Monthly Archives: January 2016

BAM! Mac n Cheese for 269 cal.

Transforming your family’s favorite comfort food into a healthy version is risky business but I think I nailed it. Traditionally I would use at least 4 different kinds of cheese, minimum of 1 cup each which loaded my mac and cheese recipe with fat and calories. This version replaces much of the cheese with veggies. Get creative, use whatever veggies you have on hand. I used broccoli, green beans and carrots but cauliflower, corn and peas would work just as easily. I have tried using spinach and kale before but none of us liked the chewy texture. For a little brightness bell peppers and tomatoes would also be yummy. The kicker in this recipe is the mustard. It’s the thing that make you go “whoa” Hubby went back for seconds, his serving size was definitely over 1 cup, which is equal to success in my house.

mac n cheese

Busygals… good for you Mac n Cheese:

1/4 c. panko bread crumbs

1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp paprika

8 oz whole grain, elbow macaroni  (about 2 cups)

1 c. sliced carrots

1 c. green beans (trimmed)

2 c. broccoli florets

1 tbs butter

2/3 c. finely chopped onion

1 3/4 c. fat free milk

3 tbs flour (all purpose or whole wheat)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3 oz. reduced fat cream cheese (cut up in small cubes)

1 1/2 tsp dijon-style mustard *

8 oz  shredded reduced-fat Mexican style, four-cheese blend (about 2 c. )

  1. Preheat broiler. In a bowl stir together panko, Parmesan cheese and paprika. set aside
  2. In a large saucepan combine dried pasta, carrots and green beans. Cover with water and cook per pasta package directions. During last 4 min. add broccoli. Drain and return to pan, cover and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Add salt and pepper, milk, flour. Stir until well mixed, bubbly and thickened. Stir in cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese mixture until melted.
  4. Immediately pour cheese mixture over pasta-veggie mixture; toss gently to coat.
  5. Lightly spray baking dish with non-stick spray. Transfer mixture to baking dish and top with panko mixture. Place under the broiler for 1-2 min. Watch carefully to avoid burning.

Makes 8 servings (1 c. each) per serving= 269 cal., 8g f., 34 carb., 4 g. fiber, 6 g. sugar, 6 g. pro.





Fitness Foe’s

So my new Fitbit Charge HR is all the proof I needed. Yes indeed getting dressed, at least for me, is a cardio workout. My heart rate goes from a resting 68 to 110 the minute I start struggling with my jeans and stays that high (or higher if they’re   skinny jeans) until I get my shoes tied. Yikes. The sad truth is, that’s about the only workout I’ve been getting. My motivation is lacking to say the least.  Gym bag packed and in the car. Fitbit and phone alarms set, even have a few friends dedicated to sending me text around my lunch hour “encouraging” me to go to the gym and just as easily as popping a mini chocolate in my mouth I disregard all warnings and alarms.

A workout plan is what I’m in need of.

So around the office we call them “hot laps” if I get up from my desk, regardless of where I need to go, I include a hot lap. Down the stairs through the crew room, through the warehouse, down more stairs, up the stairs and back to my office.  Yes I’m a little short of breath when I return (embarrassed) but that’s the point right? You try doing that in 4 in. heals. Yeah, I’m that good.

So what else, my lunch break at the gym includes a wardrobe change (feel the burn) 20 min. on the treadmill doing 2 min. / 1 min. walk-run intervals and another wardrobe change = 45 min. cardio workout. Bam.

My bathroom scale says I need to do more and even if I wasn’t obsessed with the scale my body would be telling me the same thing. So, like any smart busy gal I hit Pinterest in search of some great workouts. Why reinvent the wheel ladies. Check out my board “busting my busy butt at the gym” to see what I’ve found.

Weigh in’s are in one week. Check back to see how I did.


Potato Hash with Eggs



4 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 clove minced garlic
1Tbs minced dried Thyme
1 cup diced Yukon Gold potatoes
1 cup diced sweat potatoes
1 cup chopped kale
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less per taste)
4 large eggs, hard boiled
1. Fill a medium sauce pan with ½ cup water and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. If steam basket is handy place chopped potatoes in basket and steam for 15 min. or boil directly in water, adding additional water as needed, drain completely
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion, sauté until softened. Add garlic and thyme, reduce heat to medium.
3. Add potatoes to onion mixture, mix gently then add kale and spinach. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper cover tightly and steam over low heat until greens are wilted. 5-7 min.
4. Divide potato mixture evenly among 4 plates; top each serving with 1 egg sliced. Season as needed.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 180
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7 g 11 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 7 %
Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 93 mg 31 %
Sodium 325 mg 14 %
potassium 738 mg 21 %
Total Carbohydrate 23 g 8 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g 17 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 7 g 14 %

As promised…

Last nights dinner was delicious. My hubby is a big fan of meatless meals. Preferably pasta like mac & cheese, but I’ve been trying to put healthier options in front of him. My Potato Hash with Eggs had him going back for seconds. In theory, hash is whatever you have handy cooked up together; Noun: a mess, a jumble, a muddle. My version of hash can be found under Yummy Nutrition

My concerns were keeping it tasty, low calorie and quick. The recipe Potato Hash with Eggs met all expectations. I actually served it last night with poached eggs (just one each) but it was the first time I had ever poached an egg so it wasn’t pretty and both my husband and I agreed it would be better with an hard boiled egg, which is how I wrote the recipe (It’s actually how I brought the leftovers for lunch today) but a runny egg yoke would be really good if I can figure out how to poach correctly. Practice, practice practice.

Key for me was the red pepper flakes. It really made a difference, I loved the “POW” it gave the spinach and kale. Hubby says he hates kale but he agreed to give it a shot and he didn’t pick it out and leave it on the side of his plate so I’d say that’s a pretty convincing argument in favor of him liking kale.

I hope you enjoy the recipe, and don’t be afraid to jumble in a few more veggies, it’s a hash after all, get creative.


Be a part of my team

From January 18 – 22 is a national “Pack the Track” challenge. You can help me by

being a part of my Relay For Life team “For The Boys” 

Please visit my page and register yourself, your spouse, kids and share the link with your friends. You don’t have to live nearby to be a part of my team.

We are looking for a cure for cancer and you can play a big part just by registering. 1794655_795705347110056_552694463_n Quick… click here and get registered.

I love red meat…

So I had torn out a great recipe from the August 2015 issue of Realsimple magazine but it didn’t have the nutritional breakdown. At the time I didn’t really care because I was consuming 8000 cal. a day (probably not an exaggeration)

Since I’m now watching my calorie intake, I searched their website and found the recipe, it came in at a whopping 580 cal. Not even on my best day would I have enough calories left over at dinner time to afford this so I used myfitnesspal app, uploaded the recipe using the url and then made some adjustments. This was so much easier than I thought and I managed to bring it down to 190 calories.

The biggest change was the meat. It called for Rib-Eye steak. I am a huge fan of a good Rib-Eye but that might have something to do with why I’m 50 lbs over weight. I replaced it with a lean top round steak. I know… I know… sacrifices must be made. I also reduced the amount of potatoes and replaced the fingerling potatoes with small red potatoes. I can’t believe how fast this brought the total calorie count down.

Check out my reduced cal. recipe

The original recipe can be found at Follow link for preparation directions.

· 1 lb., Top Round Steak
· 6 small red potatoes
· 1.00 grams (1/4 tsp), Coarse Kosher Salt
· 1 Tbsp. chopped, Chives, raw
· 1 Tbsp., Oil – Olive
· 1 Tbsp., Vinegar, Wine Red
· 1 cup, Cherry Tomatoes Raw
· 1 tsp, white sugar

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 190
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6 g 9 % ,Saturated Fat 2 g 8 % , Monounsaturated Fat 3 g , Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 68 mg 23 %

* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

for the preparation direction use original recipe link


A little “friendly” competition

I have a great friend who owns a day spa & salon, Untamed Optionz. Over the past few years they have held a weight loss challenge. Ya know a little friendly competition is always a great motivator. I have only participated once in the past, mostly because I’m not competitive by nature and some competitors have tried some crazy weight loss techniques that I’ve either already tried and failed at or just didn’t have the guts to try.

This year I’m in and I have a plan!

While the winning pot $$ is very impressive, instead of choosing some crazy weight loss trick I’ve decided to put my Herbalife products to the test.

Goal: 30 lbs in 3 months.

Technique: calorie counting, food logging, Herbalife shakes and supplements and a rigorous workout routine.

So it’s been a week since the initial weigh in. I’ve moved past the numbers that normally would have sent me straight to a depression induced frenzied binge. Her scale, obviously created by a man, provided way to much information. Get this… my body age??? yeah it tells us this, says I’m 78… Not ok with this, since  my birth certificate says I’m only 48 and my face still says I’m 25 ish… a 78 year old body is proof that I have not done a very good job of taking care of it.

Head in the game I made a plan which always starts with a grocery list, meal plan & prep and packing a gym bag. I’ve also been drinking lots of fruit infused water like 120 oz a day. The bonus, the office bathroom is 120 steps from my desk so that adds up quickly. Despite my personal commitment to spend my 1 hour lunch break at the gym I only made it there once over the past week. Looking ahead I need to find a gym partner.

Another obstacle that I encountered was a work day travel trip that meant 6 hours in a car, 3 hours in a board room and an entire city of food options. We only have 3 fast food traps here at home. McDonalds, Subway and Taco Time. And while there are probably some healthy options at each I’ve never really ordered any of them. My plan? don’t eat out. If your from around here you know the routine, from the minute you know you’re leaving town you start planning your food stops. But with my husbands support we made some pretty good picks. The EGG BYTE OMELETTE with a side of fruit from The Egg & I was filling and delicious then for lunch I felt my strength waver when we pulled into the Olive Garden bring on the bread-sticks, was my initial reaction but I downed a full glass of water before opening the menu and carefully considered my options. I choose the special, Tilapia with grilled veggies. Plus I did not eat a single bread-sticks. Success! I made it on my first travel trip without overloading on bad food options and more importantly I didn’t feel deprived or hungry.

I weighed before the weekend and was thrilled that I was down 7 lbs. I’d used all of my products and gadgets weighing all my food sure does give me a great perspective on food portion. I also noticed what a big difference the Snack Defense supplement from Herbalife made when my resilience was down, AKA.. 3pm.  I felt really good, just a little tired.

Set back, Saturday. It was -8 outside, and my dvr was loaded with all my favorites and the comfy chair was calling my name. I blame the lack of energy and enthusiasm on the reduction of calories. This was a negative combination. Snacking began and then came the guilt which meant more snacking. This dangerous cycle showed up on my Monday morning weigh in which only had me down 4 lbs. Looking back I should have started my day with my supplements and a shake, just like during the week. I will not skip this step next weekend.

I did a little shopping therapy, the Fitbit Charge HR and the Fitbit Aria WiFi Smart Scale will be here tomorrow thanks to Prime. (My amazon smile charity of choice is of course The American Cancer Society)

Food prep for the week is done and I was able to resist the donuts that are downstairs in the conference room for today’s board meeting. Looking forward to more successes this week .





Yum… dinner for 215 cal.


Last night I tried the “Meatless Monday” theme. I made a Broccoli and Cheddar Fritatta that I found on, kinda. I’m not very good at following directions so I made a few changes. I was trying to reduce the calories to 200 so I could have a piece of toast with it. It was delish! Here are the changes that I made:

Only used 6 egg whites, just hubby and I eating, daughter said she needed meat and chose to go out to dinner. I thought 8 was a lot of eggs for 2 people. I just adjusted my pan size.

I hate red onion, I used a sweet vidalia onion they taste great and they don’t make me cry.

Lastly I only used 1/4 c. of cheese and I chose a low-fat sharp cheddar. I figured since I used fewer eggs, less cheese would be ok and it was. I think this would be great with a pepper jack cheese also.

I logged it at the 215 cal. just to be safe and only had 1/2 a slice of toast. I was full all evening and so was my husband. Definitely going to make this one again.



Getting to know me…

I don’t remember getting fat. I only weighed 98 pounds through high school, college and into my 20’s. One baby, then two, a move to a small town away from everything I had ever known and bam! my jeans went from 0 to 10 in record time.

I’ve since had a few decades to come to terms with my weight gain. I’ve tried all kinds of quick diet tricks. Infomercial programs and devises and even hired a personal trainer but I have never found anything that has helped me keep off the weight.

This blog is my journey to a healthy lifestyle. No tricks, or gimmicks. My plan is to use my brain and my instincts to make good choices.

I love to cook and I think one of the reason’s why my diet’s haven’t worked in the past is due to missing out on a hobby that I love. So I will be seeking out healthy recipes that will keep me busy in the kitchen. Reworking old favorites so I don’t have to feel like I’m giving something up and branching out (especially in the veggie area) to bring new life and flavor to my new “diet”.

My Tools:

Yes I have a gym membership, no I haven’t seen the inside of the gym in a very long time (8 months at least) but I will be reintroducing myself, building up my strength and endurance so that when spring/summer is here I’ll be pumped up to try some new outdoor activities.

I use a fitness app and activity tracker Fitbit Flex and I love the challenges along with the food tracking elements of the app. I’ve got a great circle of friends that help inspire me and keep me on track so I’ll be putting this option to good use.

I have a food scale, I think this is going to be key in helping me develop healthy recipes. I’ll need to retrain my brain as to what is an appropriate portion size.

I am an independent distributor for Herbalife Wellness Products. I have a complete vitamin regiment that I love! I also love the protein shakes but have been slacking on including them in my daily diet routine and I noticed a significant weight gain since I stopped. My Herbalife will definitely be a part of this journey.

I have some food allergy’s including wheat, rye and barley. I have a reaction much like asthma where my airway gets inflamed, in my case it makes it difficult to swallow. Scary and incontinent. My doctors recommend a gluten free/reduced diet. Tried it shortly after diagnosis and really saw a change in my weight but like lots of things I’ve tried I couldn’t stick with it. I’ll be giving this another try however because the doctors told me to.

I’ll be posting my weekly meal plan along with the nutritional information ( I hate when I come across a great recipe but it doesn’t’ tell me how many calories ect are in a portion size) I have an app for that now.

So excited about starting… and sharing with you as I find the healthy woman hiding inside me.

xoxo buysgal….