Monday, March 3, 2014

Frozen Food Reviews

I love frozen dinners.  The biggest dilemma I run into is all the choices and brands that are available.  I'm reviewing some of my favorites.  Lean Cuisine Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans - 9/10.  This is a wonderful dinner, its filling on its own and needs no doctoring up.  If I'm buying a few frozen dinners this is always one of them.  I never get tired of it and its very satisfying and well seasoned. 

Smart Ones Broccoli and Cheddar Roasted Potatoes - 7/10.  They changed the recipe on this to make it more healthy.  The cheese is less cheesy and more saucy now.  The flavor is still there but the texture is not.  I still enjoy this dish every once in a while, sometimes you just need carbs and cheese and this can hit the spot.  Tip: add more broccoli to soak up the sauce. 

Lastly, Smart Ones Pasta with Ricotta and Spinach - 6/10.  On its own this is nothing impressive but it is very easy to doctor up and make into a hearty pasta dish.  I add 1 cup broccoli, 3 cups raw spinach, garlic and a laughing cow cheese wedge.  Microwave additional ingredients in a large bowl and microwave Smart ones as directed.  Combine and eat. Result - 8/10

Saturday, March 1, 2014

How to pack for a 7 day trip in a carry on

Going on vacation is one of the most exciting things you can do.  There is the anticipation leading up to the trip, the planning, the packing, the making of arrangements, and of course the getting there. Now ever since airlines decided to charge me for checking in my luggage, I've decided to pare down my packing to fit in a carry on.  I always seem to shock my travel companions with my minuscule amount of luggage so I thought I'd share my strategies I have learned over the years.
1. The first thing you should is pick out your plane outfit.  I traveled from NY to FL on my trip, so I layered up.  I wore jeans, a sweater, a scarf, and a Northface.  Now a Northface is not what you would usually want to wear in NY but it was light enough to wear in FL on cold nights, so I cranked up the heat on the way to the airport and toughed it out.  Try to pick out clothes that take will take up the most room in your suitcase and plan to wear them on your way home too.

2. Pick a color scheme. Usually people tend to wear browns or blacks.  Pick one  and base your outfits around it.  I chose black and was able to add pops of color with my other choices.

3. Plan your outfits, every item you bring needs a purpose, plan your days out with what you are wearing and then add in additional items if you have room. Bring one pair of PJ bottoms and re-use any tops you wore during the course of the trip

4. Shoes - think about the type of trip you are going on.  I was going to Disney World which means-WALKING. I packed a pair of Sneakers, flats and flipflops.  When I traveled to Vegas I packed heels that matched all of my dresses one black, one white.

5. Jewelry - Now jewelry does not take up a lot of room but I still am a minimalist because bringing 15 necklaces on a trip usually ends a fun filled day of untangling them.  I bring travel friendly jewelry such as a chunky bangle or statement necklace.

6. Make-up/skincare/perfume - This is the hardest category for me.  The liquid rule for carry-ons is no joke.

  • When it comes to perfume I spray down my suitcase, not only does this eliminate the need for me to bring perfume but it keeps my clothes smelling great the whole trip. I am also a huge fan of the roll-on perfumes you can find at Sephora, they run around $18 and are very handy. 
  • I combine my facial moisturizer and concealer in one bottle.  
  • I use an empty container to store my facial cleanser (I bought a Lumene .5oz moisturizer and the container was really nice so I've been recycling it) 
  • My makeup-I bring a eyeshadow quad, a eyeliner, blush and mascara.  If I can I bring samples or make up thats almost gone so I can toss the containers once I'm down there
  • I take advantage of hotel amenities
7. Theres a secret weapon that I haven't mentioned yet, your travel companions! If you have a friend that is checking their luggage and you need to bring your favorite hairspray, shaving cream etc.  see if they can add it to their luggage. 

8. Scout out your destination.  I was at the Saratoga Springs Disney Resort with no car and our resort store had very few travel essentials but when I traveled over to the Polynesian Resort they had a small grocery store with all sorts of travel essentials that a person might need.  

What I packed:
2 Dresses
1 skirt
2 pairs workout pants: capri and pants
2 pairs jeans: colors black and indigo
1 pair shorts
2 workout tops
5 tank 
2 short sleeved shirts
1 long sleeved button down shirt
1 cardigan
1 pair of pj bottoms
2 workout bras
1 regular black bra

2 bangle bracelets

1 cross-body purse

1 hairbrush

9 pairs underwear/9 pair socks

When packing fold your clothes in half and roll, it saves a lot of room and makes your suit case easier to look through

Let me know if you have any tips to add or dilemmas you have run into while packing for traveling

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

12 weeks on Weight Watchers

Happy New Year!  12 weeks have passed since I've started WW and I'm 10.2 pounds down.  Now this may not seem like a lot of weight but mind you I had to navigate Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.  That's a lot of snacks, meals, cookies and drinks to think about. Now that the New Year has began I feel a rush of new motivation and a head start in weight loss for 2014!

I was not impressed with Weight Watchers at first glance but have really come around to it, things I think make WW different than an ordinary diet plan.

1.  The meetings-its good to feel you are not alone.  There are other people in the world that have ate their way through half a bag of chips or took a third helping of lasagna and better yet they live in your neighborhood.

2. The stickers- getting stickers for weight loss is super encouraging, think about the stickers you got on tests as a kid!

3. The accountability through tracking- I really thought that the transition from calories to points would be one of the things I wouldn't like about WW, I've had success with calorie counting.  The points make choices simpler and less daunting.  I like only worrying about 26 points vs 1400 calories.

4. The weigh ins- another thing I didn't think I'd be able to handle, I mean it took me awhile to let myself know my weight on the scale let alone another person!  Now I actually like it, it gives me extra motivation during the week knowing someone else is seeing my weight and knows whether I'm gaining or losing.

There are a lot of things I like about WW meetings, trust me its an investment and I wouldn't be paying if I felt like I could do it on my own just as well.  If you are toying with yet another diet I say give Weight Watchers a try, commit to 2 months and see if it works for you!