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Category: Healthy Recipes

Ahhhh…Comfortable Jeans!

So I am getting more and more “notices” from my now 16.5 pounds lost! I am very excited to be able to fit into some spring clothes that I couldn’t wear at all last year!  I was down to two pairs of “baggy jeans” and now can fit into most of mine (although some are still breath-taking). I love the options I have uncovered in my closet.

The 16.5 pounds isn’t monumental (yet) but it is confidence that I can do this–NO! I AM doing this!  UniqueU is working for me, because I am working the diet the way I should. Is it easy, you might ask, not particularly, but what diet is easy or fun? Is it rewarding? Absolutely! Every time I get on the scales, which I only do at the UniqueU office, I am delighted with the weight loss that I experienced that week.  I have crossed the 7 week mark, and will weigh in again on Wednesday. My personal activity has increased, although I still haven’t made it to the gym like I promised myself I would do! I find myself doing all the tried and true things, like parking out farther from the stores and walking the steps instead of taking the elevator. I am able to resist temptation much easier now and my old habits of stopping for an afternoon cookie or candy bar has changed. I do sometimes hit the drive through for an unsweetened ice tea, but I also carry bottled water with me.

I guess the biggest motivator this week has been the results I had last week. I really, really, really wanted  a big cheat over the weekend–Ice Cream–but my husband just said, “Really? After coming off that great week are you going to blow it on an ice cream?”  No he was right and I didn’t. But ice cream is my weak spot. We made a pack not to eat it until we go to Hawaii later this year! Then it will be a delightful treat for sure! This week is sure to bring extra challenges, as they all do, and now that my new habits are developing, I will overcome those challenges by making better choices.  While on this portion of the diet, I can eat anything I want, it is just a trade out of what am I willing to give up to get something else.  It always makes me ask myself what I really want to do…  And getting into that cute green polka-dot, sleeveless dress is first and foremost!  My goal is another 30 pounds in the next 10 weeks. Yikes! I better start peddling my bike!

You can do this too, so come on, what are you waiting for?

Four-cheese Stuffed-silly Mushrooms

Four-Cheese Stuffed-Silly Mushrooms


Per serving (6 stuffed mushrooms):  198 cal, 1.75g fat, 792mg sodium, 25g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 8.5g sugars, 22g protein


6 med-lg baby bella mushrooms

1/4 c fat free ricotta cheese

1/4 c finely chopped onion

1/4 c canned spinach, drained and dried

2 tbs shredded fat free mozzarella cheese

2 tbs shredded fat free cream cheese

1 tbs minced garlic

1 tsp reduced fat Parmeasan style grated topping

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp salt

Directions:  Preheat oven 375, gently remove stems from mushrooms, chop stems into small pieces and set aside.  With the rounded sides down, place mushroom caps on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with nonstick spray.  Bake in the oven for 12-14 mins.  Do not turn oven off.  Meanwhile, bring a pan sprayed with nonstick spray to med heat on the stove.  Add chopped mushroom stems, onion, and garlic.  Cook and stir until garlic is soft, about 3 mins.  Once mushroom caps are cool enough to handle, pat dry until free of all excess moisture.  Set aside.  

In a med bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, nutmeg, and salt until mixed well.  Add mushroom onion mixture, spinach, and mozzarella cheese.  Stir until blended.  Evenly distribute cheese mixture among mushroom caps.  They will be super-stuffed and the mixture will be piled on top, too.  In a small dish, mix parm-style topping with garlic powder.  Sprinkle stuffed mushrooms with this mixture.  Place stuffed mushrooms back in the oven and cook for 8-10 mins, until topping begins to brown.  Let cool slightly and enjoy.  

Makes 1 serving

Take the 7 Sins out of Thanksgiving Part 1

Experts estimate that many of us will consume up to 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat throughout the day of the great feast.  It will take a 160 lb. person between four and five hours of swimming or jogging to burn this off.  Take heart, we’ve fashioned a plan to make peace with the 7 Sins of Thanksgiving.  
1.  Lust for Healthy Food Choices
Mom was right when she said, “Eat your vegetables.”  Not only are vegetables part of a good diet because they are low in calories, they are packed full of nutrients and fiber.  Fiber is a weight loss BFF that makes us feel full and helps us digest food.  

TIP: Fill half your plate with vegetables.  Each time you take a bite of the richer Thanksgiving menu items, take a bite of vegetables.  Try to use olive oil instead of butter to add flavor and richness to your cooked veggies.
Creamy Cauliflower Puree

 1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-2 in florets (5-6 cups)
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
1 tsp gray sea salt, plus more when pureeing
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 heaping tbs fresh herbs, to garnish

In large sauce pot or steamer, place cauliflower, garlic, broth or water and sea salt.  Cover and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until tender.  Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.  Drain, reserving cooking liquid.
Puree in two batches in food processor until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.  With motor running, add 1/4 cup cooking liquid, half the olive oil, pepper and pinch of sea salt to each batch.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Transfer to serving dish, top with herbs and serve hot.  Can be made ahead and kept warm or reheated on low.  Serves 6
Kick up flavor with 1-2 tsp of dry mustard, curry powder or parmesan cheese.  

2. Become a water Glutton

Did you know that mid-afternoon hunger can really be dehydration?  Water recommendations vary.  One is to drink half your body weight in ounces  (i.e.  If you weigh 160 lbs, drink 80 oz of water daily). Water is a great weight loss tool because it makes us feel full and helps us cut down on our calories.  

TIP:   During the holidays, try these methods to increase your water intake.   Drink a glass of water in between adult beverages.  Carry a water bottle with you while running errands.  Flavor you water with lemon, orange, cranberries or cucumbers.  Put your fork down and have a sip of water frequently during your meal.  

Buffalo Style Chicken Fingers

100g of chicken, cut into long thin strips, Melba toast crushed, 2tbs hot sauce, 4tbs lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Marinate chicken strips in lemon juice and salt. Coat chicken strips with Melba crumbs. Fry in frying pan until lightly browned and cooked thoroughly. Toss with hot sauce and black pepper to taste. Serve as finger food or as an entree. Serve with raw celery sticks or desired vegetables. 25g protein, 2g fat, 157 calories.