November 08, 2013

It's not you...It's me.

I've been neglecting you (I've been neglecting a lot of things...) Sorry about that.  I'm riddled with excuses. They include:

  • I'm exhausted
  • I don't have time
  • My new job takes up the majority of my brain waves
  • I'm planning a wedding
  • I haven't written down my last 3 recipes and have now forgotten them (see bullet point 3)
We're at 6 months until "I do." I've been stuck at the same weight for 4 months.  I haven't gained - but I haven't lost.  Coincidentally, I've had my new job for 4 months.  Here's my hypothesis, and here's what I'm doing about it: 

September 09, 2013

Nectarine BBQ Sauce

Happy Monday, UFG'ers!
Today's recipe is a winner - such a great way to use any kind of stone fruit that is a bit over-ripe.  This past Christmas, I got The Mailman a selection of fancy artisanal mustard from Trader Joe's.  I'm always looking for ways to incorporate them into my cooking.  For this one, I used the Black Currant mustard - but you can just use dijon if you don't have something fancy.  But trust me - invest in some fancy mustard - it will change your life.  Add it to pork, chicken - whatever!  Stone ground mustard too - amazing.
I put this bbq sauce on chicken and on a turkey burger.  Absolutely amazing.  The perfect summer into fall sauce! Recipe after the jump - enjoy!

August 19, 2013

Balsamic Poached Chicken

Happy Monday!
I'm baaaaack! (at least for now)  I can come up with a million exucses as to why I haven't blogged in a month - but the bottom line, friends?  I'm flippin' busy\exhausted\don't feel like being in front of a computer at home after being in front of a computer at work!
But I'm still UFG - and I'm still bringing you mailman approved recipes!

UFG-Mailman Wedding update!
Engagement pics are done and we're obsessed with them!

Today's recipe is amazing.  You can find it in a lot of different places - and some of them add some extra ingredients - like soy sauce.  For me - simple is the way to go.  3 ingredients - chicken breasts, chicken stock, and balsamic vinegar.  It results in the most amazingly moist and flavorful chicken you'll ever have.   Please let me know if you try it!
Recipe after the jump:

July 15, 2013

UFG Banana Pudding Trifle

Happy Monday, UFG'ers! 
So much happening at the UFG household!
The UFG wedding extravaganza is officially on!  Deposit has been put down on the venue and I said yes to the dress!  Excitement abounds! All we have to do is firm up the menu and the big stuff is done - it's pretty much the best feeling in the world.
Today is week 2 at the new jobby and it's fantastic. It's going to be a lot of work, but it's a wonderful company and I couldn't be more excited!
On to today's recipe.  I had to make a dessert for a 4th of July with my sister and her family and wanted to make something in my new trifle dish - and thus, UFG Banana Pudding Trifle was born! The pudding is homemade and couldn't be easier - it's dessert after all, so there are a couple of splurges, like real whipped cream, but the stuf in the can is pure chemical, and in the end, it's healthier to use all natural ingredients.   I hope you enjoy this trifle as much as my family and I did! (The Mailman pretty much devoured it)  Recipe after the jump!

July 01, 2013

Porkette Enchiladas and July Boot Camp

Happy Monday, UFG'ers.
I know, I know - I've been MIA.  It's a long story - but I had an unexpected "vacation" and unexpectedly filled it to the brim.  The happy ending is that I start a great new job in a week and everything is back to its harmonious balance.

First thing's first - here's July's UFG Bridal Boot Camp!  This one is pretty good - I did it this morning and was out. of. breath!
3 circuits this time: #1 (you'll need a staircase) - 30 seconds of step ups, 10 incline push ups (3xs)
                               #2 (on your mat) -  20 flutter kicks, 15 toe touch crunches (3xs)
                               #3 (standing up) - 10 bent over fly, 12 bicep curls (3xs)
Here's the download: DOWNLOAD HERE

Today's recipe is de.lish.  The Italian Festival in Delaware was not too long ago, and I had a craving for porkette!  This recipe is my version - slimmed down, chock full of broccoli rabe, and using Sargento Thin Sliced cheese.  It's all natural cheese, and 40 calories a slice - since it's thin.  Perfect!
I'm curious to hear your thoughts in the comments!  Recipe after the jump

June 11, 2013

UFG Orange Chicken

Happy Tuesday, UFG'ers!
Funny thing about today's recipe:  I've had it for months and forgot about it!  It's good.  Really good.  I'm so glad I found it and can share it with you!

Things are going well in wedding land - semi on track with the UFG Bridal Boot Camp and getting ready for our engagement pictures at the end of this month!  I also finished my first wedding craft!  Check it out!

Very proud of myself, haha.
Today's recipe after the jump - I hope you love it!

June 03, 2013

The Ultimate UFG Picnic

Happy Monday, UFG'ers!

It's Day 1 of UFG June Bridal Boot Camp!  Have you downloaded the workout yet?  Had a great workout this morning.
It's only takes about 10 minutes (if you take a break between sets) - but you'll sweat!  (especially if you're on the east coast and haven't turned the air on like myself and The Mailman!!).

I had a packed schedule this weekend - and it included a family reunion with my super awesome Italian family.  It's always so great seeing cousins I haven't seen in years!  (Don't worry, I supplied the wine...)

I ate way more than I should have - and am feeling the bloated effects today!  It got me thinking - what would I serve at UFG Family Reunion?   So today, I'm linking up to some past recipes to make the Ultimate UFG Picnic!  
Full menu after the jump: 

May 31, 2013

June UFG Bridal Boot Camp

Happy Friday!
Here it is: June's Bridal Boot Camp.  I'm pretty sure I've been a little too ambitious with this one.   I made it easy for May - so it's time to get down to bizness.  Engagement pics on June 30th means it's go time!

This month, we've got 2 reps of the following: 50 jumping jacks, 5 ELEVATED push ups, 20 mountain climbers and a 30 second plank.  2 times a day, if you can.  To be honest, I'd rather get all 6 days in once a day than get 3 days in twice - if that makes any sense.  And of course, 6 days twice a day is ideal - but a lofty goal!

I hope The Mailman is ready to give some massages, 'cause I'm gonna need them....

May 28, 2013

True Lemon - 100% UFG Approved!

Happy Tuesday that feels like a Monday, UFG'ers! How was everyone's holiday weekend?  Not too much cheating, I hope!
Let's get down to biz-ness, UFG'ers. Drinking enough water everyday is tough, but I've just the thing to make sure I get my 8 glasses a day!  I've discovered True Lemon, and I'm in love.  I found it at Pathmark last week, it was on sale, and I'm regretting not stocking up!

The ingredients include:

  • Crystallized lemon 
  • Organic evaporated cane juice

  • That's it! No preservatives, natural ingredients and gluten free, for those with sensitivity.  (and no calories!)

    May 17, 2013

    UFG Not-So-Devilish Eggs

    Happy Friday friends! Lots to update you on - sorry I've been so quiet!  I'm 25lbs down so far and am really seeing a difference from the UFG Bridal Boot Camp.  My arms are getting toned and I'm definitely losing inches! All good things.
    I got myself a part time jobby at a gym! I haven't had time to work out there yet, since the Mailman and I have been nonstop.
    Side note:  I feel like I say that all the time.  In fact - I just got the following text from the Mailman: "I'm a different kind of exhausted today.  Like, I need a week off from any activity exhausted."  I believe we've over-extended ourselves.  I could barely get out of bed this morning.  The worst part?  There's no signs of things slowing down until the end of June! Fingers crossed for a more relaxing July! 
    Back to the part time job.  It's at Plexus Fitness in Wilmington.  The staff and the members could not be more awesome and I'm pumped about it.  I don't even see the money from it - it goes right into the wedding account! Easy job to help pay for the wedding, and an easy job to keep afterwards to have fun money! Snaps all around.

    In other news: I'm on the hunt for a non-dairy, sugar free all natural protein! Is Pea Protein the answer to my prayers?  Any UFG'ers out there who have tried it?  Give me your thoughts in the comments!

    We had a great Mother's Day this past weekend.  I made these Not So Devilish Eggs and they were a hit!  Of course there's a secret ingredient and OF COURSE it's cauliflower! I love pureeing cauliflower into things almost as much as I love Chia seeds.   You're friends will never know these deviled eggs are actually angelic!   This makes a big batch - 18 whole eggs, so you'll be ready to feed a crowd! Recipe after the jump!

    May 01, 2013

    Coconut Chicken with Mango Chutney

    Happy Wednesday, UFG'ers! The week is half way done and it's the first day of May!  That means Monday starts a new month of UFG Bridal Boot Camp.
    This month's boot camp features weights and an exercise ball. Double the core workout! You're going to do 5 reps of the following: 15 chest presses, 10 skull crushers, 15 hip raises and 10 leg raises.  All on the exercise ball, twice a day. Here's the download (with pictures!)

    On to today's recipe.  This was enthusiastically Mailman approved.  It. Was. Amazing.  I searched high and low for unsweetened coconut that wasn't crazy expensive (I'm lookin' at you, rip off natural food stores...).  FINALLY I found it at Giant! This stuff is dehydrated shredded coconut - and because it's dehydrated (meaning all the coconut milk is sucked out) it's 40% less fat on top of being unsweetened!  It's a UFG win!

    The second trick is using pumpkin pie spice in the chutney.  It's all the spices you need - so no need to spend the money and buy them all separately!
    Next up for me is definitely coconut shrimp - so stay tuned!  Recipe after the jump....

    April 25, 2013

    Tennis, Anyone?

    Happy almost Friday, UFG'ers!   It blows my mind that it's the end of April! Anyone else?

    Quick little update for you:  As of my last doctor's appointment, I had lost 2 inches off my waist and hips in 2 months! Very happy with my progress thus far.  I'm starting to build muscle and tone up as a result of the Bridal Boot-Camp and my doctor can see the difference - as can The Mailman.  All good things!

    In an effort to add cardio to my workouts, The Mailman and I have started "playing tennis."  Please know, I use the term playing tennis generously.  We. Are. Horrible.   I mean, I can only imagine what it must look like to the occasional passer-by.  Hilarious, I'm sure.  We are completely out of breath after an hour!
    The important thing?  We have fun! We've found something that we can do together, get our heart rates up, and laugh while we're doing it.  We may piss off everyone else on the tennis courts, but they aren't having NEARLY as much fun as we are!  (....and might I bring up, my doubles partner Annia and I were undefeated in 8th grade! We were kind of a big deal...and probably cheated....)

    So that's that.  A new exercise  inches lost - aaaaaand an amazing coconut chicken and mango chutney recipe coming this weekend!  You guys are going to flip for this one. It's amaaaaaaze.

    I want to hear from you, UFG'ers! What are you doing to get some fun cardio time in?

    April 16, 2013

    Chia Seed Strawberry Jam & Bridal Boot - Camp Week 1

     Happy Tuesday, UFG'ers!  Sunday was the end of UFG Bridal Boot-Camp Week 1, and it went pretty well!  Let's check out my progress:

    Alllllllright.  So I only did one workout on Wednesday and didn't get to it on Sunday (it was a rough day...), BUT I did spend 2 hours at the gym on Thursday, so I feel pretty good about it!
    Boot-Camp along with me, won't you?  Download the tracker here.

    On to today's recipe!  My love of Chia Seeds is well documented.  This jam is great.  Don't expect store-bought taste, because you won't get it.  This is raw! (stay tuned for version 2, where I cook the strawberries first.)   Now, I ground up the chia seeds because The Mailman doesn't like the texture of them - but let me know if you try it with whole ones!  This jam would be great with peanut butter, on top of banana slices, or on a light dessert!
    Recipe after the jump!

    April 05, 2013

    UFG's Bridal Boot-Camp Begins

    Happy Friday UFG'ers!  The weekend is here and I couldn't be more excited.  The Mailman and I are going to Brooklyn to visit some of my favorite people in the world in my favorite city in the world for my birthday celebration!
    So far, 30 is lookin' good!
    You may remember - The Mailman and I got engaged 2 weeks ago!  Well - Bridal Boot-Camp time is here.  Although I've come a long way with my weight loss, it's time to kick it into high gear and get wedding dress ready!
    Since we're on a very tight budget and cutting back on spending, a trainer or gym membership isn't in the cards - so here's my plan for a bridal boot-camp at home!

    April 03, 2013

    "Potato" Pierogies

    Happy Hump Day, UFG'ers! Today's recipe certainly isn't authentic, but it is deeelish.  The Mailman and I love pierogies and we often buy Mrs. T's because she makes a whole grain version that is lower in calories than other brands.  It's a pretty fantastic treat.

    Side story:  When I lived in Los Angeles, my friend Danielle gave me one of my favorite housewarming presents that I still use 7 years later.  I loooove my immersion blender and urge you to buy one if you don't have one - they are super handy.

    Back to pierogi:
    For my version, I use wonton wrappers (not in the least authentic, haha) and cauliflower to replace the potato.  By mixing the cauliflower with one small potato - you still get the texture and some potato flavor - The Mailman didn't even notice it wasn't potato until I told him!
    A lot of the recipes I looked at said to boil the pierogi before browning them in the skillet.  Doing this yielded disastrous results for me - so mine went right into the skillet and were just fine - but boil away if it works for you!
    Recipe after the jump!

    March 20, 2013

    I'm Engaged! (and German Cabbage Rolls)

    Hi UFG'ers!
    Big News! The Mailman put a ring on it! This week's awesomeness includes being 20 lbs down AND a ridiculously gorgeous engagement ring! I'm beyond thrilled.  I guess now it's time for UFG Bridal Bootcamp!

    I spent some time in Germany in high school and ate. a. lot. ha! I think I gained about 15 pounds that summer! Fresh bologna, fresh rye bread and fresh butter - nothing's better! 
    My time in Germany is the inspiration for today's recipe.  I recently found out that The Mailman likes cabbage! I thought he hated it - and I love it - so I never made it.  Well, my friends - game. changer.  
    I love this recipe.  It uses a bit of beer (it is German, after all!), so make sure you use a good one.  No Miller or Bud Light here, ok?  I used one of my favorite Witbiers, and I suggest you do the same.

    In Germany, these would usually use beef or pork, but I ground my own chicken and put in some mushrooms to keep the moisture in.  
    Recipe after the jump! 

    March 11, 2013

    BMI - Useful or Useless?

    Happy Monday, UFG'ers! 
    As I go through this journey with my doctor - there's one measurement that keeps coming up - BMI.  BMI stand for Body Mass Index and it's considered the standard to finding the amount of fat that makes up a persons body.   It's usually found by dividing your weight in pounds by your height in inches.  A healthy weight is a BMI of 18.5-24.9; overweight is 25-29.9; and obese is 30 or higher.

    I hate this number.  Hate it.  I started doing some research on what BMI really means, and if it's really accurate.  Here's what I found:

    March 03, 2013

    I Was Given A Challenge...

    Friday at work, my friend and UFG enthusiast Lauren sent me this email:

    (Here's the actual recipe  - it sounds amazing.)

    March 01, 2013

    2013 Philadelphia Get Your Rear In Gear Run/Walk

    Happy Friday, UFG'ers.  In honor of the first day of Colon Cancer Awareness Month, I am reposting this blog.  Please consider a donation!
    Colon Cancer Coalition
    Happy Tuesday!

    Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! I did indulge a bit this weekend - but not to the point of gaining any weight - woohoo!

    Today, I have a pretty important reason to blog.  I've had the pleasure of having Karin Weiner be a big part of my life. A huge part, really.   Karin lost her battle with colon cancer this past August. I feel beyond blessed that I was able to be there with her and her daughters when she passed.

    This year, on St. Patrick's Day, I'll be walking this race in her honor.  Karin and I handed our refreshments and words of encouragement at the race last year, and I'm honored to be actually participating in this year's walk.

    Think of 20 people in your life who you care about: your parents, your childhood friends, your coworkers, and even your children... Statistics say that at least one of them will develop colorectal cancer, a disease that is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US.

    Please join me in fighting the good fight and donate: 

    Do it for Karin, do it for me, and do it for those 20 people in your life that you care the most about. 



    February 25, 2013

    Chicken Flautas

    Happy Monday, UFG'ers! I'm so excited to share this recipe with you this week.  I hope you like spicy food!
    I've been looking for an excuse to use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  I feel like every time I turn on Food Network, they are making something delicious with them!  What I wasn't aware of, is how spicy these things are! Holy cow.  I only used half the can in this recipe - and I cut it with a little bit of lime juice.  However, oh man what a flavor! I put the half of the can that I didn't use in the freezer and can't wait to use it again!
    Now, in this recipe - you'll see I call for light sour cream.  Read your labels, my friends! I recently started reading labels and really understanding what is in the food that I buy (it's why I no longer use fat free cheese - holy chemicals!).  Daisy does a great job of doing a light sour cream with just cream and skim milk, as does Friendship and the best, of course, is the Trader Joes.  Your sour cream should have no more than 3 ingredients - cultured cream, skim milk and active cultures. If you start seeing other ingredients that you can't pronounce - put it down.  I have ONE exception to this rule - I'm a girl who loves Laughing Cow cheese wedges and I just can't find an alternative! It's all about moderation, yes?
    Recipe after the jump!

    February 15, 2013

    Fat Is Gross

    Happy Friday UFG'ers!  AND Happy belated Valentine's Day! Hope everyone had a wonderful time with whomever they chose to spend it with.  The mailman and I usually have pretty low key Valentine's Day.  We're fairly good at showing our love everyday - so we don't need a Hallmark holiday. We did go see a comedy show and have a lovely dinner.  (Duck Confit Pizza! I died! Don't worry - we shared it!) 
    I'm happy to report that as of this blog I am officially 15 lbs down! I had my weigh-in with my doctor on Tuesday and she was thrilled.  The Chia Seed Pudding has fixed my breakfast woes, and I believe is the catalyst for the week before the weigh-in weight loss bonanza (I  lost 3 lbs the week before the weigh-in after having plateaued!)  If you haven't tried it out yet, you really must. 

    February 08, 2013

    Breakfast Chia Seed Pudding

    Happy Friday, UFG'ers!  What a month it's been so far!
    Firstly, I'm 12lbs down!  That's 12 pounds in 2 months, my friends.  Numbers I'd never thought I'd see.  It's taken an incredible amount of will power and support from The Mailman, but so far so good! Even while eating out once a week for a date night, I've still been able to lose weight.
    It's amazing how far you can get with moderation.  It's been a hard lesson to learn, that's for sure.  I think when you're always told "No, you can't eat that" it's hard to understand that you actually CAN eat that - just in moderation.  As a kid, candy and most other processed foods were off limits.  I'll be turning 30 in a little over a month - it's taken that long for me to understand that I can have candy - just half of a candy bar and not 5 of them at once.  There are times when the word "No" is dangerous, and I think food is one of them.  Perhaps moderation would have been a easier lesson if I was allowed sweets in moderation, instead of them being treated as if they were off limits completely!  (To be clear, I'm in no way throwing my parents under the bus - they're awesome - and learning this lesson as well!)
    On to today's recipe, if you follow me on The Face you'll know that I started having stomach issues when I would drink my usual breakfast smoothie.  It was The Mailman who actually came up with the reason - between Grad School, work, and all my extracurriculars - stress has creeped it's way back in!  For me, stress = acid reflux.  The smoothies were just a little too much acid for my body to handle.  So I was on a mission to find a new breakfast!  Oh man have I found it.  I'm obsessed, friends - flippin' obsessed. If you have textural issues (think tapioca), stay away from this recipe.
    If you're unfamiliar with the magical powers of Chia Seeds - education yourself here!  Recipe after the jump :)

    January 23, 2013

    Garlic Baked Shrimp and Fish

    Happy Hump Day, UFG'ers!  I was down and out yesterday with the stomach flu. (and I still have it today, but had to get out of the house and go to work!)  The stomach flu is going around hard core right now - so sanitize and be safe! It's pretty much the worst thing ever.  I was finally able to hold down some egg noodles and butter around 7pm last night.  This morning - no such luck with food.  My breakfast smoothie is sitting on my desk untouched, and I'm slooooowly sipping on some herb tea.  Pepto Bismal and I are BFF's.  

    As far as the new diet - I'm 10lbs down as of this morning!  It hasn't been easy - it's taken a huge amount of discipline and will power, but The Mailman has been amazing, and I've lost more weight in the past month and a half than I ever hoped! 

    Recipe time! This. Is. Garlic-y.  The dish as a whole doesn't cook for long, so next time I make it, I'll pre-cook the garlic, because it's practically raw as is, but maaaaaaan it's delish! Recipe after the jump!

    January 14, 2013

    Mustard Chicken Meatloaf Minis

    Happy Monday, UFG family!
    How's everyone doing on those New Year's resolutions? Mine are still going strong!  I indulged a bit this weekend - but am ready to hit the gym extra hard this week, starting tonight with boot-camp 
    How do you combat a weekend of over-indulgence?

    I'm pretty excited about today's recipe - my first in awhile.  The Mailman has been really into artisanal mustards (it suprised me too...), so for Christmas I got him a sampler pack from Trader Joe's - my favorite of all grocery stores!  It had 5 different types of mustard - and for this recipe, I chose the Basil Mustard.  Yummy.

    I love that this recipe is proportioned and ready at the press of the microwave for an easy weeknight meal.  Hope you enjoy!

    January 04, 2013

    The Battle of the Protein Shakes

    It's Friiiiiiiiday - and the holidays are overrrr!
    Hey UFG'ers! My holiday season was so unbelievably packed this year, that I'm actually glad it's done.  I can have my normal schedule back!
    I hope you all had a fantastic NYE - and have some healthy resolutions in the works!  I learned a valuable lesson this New Year's: when you don't eat much, you can't drink much.  Snaps to The Mailman for taking care of me :)
    My journey on Phentermine continues - a total of 5lbs down - including 2 gained then lost over the holidays.
    Today - we'll compare protein shakes!  I drink either an Atkins Advantage shake or EAS AdvantEDGE Low Carb shake for lunch everyday, along with some fruit.  My reviews of each after the jump: