Tag Archive: low cal recipes

Was Someone Looking for Me?


Good morning!

Was anyone missing me?  By now, many of my readers may have just assumed I fell off the face of the Earth!  Well let me tell you, for a while there I felt like I did.

Often, doesn’t it seem that we walk thru life with the best laid intentions, for weight loss, to clean up that cluttered corner in our house, to stay better connected with friends.  The reality for all of us humans is there’s a pesky thing called LIFE that gets in the way.  I know personally, last year, with my mom going through a series of health scares, I found myself in a situation where I had a lot of stress on my shoulders.  Rather than using sensible coping, what seemed to soothe me was food.

So me and food, food and me…it’s an ongoing love affair.  I mean I’m from Wisconsin, where not using cheese and butter in 96% of your meal is kind of a sin!  What I didn’t love, however, was that my jeans began causing a muffin top, well let’s face it, the fat under my jeans was just bubbling up into that muffin top, sitting there like an open can of Pillsbury biscuits.  Shorts and tops from the previous summer seemed to have clearly shrunken in the “bad closet air”.  So as I continued to comfort myself with food, it continued to make me more uncomfortable!

Yes, I understand that sounds crazy, but it’s true, and I’m realizing it’s a cycle.  You feel stressed, so you eat, and I’m not talking about eating kale and lean meats either.  Then you gain weight, which is upsetting, so what seems to be the solution?  Nooo silly, if diet or working out was my answer I wouldn’t be back here re-losing this weight!  Yeah, my answer was more bad food.

Clearly, that only compounded the problem.  Being diagnosed with Graves Disease last year, aka a hyperactive thyroid, I continued my reckless eating, and what had once been burned off by my over-functioning thyroid began to settle in for a nice visit.  I got to the point this fall that I didn’t even want to go shopping, and I felt terrible about myself.  I finally said enough is enough, I refuse to go up another size and undo all the hard work I did to lose in the first place!  I know the steps, I CAN do this, I just had to decide I WOULD do this!

So three weeks ago tomorrow, I reopened my handy Weight Watchers app.  I ever soooo gently got on the scale, cursed it for a minute, then accepted the reality I had caused.  I fool-proofed the house by banishing all the badness and making friends with the veggie, fruity, fiber-filled and lean items in my grocery store.  Last week I was down 9.6lbs!  There are many, many, maaany (lol ok I’m dramatic) more pounds to go, but I feel that with my village behind me, there’s no way I can’t make it.

So after this quick hello and catch up for those who aren’t familiar, I will once again begin sharing my recipe, food and fitness ideas and tricks, thoughts on it all, what I feel works, and what didn’t hit the mark for me.  This time around I’m working to make my diet feel as “normal” in my eyes as possible, and thus far I haven’t once felt deprived.  So let’s get started once again on this journey together, because you can start over as MANY time as you like, it’s your life!  Thank you all for your support, I promise to keep it as fun, informative, and interesting as possible!

**Oh and photo cred to our pup Rufus.  Caught him waking up from a nap, and that’s how I feel, reawakened and ready to make this happen!  So I felt it was fitting for this post, and let’s face it, he’s just cute, so I couldn’t resist!  😉

Love and Blessings, now go be great today!!




Well I’m making this one quick, taking a quick break to let everyone know how I did this week.

After being up a pound when i did a “spot check” weigh in Saturday morning (damn water retention), I was happy to see that I had lost 1.8lbs when I got on the scale this morning!   There’s nothing more motivating than seeing those numbers on the scale drop! 

This morning I was thinking about food.  I am learning that in order for me to succeed, I had to adapt a whole new way of thinking about food.  As I am more conscious of everything that goes in my mouth, I find myself noticing now that sometimes I eat when i am stressed.  I’m sure NO ONE can relate…lol yeah right,   I guess food always brings me comfort, and in those situations the worse for me the better I feel.  Twice this weekend I stopped myself from grabbing something bad for me just because I wanted it, or just because I thought it would make me happy.  Instead I’m focusing on how happy I will be when I hit my goal, reminding myself that all that food is going to do is prolong my goal, and that is one thing I am not willing to do again!

So let’s get it in this week…drink that water, hit the gym, I know I will be!

I made up this stir fry using veggies and protien I found in my fridge, but you can certainly swap the meats or the veggies for anything you’d like to use.  This version is low in fat, comes in at only 8 WW points per serving (with 1/2 cup brown rice), and is filling and full of flavor!


1 1/2 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), sliced into thin, bit-sized pieces   

1/2 pound(s) uncooked shrimp   (shell and tails removed)

1 medium uncooked onion(s), sliced into thin strips   

1/2 pound(s) uncooked asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces   

1/2 pound(s) uncooked zucchini, sliced into bite sized pieces  

 1 tsp minced garlic   

1 pinch ground ginger   

1/4 cup(s) soy sauce   

2 tsp sesame oil   

2 tsp rice wine vinegar   

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, 1 to 2 tsp for taste preference   

1 tsp sugar   

1/4 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth, Plus two TBSP

2 tsp cornstarch   

2 cup(s) cooked brown rice   


Cooking Instructions:

In a small measuring cup, combine 1/4 c chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and red pepper flakes, set aside. Cut up chicken, and marinate chicken and shrimp for short time in a small amount of extra soy sauce and a dash of rice wine vinegar. Set aside while preparing veggies. Heat skillet over medium heat while chopping vegetables. When ready to cook, turn skillet up to high heat. Add a coating of cooking spray, and brown meat in two batches over high heat, just until browned and cooked through. Set aside. Add a little more cooking spray to the pan, sauté onion a couple minutes until it starts to brown. Add garlic and ginger powder, stir, and then add veggies, starting with the veggie that will take longest to cook. Any veggies can be used. Sautee all veggies for a few minutes til browning but not soft. Add back in chicken, stir, and add sauce. Stir to coat and for about one minute. With two TBSP of chicken broth and 2 tsp cornstarch, mix together to make a slurry, and add to the pan. Stir just until thickened. Turn off heat and serve immediately over brown rice.

It’s Monday yet again fellow fat busters!

We all know what this means…well ok, maybe none of you do!  But if you’ve been following along, that’s weigh in day here at Chesty Changes!  After last week, I was skeptical to jump on the scale.  I knew I had once again busted my butt working out, 5 days last week to be exact, but I also knew I had kicked it into gear the week before and saw only 1.2lbs fall off per my trusty scale.

Forever the optimist, I jumped on the scale hoping for the best.  It was hot and humid, I was worried I would be retaining major water, but to my surprise and delight, I was down 5lbs!  Yes that is 5lbs, not 4, not even 4.5, but a whole 5lbs!  After I jumped off the scale, I did my little naked morning dance of joy alone in the bathroom.  After being “plateaued” for a couple weeks, and off track for a while before that, I had forgotten the euphoria that a great loss gives you! 

Moving forward this week, my plan is to stick with the increased workouts.  I’ve weaned myself off white rice, and when I do carbs I’m doing brown rice or something else high in fiber.  I’ve left the potatoes alone for the most part, so I don’t know if that’s helping, but I think it’s just the discipline and continued hard work paying off.  I’ll end this post with a quote that I read last week.  I felt so bad about myself when I was off track and eating delicious crap…but any time I feel myself sliding, I remember this!  Hopefully it will motivate you all too!

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” ~ Jim Rohn

Food is on my brain right now.  But it’s a good thing, because this new weight loss lifestyle is really making me stretch my culinary imagination.  I’ve always loved to cook, just never cared too much how healthy my food was, as long as it tasted good.

Now that my focus is on health, I’m always looking for the most delicious ways to eat the stuff that’s good for me.  Protein is a major thing for any dieter.  Not only will it help you build muscle, but it fills you up.  And if you are anything like myself, you’re just a carnivore to begin with, and would die without MEEEAT!

I’m finding the lightest protein comes in the form of white fish and other shellfish such as shrimp.  I’ve fallen madly in love with tilapia loins.  I bought them the first time thinking that they would taste pretty much like a filet of tilapia did.  When I opened them for the first time, I was surprised how thick, pretty, and white they were.  I cooked them up in my favorite diet way, blackened (recipe to follow), and was in love.  When I say i could eat them every day, I mean I would eat them and savor them.

For someone not to fond of anything that tastes fishy, these loins are a perfect selection.  There’s no skin, bones, or anything yucky, and they have a clean light taste that really just absorbs whatever flavors you add to it.  The other plus is that it cooks up firm and flaky.  I personally am not a fan of mushy or overly dry fish, and this cut cooks to perfection!

The best part, you ask?  A 4oz portion is only 2 Weight Watchers points!  With a protein that low in points, you can have a good sized portion and feel really satisfied!  I highly suggest, no BEG, that you try the delicious Blackened Tilapia Recipe that I will feature next, but I know this cut of fish will be great however you prepare it!

Recipe courtesy of Weight Watchers

WW Points Plus Value – 7 pts

Servings: 16


  1 spray(s) cooking spray   
  2 Tbsp light butter   
  3/4 cup(s) water   
  2/3 cup(s) unpacked brown sugar   
  3/4 cup(s) Coconut meat, packaged, sweetened, shredded   
  1/2 cup(s) chopped pecans   
  5 large egg white(s)   
  1 cup(s) buttermilk   
  1/2 cup(s) fat-free sour cream   
  1/3 cup(s) unsweetened applesauce   
  18 1/2 oz German chocolate cake mix, 1 package   


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9- x 13-inch nonstick baking pan with cooking spray.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter with water. Stir in brown sugar until smooth; pour evenly into baking pan. Sprinkle coconut and pecans evenly over melted sugar mixture.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat egg whites for 30 seconds. Beat in buttermilk, sour cream and applesauce. Add cake mix and beat on low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Beat for an additional 2 minutes; pour into pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack. Cut into 16 pieces and serve.

Pictured below is my version of the cake, done w/o the coconut.  Still very tasty but I’d highly suggest following the recipe completly for best results!



Hello, my name is Shannon, aka Chesty, and I’m a cake-a-holic.

Whew…admitting is the first of the 12 steps isn’t it?  I feel better, don’t you? 

As I mentioned before, and I will again, I love cake.  And by love I mean the oddly obsessed, stalker-ish type of love.  I have been 6 weeks without “the stuff”.  Cold sweats and night terrors eventually subsided, but like any addict, I can’t stop thinking about cake.  Now this is where the story gets good.  You are probably thinking this is where I fell of the wagon, chowed down some cake, right? 

Well, I did chow down some cake, but did not break the “bank” so to speak. That’s what I really love about the WW Program is the PLETHORA of recipes to try out.  Why buy or borrow a ton of cookbooks on eating light when you get thousands of recipes, with ratings and reviews.  So, I poured over pages of recipes, and printed up some that looked promising.  Craving chocolate cake, I decided to try a German Chocolate Upside Down Cake that sounded yummy. 

Sunday rolled around, and it was cake baking time!  The recipe was interesting, and I will feature it in the following post, to say the least.  I followed the recipe very carefully, but decided not to add the coconut.  I’m sort of on the fence about coconut, and I didn’t want to mess up my cake if I wasn’t in a coconut mood.   In hindsight, I should have added the coconut.  When it was cooked it was great, but the nuts didn’t make quite the carmelly topping of the picture.  It tasted great though and with the coconut, it’s a delight for any german chocolate cake loving dieter.  For a decent sized piece, it’s only 7 WW Points Plus Points, very well worth it if you ask me. 

Chesty Rating – 4+ (if made the right way)  😉

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