BodyRock Challenger Bars

41HvCdSMFsL._SX425_After watching this video on a friend’s Facebook page, I decided I must have this. Body Rock Challenger Bars. It’s probably going to take a lot of work and patience for me to do this stuff at my age, but I’m going to give it my best shot. It will be several days before they come in. I ordered them from Amazon.

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Chicken Pozole

IMG_4096My daughter loves pozole. It’s usually made with pork, but she doesn’t eat pork, so I made some last night with chicken. It was out of this world delicious! I got the recipe from a friend, but tweaked it a little bit.

Since I’m gearing up for the new Weight Watchers Freestyle program starting January 1st, the good news is that this pozole is only two points. Those points are for the hominy and chicken broth. The chicken broth actually has zero points if you only eat one or two cups, so I’m a little iffy on whether this is one or two points…but it’s not much. I would have thought since hominy is corn that it would be free, but apparently it’s not.

This is good old comfort food. I would imagine it’s great for cold and flu season. I hear it’s also great for hangovers.

This recipe only makes about four servings. Next time I make it I will double the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Ingredients:

2 T pure ancho or Padilla chili powder
1 1/2 t salt
2 t dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
8 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb chicken – I used breast meat, but you can use whatever you want
1 (14 oz) can white or yellow hominy, rinsed and drained
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
5 cups unsalted chicken broth
1/8 t crushed red pepper
2 green onions, including 2 inches of green, chopped
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges

Instructions:

1. Bring chicken broth, chili powder, salt, oregano, and garlic to a boil. Add chicken, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is tender, about 1-1/2 hours

2. Remove chicken and shred.

3. Put shredded chicken into soup. Add the hominy, onion, and crushed pepper. Cook about 15 minutes to blend the flavored. Serve hot, sprinkled with green onions and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Zero-Point Lunch

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I’m giving this new Weight Watchers Freestyle plan a test drive before my official start date of January 1st.  This is the dish I mentioned in my previous post, An Unexpected Use.

I just open a can of black beans and rinsed them, threw in a package of thawed, frozen corn and a can of Ro-tel tomatoes. I sprayed a pan with Pam and cooked a couple of eggs with a little salt and pepper. I’m not much of an egg fan, but I must say this was good. If I’m going to eat an egg, it has to be cooked solid all the way through. I had a cup and a half of the bean/corn/tomato concoction and the two eggs for lunch. The whole thing was zero Weight Watchers points.

My worst vice when dieting is not going to the store. That’s what always throws me off. I’m a hermit, and I hate going to the store. Before January 1st, I’m going to plan my meals for the week and go to the store.

I’ve been working from home since Hurricane Harvey. Our building took in eight feet of water in the basement and knocked out our power. It has been over four months since I’ve been to the office. We’re supposed to go back the week of the 1st, so I’ll begin the new Weight Watchers Freestyle program the week I get back to the office. That could be a good thing since I won’t be sitting at home with a fridge downstairs. I work in a large, beautiful office complex on a lake where I can take walks at lunch time. I can also walk up and down the stairs since I’m on the 8th floor.

I’m looking forward to figuring out how to make the most of all the new zero points foods. I live with my daughter. We are both pretty great cooks, so I’m going to look at this as an adventure. I currently take several medications and supplements. It would be great to be able to reduce the meds. I’ll keep the supplements.

Dinner tonight will be rotisserie chicken, Instant Pot potatoes, and veggies.  I haven’t used any points yet today, so potatoes it will be.

An Unexpected Use

CaptureRemember the little under-the-desk cycle I talked about yesterday? Last night, I was watching an episode of My 600-lb Life. The lady the show was about was bed-ridden, and she was using one of these little cycles with her arms. Go figure! I tried it this morning and it works fabulously. It not only works the arms and shoulders, but the back and waist get a really good workout too. I’m not even a third of 600 pounds, but this is my new favorite overall body exerciser.

Today, I’m making one of my favorite recipes of rinsed, canned black beans, frozen corn, and Ro-tel tomatoes. It’s one of my favorites, and on the new Weight Watchers Freestyle plan it’s zero points. I can add a little boneless, skinless chicken breast, and it’s still zero points.

One of Those People

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One of “Those People”

Every year, I complain about all “those people” who show up at the gym on January 2nd. You know the ones. They go every January and then stop. This year, I’m going to be one of those people who shows up at the gym on January 2nd. I don’t plan to stop. I plan to continue and be successful.

I’m going to start the new Weight Watchers Freestyle program on January 1st. I’m excited about the new zero-point items, such boneless, skinless chicken breast, corn, peas, and beans. This new plan seems so much more do-able. Here’s a video that explains the new Freestyle plan.

For the past three years, I’ve been working on my doctorate. I’ve been sedentary during that time, and the less I moved, the less I could move. I bought one of those little under-desk bicycles. They’re available on Amazon and cost around $39.99. My knees hurt when I use a treadmill or an elliptical, but I don’t have any pain after using this cycle.

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It has been a miracle. My core and legs are stronger, and I can do much more than I have in a long time. I’ve been trying to use this to make 10,000 steps per day on my Fitbit.  To make the steps count on my Fitbit, I put my hand on my thigh and it jiggles my wrist and counts the steps.

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The cycle has toned my abdomen significantly. Before using the cycle, I didn’t believe it would work, but it is an excellent form of exercise. It has increased my stamina significantly.

So, look out gym, here I come…on January 2nd…

BBQ Wings

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These chicken wings are so easy and delicious. Off course, you can cut them so they look like the wings in restaurants, but this time I left them whole.

Ingredients:

Chicken wings

1/2 cup flour

Olive oil – 1-2 tablespoons

Bottled BBQ sauce, or your favorite sauce

Instructions:

Wash wings. Pat dry with a paper towel.  Toss the wings in flour. Add olive oil and toss again.

Place wings on cooking sheet. I put parchment paper underneath so the pan is easier to clean.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over. Bake 20 more minutes. Brush with BBQ sauce and put back in the oven for 5 minutes. Turn wings and cook for 5 more minutes.

Enjoy alone or with your favorite dipping sauce. I use ranch.

 

Instant Pot Beef Stew

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Originally, I made this beef stew in the crockpot, but now I’ve altered it just slightly for the Instant Pot.

Ingredients:

1 lb stew beef

1/2 cup flour

1 package McCormick’s Beef Stew seasoning

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups beef broth (I use no salt added)

1 package baby carrots

6 potatoes, in medium-sized chunks

1 onion, in medium-sized chunks

Cheese for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Toss stew beef in flour. Place in Instant Pot and saute in olive oil until brown. Add all other ingredients. Set the Instant Pot on 35 minutes manual setting. I top it with a little cheese, but that’s optional. Enjoy!

When Did Everything Become So Political?

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I like keeping up with people on Facebook. Many of my Facebook friends I’ve known 52 + years – or for my entire life. For the past couple of years, all the political posts have been tiring. Today, when I started reading about the NFL players taking a knee in solidarity against our president…that was just the end for me. I need a Facebook break. Life used to be simpler when everything wasn’t so political.

People used to have interests that made them unique. Some liked to hike or cook or read or bike. Now it’s just memes about politics, disasters, doom and gloom. I’ve decided to hop off the politics train for a bit so I can regain a balanced perspective. Maybe I’ll blog instead. Or journal. Who knows.

I’ve discovered a different social media site called ResearchGate. It’s for researchers. I’ve uploaded my dissertation topic and started making some contacts. I’ve found people who are researching topics similar to mine, and it has given me insight into my own research.  I’m making good progress on my dissertation.  I plan to submit to QRM in early December.

When I’ve finished my dissertation, I want to write some articles for publication.  I’m making a list of potential topics that range from healthcare IT to artificial intelligence – of the robotics variety. I’ve been reading up on AI. How would you write code for that? Are decisions just If…ELSE statements? Maybe life is just a long sequence of If…ELSE statements. What if humans are nothing more than AI? What if free will is the ability to choose IF or ELSE? I know…I watch a lot of Ancient Aliens.  But…what if?

 

Instant Pot Pear Compote

I can’t even begin to tell you what a wonderful recipe this is. Since I’m on Weight Watchers, I wanted something that’s zero points. This recipe has no sugar or artificial sweetener, but it’s sweet and tastes exactly like pie filling. This recipe makes one quart. I’m going to put it on phyllo. One serving on phyllo is two Weight Watchers points. My daughter spread whipped cream cheese and pear compote onto a rice cake. She said it was delicious.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 Pears, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Instructions:

Just throw everything into the Instant Pot, and set on manual for 5 minutes. Natural release. Give it a stir and smash it up a bit until it’s the consistency you like.

Easy Instant Pot Meatballs and Elbows

I was feeling lazy, and hungry, this evening and not really wanting to cook. I just happened to have the perfect ingredients for a lazy dinner.

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Ingredients:

  • Turkey meatballs, 1 bag
  • 8 ounces whole wheat elbows – I used Silver Palate Low-Sodium Marinara
  • 25-ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 25 ounces chicken broth, no sodium added

Instructions:

Throw everything into the Instant Pot, put the lid on, seal, and set on 20 minutes manual setting.

Weight Watchers Points:

6 meatballs – 4

1/2 cup sauce – 3

1 cup pasta – 5