Tuesday, September 9, 2014



I have been quite obsessed with making salads in a jar lately.  I call them "Salad Jar" like salad bar... haha… get it?  Salad jar… right.  Well, these things are amazing!  I started making them about a month ago and I am hooked and now making them every week.  Since I am chopping and stuffing everything into the jars on one day and putting them into the fridge to use over the next 7 days, I am saving a ton of time!  HOLD UP!  Did you just say 7 days?  YEP! I did!  I have stretched these little gems out for 7 days of lunches or dinners!  If you follow the layering guide they are still UNBELIEVABLY fresh on day 7!  I am still so shocked about it and I have had several of these so far.

Before when I would buy lettuce for salads, I would buy my head of romaine and chop it, rinse it, spin it in the salad spinner to dry and place it in a large zip lock container with a paper towel to absorb moisture.  I would then grab from this container over the next week when I wanted to have a salad.  Truth is by day 4 the lettuce would already be starting to brown and wilt and it would never make it to day 7 and would ultimately end up in the trash!  With this jar method I can't even begin to rave about how fresh the lettuce is STILL on day 7!  It literally is like I just cut, washed and spun it.  I have read several blogs about this and the claim that these salads in a jar will stay fresh for up to 7 days and I have always been like yeah… right… until I finally decided to try it.  I am a believer and you can be a believer too, just follow the simple building directions outlined below!  ENJOY!


I love big entrĂ©e salads so I use a 1 quart wide mouth mason jar to make these salads.  You can use any size and any ingredients as long as you follow this simple layering guide.


1.            DRESSING/SAUCE
2.            HEARTY VEGETABLES (i.e. tomatoes, onions, peppers, broccoli, carrots, celery)
3.            LESS HEARTY VEGETABLES AND BEANS (i.e. mushrooms, zucchini, corn)
4.            PASTA AND GRAIN (i.e. pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa)
5.            PROTEIN AND CHEESE (i.e. meat, eggs, cheese, shrimp, chicken)
6.            LETTUCE (and anything else that would get soft or soggy such as nuts or seeds, possibly croutons or chips but I always just add those when I am ready to eat it)

When you are ready to eat your salad jar just shake it up and dump it out into a bowel to enjoy.

SALAD JAR RECIPES THAT I HAVE CREATED AND TRIED (with Weight Watchers Points Plus values)

Ken's Lite Blue Cheese Dressing (2tbs) – 2pp
Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce (1tbs) – 0pp
Cherry Tomatoes – 0pp
Red Onions – 0pp
Bell Peppers – 0pp
Broccoli – 0pp
Grilled Chicken (3oz) – 3pp
Crumbled Blue Cheese (1/8c) – 1pp
Romaine Lettuce – 0pp

Drew's Greek Salad Dressing (1tbs) – 2pp
Cherry Tomatoes – 0pp
Red Onions – 0pp
Bell Peppers – 0pp
Black Olives (5) – 1pp
Grilled Chicken (3oz) – 3pp
Crumbled Feta Cheese (1/4c) – 3pp
Romaine Lettuce – 0pp

Medium Salsa (2tbs) – 0pp
Ken's Lite Ranch (1tbs) – 1pp
Cherry Tomatoes – 0pp
Red Onions – 0pp
Bell Peppers – 0pp
Canned Corn, No Salt Added (2tbs) – 0pp
Canned Black Beans, Low Sodium (2tbs) – 1pp
Ground Turkey Taco Meat (3oz) – 3pp
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (1/2 oz) – 2pp
Romaine Lettuce – 0pp
*Optional Topper:  Blue Corn Tortilla Chips (4) – 1pp

Ken's Lite Italian Dressing (2tbs) – 2pp
Cherry Tomatoes – 0pp
Red Onions – 0pp
Bell Peppers – 0pp
Garbanzo Beans (1/4c) – 1pp
Whole Grain Pasta (1/2c) – 3pp
Grilled Chicken (3oz) – 3pp
Cubed Cheddar Cheese (1oz) – 3pp
Romaine Lettuce – 0pp

Ken's Lite Caesar Dressing (2tbs) – 2pp
Cherry Tomatoes – 0pp
Red Onions – 0pp
Bell Peppers – 0pp
Grilled Chicken (3oz) – 3pp
Grated Parmesan Cheese (2tbs) – 1pp
Romaine Lettuce – 0pp
*Optional Toppers:  Seasoned Croutons (4tbs) – 1pp

Weight Loss, Dreaded Plateau and More...


I have been away from this blog for over two years.  Over that time I had completely took control of my life and started on a journey to a healthy lifestyle.  I had lost 70 pounds, went from a size 22+ to a 12/14, and learned a whole lot about my body and what I put into it in the process.

June 2014
Mom and I May 2012

Losing weight is not easy, it is hard and you have to have it on your mind every single second of the day.  Losing weight is a HUGE commitment to yourself.  It is easy to give up, easy to fail.  Even now, 70 pounds down, I still can slip up majorly on the drop of a dime.  It is way too easy to fall back into your old habits so that is why it has to be on your mind all of the time.

I had finally reached "ONEderland" sometime around March 2014 and since then I have been gaining and losing the same 5-7 pounds continuously.  I like to call this period in my journey the DREADED PLATEAU.  Everyone talks about it, some people get there, some claim they are there when really they just in the process of giving up, some people are really there and stuck there a very long time, and some people take that plateau and kick its ass!  I want to kick its ass.  I WILL kick its ass.

So, this plateau is no laughing matter.  I remember hitting a small one when I was hit 220 but I managed to get out of that one within a month or so.  This one is insane.  No matter what I do, no matter what I eat, I am stuck.  Some people will say, "Well, that's just your body trying to tell you you don't need to lose any more weight."  Well, those people are wrong.  Please, let me be the judge of where I am and where I want to be.  I am currently 195 and my BMI is 28, which is overweight.  (*Note:  I don't really give a crap about my BMI because BMI is a terrible measure of health and should be discontinued by all healthcare professionals, but for informational reasons I will mention mine as it used to be like 38….)  So, no, I am not done.  My body is not done.  Let me be the judge of where I want MY body to go and where MY body is capable of going!  Actually, my goal is to lose 100 pounds.  That would bring me to around 162 pounds.  When I get to 162 pounds I might like, I might not.  I might want to lose more, I might want to gain a little back.  That's my decision.

I even joined Weight Watchers (WW) online a couple months ago to try to see if it was my eating that was throwing me off track, but that wasn't the case.  I have not had any success yet with WW, just the same up and down that's been going on for months.  I hit 190 and I can't get past it and then I will give up for a fleeting moment, eat too much or sit around too much and then think crap… 195 again….

I have not done a lot of research into plateaus or how to break through them because what works for one person may not work for every person.  I know they say a simple change in routine will help most of the time.  I've tried new activities and pulled out some old ones and nothing seems to make me budge the right way.


That little newborn you see in my very first (and only *sorry*) blog posts is now a 3 year old little boy who just started preschool last week.  We chose a very unique preschool that my brothers and future brother-in-law attended, because it's an amazing school, but it happens to be 30 minutes from our home.  He goes three days a week for 2.5 hours.  I won't be driving back and forth, it's not worth it.  Instead I will use that 2.5 hours to break my plateau into pieces.  My plan is to start going to the walking trail near the school and doing C25K, something I tried years ago and quit very early on.  Then when the weather gets too cold I will take it inside at a nearby gym.  I have never been much of a runner because I thought I couldn't do it.  I am still not very good at it (for now) but the feeling it gives me makes me crave it and want it more.  Hopefully by adding running to my routine it will give my metabolism the boost it needs to beat this plateau!!!!!!!!!
Chris and I with our son August 2012
Chris & I Nov. 2013


Last fall, my fiance, Chris, and I completed a Great Pumpkin Race 5K.  Chris won a bronze medal for coming in third in his age group.  I came in second to last out of EVERYONE!  BUT I came in just under 45 minutes and I set out to finish in less than 45 minutes, even if it was 44:59, I was going to do it and I did.  It was hard.  I was still getting over a terrible cough left over from a terrible two week cold, so that held me back a little.  Also, I wasn't in as good of shape as I am now.  But I am still not a great runner (yet).  ANYWAYS…. I just signed up for that race again for this October 26th.  I have seven weeks to get to where I can run for the majority of the race so that is why I chose C25K to help train me.  My goal is to win a medal at this year's race, or at the very least beat last year's score.  But I am dreaming big, I want that medal!!!!

I am writing this for accountability.  If there is someone out there reading this, I want you to know I am doing this and am changing my life!  If you are reading this and want to begin your journey or need to begin your journey, I am here for you.  I support you.  I want to inspire you and motivate you.  Whatever it is you want to do, YOU CAN!  And don't ever forget that.