stands up better to the meat)
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 onion
-and put these all in some kind of serving container (preferably sectioned tupperware so you can just throw the leftover in the fridge

Then get out
black olives (slice 'em if you want)
jalapeno pepper slices
shredded cheddar cheese (low fat is good, but doesn't melt as nicely)
lowfat or fat free sour cream
salsa (I love Great Value-Walmart brand-garlic lime salsa)
1 bag Tostitos baked scoops tortilla chips

Put everything out buffet style, set out the plates, and let the family go to town. They can build 'em the way they like 'em. Enjoy! (and make the kids clean it all up! =} )

A Great Set of Weight Loss Tips

These 10 tips come from Cosmopolitan. Of course losing weight comes successfully from the building blocks of a healthy diet and exercise, but it is always nice to have more tips and ideas that can keep you motivated and find new ways to keep you going and seeing progress.

The 10 Best Weight-Loss Tips Ever

By Zoe Ruderman

Adopt at least three of these behaviors — they're simple to integrate into your day-to-day routine, and all are enthusiastically backed by nutritionists — and you'll be thinner and healthier in days. (Plus, the weight will stay off.)


Grazing between meals used to be on the weight-loss hit list. But nutritionists now know that it's better to satisfy a craving with healthy grub than ignore it and risk a junk-food binge later. The best picks are filling, protein-packed snacks, such as one stick of string cheese, a tablespoon of peanut butter on a piece of fruit, or a medium-size bowl of edamame.


Dining while viewing can make you take in 40 percent more calories than usual, reports a new study. And texting, driving, or any other distracting activity during a meal can also result in your eating too much. Instead, make each meal something you put on a plate and sit down to, even if you're eating solo.


If your regular weight increases several days in a row, it's a red flag letting you know you need to cut back a little or beef up your workouts slightly.


Doing 5 minutes each of push-ups, lunges, and squats (in 30-second intervals) will help build and maintain muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be, so you'll torch more calories as you go about your day.


Next time your mind gets stuck on a certain food, call a friend and redirect your brain by asking how her day's going. Research shows that cravings only last about 5 minutes, so by the time you hang up, the urge to devour junk will have subsided.


An a.m. meal made up mostly of carbs and protein with some fat keeps blood-sugar levels steady and hunger pangs away so you're not susceptible to pigging out come lunch, studies show. Opt for something satisfying for your stomach and taste buds — like egg whites and turkey bacon with whole-wheat toast.


One innocent-looking margarita or cosmopolitan can rack up hundreds of calories that do nothing to quench your appetite. Treat yourself just on the weekends and cut back somewhere else or stick to a glass of wine, light beer, or vodka and soda — three drinks that each have about 100 calories per serving.


Fruit has no fat and is mostly water, so it'll fill you up while leaving less room on your plate (and in your stomach) for high-cal fare. Don't freak about fruit's carb count — we're talking the good kind of carbohydrates that contain lots of healthy fiber.


Getting to bed just 30 minutes earlier and waking up 30 minutes later than you normally do can help you make better food choices, researchers report. Also, when you're well-rested, you're less prone to snacking out of fatigue or stress.


When you feel your willpower breaking, conjure up a mental picture of yourself when you looked and felt slim. The visual motivation keeps you focused on your goal weight and reminds you that it is attainable, since you've achieved it before.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Veggie Pad Thai

This pad thai recipe, from Redbook is a great low calorie, filling meal. Most pad thai recipes can easily exceed half of the calories you should be eating for a whole day. That is a seriously scary thought. This pad thai, from Redbook's 6 Delicious Dinners Under 500 Calories is healthy and delicious.

Vegetable Pad Thai

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 15 min


  • 1/2 pound(s) flat rice stick noodles
  • 1/3 cup(s) Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoon(s) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon(s) fish sauce
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoon(s) canola oil
  • 2 teaspoon(s) minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoon(s) grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 pound(s) (6 cups) mustard greens, stems discarded, leaves torn into small pieces, and washed well
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cup(s) shredded carrots
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Bean sprouts, optional
  • 2 cup(s) fresh cilantro leaves
  • Chopped dry roasted peanuts, for garnish, optional


  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan; add noodles, stir to separate, then cover and remove from heat. Let stand 4 minutes, stirring once or twice, until softened. Drain; rinse with cold water. In a small cup, combine chili sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, and lime juice.
  2. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger; sauté 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add greens and cover with lid for 2 minutes or until wilted. Add bell pepper, carrots, and scallions; stir-fry 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables to a bowl.
  3. Return skillet to heat. Add remaining oil. When hot, add eggs and scramble just until set. Add to bowl with vegetables.
  4. Return skillet to heat and add chili-sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Add noodles; gently toss, using a pasta fork, for 1 minute, to coat. Return vegetables and eggs to skillet. Cook, tossing with pasta fork, for 3 minutes or until hot and noodles are tender. Stir in bean sprouts, if desired.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl with cilantro and toss. Top with peanuts, if desired. Serve with lime wedges.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Total Fat11g
Saturated Fat--
Total Carbohydrate65g
Dietary Fiber--

the positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou had a great work out, figured out how to remove a virus from my computer, and getting ready for a fun night out

ElafantBaby @becomingTHEyou had a blast with the best @LovelyKelsie today, got my nails and toes done, and bought the 3rd movie in my fave series :)

Friday Follower

Today's (well yesterday's) randomly chosen Friday Follower was @kirstiethirsty

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou i love @kirstiethirsty because she is so deteremined..she's also a great listener and a really caring friend and fun!

Friday, April 16, 2010

the positives

SunnySideUpB @becomingTHEyou I didnt want to ride my bike today but pushes myself to do it and even road by this pond. It amazing!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This Sandwich is a real Hero

Here is a Weight Watchers recipe for a Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Hero Sandwich. If you are fluent in Weight Watchers, it's only 5 points per serving.

This recipe makes 4 servings
Prep time is 12 minutes
Cook time is 20 minutes


  • 2 Sprays olive oil cooking spray
  • 8 oz turkey sausage, with herbs and red peppers and other seasonings, sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic, or to taste
  • 1 medium vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz Italian bread, about 1 medium loaf

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Saute sausage until browned, about 5 minutes; remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add oil to same skillet and heat for about 45 seconds; add garlic and saute until golden, about 30 seconds. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add peppers and saute until vegetables are softened, about 6 to 8 minutes more.

Stir in vinegar and then return sausage to skillet; toss to combine.

Split bread lengthwise-almost but not all the way through; fill with sausage mixture.

Cut into 4 equal pieces and serve. Yields 1/4 of hero per serving.

To switch this up a bit, instead of serving it as a sandwich, try serving just the filling over whole wheat couscous or brown rice.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

the positives

LizeK316 @becomingTHEyou today was my last day of work this week...going to have a nice long weekend with the ladies :)

ElafantBaby @becomingTHEyou Saw my little cousin's first T-ball game tonight :)

Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

Save this puppies for a day where you are willing to splurge, with things like heavy cream, sugar and what not, its basically a mouthful of sugary goodness.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 12
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • ⅔ cups Sugar
  • 5 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 sticks (1/2 Pound) UNSALTED Butter, Chilled
  • 1 whole Large Egg
  • ¾ cups Heavy Cream (more If Needed)
  • 2 whole Vanilla Beans
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • ½ cups Whole Milk
  • 1 whole Vanilla Bean
  • Dash Of Salt
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Split the vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise and scrape out all the vanilla “caviar” inside. Stir caviar into cream. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Sift together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Cut cold butter into pats, then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour. Keep going until mixture resembles crumbs.

Mix vanilla cream with egg, then combine with flour mixture; stir gently with a fork just until it comes together.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together until it forms a rough rectangle. (Mixture will be pretty crumbly.) Use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick. Use your hands to help with the forming if necessary.

Use a knife to trim into a symmetrical rectangle, then cut the rectangle into 12 symmetrical squares/rectangles. Next, cut each square/rectangle in half diagonally, to form two triangles.

Transfer to a parchment or baking mat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes, removing from the oven just before they start to turn golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


To make the icing, split one vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the caviar. Stir caviar into milk; allow to sit for awhile. Mix powdered sugar with the vanilla milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to get the consistency the right thickness. Stir or whisk until completely smooth.

One at a time, carefully dunk each cooled scone in the glaze, turning it over if necessary. Transfer to parchment paper or the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour. Scones will keep several days if glazed.

Not my recipe, I'm definitely not this organized, I got it from a GREAT recipe blog.!%29

^^^That has step by step instructions, with pretty pictures!

Also, if you try to make these, shop around for your vanilla beans. We didn't and ended up spending $40 dollars on beans, and I just found them at some market for $6. So, shop around!

Which do you want to be?

There are three types of people in this world:
Those who make things happen
Those who let things happen
Those who wonder what happened

Who are you? Who do you want to be?

Take control of your life; don't let other people do things for you because it's easy. In order to be truly happy with your life and your accomplishments, you've got to make things happen for yourself. Start with small steps; even those baby steps that start things out eventually build on to bigger and better things. In a rut? Try different things to get yourself out of it; you never know what you will discover and what you will make happen. Be confident that you can do things and build yourself up; just think about how amazing it will feel. We can all be one of those who makes things happen if we try. I can do it; you can do it; we all can do it.

Think about it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the positives

JonasBrat @becomingTHEyou I'm feeling better, kids are getting better, and I leave for NC & KY in 3 days. YIKES!!

emeraldmaz @becomingTHEyou Went for a bike ride around my home town. I'd almost forgotten how awesome the place looks.

LairBarbie @becomingTHEyou Best part of today is that it is one day closer to Friday.

ElafantBaby @becomingTHEyou had a good english class. my teacher complimented me on something i did right. so far that hasn't been much this semester...

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou my hard work in my classes is really paying off, great grades came back today :)

Be Happier and Less Stressed

I found this article on MSN and thought I'd share it with everyone. Being less stressed is huge, but being happier is even more huge. It's hard to enjoy life when its filled to the brim with stress; it's hard to be happy when life is like that.

5 Ways to Be Happier and Less Stressed

By: Liz Vaccariello

Experts attribute about 50 percent of a person’s happiness to genes and another 10 percent to circumstances—where we live, how much money we make, how healthy we are. That leaves 40 percent of our happiness in our control. Fortunately, science has much to say about how we can make the most of that 40 percent. Even small improvements in mood can have cascading effects. The trick is to pay attention to what strategies work best for you. Try these for starters.

Savor mystery

In a culture obsessed with the power of information, the fact that most of us are a little unnerved by uncertainty is hardly surprising. Yet research suggests that a dash of mystery can make positive experiences last longer. In one study, University of Virginia psychologist Timothy Wilson, Ph.D., and colleagues found that students who were given a $1 coin with little explanation reported feeling happier a few minutes later than those who were given either the same amount of money for a clear reason or no money at all. Next time you're nearing the end of an engrossing book, save the final pages for a few days later. Or shop from catalogs so you won't know exactly when your purchases will arrive—if you're lucky, when they do you may have forgotten what you've ordered.

Diversify your good deeds

Being kind and helpful makes most everyone feel good. But just as the novelty of a new car or electronic gadget inevitably wears off, so does the warm glow that comes from doing the same good deed over and over. People who performed various small acts of kindness every week for 10 weeks—shoveling a friend’s sidewalk, giving pets a special treat, sending a birthday card—grew happier with each passing week, and the benefit lasted for at least another month, found a study by University of California, Riverside psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., and colleagues.

Hope for small changes, not big ones

Research shows that even major life events, such as winning the lottery, hardly nudge people’s overall sense of satisfaction. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to improve your well-being. Recent research finds that the little things we do regularly, like exercising or attending religious services, can have a major impact on our happiness. In one study, Yale University psychologist Daniel Mochon, Ph.D., and colleagues at Harvard and Duke universities discovered that people leaving religious services felt slightly happier than those going in—and the more regularly people attended religious services, the happier they felt overall.

Invest in experiences, not stuff

Doing things, not buying things, gives you the most bang for your buck. Why? For one thing, says University of Colorado at Boulder social psychologist Leaf Van Boven, Ph.D., it’s easier to reinterpret experiences than to retool material purchases. If your new smart phone disappoints, you have to either shell out for a better one or lower your expectations. But if it rains on a hiking trip, you can recast the drenching experience in your memory as a character-building challenge.

Shift your focus

From work to relationships to health, we have choices about where to concentrate our attention. When a snowstorm keeps you from getting to the office, do you choose to focus on how behind you’ll be by tomorrow or on the eight-hour gift of time you’ve just been given? The answer to such questions has a big influence on your well-being, writes Winifred Gallagher, author of Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life. Studies show that focusing on positive emotions—curiosity instead of fear, compassion instead of anger—leads to broader, more flexible thinking, more playfulness and exploration, and richer social connections.

Monday, April 12, 2010

the positives

emeraldmaz @becomingTHEyou Apparently I took another good risk with my hair. I'm getting heaps of compliments on it. :)

Spiced Pork Chops with Butternut Squash

Here is a pork chop recipe from Cooking Light that definitely stands out from your regular pork chop meals. Butternut squash ads a slight sweetness to balance out however spicy you make the pork chop.

Spiced Pork Chops with Butternut Squash

Don't reserve pumpkin pie spice for desserts alone; sprinkle this blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice on pork chops for a fragrant, home-style dish.

Prep: 4 minutes; Cook: 21 minutes

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 21 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop and 3/4 cup squash)


  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 butternut squash (about 1 1/4 pound)
  • 1 cup refrigerated prechopped onion
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint


1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle pork evenly with spice, pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add pork to pan; sauté 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

2. While pork cooks, pierce squash several times with a fork; place on paper towels in microwave oven. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute. Peel squash; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membrane. Coarsely chop squash.

3. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add squash; cover and cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion; cook, uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup water; cook until liquid evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove from heat; stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt and mint. Spoon squash mixture evenly over pork.

Nutritional Information

232 (26% from fat)
7g (sat 2.4g,mono 2.9g,poly 0.5g)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

the positives

emeraldmaz @becomingTHEyou Got to come home for a 2 week break, and relaxation time :)

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou some great laughs today at work. even if i wanted to shoot myself because i was so bored :D

Slow Cooker Black Bean-Mushroom Chili

This recipe was sent to me from my Weight Watchers leader. It sounds really good and I can't wait to try it.

Slow-Cooker Black Bean-Mushroom Chili
From EatingWell: Winter 2004, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

Black beans, earthy mushrooms and tangy tomatillos combine with a variety of spices and smoky chipotles to create a fantastic full-flavored chili. It can simmer in the slow cooker all day, which makes it perfect for a healthy supper when the end of your day is rushed.

10 servings, generous 1 cup each / POINTS per serving: 6 / Active Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 6 1/4-9 1/4 hours

· 1 pound dried black beans, (2 1/2 cups), rinsed

· 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (use half – 1 ½ tsp. oil to reduce POINTS.)

· 1/4 cup mustard seeds

· 2 tablespoons chili powder

· 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, or ground cumin

· 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, or ground cardamom

· 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

· 1 pound mushrooms, sliced

· 8 ounces tomatillos, (see Ingredient Note), husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped

· 1/4 cup water

· 5 1/2 cups mushroom broth, or vegetable broth

· 1 6-ounce can tomato paste

· 1-2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, (see Ingredient Note)

· 1 1/4 cups grated Monterey Jack, or pepper Jack cheese (if using low fat ir FF cheese it will lower the POINTS value, better choice.)

· 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream (use FF sour cream to lower POINTS value)

· 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

· 2 limes, cut into wedges

1. Soak beans overnight in 2 quarts water. (Alternatively, place beans and 2 quarts water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain the beans, discarding soaking liquid.

2. Combine oil, mustard seeds, chili powder, cumin and cardamom in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Place over high heat and stir until the spices sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add onions, mushrooms, tomatillos and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are juicy, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and stir often until the juices evaporate and the vegetables are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add broth, tomato paste and chipotles; mix well.

3. Place the beans in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the hot vegetable mixture over the beans. Turn heat to high. Put the lid on and cook until the beans are creamy, 5 to 8 hours.

4. Garnish each serving with cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro. Serve with lime wedges. Stovetop Variation: Total: 4 1/2 hours In Step 2, increase broth to 81/2 cups. Omit Step 3. Add the beans to the Dutch oven; cover and simmer the chili gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans are creamy to bite, about 3 hours.

Per serving : 306 Calories; 10 g Fat; 4 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 20 mg Cholesterol; 40 g Carbohydrates; 18 g Protein; 13 g Fiber; 415 mg Sodium; 735 mg Potassium

2 Carbohydrate Serving / Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 1/2 vegetable, 1 medium-fat protein, 1 fat
Tips & Notes

· Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. | Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker

· Ingredient notes:
-Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle chile pepper can be found in the specialty spice section of most supermarkets. Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they'll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.

· Tomatillos are tart, plum-size green fruits that look like small, husk-covered green tomatoes. Find them in the produce section near the tomatoes. Remove the outer husk and rinse them well before using.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Let's Get Organized: Garage

Here is the next part of Southern Living's Easy Ways to Get Organized . If you missed the first part, check it out here.

Garage Organization

For many homeowners, the words "garage" and "storage space" are synonymous, but that assumption wears thin when parking the car inside requires divine intervention. So the next time you're forced to squeeze past a barrier of boxes and various yard items to get in the house, take advantage of the following tips--along with warm summer days--for a better, more organized vehicle-and-storage shelter.

From Cluttered to Contained

While organizing a garage certainly isn't rocket science, knowing the fundamentals will lead to a more successful outcome.

  • Get rid of those things you don't need. Sounds simple, but most of us harbor pack rat tendencies that are difficult to break. Whether you hold a garage sale (see "Garage Sale Advice" on the following page for some tips), donate the stuff to charity, or rent a dump truck, your actions will pay off. Those old hedge clippers with both blades broken--chuck them. The 1970s hi-fi stereo that still works, complete with turntable and eight-track player--sell it. Whatever the condition of the items, chances are your garage needs a long-awaited purging. (Note: If you plan to set things out for trash pickup, be sure to verify what your local sanitation department will and will not take.)
  • Group similar things together. Again, this is another simple idea, but it is equally important. What good is a toolbox when its contents are scattered from one end of the garage to the other? The same applies to yard equipment. You may own four different rakes, a couple of shovels, and various other tools, but when the time comes to use them, they're nowhere in sight. Solve this problem by designating certain areas for specific items. Locate those things you use on a regular basis up front, near the garage door. Put boxes of holiday ornaments and other out-of-season items where they're not in the way. When everything has a place, it will be much easier to keep the space organized. (Tip: Park your car in the garage, open all doors, and draw boundary lines with a piece of chalk on the floor. Now, back the car out--with doors shut, naturally. What's left inside is a defined guide for storage and parking.)

Good Storage Sense

  • Maximize wall and ceiling space. The options are endless here--hooks, Peg-Board panels, shelving units, storage bins, racks, and so on. Even garage attic space, if exposed or accessible, allows a way to get things up and out of the way. Two notes of caution, though: Always make sure that you have correctly secured a chosen storage system into the garage's wall studs or ceiling joists. Also, don't overload shelving or bin units. Instead, place heavier items on lower levels and lighter objects on top. Elevating things off the floor will help with sweeping and cleaning as well.
  • Stow hazardous materials well out of harm's way. Products such as paint thinners, gas and antifreeze containers, fertilizers, cleaning supplies, and other chemicals can prove dangerous in the wrong hands. Likewise, certain substances placed together can chemically react, resulting in explosions and even fires. Group like items, and store in cabinets that lock and provide ventilation. Also, before tossing these materials, contact your community's sanitation or fire department for proper disposal techniques.

Garage Sale Advice

Here are some tips to make your next sale more manageable.

  • Check with your local town hall or city council for any ordinances pertaining to garage sales. Also, be aware of any laws that limit or prohibit neighborhood advertising.
  • Plan. The more time for deciding what to sell and how much each item should cost, the better. Also, give iffy items the benefit of the doubt. One man's trash is another's treasure.
  • Advertise. Take advantage of community and workplace bulletin boards and local newspapers. Once your sale is over, don't forget to remove any signs or flyers.
  • If possible, keep all sale items out of sight or behind closed doors until you're ready for the mad dash to begin. Allow yourself just enough time to set up. (Tip: Post a sign on your garage door stating the correct starting time; stress that early comers will just have to wait.)
  • Arrange items either by category or by similar price. Make sure that prices are clearly marked.
  • Have an ample amount of change, along with $1 and $5 bills. Be willing to negotiate on price as well--within reason and with a smile, of course.

The Positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou positive: i was super motivated with my work out this week...complete turn around from last week

SunnySideUpB @becomingTHEyou Rocked my last chance workout and calorie intake today!

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou i had a great night at work, and got a lot accomplished!

ElafantBaby @becomingTHEyou Bad part: email address gets virus and i have to change it :( Good part: it actually went over really smoothly! :)

Friday Follower

Today's Friday Follower was @smashley_ashley

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou ashley is a beautiful person inside and out, and is a great person to call a friend. ilyyyy!

LairBarbie @becomingTHEyou Ash is smart, funny, sweet, crazy, adorable, creative, a great friend and always someone who can make me smile!!

kristi_crow @becomingTHEyou @smashley_ashley is a great friend! She really seems to care about other people. And she's also one of the coolest girls I know!

LizeK316 @becomingTHEyou lots of things I admire about her...she's funny, smart, caring, understanding, and a good listener :) love ya Ash

CaraLikeWhoa @becomingtheyou Ashley is one of my best friends! My GPT! My life wouldn't be the same without her! <3

Bettie_Belle @becomingTHEyou @smashley_ashley is one of the nicest people i have ever met. i love her like a sister. i'm proud to call her my friend

Barbara222 @becomingTHEyou I am so proud of Ashley, she's graduating, getting her own place, new job..she's a lovely lady with an amazing future!

SunnySideUpB @becomingTHEyou hey I know Im all lazy and shiz but Smash is my Fiber/Fitness lover! We be rockin it together. She motivates me momentarly!

smiley_steph @becomingTHEyou She's a great friend. She will always be there to talk to or just to listen. :)

ElafantBaby @smashley_ashley is one of my best friends. she is one of the most sincere and honest people i have ever met. ashy, i ♥ you. never forget you're beautiful, inside and out

and from @smashley_ashley

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou thanks :) everyone on here is so amazing, i so appreciate everything

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou for me, its all abt making it thru this roller coaster w/great memories shared w/great people&accomplishments to be proud of

Friday, April 9, 2010

6 Unique Stress Relief Tips

We all get rid of our stress in different ways. Usually stress tips include deep breathing or exercising, but how about some stress tips that you rarely or never hear. Ladies Home Journal has compiled some different stress relief tips for us to try.

6 Top Stress Cures You Haven't Already Heard

Surprise #1: Watch a Scary Movie (Popcorn Optional)

If you are anxious or stressed, here's a nifty way to replicate this remedy, but at a remove: Watch a scary movie. "These films allow you to tackle upsetting issues from the safe distance of allegory," says Constance Pittman Lindner, a writer and health researcher in Boston. "This permits a safe confrontation of real fears disguised in conquerable, metaphorical form.

Even if the movie ends disastrously for the characters in it, you're always aware that you will leave the theater alive and well. So this emotional journey can be a useful way to discharge stress."

Surprise #2: Become a Queen of Denial

If the stressor is something over which you have no control, simply pull a Scarlett O'Hara and tell yourself, "I'll think about it tomorrow."

No one, it should go without saying, is advising you to ignore serious issues that demand immediate action (a breast lump, for example, or a depressed teenager). But sometimes denial can give you a little breathing room. "Temporarily denying or avoiding unpleasant facts won't change a situation," observes J. Michael Bostwick, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, "but it can prevent you from being overwhelmed and give you time to get acclimated." The idea behind this strategy is to suppress whatever is stressing you out until you're able to deal with it in a more appropriate manner. Moreover, every once in a while, if you ignore it, it actually will go away.

Surprise #3: Go to Extremes

In a recent study at the University of Missouri-Columbia, moderate-intensity exercise was shown to have that effect, but high-intensity workouts packed a much bigger and better antistress wallop. The sharpest decline was among the women in the high-intensity group. Additionally, that group's anxiety continued to drop significantly at 30-, 60- and 90-minute marks, while the other groups' levels remained stable.

There are several possible explanations for this result. Intense aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, and these two vital organs (especially the heart) bear the brunt of the body's physiological stress response. It follows, then, that the more you exercise, the better these organs will respond under stress within reason, says Richard Cox, PhD, one of the study's authors. Another hypothesis is that high-intensity exercise requires all of your concentration, limiting your ability to ponder weightier matters, the way you can when you go for a bike ride or take a brisk walk. Finally, there is the belief that high-intensity exercise ups the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones. The harder you exercise, the bigger the release.

Surprise #4: Do Sweat the Small Stuff

When you're hit with a major stressor -- a bad medical diagnosis, job loss, or a monster project at work -- looking at the big picture can immobilize you. "The entirety of a situation can be overwhelming, which may mean you won't be able to take the necessary steps to strategize your way out of it," says Dr. Bostwick. "But if you break the situation down into component parts, addressing what you can do immediately and temporarily neglecting the rest, then you can get a handle on the stress."

Surprise #5: Promise Yourself a Laugh

Laughter is a known stress reliever, but it turns out that anticipating a laugh gets the job done, too.

So pencil in a screening of Blazing Saddles, make a date with a funny friend, or take the latest David Sedaris book to work for lunchtime reading. Even if any or all of them end up being canceled, you'll have reaped some stress relief.

Surprise #6: Rock On

Listen to whatever lights your fire. And blast away as loud as you like. The stress relief lies not in the nature of the music itself but in the fact that you've chosen it.

Two factors are most likely at work here. First, the subjects made their own choices, and second, they were hearing music that was pleasing and familiar to them. "Self-selected music may have made them feel better able to perform the stressful task because of the music's past association with positive performance," says Dr. Allen. So if the Stones are what bring you satisfaction, play them long and loud to get those stress levels down.

the positives

sunnysideupb @becomingTHEyou went to classes and rode my bike the entire 5miles when I didnt even want to go 1!

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou i finally scheduled my surgery :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

the positives

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou nothing in specific, just that i have really phenomenal amazing friends and i love them

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou although my sister was in the ER, she knows what's wrong and it can be fix

Life is a Journey

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"
-ancient Chinese philosopher

To achieve our goals in life, we cannot only dream. Dreaming big is great; that's how we decide what we want to do; it can keep us inspired, but it really doesn't do anything. Wanting something so bad that you can taste it does nothing. The only way something is going to get done is if we go out and take steps to make these things happen. Start with baby steps; do some research, ask around. Convince yourself that these dreams and wants can become a reality. The more you know about something, the more enticed you will be to actually approach and work towards these goals. The things that we want in life will not be just handed to us; we have to work towards them, taking steps towards the achievement. Think of how many things you've achieved so far. Not all of them were easy, and it probably took a long time and hard work to get to where you are now. The steps may not be easy; you might want to quit at times, but think of how good it feels to achieve. The achievement can give you the fuel to go on and work towards something else. The next time you're feeling down, think of all that you've done, and all that you are working towards doing. There is so much to be proud of, and you can thank yourself for having the courage and drive to take that first step. This is how we begin to become who we want to be; taking the steps to do things that we want to do, no matter who is behind us and who is telling us we can't. These steps make us stronger and builds us up to the amazing people that we are and will be.

the positives

lairbarbie @becomingTHEyou I think the only positive about today is that it's over. WIN!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What 300 Calories ACTUALLY looks like

Bobbie found this on a friend's blog at BuddySlim and wanted to share it with us. This article, originally from SparkPeople, really puts things into perspective. I was pretty shocked, but am definitely going to keep this in mind when choosing what to eat.

What Does 300 Calories Really Look Like?

See Pictures of 300, 350, and 400-Calorie Meals

– By Nicole Nichols, Health Educator

Wonder what 300 calories looks like? 300 calories look drastically different when you’re eating in instead of dining out. Choosing healthier, more nutritious foods–at home and away–means you can eat much more food and still lose weight. Check out these 18 meal comparisons to see for yourself, share forward this story to your friends!

Breakfast: 300-Calorie Meals & Portions
Here are three morning meals that each weigh in at 300 calories. Healthy and quick homemade meals (left column) pack whole grains, fresh fruit, and protein–a filling combination that will keep you fuller longer. You could only eat a fraction of the comparable restaurant meals (right column) for the same number of calories.

Lunch: 350-Calorie Meals & Portions
These midday meals contain 350 calories each–the perfect amount to keep you going without wrecking your diet. Packing one of the homemade lunches on the left doesn’t take long, and look at all those low- cal and filling veggies you’ll get! Notice how seemingly healthy options like the restaurant foods on the right can be very misleading! Those 350-calorie portions are pretty small.

Dinner: 400-Calorie Meals & Portions
Many people consume a larger meal at night, so we picked 400-calorie dinners here. By combining whole grains with lean protein and vegetables, these homemade dinners (left column) are a snap to prepare–and they’ll keep the late-night munchies at bay! In contrast, the high-fat and high-calorie meals on the right don’t offer much in the way of nutrition or volume.

The bottom line is that you can eat more and lose weight when you know how to pick the right foods and the right portions. Use the images and portions above as a guide to create your own healthy, diet-friendly and nutritious meals every day!

Monday, April 5, 2010

the positives

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou something i was completely freaking out over was just solved. life can be amazing sometimes :)

LairBarbie @becomingTHEyou Four more days until spring break!

kirstiethirsty @becomingTHEyou after only working at my job for a month i was training someone today

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou actually legit participated in class and had a good intense workout this evening

Soothe Away Your Stress Part 2

If you missed part one, check it out here.

Here are five more tips from Good Housekeeping 's Kate Hanley on how to reduce and soothe away your stress.

Bless Their Hearts:

Temper flaring? Next time an aggressive driver cuts you off, or a co-worker sends a snippy email, or you trip over your teenager's skateboard, try saying this small phrase: bless their heart. It's a short and simple reminder that the person you're angry with is human and could probably stand a little forgiveness. It also benefits you by deflating your anger and boosting your compassion.

Spend Time with Someone Great:

Of all the things you do in a week, how many of them do you actually enjoy? This week, treat yourself to some time with someone you admire whose company makes you feel great. We all need real-life role models; spending time with yours can help you remember what’s most important to you. If you can’t see each other face to face, call them on the phone or write an old-fashioned letter.

Separating Clouds:
Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart, knees slightly bent, arms crossed at the wrists in front of your pelvis. As you inhale, straighten your legs and sweep your arms above your head. Exhale and open your arms out to your sides and back to the starting position. Repeat 5 times, then reverse the movement (opening out to the sides first) for 5 reps.

Bellows Breath:
This breath clears out your lungs and gets you inspired again. Sit cross-legged on the floor with your spine tall. Bend your elbows and bring your hands in front of your shoulders in loose fists. As you inhale, straighten your arms above your head and open your palms. Exhale strongly through your nose and bring your hands back to shoulder-height fists. Repeat for 20 breaths.

Finding a Balance Benchmark:
Keep tabs on your stress levels by setting a balance benchmark — one thing you do regularly that makes you feel great. It could be eating a home-cooked meal a day, reading the paper on Sunday afternoon, or taking a walk with a girlfriend once a week. When life starts interfering with your ability to do your balance benchmark, you’ll know it’s time to reshuffle your priorities so you don’t end up burning yourself out.

the positives

JonasBrat @becomingtheyou Kids became official members of our church today and the Easter play was not a (total) disaster. lol

ashley smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou got a lot of work done and amped up my yoga work out

Sunday, April 4, 2010

the positives

tashaaa_x3 @Becomingtheyou its absolutely beautiful outside!

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou spent a great day in the sun with my friend and then had a nice dinner with her

Saturday, April 3, 2010

the positives

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou i got some extra hours at work today!

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou had fun chilling with my friend ooutside today, ran a mile and had a good workout...also opened my own bank account :)

CaraLikeWhoa @becomingTHEyou amss tdruuuuuunks!

Friday Follower

Today's Friday follower was @barbara222

CaraLikeWhoa @becomingTHEyou I love @Barbara222 she is such an amazing inspirational person< mommy, & friend! Always there for advice & to make me laugh

AllisonsThunder @becomingTHEyou @Barbara222 is super nice, always checks up on her girlies when stuff is wrong, & is crazy funny. that's why i loves her :)

LairBarbie @becomingTHEyou @barbara222 is beyond awesome & I am so glad we are friends! She is sweet and funny and a beautiful motherrucker!!

KTizzle333 @becomingtheyou @barbara222 I LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE AN AMAZING PERSON THANK YOU <3333 (:

smashley_ashley @becomingTHEyou ...@Barbara222 is so kind and caring..i love that she's a great listener and very understanding

LairBarbie @becomingTHEyou I wish there were twenty of me so I could follow @Barbara222 twenty times.

and from @barbara222

Barbara222 @becomingTHEyou thank you..I'm honored!

Barbara222 @becomingtheyou I have met so many amazing, sweet, awesome ladies on here, & I have much love for them all! Thanks for all the kind words!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

the positives

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou i had a great dinner catching up with a friend i havent talked to in forever :D

Small-Size Me

Starting April 1st we’re embarking on a new challenge called Small Size Me. The small size me challenge is going the entire month of April with NO fast food. Think you got what it takes? Want to join in on the fun? First you need to sign up for a free account at Buddy Slim a place filled with lots of support and awesome tools for tracking calories. The forum we will be checking in on is here Small Size Me So get signed up goes to the forum and fill out your information. We will be there everyday for support and help with this and any other goals you might have.
Can’t wait to see you there!!

<3 Bobbie

the positives

tashaaa_x3 @becomingtheyou finally had a non-awkward talk with my grandma :D

bettie_belle @becomingTHEyou i got a job today on the spot