Monday, September 9, 2013

I actually won something...Laughing Cow Cheese!

A few weeks after Fitbloggin, I got a tweet notifying me that I had WON their contest they ran at the Conference:

I have seriously been a fan of Laughing Cow cheese, particularly the light Swiss flavor for years, and years. And I honestly, NEVER win anything, so I was pumped.

A few days later, this arrived on my doorstep.

A nifty Laughing Cow branded lunch box with four packages of Laughing Cow Cheese to try: Garlic & Herb, light Swiss, and two new flavors, White Cheddar and Queso Fresco & Chipotle.

Although I've been a fan of the light Swiss for a long time, I honestly have never branched out and tried other flavors, like the Garlic & Herb. So I was stoked to expand my Laughing Cow Cheese repertoire and try to find inventive ways to use the different flavors.

My standard, go-to recipe is to make a light, low calorie Alfredo sauce with the Swiss flavor. This goes great with pasta - or spaghetti squash for a lower carb version. I saw this recipe on a blog years, and years ago - probably 5 or more. But Laughing Cow also has a version on their website.

Here are the ingredients I used.

 I add red pepper flakes to add a bit of heat, and sometimes I use a sprinkling of flour if I need to thicken it up since I don't usually use dairy milk, thus cutting out the milkfat. The original soymilk from 8th Continent was definitely too sweet, but it did the trick in a pinch for a quick dinner.

I added mine to whole wheat angel hair pasta with broccoli and fresh tomatoes.

 Since I only tried the other flavors at Fitbloggin' with veggies and crispy flatbread, I tried to think of ways to add a little Laughing Cow flair to some of my old, regular, boring meals.

The winning shot.

The Queso Fresco & Chipotle went well on a black bean and rice burrito. I took a wedge and microwaved it for 30-60 seconds to melt it a bit. The flavor went quite well with this combination and has a bit of spice, but as someone that LOVES spice, you see that I still added my normal amount of hot sauce. :)

I stuffed the Swiss flavor in some mini peppers I had on-hand and roasted them in the oven. This was good, but it didn't turn out like a "jalapeno popper" like I hoped. I think next time mixing the Laughing Cow with some shredded cheese and green chilies is in order.

The White Cheddar flavor spruced up a boring turkey, spinach, tomato wrap for lunch at work.

Also, not shown, but the Garlic & Herb went great on my daily Egg & Spinach sandwich for breakfast!

Thank you Laughing Cow for sponsoring Fitbloggin'13 and for running the contest I won!

Disclaimer: All products were provided to me at no charge as part of a contest I won. Laughing Cow did not ask me to do this post, and all opinions and ideas are my own.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Where have I been?

Wow....where have I been?

I can't believe my last post was in JULY - July 28th to be exact.

I had just gotten back from a big trip and was gearing up for my last one of the summer. I can honestly say I have not been weighing and have not been tracking. I've been trying to make better choices, but I am not perfect.

Accept the imperfections.

I am sure I am up from my last weigh in, but my scale is broken so I haven't been focusing on it. I did take my measurements at the beginning of this month and I will share the results at the beginning of next month.

Work outs have been dismal, and my goal has been to just walk 20 minutes a day. Some days I get in longer walks (thanks Kate!) and some days I get no walks in. The last 2 days I've done no walking because I sprained my ankle again on Wednesday. Story of my life.

It's not as bad as last time, but I'm going to do some pool/yoga workouts this weekend and then pick the walking back up next week when hopefully it's a bit better.

Also, perhaps it's time I committed to doing those PT exercises to strengthen my hips and ankles?

So what else has been going on?

Honestly, nothing that is too noteworthy. This is the time of year at work I just want to do nothing when I am not AT work. 10-12 hour days of work, directly interacting with people in a very customer centric role leaves me feeling very much like I want nothing to do but eat copious amounts of carbs and be lazy when I'm not at work.

But a few things that have gone on:

- I visited New Orleans for my cousin's 30th birthday with family. I ate and drank to my heart's desire.

- I ran/walked a 5K in August, finishing in my slowest time ever.

- I took a side-by-side comparison of last year to this year. Time to face reality.

- I've been trying to pre-cook good food for the week, so I don't binge/make poor choices. Hopefully this will yield some yummy recipes for the blog.

I know my life seems really boring right now, and I guess it is. I am just trying to survive until Thanksgiving. It's hard to explain, but this time of year is really hard for me work-wise. I'll try and check in more regularly and hopefully get on a scale at the gym soon.