After me talking about how trying to stay good for Valentines Day would only help our diets...I had been thinking about trying a new recipe (so I could get a taste) and found that I couldn't decide between two recipes.
My intention is to make these recipes and only take a small taste and bring them into work as a gesture of love on Valentines Day (more like good will, love is too strong a word for co-workers....sometimes I need other departments to do things for me quickly, bringing up the fact that I bring in baked goods always helps) .
So I went with (2) easy peasy recipes, both gotten off Pinterest. The ingredients for both - pretty much everything you would have on hand (hidden away so you didn't make anything tempting)...both include the added bonus of taking your frustrations out on cookies and pretzels.
Smash oreos (use a big plastic baggie), the should be the consistency of dirt
Mix with cream cheese
Roll into balls, you can place balls on waxed paper
Melt your chocolate according to directions and then cover balls in chocolate, then place back on wax paper.
Then put in refrigerator to cool and harden
You can decorate with sprinkles, or nuts too!
Pretzel Crust Brownies
4 C pretzels ¾ C unsalted butter (1.5 sticks) ½ C sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Line a 13x9 inch pan with a foil, letting some of it hang over the edges (this will allow us to lift the brownies out of the pan for easier cutting and presentation). Be sure to spray the foil with cooking spray or butter and flour.
Process the pretzels in a food processor (or crush them in a sealed ziploc bag), until small, not to powder.
Melt the butter. Mix the crushed pretzels, sugar and melted butter in a mixing bowl until combined. Press the mixture into the baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust has set.
Cool the baked pretzel crust in the refrigerator.Put down a layer or two of dish towels under the pan to avoid breaking any glass or melting plastic while in the refrigerator.
For the brownie batter, you can use a box mix, or make a recipe of your own.
Carefully, spread the batter over the cooled pretzel crust with a spatula or icing knife.
Bake the brownies for 35 to 40 minutes, checking occasionally with a toothpick in the middle for doneness. Once the toothpick comes out fairly clean, remove the brownies from the pan by lifting the foil out and set aside to cool.
The recipe has a buttercream icing layer also - As with the brownies, you can use whatever buttercream recipe that you would like.
Frost the cooled brownies and top each with a whole pretzel.
The OREO cookie balls...if you are going to make these-work quick with the melted chocolate, or only use 1/2 at a time. It gets hard pretty quick, mine did and thankfully I melted using a double boiler - so I only used 1/2 and when it got hard, I still had some melted on the stove!! Before the picture below they were kinda plain, so I used the extra melted chocolate and drizzled a bit over them to give them a nicer look. The one that is split in half, I had 1/2, gave hubby the other half..they are rich!!! But very good.
The Pretzel Brownies... the pretzel mix baking smelled divine!!! I skipped the Buttercream frosting as I ran out of butter, plus I thought it might be too much . These are still in the oven, I will post a picture tomorrow!!
***ADDING IN LATE***
Ended up adding the Buttercream Frosting...as I made the mistake of taking the brownies out of pan before totally cooled and they cracked...This recipe makes 3 cups, I cut it in half.
Best Buttercream Frosting
1 cup salted butter (2 sticks), softened
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
Using a paddle beater, beat softened butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
Add sifted confectioner's sugar and stir on low until incorporated.
Add vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream. Beat on medium-high for 3 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides once or twice.
If a thinner frosting is desired, add additional heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Have a TERRIFIC NIGHT and a WONDERFUL VALENTINE'S DAY!!!
Sandra sent a very nice note (THANK YOU) and it got me thinking about age and the problems we all face as we get older.
I know when I was younger, it was nothing for me to basically cut majority of calories in and lose weight with no problem. As I have gotten older - it's not that easy. As you all know, I have tried several different diets, some I lost fast, some not so fast. The first year doing the diets, the weight seem to come off so much quicker.
There has been research that has shown people usually drop about 5% to 10% of their starting weight in the first three to six months on a program. For many people, that's a loss of 10 to 20 pounds. After that, some people just hit a brick wall and their weight plateaus.
Losing this much is the motivation for many of us to keep going, but if you have noticed getting past that initial motivational loss has been difficult – it’s not your attempts at losing that is holding you back it is our bodies betraying our efforts. From what I have read about our body’s betrayal – there is a hunger hormone called ghrelin that increases our appetite, and a hormone that causes fullness called leptin which in turn decreases our appetite, basically making our bodies fight to keep the weight on and not letting go.
So what is GHRELIN?
Ghrelin is an appetite hormone. Having high levels of ghrelin can make high-calorie foods look more appealing (the reason you might go for that chocolate cake over a salad). The effects of high ghrelin levels can mimic fasting, the reason for this is when we fast It increases the hormone ghrelin. Now think about if you were to fast –or- cut back too much - you find you are craving quick carbs (so when I am hungry and nothing is prepared to grab quick - explains why I reach for candy, cookies, cakes, etc…). Ghrelin may influence our eating behavior partly through stimulating the brain systems, once we feed it the satisfying carbs it seems to calm down. Ghrelin, which originates in the stomach and declines soon after meals. Ghrelin levels in the blood are higher before we eat food. When you eat a meal, the levels of ghrelin come down and then rise again before the next meal.
There are other factors that may make weight loss more difficult for some people than others, such as genes, loss of muscle mass, lower overall levels of physical activity, poor eating habits, the list can go on… Changing levels of hormones, including estrogen in women, also affect weight as people age. Studies have found women had lower metabolism after menopause than before.
Postmenopausal women burn an average of 100 to 150 fewer calories a day just resting and doing their everyday activities, and they were less physically active for a total drop of about 200 calories a day after menopause. The lower metabolism appears to have to do with changing levels of estrogen and not changes in muscle mass. And there is evidence that a lack of estrogen increases appetite and can cause specific cravings for certain foods, especially carbohydrates and fats.
Now reading that last paragraph you may think woman are the only ones that can have low or lack of estrogen, but it affects men too. For men, low estrogen can have other adverse effects on their body – and it goes the other way also, if men have too much estrogen they can risk strokes and other issues.
Increase your activity, slowly add a little longer onto your daily walk. Really look at what you are eating, make notes for a couple of days and look at where you may be over eating, or where you can cut down on too may carbs and increase veggies, fruit and protein.
If you are having problems losing weight, or it seems to have just slowed down to a point you are not happy with – check with your doctor, he/she can do a simple blood test to check your levels and offer suggestions on how to get that metabolism moving a bit quicker.
I hope your day was WONDERFUL!! I have a dentist appointment tonight so dinner will be very light and soft (possibly just eggs). othr than that a good day overall for me.
Positive Results - help motivate Positive Actions!!
SEE OUR PROGRESS!!!
DIET OF CHOICE
Rotation (1 Day Count Calories, 1 Day Rice, 1 Day Juicing)
I do not know about you guys - - but I overdid it yesterday with a few Super Bowl munches...I was not overly bad - but bad enough that this mornings weigh in has me up a pound from last week!!! This after spending (2) days with a stomach virus - I thought for sure I would be down vs. up.
Please get your weigh-ins to me!!
This post is directed at the guys today...this was a good article (with meal plan) in People Magazine for Tim McGraw (country singer)....
Tim McGraw: How He Got That Body
By Alicia Dennis
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Tim McGraw, before and after
The good news: Tim McGraw is shirtless in the new issue of PEOPLE, showing off an impressive set of abs. The bad news: It takes (a lot!) of hard work to get the country star's rock-hard eight-pack. And when the 6-foot star, 45, gets ready to go out on the road, he turns up the workout to a whole new level.
"No one wants to grow up to be a rock star to sing the same song over and over again in a studio," says McGraw, who has maintained a 40-lb. weight loss in recent years. "The reason you want to do this is to be in front of thousands of people, playing that guitar and doing what you love. And when I'm on stage, I want to feel good."
McGraw will hit the work-out sessions hard in the upcoming months to prepare for his Two Lanes of Freedom tour in May; the new album hits stores next week. To make sure he has all the right moves, he trains with martial arts expert and stunt man Roger Yuan, 52, three times a day five weeks prior to hitting the road.
"We work with pulleys, bars and do core training, strength and balanced movements to build up the muscles between the ribs and connective tissues," says Yuan, who also got Daniel Craig in shape to play James Bond. "I have trained a lot of people and many are hard workers. But Tim is another animal. I have to reign him in and have to tell him, 'You can't do that much.' There is no quitting in him."
Though McGraw says he still indulges occasionally, he trains and diets before tours because "it's part of my job," he says.
"I'll eat a cheeseburger now and then, and I love sweet tea," says McGraw, who works out around four hours a day when he's not performing. "I like to eat. I like food. That is one of the reasons that I throw that extra hour of working out in."
Tim's Typical Routine
7 a.m. Wake up 8 oz. Hot water, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, manuka honey UMF10+
Breakfast Fresh berries (blue, black, straw), muesli, natural yogurt, mixed in a regular cereal bowl OR Organic oats/bran porridge with raisins, sliced banana, maple syrup
8-9 a.m. Morning training session
10 a.m. Protein break Fresh made Spelt flour pancakes made with soy milk, egg whites, powdered linseed/goji berries/flax seed Optional toppings: fresh fruit compote or almond butter, or natural yogurt, and maple syrup
12-1 p.m. Midday training session
1:15 p.m. Lunch Tuna mixed with chopped onions, celery, lemon juice and zest, Bragg's Aminos (soy sauce), chopped pickled sushi ginger, natural yogurt, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup Served on halved avocado with side of alfalfa sprout/beetroot/spinach and rocket salad seasoned with rock salt, ground pepper, balsamic and olive oil
3 p.m. Snack Handful of nuts almonds, pecans, or walnuts with a fruit smoothie
4:15-5:30 p.m. Afternoon training session Specificity training, including stretch, warm down and 10-minute physio-massage After training snack: apple or handful of grapes
7:30 p.m. Dinner Grilled salmon marinated with lime juice, ginger, Vietnamese fish sauce, paprika, brown sugar and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, chopped coriander and basil mix Serve with blanched or stir fry green beans, or asparagus (olive oil and balsamic dressing) and sliced lightly fried polenta slices
Nice HEALTHY diet and Exercise regimen!! For me it's nice to find men's success stories - I know I mainly put up woman related stories - women seem to publish their accomplishments more often...Hope this brings some more motivation to you guys...and ladies (TG ain't looking to bad)
This week marks the 1/2 way mark. This coming Monday's results we all need to review and make a determination if the diet we chose we want to stick with or change up if we are not seeing the intial results we had hoped for. Sometimes the body gets used to being comfortable and just does not want to budge (that's why I changed to Rapid Results via Michael Thurmond). You are the only one that can make the decision that is best for you - just make sure to keep it healthy and do not do anything to yourself that will harm your health!!
That all being said, I was reading about this fairly new "4 Minute Fat Burning Training" called TABATA. I say fairly new as it's only recently started to show up as classes in at gym locations in my area. It's been around since 1996, based on a study by Professor Izumi Tabata to train Olympic Speedskaters. It involves intense training for 20 seconds, then 10 seconds of rest and repeat continuously for four minutes (8 cycles). My Boot Camp Classes were similar to this (only longer duration between rests).
The reason TABATA is found to have great results is that it's High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and that increases your aerobic (lung) capacity and your anaerobic capacity (how long you can exercise for at maximum effort). Tabata training builds muscle & your metabolic rate - the speed at which your body breaks down fat and burns calories - increases in the 24 to 36 hours after doing it.
The AWESOME Bottom line....you lose weight quicker.
It's something to keep in mind if you are looking for a shorter more intense work-out with great side effects (lose weight quicker)...My own personal experience with Boot Camp - those 10 second intervals for a break are uses to gasp for air and catch your breath - it's tough - but I did feel great after a workout!!!
As with diet changes, exercise changes (especially intense exercise) - CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE HEALTHY ENOUGH TO DO IT!!
For all of us - so far what we are doing is working. A nice mix of Atkins, Weight Watcher, Nutri-System, Jenny Craig, etc...it's up to you - but also keep in mind - if it works keep with it!!! Let's get through tomorrow and this weekend with another loss and end the first (4) weeks with a LOSS!!!
The End of The World did not happen........OBVIOUSLY!!
Here we are the weekend leading up to the Christmas Holiday.
WHERE DID THE YEAR GO???
With New Year's right around the corner - now until January 2, 2013 will be a blur of rushing around, eating and trying to catch our breath. There will be no rest for the weary!!
Food (more accurately, desserts) - will be the filler to my holiday season - eating out of sadness and missing my sister tremendously :o( :o( :o( .
I have officially ended this "Drop 33 or Lose 35 by Christmas". I wasn't able to stick to today between danish and homemade cookies brought into work by the diet sabotours - basically my breakfast & lunch...it's way past dinner time and I am still not hungry.
I have decided to temporary sign off until the New Year. I will be popping some posts in but I really want to get set-up for the New Year.
I have been asked more times than I can remember what diet works the best. What works for me might not work for you, but I have (3) that I tend to feel worked the best. I am going to re-review those diets to refresh my memory and the New Year Diet will be about devoting the first (6) weeks to one -or- a combination of the (3) to get a jump start into the New Year. I'd like to make it a (12) week contest - which would be (3) full months...but I don't want to scare you off....I may run a (2) part contest....I have to think through the set-up :o)
It takes (5) weeks of doing something to become routine...I added the extra week for "Just In Case" of a Slow Start -or- a Slip....
A new diet is starting January 7, 2013 (1/7/2013) - on Monday, of the first FULL WEEK of the New year. I will be doing something different. Whoever wants to join me is welcome. I will be running a contest and there will be some sort of giveaway (nothing big, but something...as my grandmother would say, I am not a Rockefeller, apparently they were the richest people back in the day).
More info to come between now and the Start of the Contest.
Keep checking back for updates...plus for a Morning Motivation and any posts I am able to get up here.
WHAT A DAY!! Early morning shopping and the rest of the day - Pizza & Gingerbread House decorating with my brother & sister-in-laws...what a blast!!
My mother-in-law & one of my sister-in laws put the entire day together and it was a lot of fun. Nine of us decorated (and were judged on our creations).
Since I was completely off for the day (I did have the morning fruit - a banana), the rest of the day was Pizza, licking icing off fingers and munching on bits of candy here & there...
We had so much fun that we all talked about what we could do next year! Apparently one of my sister-in-laws co-workers family does this every year to get everyone together in a fun and relaxed atmosphere and out of the crazy rushing around for the holidays - IT WAS A BRILLIANT IDEA!
The tables were set for the competition...
Extra goodies for creations (plus we brought our own secret staff of stuff)...
The competitiors......(We identified the houses - I hope I remembered them correctly!!)
The Alpine Chalet, The Train Station and Santas Man House (his getaway)...
The North Pole Hospital, Mr & Mrs. Claus Home, The Elves Work Shop
The Elves houses and the Reindeer barn.
The competition came down to two (TIE BREAKER)
AND THE WINNER WAS....
My Brother-in-law....He even got a Special Trophy...
What'd I tell you....A Special "Gingerbread Decorating Trophy!!!
This took us over four hours and it really was a great time! I highly recommend it for taking the stress of the season away.
I hope your Saturday was wonderful (and stress free)
Talk to you more tomorrow! I think I am crashing from all the sugar I had today!! :o)
This story was on Huffington Post this morning and I had to share.
This is CHARITY! Not giving your money to an organization that you have no idea where the money does. Here you see the money in action. If everyone took it upon them selves to help without question on the spot, the world would be such a better place.
Never look down upon anyone unless you are helping them up!!!
You have to like what NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo did for a barefoot man in Manhattan one frigid night this month. In fact, more than 260,000 Facebook users have "liked" DePrimo's actions, a number that's growing every day.
After a tourist from Arizona snapped a photo of DePrimo, of Holbrook, giving the man socks and boots to ward off the cold, the image became an instant hit on the NYPD's Facebook page.
PHOTO (Story continues below):
As of late Wednesday, the photo had been shared 47,716 times, boosting subscribers to the department's 5-month-old page by 7,000, to 95,000, officials said.
"I had two pairs of wool winter socks and combat boots, and I was cold," DePrimo, 25, said Wednesday, recalling the night of Nov. 14, when he encountered an unidentified, shoeless man on the sidewalk on Seventh Avenue near 44th Street.
DePrimo offered to get him socks and shoes.
"I never had a pair of shoes," the man replied, according to DePrimo, who's assigned to the Sixth Precinct and has been on the force nearly three years.
The officer walked to a Skechers store on 42nd Street and shelled out $75 for insulated winter boots and thermal socks. He returned to the man, knelt down and put the footwear on him.
"He smiled from ear to ear," DePrimo said. "It was like you gave him a million dollars."
The officer asked the man if he wanted a cup of coffee, but he graciously declined and went on his way.
"I didn't think anything of it," DePrimo said of his generosity.