The Scale – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

the scaleAnybody else feel this way when they step on the scale? I have been a member of Weight Watchers for a little over 3 years now. Trust me, that scale has been a huge part of my life for a long time, actually way way longer than just 3 years. Some days it makes me happy, some days it makes me sad, some days it makes me angry, and some days, well frankly, some days I just pretend it isn’t there!! I use the scale for accountability. Apparently I need this electronic object to tell me how I’m doing or what I should change. It can evoke joy, hope and failure.

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. While the scale can be a useful tool, does it really say anything about who I am? Does it register when I’ve been a good wife, mother, grandmother, employee or friend? Does it tell me when I’ve been kind and helpful? Can it see into my heart and see a love for Jesus, my family, friends and my dogs??

You see, my friends. The scale is giving us a number, it says nothing about our character or who we really are, so why are we buying into it so much. I think we would much better serve ourselves if we focused on feeding our bodies the best quality and healthiest food we can. Because we want to care for ourselves, we want to give ourselves good food. And exercise…should it be torture? Or should it be a good brisk walk in the sunshine and fresh air, maybe with a friend or your dog. Or how about hiking, kayaking, swimming, playing sports, just having fun moving the bodies God gave us. Why must we make it all seem so hard. I think if we really start to value ourselves as wonderful human beings and practice good self care, maybe that number on the scale will just take care of itself. I for one don’t want it to have such an affect on me. I want to make changes because I like feeling better, healthier, stronger and more energetic. Don’t get me wrong, I also love the smaller clothes, the complements and the sense of accomplishment! I’ve made some great friends at Weight Watchers and I will never stop attending meetings. That’s just who I am. I need their feedback, their pep talks and the encouragement of friends. I like sharing their successes and them sharing mine. But the scales…I’m ready to stop letting them stress me out and start practicing what I preach….self care, being nice to ourselves and doing things we love. Now that will bring success!! Good luck on whatever path you take!

Peace,

Julie

5 Simple Exercises

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As I was going through some things in my exercise room the other day, I came across a paper with these exercises written on it.  I can’t remember exactly what I copied it from, but I decided to give it a try because it looked quick and easy.

Do 20 reps 6 times each:

  • squats
  • sit-ups
  • push-ups
  • couch dips (tricep)
  • planks (20 seconds)

It wasn’t quite as “easy” as I thought, especially the tricep dips!  I made it through 3 out of 6 sets and it took me about 12 minutes.  You can modify these exercises to meet your current fitness level, such as doing traditional push-ups or on your knees, adjusting how low you go for squats or dips or varying the sit-up position .  Also, I think this would be a great set of exercises for travel since there is no need for any special equipment.  To compensate for my poor memory skills, I moved 6 little rocks  from one pile to another to count down my 6 sets. (or 3 sets! :))

What do you think?  Why not download some tunes from this list of Christian work-out songs, crank up the music and give it a try!   Do you have any quick and easy exercise routines you enjoy?  As always, we would love to hear any feedback in the comments section!

Wishing you a happy, healthy weekend!

~Blessings,

Jen

Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper-Rosemary Sauce

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Serves 4

Prep time under 20 minutes

1 (7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained (not oil packed) (I also rinsed them)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, chopped

3/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

4 (5 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons black pepper

1. To make sauce, combine roasted peppers, vinegar, garlic and 1/4 tsp of salt in blender or food processor and puree. Scrape mixture into small saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce just begins to simmer. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with remaining 2 tablespoons rosemary, remaining 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through 4-5 minutes on each side.

Serve with sauce

Per serving: 4 ounces chicken breast and 2 TBS sauce

198 Cal.

6 g. total fat

1 g Sat Fat

0 g trans fat

78 mg cholesterol

634 mg. sodium

3 g. carb

2 g sugar

0 g fiber

29 g protein

26 mg calcium

5 WW+ points.

Serve with fresh green beans and enjoy!!

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This is from the Weight Watcher Cookbook Power Foods. The original recipe called for fresh basil. I only had fresh rosemary so I used that and it was wonderful. I also only had chicken tenderloins. Because they are only 2 points for 4 ounces of the tenderloins, when you use those the points plus value would be a little less. It was really good and nice not to be eating plain old chicken! The green beans were fresh picked from my garden this morning, so that was exciting!!

Blessings!

Julie

 

Sweet and Simple Inspirations Launch Day!!

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Today is a very special day for Jen and I! It is the day we are publicly launching our website Sweet and Simple Inspirations.com!!! This has been a labor of love, frustration, learning, (did I say frustration!!!) and more learning. Let me give you a little example. We knew absolutely nothing about web design. But we have tenacity!!! So through LOTS of You Tube videos and tutorials we have built this website from the ground up – twice!!! Imagine having a room already decorated and just about to move in and decide the colors, the carpet, the window treatments are all wrong! That is kind of what happened to us. We were almost done, felt it wasn’t “just right” and started from scratch with an even more complex web design. More learning, more frustration and a big thank you to my son in law Reese who helped us with some last finishing touches!!

So, we call ourselves two dreamy sisters! We have been collaborating for years with a LOT of ideas to try to come up with IT…the perfect thing that will help us feel like we are engaging in our passions (which to be truthful doesn’t include work! Not that I don’t love my job (sometimes!!!) But we wanted something different. So about 6 weeks or so ago we decided to create this website. We both have a lot of information and experience, we are “self help” junkies with a lot of interests and a LOT of experience in a variety of things! Our goal here is to help inspire people to either try something new, to take some time to enjoy the simple things in life, to relax, enjoy, think about what makes you happy and to give you some good ideas to do all of the above. We both have LOTS of experience in weight loss and fitness. I have had so much success with Weight Watchers that I want to be able to share all I have learned. Although daughter number 3 thinks we should have a lot of “yummy” recipes (and I think she wasn’t thinking low cal), we want to focus on healthy good for you recipes! Not that they won’t be yummy, just not the calorie laden and not so good for you type!  I have 4 kids and 4 grandkids and Jen has 2 kids, so we have lots of ideas on Family activities and Family bonding ideas. And faith will also be a big part of this. That is actually the foundation of what this is all built on. We want to share our faith, the miracles we have witnessed and inspire you to look beyond yourself.

So that’s it! Look around. We are still in the baby stage here, so there is LOTS more to come!! We hope you will visit often and enjoy what we are creating and let us know what you think!! Please feel free to comment as that is how we know if we are accomplishing our goals! So Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!!! We are so glad you stopped by!!!

Julie ~

 

Low Calorie, Budget Friendly Drink

 

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I have to make a confession, I have a bad case of gourmet coffee drink envy.  The ironic thing is that I don’t even like coffee!  There is just something about watching people walk around carrying those whipped cream topped drinks that makes me long for something I could indulge in.  Teen daughter is obsessed with them and would buy one every day if her funds allowed it!  An alternative might be a fruit smoothie or shake, but I don’t want the added calories that come with those types of drinks.  Plus, I can’t really see spending so much on a drink, so I tried to think of more budget friendly, low calorie options.

I decided to use one of those reusable BPA free cups with a straw and make my own “fancy” drink.  Tea is my passion, so I bought some cold brew black and raspberry tea mixes.  I brew the tea bag in cold water for about 4-5 minutes and add some ice.   For the black tea, I sometimes add a splash of orange juice for a little touch of sweetness and there you have it, a super easy, cheap, low-calorie drink for the summer!  So simple, yet it really satisfies my craving for that special drink when I want something other than water.  Do you have a favorite homemade “fancy” drink recipe?  We would love to hear about it!

 

~Jen

 

Weight Loss Helper!

Women can not live by fruit and vegetables alone, we MUST have a little chocolate now and then!! If you haven’t tried Vita Tops by Vitalicious I suggest you try them out. They are absolutely delicious and satisfying! There are delicious flavors such as Pomegranate, Deep Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Fudgy Peanut Butter Chip (my personal favorite) Carrot Cake and Bran. Vita tops have been a GREAT tool in my Weight Watcher journey. Most vita tops only have 3 points (Weight Watchers ),(the pomegranate ones only 2) and the mini cakes are only 1 point! The new Raspberry mini cakes are just divine! I have dressed mine up with a little fat free cool whip and some fruit and it becomes a delicious fancy dessert. Most have over 15 vitamins and nutrients and pack 4-10 grams of fiber. They are in limited supply in most grocery stores so I order mine directly from Vitalicious.. They have specials all the time and also if you sign up for Hungry Girl emails they often have special codes. They ship out very fast! If you need a little something to help out on your weight loss journey, I suggest giving Vita Tops a try!!

Have a Happy Healthy Productive Day!

Julie