Chugging Along

Nothing exciting to report.  Damn, but progress takes forever!

Weight Watchers is going well.  I love love love that most fruits and veggies are 0 points.  That might be what makes the difference for me this time, and allows me to be successful.  Because, for real, there is always a point at which I feel compelled – either by actual hunger or some feels – to have an eat attack.  And that usually derails me, because I’ve messed up, I’ve blown it – I’ve gone off my diet.  But when those moments strike… you know the ones:


I can just eat a pile of vegetables and everything is A-OK.

I’ve done my triathlon training workouts as prescribed five days in a row.  That feels pretty good.  I have a Groupon for a massage, and I promised myself that if I do all my workouts through Sunday, I’ll book it as a little reward.

That is the State of the Gina.  How are you doing?


3-pronged approach

Today I plunked down $70 for 4 months of Weight Watchers.  I’m… optimistic?  Almost any health/nutrition plan works if you can stick with it and make it a lifestyle change, rather than a “diet.”  The tricky part is finding something that fits that description for you.

I’m already trying to figure out how to keep my (210-day!) streak in MyFitnessPal going while on WW, though, because hell if I’m gonna track everything I eat, drink and do in both places.  Just no.


Weight Watchers for food, triathlon training for exercise, and my 25+ years of weight loss research and trial and error for everything else.  Like, I know it’s important to drink enough water and get enough sleep.  I know not to self-sabotage with all-or-nothing thinking.  I know I can reference my long list of proven delicious healthy recipes.

I just have to do it.

Healthy Recipe: Roasted Pork Tenderloin Tacos

This recipe was quick and so satisfying and tasty!  My favorite part was making the pickled onions… I’ve seen them at Mexican restaurants, but I had no idea how easy they’d be to make. Enjoy!


Photo credit: Cooking

from Cooking Light


1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons mojo marinade, such as Goya (I couldn’t find this, so I grabbed a packet of fajita seasoning and it worked great!  You could also do a simple rub with garlic salt, fresh pepper, and chipotle chili powder)
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 ripe avocado, cut into 16 wedges
1/4 cup Mexican crema (it you have trouble finding it, you can substitute sour cream thinned with a little lime juice)


1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Sprinkle pork with pepper and salt. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pork; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place pan in oven. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145° (slightly pink); let stand 5 minutes. Cut crosswise into 16 slices. Combine pork and mojo marinade (or seasonings) in a medium bowl; toss to coat pork.
3. Combine vinegar, 3 tablespoons water, and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add onion. Let stand 10 minutes; drain.
4. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, toast in a pan or over a flame of a gas burner until tender and blackened in spots. Arrange 2 pork slices in center of each tortilla; top with about 2 tablespoons onion, 1/2 teaspoon minced jalapeño, 2 avocado wedges, and 1 1/2 teaspoons crema.

By the way, as kitchen tools go, I can’t recommend tortilla warmers highly enough. To make really good tacos, you’ve got to heat the tortillas (I like doing it directly on the burners; it makes me feel like a badass, plus you get that open-flame-cooked taste), and keep them warm until you’re ready to serve. I’ve bought a lot of kitchen stuff I don’t use… but I use this all the time. A solid ($7.99) investment!


Photo Credit:

Nutritional Information (entire recipe makes 4 servings of 2 tacos each): 362 Calories, 16.9 grams Fat, 28 grams Protein, 27 grams Carbohydrates

Healthy Recipe: Three-Chile-Dusted Shrimp with Corn Relish

How is this recipe a crowd-pleaser? Let me count the ways: it’s light, fresh, flavorful, seasonal, a little spicy, a little sweet, gluten-free, dairy-free. So, um… eight, off the top of my head. Added bonus: it’s really quick and easy to make. Enjoy!


Photo credit: Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke

from Cooking Light


3 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 chopped red bell pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 14.5oz can yellow corn
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped green onions


Combine 2 teaspoons sugar, chili powder, chile powders, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Add shrimp to spice mixture; toss well to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup onion, bell pepper, garlic, and ginger to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and corn to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar; cook 30 seconds. Transfer corn mixture to a bowl; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup green onions.

Wipe pan with a paper towel. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until done, turning once. Serve with corn mixture.

Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Information: 342 Calories, 9.6 grams Fat, 28 grams Carbohydrates, 37.9 grams Protein

Healthy Recipe: Meatballs & Peppers

I’m back from Northern California! I finished my (extremely challenging) Olympic-distance triathlon there (more on that soon)! Now begins the long haul to Big Kahuna. And, as promised, I’m going to try to get back to the routine of this blog: healthy recipes on Mondays, progress reports on Wednesdays, and various musings/race reports/etc. on the regular. Welcome back!

This recipe is something I made recently for a weeknight dinner with the husband. It’s fairly quick and easy, but the portion size is a little skimpy. Luckily, you can have two servings with a side of instant mashed potatoes (hypothetically, of course) and the whole dinner will still clock in at under 750 calories, which isn’t too bad.


Photo credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

From Cooking Light


1 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
1 1/3 cups water
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 (1-ounce) slice whole-wheat bread
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg white
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar


Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
While the peppers are cooking, place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form to measure 1/2 cup. Combine breadcrumbs, beef, and next 6 ingredients (beef though garlic) in a bowl, shaping mixture into 28 (1-inch) meatballs. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs; cook for 10 minutes, browning on all sides.
Combine flour and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add to bell pepper mixture in saucepan. Add meatballs; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the basil and vinegar. Remove bay leaf.

Nutritional Information (total yield is four servings of 7 meatballs and 1 cup pepper mixture each): 263 Calories, 9.8 grams Fat, 12.4 grams Carbohydrates, 30.2 grams Protein

TWE: Day 4

Day 4: Wednesday, April 2

  • Weight: 222
  • Net Calories: 1871
  • Exercise: 30 minutes of walking

I fudged the bucket. I really need to stop putting off my workouts until I’m too tired to do them!

Other than not getting my scheduled bike ride in (which I am making up today – shh, don’t tell Coach Irondad, he doesn’t like when I don’t let go of missed workouts), yesterday was pretty good. We had friends over, and tried Plated – have you heard of this? They send you a dinner recipe and all of the ingredients for it.




I made their Citrus Soy Chicken Thighs with Soba Noodles and everyone seemed to like it pretty well. My ultimate verdict was that it’s a neat idea but not really worth the normal price if you’re the type of person who’s already good at putting together a menu and doesn’t mind grocery shopping. But it was totally worth it for “free” – I just paid s&h, which was $20. Let me know if you want a referral code to do the same!

Healthy Recipe: Citrus-Glazed Shrimp with Cilantro Rice

This was good: easy enough to throw together in the hour I had between getting home from work and guests arriving, but also really tasty and more sophisticated than plain rice or one of those pre-packaged sides.


You know what I’m talking about. Just say no to these (at least when you’re having company).


from Cooking Light


Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Cindy Barr


1 cup long-grain white rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated lime rind
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons butter


1. To prepare rice, cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add cilantro, oil, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and green chiles, stirring to combine.
2. To prepare shrimp, while rice cooks, combine shrimp, garlic, lime rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt, chile powder, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl, tossing to coat shrimp.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice and butter; cook 1 minute, tossing to coat. Remove from pan. Serve shrimp with rice.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: about 1/2 cup rice and 6 shrimp)

Nutritional Information: 344 Calories, 10.9 grams Fat, 40.7 grams Carbohydrates, 19.2 grams Protein