Yellow Daisy Chick Chat



Area Woman Declares Cooking Light January/February Issue Best Ever!

Once upon a time, Cooking Light came to my house and created recipes for my family.

Have I mentioned that already? ūüôā

I know, I need to get over it and move on with my life, but here is one last post on how it went afterwards. They designed a day of recipes for us in the January/February issue and here are¬†the real life Test (Home) Kitchen’s results:

Veggie Eggy Scramble– My favorite breakfast, period. Could eat this every day. I’ve made this with and without the onions; try not to skip them. They put it over the top. What a wonderful way to start the day!
Greek Slaw Chicken Pita– This recipe changes up the Greek salad theme just enough to keep it interesting but not too much to get off track. The crunch of the slaw with the Greek flavors makes me so happy. For some reason, it looks like a slaw sandwich in the photo but I promise I put some chicken up in there! It’s light, but filling at the same time.
Easy Thai Steak Noodle Bowl– I love how Cooking Light’s Ann Taylor Pittman reused some of the ingredients from the earlier meals for this. ¬†She clearly gets the Real World. We asked for Thai and she more than delivered. Easy, quick, and absolutely a family crowd pleaser. You’d never know it was good for you, but I sure am glad it is.¬†

Aside from wanting to relive this experience and name drop, I also wanted to say that the ladies and gentlemen at Cooking Light really did get us. They listened and sincerely provided the ultimate day for us. These people care about their work and about the people who read it, cook it, and love it. Those of us who follow them and subscribe to their magazine and diet are all the better for it.

Thank you, people of Cooking Light Land. You rock.

Be well. Take care of yourselves and each other,


Yellow Daisy Chick

Chicken Enchiladas, #CookingLightDiet Style

Sometimes we are too hungry to wait to take a picture. Here is what’s left of a 9×13 pan of chicken enchiladas: rotisserie chicken, salsa verde, light cream cheese, cilantro, red enchilada sauce, light cheddar, and corn tortillas…this, my friends, is what I call a diet dinner. #TacoTuesday

Sunday Dinner on Monday

My view from the dinner table. The best view! Love sitting around a table with these peeps and this good food. Venison tenderloin & bacon-wrapped, coffee-rubbed venison medallions on the Egg (venison provided by son’s hunting mates); oven roasted herby (from the garden!) potatoes; oven roasted green beans and tomato and cuke salad, all from the produce stand down the road. Bliss. God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food. Amen.

Spinach and Proscuitto Flatbreads, #CookingLightDiet Style

Spinach, onion, proscuitto, and fresh mozzarella make for a delectable flatbread combo. Added a cup of tomato soup for a light mid-week dinner. My kind of diet food!

Area Woman Discovers Diet Does Not Equal Death

From my last post, you can see that I was trying hard to not go on a diet. Although I knew it was time, I’ve fought it all the way. I hate diets. I hate talking about diets. I love to eat and to cook, and don’t want to be deprived of my favorite foods. At the same time, I had realized that my weight was about 20 pounds too much and it was starting to interfere with my activities and my life. And there was a picture. Or two. There’s probably always a picture.

I had flirted with Weight Watchers, but ultimately knew I couldn’t keep up with the whole points thing. I had tried just “eating healthy” but no weight was being lost. I tried exercising more but no weight was being lost. I got a Fitbit…again, no weight loss.

So then I got sick. Three times. In a month. No lie, I am currently recovering from #3. I know several others whose families have been on this same sickness path. This winter has been No Joke, y’all. I started to miss my healthy life and got worried that my weight wasn’t helping matters.

In my bedridden state, I was cruising the ‘Net and came upon an ad¬†from Cooking Light magazine advertising their new diet. They plan a week’s worth of meals and snacks for you, based on your weekly calorie plan designed by you. I love their recipes and the plan had real food and real snacks. It looked like something I could do. I started it while I was sick to see how I liked it. Sample¬†breakfasts are peanut butter toast, spinach and feta omelets, fruit smoothies, and granola/yogurt parfaits. Lunches are turkey sandwiches, greek salads, BLT with avocado, and chicken pita pizzas. Dinners are garlicky kale and white bean linguine, Cajun steak and frites with saut√©ed kale and a green salad, chicken verde enchiladas. Snacks are healthy and satisfying: fruit, nuts, hummus and veggies, Babybel cheese and crackers. Yes, you can substitute. Yes, you can eat out. As long as your calorie count stays in check and you vary your calories (don’t eat pasta for every meal), you can be somewhat flexible. The best part? They plan it all for you, for a price. Best money I’ve ever spent: $45 for 3 months. $18 for a month. My husband has decided to do it, too, and the kids are supportive of the healthy eating since it actually tastes great. (By the way, I’m not getting paid to write this, but would very much like to!)

Check out the Cooking Light Diet here

I just needed Cooking Light to take the wheel. Take it from my hands. Cause I can’t do this on my own. “I’m a-letting go…” Hee hee, not sure Carrie Underwood meant for her song to be used that way, but isn’t it nice when you don’t know what to do and the answer comes in an ad¬†from Cooking Light?! I have enjoyed my eating so much these past 2 weeks. I still have a glass of wine with my dinner. On weekends, I will have a dessert here or there. I have more or less picked 3-4 dinners from my weekly plan, and a few breakfasts and lunches, and eat leftovers or go out for the rest of the time. It fits my life so well. I pack snacks when I am out and about so I don’t get tempted at the Target checkout candy or run by Chick Fil A (which I could do, if I wanted to, as long as I keep the calorie count.)

I don’t drink soda at all anymore. I don’t eat sugar, except for fruits and the occasional treat. I’ve given up chocolate for Lent, so it seems like a good time to be cutting back on all the bad stuff. I’ve been sick so I haven’t been super hungry, which has also worked in my favor. Once I am better, we’ll see how hungry I get and if still works. I hope my stomach has shrunk over the past 4 weeks, but I may be hungrier to make up for all of my sick time. Time will tell.

Have I seen results yet? Well, I’ve lost 5 lbs. In a week and a half. That doesn’t sound safe or right, but it’s true. Between eating less, not eating sugar or soda, drinking less wine, and the Sudafed I’ve been taking that suppresses my appetite (I’m taking it for sinus issues but that is a wonderful side effect), I’ve already seen these crazy results. I’m eating real food that doesn’t taste like diet food, and almost everything I put in my body is nutritious and not empty calories. I’m hungry for dinner. Food tastes better than it used to. My daughter’s birthday cake was the most phenomenal thing I’d ever had because I savored every bite and hadn’t had dessert in a while.

Fifteen pounds to go. Slowly feeling better and ready to get out there to exercise again. A metaphorical weight has been lifted, now that I’ve got a plan, and I look forward to the literal weight disappearing. What weight loss plan has worked for you? What was your tipping point? What keeps you motivated? Spring will be here soon, and then summer, and I plan to have more energy than last year to do the things I want to do. YOLO, y’all. (lol, sorry not sorry)

Take care of yourselves and each other,


Diet Has The Word “Die” In It For a Reason

I hate diets. I hate listening to people talk about diets. I love food. I love listening to people talk about food.

I hate that this is the season for dieting. It’s not fun. Dieting is so boring. People everywhere depriving themselves of life’s culinary joys in order to fit in those jeans…it’s just not worth it. People are¬†hungry, cranky, depressed. Ugh.

Now I’m not talking about those people who have serious health issues as a result of their weight. For those folks, it’s life or death. I support and applaud those who have chosen life and have become happier and healthier because of their extreme dieting.

For the rest of us, we just want to lose 10, 15, 20 lbs. Now that I’m in my 40s, I realize that my habits have to change to some extent. I start to panic when I think about giving up things. So to calm myself, I’ve come up with a list of things I refuse to give up at this point.

Foods I Will Never Give Up As Long As I Live So Help Me God:

  1. Chick Fil A- I get a kid’s meal. Please, this is not worth discussing. I go no more than once a week. Usually.
  2. Fabiano’s Pizza- Life is not worth living if I can’t have a slice of spinach/artichoke/feta or classic pepperoni. One slice, for pete’s sake.
  3. Chips and Salsa- Salsa is vegetables. I can even do baked chips if necessary. Best. Snack. Ever.
  4. White Wine- Yeah, no one wants me to give that up, now, do we??!!
  5. Tea (specifically black, green, chamomile, iced, hot)- One word: antioxidants. Good for you. No brainer.
  6. Brisket Tacos from Taqueria del Sol- They must put crack in them, but I don’t care.
  7. Cheetos- Also crack in the ingredients. Check the label! Keep bringing me the crack cheetos.
  8. Sprayberry’s Chopped Pork BBQ Sandwich with Slaw- I’m a Southern girl and we will litrally die if we don’t eat bbq.
  9. The Varsity’s Onion Rings- See #8, i.e. Southern, and I live in the ATL area.
  10. Five Guys Burgers and Fries- Y’all know you crave these burgers and fries from time to time. It’s not like I go there every day. I would if I could. Well, maybe every Tues/Thurs. I get the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. Junior! I share fries. What the hell is wrong there? Nothing.

Well, now I’m starving. And, I’m realizing that the above list would also count as my last meal. I’m oddly fascinated by that phenomenon. Why do we allow that, really? “We’re going to kill you, because you did xyz horrible things to innocent people, but hey, here’s some of your favorite foods that YOU’LL NEVER HAVE AGAIN BECAUSE YOU ARE ABOUT TO DIE. Bon appetit!” So weird. But I do like to think about what mine would be, and now I have a list in case I find myself on Death Row, which should not happen unless somebody forces me to diet and I get reeeeeeeeal cranky. Is it just me, or have you thought about it, too? What would be your¬†hypothetical¬†last meal?

I do care about my health, especially since an asthma diagnosis in 2009, so I choose to approach eating from a health and wellness perspective, rather than whether I can fit in $200 jeans. After being so sick for a couple of years, I really started paying attention to what I eat. Conscious eating, really. Obviously, the above list shows that I still eat treats but on a daily basis, I do try to cook at home and cook with real food. As long as health food tastes good, I’m in. Kale salad, Meatless Mondays, and a bonafide Sunday home-cooked dinner have become mainstays in my household. The other big thing I’ve been obsessed with is smoothies. They taste good, are super healthy, quick, and relatively inexpensive to make. What more could you ask of a health food?

I like to make them with Greek yogurt, frozen berries, bananas, frozen peaches, pineapple, and greens. My green smoothies often turn out brown, yuck, so I finally wised up and today, I made the prettiest, tastiest one ever. Here’s what I did:

smoothie 2

Pretty Green Smoothie:

This picture has everything you need. I have an individual smoothie maker, which makes it even easier.

Put frozen yellow fruit (peaches, pineapple, mango) in smoothie cup/blender.

Add frozen green grapes.

Pour in a slosh of OJ.

Add a layer of Greek yogurt (I use vanilla flavored.)

Put in a splash of vanilla extract. Oh yeah.

Squirt a lil’ honey on it. Why use honey instead of sugar?

Put a nice bunch of spinach up in there.

Blend that baby up. If it just stands still, you need more juice.

Too thin? Add ice.

When it’s done, this is what you’ll get:

smoothie 3

She’s purty, ain’t she?

smoothie 4

I promise it doesn’t taste like spinach at all. Enjoy!

For now, this has to count as dieting for me. It’s protein, calcium, vitamin C, fruits and veggies…the ideal diet food all in one glass. You can keep all of the ingredients on hand to make for breakfast, snack, lunch, or dessert. Of course, if you want to avoid the calories, you can omit the yogurt and add ice; I like the yogurt and don’t drink milk so I want that extra calcium. If you invest in the individual smoothie maker, your kids can make their own and even invent their own flavor! They may not¬†care that it’s healthy…but they’ll know it’s delicious. In fact, it’s so delicious, I may just have to add it to my Last Meal list.

What are your favorite smoothie recipes? What are your guilty pleasures and what are your healthy food standbys? Do you eat to live, live to eat, or a little of both? What foods can you not live without? I’d love to hear from you guys.

As always, thanks for reading.

Take care of yourselves and each other,


More good reasons to drink green smoothies:

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