Proof that I CAN create a non-controversial post, once in a blue moon!

Well, hello everyone! Yeah, I get that we’re all tired of controversial posts about politics, religion, etc.

So how’s about a nice post about something actually related to DIETING for a change, eh?

First of all, here’s the weigh-in:

196.4

Cool, a pound down!! Of course, I was here a few weeks ago and it went right back up the next week. Still, I’ve been doing much better at following my own advice, writing down the calories and weighing myself every morning.

Maybe if I just persevere a little longer, I can continue the downward trend and (dare I say it out loud, in this destined-to-go-down-in-history Year 2020?) actually get back to where I was just a few short months ago?

Meanwhile, here’s an actual, genuine diet tip! Do you love Ranch dressing as much as I do?

Well, the thing with Ranch dressing is that if it’s any good, it’s gonna be fairly high in calories and fat. However, I discovered something AWESOME last week: you can mix genuine Ranch dressing powder into plain, 80-calorie Greek yogurt, and it tastes FABULOSO!!

(p.s. special thanks to Mr. 50by60 for the suggestion on how to combine these images!)

And yes, it’s true that other, better weight-loss bloggers already figured this out a long time ago, like the Sparkpeople. But y’know, we each have to make these discoveries for ourselves!

So if you’re someone who loves dipping stuff into Ranch dressing, grab a bag of something crunchy, like some baby carrots or low-calorie potato chips (you can even make your own!) and dip to your heart’s content!

Got any other low-calorie substitutes you’d like to share? Post ’em in the comments below and I’ll discuss them in next week’s post!

That’s it — thanks for reading! Join me next week for your favorite, almost entirely noncontroversial diet blog!

Friday Five: Now we’re cookin’ with gas (and Spam)!

Happy Friday, everyone, and BOY, have I got a busy day ahead of me! I’m doing a LOT of cooking for two big events this weekend. First, tomorrow (Saturday), Mr. 50by60’s side of the family will be getting together to celebrate a bunch of birthdays.

I should explain that Mr. 50by60 is one of SEVEN brothers!

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So naturally, his mom feels it’s over her pay grade to remember all their birthdays. She likes to just get ’em all over with at once, and I can’t say I blame her! Anyway, MY mom gave me her patented recipe for “Spam loaf,” so that’ll be my contribution to the mix, sort of from one mother-in-law to another.

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Second, we’ve got ANOTHER big church potluck on Sunday! And those of you who know me and/or who’ve read this blog before know that means only one thing:

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So here ya go, for this week’s Friday Five: four recipes I’m gonna make today, plus one variation you might want to try – enjoy!

  1. Mom’s Spam Loaf!
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  2. Aunt Chrissy’s Key Lime Pie! It’s the best, trust me!!
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  3. And you might want to try this little variation on #2: Orange Pie. I made it a couple of years ago and it turned out pretty good. Basically, it’s EXACTLY the same recipe as my Key Lime Pie, except you MUST add sugar, like maybe half a cup per pie. Also, taste the mixture before you bake it, ’cause fresh unsweetened oranges are almost as tart as lemons, in case you hadn’t noticed.
    orange
  4. Key Lime Pie (low calorie)
    I’ve actually seen a few different versions of this, but the main difference seems to be that different sites recommend specific brands for the pie crust, the yogurt, or the gelatin. However, the BASIC recipe is the same. This Weight Watchers version from geniuskitchen.com is as simple as it gets:

  5. Aunt Chrissy’s Parmesan Crisps — mmm good!
    parmesan.jpgmmm

And there you go, five more or less great recipes you can try — and save!

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Let me know if you make any of these yourself, and send me a picture — I’ll put it in a future post!

Thanks, everyone! Hope YOUR weekend has some family, food, and/or fun! See you Monday for the post-potluck weigh-in!

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Friday Five: 4 things I’m looking forward to, plus 1 yogurt recipe!

Well, good morning, one and all! You know, summer’s on its way, and although it may be a bit premature, here are a few things I’m really looking forward. Plus, a fun Chobani yogurt tweak! Ready? Here we go!

  1. Swimming pool! I know, I know, I keep yammering about the awesome pool at my 24 Hour Fitness. But c’mon, isn’t it gorgeous? I’m really looking forward to that first 100-degree-plus day I can dip my tootsies in that cool blue water (and blithely ignore all the grunting and tire flipping from the CrossFit area next door). Mmm, pool!
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  2. Train trip! My husband and I like to take train trips. (Well, he IS an engineer!) And this year is no exception. This August, we’re taking the Amtrak Coast Starlight up to Olympia, Washington, where we’ll meet lots of friends we haven’t seen for a while at a special event our church sponsors every year. I always love that moment when the train starts moving slowly, slowly, sloowwwllyyy* out of the station. (*well, it IS Amtrak, after all!)
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  3. Beach Walks! Once the weather starts warming up, I hop in my rusty but trusty ol’ 2005 Toyota and head down to the best beach in Southern California, with the most awesome parking you can imagine, with trails and bike paths and all sorts of places to get that outdoorsy, fun in the sun exercise we all crave so much. Yes, I’m heading to the fabulous Beacha del Incognito! (Heh — you didn’t really think I was gonna TELL you where it is, now did you?? It’s MINE!!)
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  4. Hittin’ the Gym — in Multiple Locations! Yeah, as I’ve yammered on about ad infinitum these past couple of weeks, I joined the fabulous Anytime Fitness Chatsworth. I’m very happy with it so far, especially the treadmills with video screens and the studios where I can work out in complete privacy, most of the time (except when some hapless newbie stumbles in by mistake looking for the restroom). Anyway, in a couple of weeks I’ll have hit my 30-day mark so I can visit some of the other locations! And you’ll get to hear about it! Aren’t you just thrilled?

     

  5. YOGURT TWEAK!! And now, as promised, here’s an idea I came up with totally on my own, which you may want to incorporate into your breakfast routine!

See, earlier this year, I became enamored with Chobani Yogurts, specifically their Vanilla Blended version. I still like the Yoplait Lights at 90 calories, but the Chobani’s only 20 calories more (you do the math, I still haven’t had my coffee), and has a more substantial feel to it.

Well, NOW they have a flavor called Vanilla Chocolate Chunk blended. Which, I mean … uh … chocolate AND vanilla? That’s almost overkill, dude!

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And it’s 170 calories, which isn’t TOO bad. About the same as an egg (70 calories) and a slice of bacon (90 calories), give or take a few. (Again, math / coffee.) But there are two problems with it: 1) it’s really hard to find, at least in my area, and 2) that is a bit higher in calories that I normally want in a yogurt.

Well, never fear – I’ve got your lower-calorie Vanilla Chocolate Chunk yogurt idea right here! Just get a little container of chocolate sprinkles at the grocery store (they’re in the baking aisle, with all the cake decorating stuff), and add a little to your plain or vanilla yogurt. Even if it’s not on the label, I looked it up: one teaspoon is 20 calories.

So, let’s say you start with unflavored yogurt, which is @ 70 or 80 calories. Add the sprinkles (20 calories) and a little vanilla extract, et voila! Your own Vanilla Chocolate Chunk yogurt, at or near 100 calories! Mmm!! You’re welcome!!
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So there ya go — your Friday Five with some yummy summertime ideas. I’ll be back Monday when I’m hoping all that extra vacation weight will be gone gone gone! Have a great weekend, everyone!