Product Review: Ninja Processor Spiralizer

I love it!

I did buy it as a best buy “deal of the day” so it was $20 less (and free shipping), and totally worth it.

The Ninja – Precision Processor™ 4-Cup Food Processor with Spiralizer is not a 1-trick-pony.

It’s a power spiralizer and a really good food processor.

It’s a small processor, just 4 cups, but for making hummus, pesto, salsa, chopping or pureeing, it really does a fantastic job.

There is also a dough blade, which is a plastic, non-sharp version of the double blade and it whips cream and eggs like a bandit!

Small size, too, so it doesn’t take up a lot of counter space.

I love that best buy has an excellent return policy, so if I hadn’t liked it, I could have returned it with no problems.

But I LOVE it.

There are 2 spiral disks: one standard or “spaghetti” and a thicker “fettuccine” one that does a great job on heavier veggies like butternut squash.

There’s a slight learning curve to the spiral part, but it’s not rocket science:)

There is maybe 1 minor drawback: for thinner vegetables, like skinny zucchini and even carrots, it’s a little difficult to get them to stay upright and not lean off to the side.

Overall I give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars.





Budgeting For A Healthy Meal Plan

I know this question gets asked a lot on most “diet” sites: How much do you spend on groceries?

We’re a family of 3, and on low-carb I spent nearly $200 a week, sometimes more depending on what was (or wasn’t) on special that week.

Here in Texas, beef is king lol. And, myself included, we love our steaks.

I am finding that this hybrid plan is much easier on the budget.

A pound of lean ground turkey can range from $2-$3 less per pound than the 85/15 beef I usually get.

Ribeyes can cost upwards of $8 a pound on sale, where lean sirloins can be half that.

I can buy 3 whole chickens for the cost of 2 “good” steaks.

Sirloin steaks fit easily into both low-carb and Weight Watchers.

Whole chickens: I get the breast meat and my husband and son love the leg quarters and wings.

The ground turkey is pretty much all mine lol. Neither of them really care for it. (Don’t tell them, I use it in casseroles and they can’t tell the difference as long as it’s browned really well.. shh!)

Frozen veggies makes for less waste. Same for frozen fruits, especially out of season ones.

I still use extra virgin olive oil, but I’m not using a quart a week anymore. That same bottle lasts me a month now.

I do buy a few things, like fat free Greek yogurt, 2% cheeses and things that I normally wouldn’t, but the overall savings is HUGE.

Meat is still the most costly part of the grocery bill, however using leaner proteins has cut my weekly bill to under $130 most weeks, which is a huge savings over the course of a year.


Product Review: Vitalicious Brand VitaTops and EnergyLoaf

I purchased two flavors:

  • Harvest Corn EnergyLoaf
  • Blueberry VitaTops

For Weight Watchers, these are both 4 points each.

I’ll start with the Blueberry VitaTops:

The positives: I really like this one. It has a lot of blueberries, is pretty sweet and has a more-or-less standard muffin flavor and texture. It’s not too large, more like a mini-muffin that has been smooshed out a bit, but it’s very filling for its size.

It has pretty good ingredients: Water, Organic White Whole Wheat Flour, Organic Sugar, Organic Wild Blueberries, Organic Wheat Flour, Chicory Root Extract (Inulin), Crumb Topping (Wheat Flour, Sugar, Coconut Oil, Salt, Natural Flavors, Sodium Bicarbonate), Egg White, Oat Fiber, Canola Oil, Wheat Gluten, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Natural Flavor, Salt, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Nutrients from Organic Whole Fruit and Vegetable Concentrates  

The nutritional info isn’t bad either at just 120 calories and 1.5g fat; it has more sugar than I’d like at 11 grams, but I guess it’s a trade off for getting away from artificial sweeteners.

The bad: The price: at $17.50 plus shipping for 12, they are a little higher than other similar products, but for the cleaner ingredients, it may be worth it.

The Harvest Corn Energy Loaf

The good: If you want something with a slightly sweet cornbread taste, this is perfect.

The little loafs are about the same size as a medium sized muffin, not mini, not regular, that in-between size that bakers love lol. The flavor is very cornbread like and they are very tender. My husband, who loves cornbread, thought these were pretty good.

Ingredients: Water, Egg Whites, Wheat Flour, Natural Chicory Fiber (Inulin), Corn Meal, Organic Sugar, Corn Grits, Oat Fiber, Fructose, Canola Oil, Wheat Protein Isolate, Corn Flour, Wheat Gluten, Whey Protein Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Leavening (Calcium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Isolated Soy Protein with less than 2% Lecithin, Vitamins, Emulsifier (Starch, Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Food Starch- Modified, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Colored with Beta Carotene, Stevia Extract. VITAMINS AND MINERALS: Calcium (as Calcium Carbonate from ground limestone and as Dicalcium Phosphate), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Iron (as Ferric Orthophosphate), Vitamin E (dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate), Zinc (as Zinc Oxide), Vitamin B5 (as d-Calcium Pantothenate), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Beta-Carotene (as Vitamin A), Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), Vitamin H (Biotin), Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin).

At 110 calories and just 6 grams of sugar, these are a bit better overall than the blueberry.

The bad: again, the cost. You have to buy a pack of 24 loaves at $32.00, and if you don’t like them, you’re kind of out of luck. They do have a 30 days return/replacement policy, but reserve the right to limit that. I am not sure if they accept “I don’t like the taste” as a valid return reason.

They do need to be kept frozen, and the site stipulates you need to do that immediately. So make sure you have room.

Shipping was very fast and they were well packed. There were no broken or smashed ones in either box.

For both flavors I tried:

They both have a slightly dry mouth feel. I can’t really describe it, because it’s very moist on the surface, but when you chew and swallow, it’s dry/grainy/crumbly.

They both benefit, greatly, from 15-20 seconds in the microwave. Cold, straight out of being defrosted, the flavors seem muted, but heating makes them come to life.

I may buy these again, but not often. I can easily see myself having portion control issues with the blueberry ones!

Fail To Plan; Plan To Fail

True words.

I am trying to get into meal prepping.

I already plan my weeks menus, usually on Sunday since I do my grocery shopping on Mondays most of the time.

I bought these 2 compartment containers for prepping but I just have some kind if mental aversion to cooking 4-5 days ahead of time.

It’s not that I’m afraid of it “going bad”, I really don’t know what it is.

Take salads for example. I love salads. I really do. But when you pre-prep a salad, it tends to get all wilted and soggy and just generally icky.

I’ve tried packing the “wet” separately, like cucumber, tomato, olives, etc, but the lettuce just seems to not make the cut after a few days.

**Noting that I also have the worlds worst “brown thumb”. If the plant world has a most wanted list, I’d be on it! **(I killed an air fern once. I am not kidding)**

Does that translate to salad greens? Do they just give up because they know it’s me? I’m starting to think so!

Soup is easy, and I do make 3-4 days worth at a time, for myself. Hubs and the kid don’t care for soup as a meal, so it’s for me.

I’ve been watching some meal prep videos on youtube and they’re giving me the itch to try again!

Amanda Cypert and Weight Watching Mama are my current favorites because they seem to have a grip on prep lol. And they’re both very personable and easy to watch.



Weight Watchers Freestyle Low-Carb: Thursday’s Meal Plan

I thought I’d share more of my hybrid WW/LC meal days, and how easy it is to incorporate the 2 plans.


  • coffee with 2T half and half and 1/2 of a premier protein chocolate shake (I won’t do that again, I have gotten used to unsweetened coffee and it was just weird lol, though I do like that combo blended with ice as a frosty coffee drink)
  • 1 hard boiled egg with 1 teaspoon Dukes real mayonnaise


  • 5oz sirloin steak seared and topped with 1T butter
  • 2 poached eggs w/sriracha
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced w/salt and pepper


  • stir fry of chicken breast(8oz), green onions, soy sauce, fish sauce, sweetener, hot pepper flakes, ginger and garlic (2tsp olive oil) over riced cauliflower steamed w/low-sodium soy sauce and pepper

Snacks (if needed) :

  • 2 hard boiled eggs with 2tsp mayonnaise
  • sugar free jell-o gelatin
  • dill pickles

This comes out to just 18 weight watchers freestyle points (I may have some wine with the rest! I could add another  tablespoon of olive oil or butter with the leftover points to get my fats up though.)

1186 calories; 25g carbs; 6g fiber; 19g net carbs; 109g proetin and 75g fat

While keto is probably out of the question, low-carb is do-able.


My First Month Weigh-In On WW/LC: A Quick Update

And I have lost 4 pounds!

I know, that doesn’t seem like much, but I had been stalled for a year(longer really) on low-carb/keto.

AND, I know that I’d have lost more if I’d been more diligent about my fruit consumption lol. But we all live and learn, right?

I ate “badly”, for me, yesterday. I made a fantastic spicy marinara sauce(below) and I decided I wanted real pasta and garlic bread *gasp* not zoodles or shirataki noodles. I stayed within my points limit, but I can tell by my fingers and ankles being puffy that all that wheat did not agree with me.

I’d probably have been another pound or two down if not  for that :p

I saw an advertisement for Jack In The Box. They have a new “food truck series” of sandwiches. They have a pork belly blt… I wonder if I can get that without the bun?!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic 2018 so far – hang in there!

SPICY MARINARA IN A HURRY (0 WW freestyle points)

  • 28 oz organic crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz organic diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup finely minced celery (optional, I like the flavor)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 8 oz water
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup finely minced parsley or 1T dried
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put the water and veggies, including garlic, in a pan and simmer until they start to get fragrant and tender.

Add everything else, bring to a simmer, cover and cook on very low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This stores well for up to a week in the refrigerator.


A Day On Weight Watchers Freestyle, Lower-Carb

Since I’m doing this plan, I thought I’d share my day with you.

This is Monday’s menu. I didn’t get to the store yesterday, and my husband wanted chili-dogs for supper, I did my own thing with pizza.

Breakfast was coffee, 3 cups. 2 cups with 4T half and half and 1 cup with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream for a total of 9 points (yes 9, worth it for the heavy cream fats);

Lunch was a salad of tuna(5oz), chickpeas(about 1/3 cup), onion, fat free italian dressing and romaine for zero points (I use 3T Kens Fat free italian for 4 servings, and add 1T vinegar to it); I would normally add diced tomatoes and cucumbers to this, but I was out and didn’t get to the store.

Dinner was a pizza: low-carb pita bread with tomato 1/4 cup sauce seasoned with garlic powder and italian seasoning, mixed with 2tsp olive oil; 2oz part skim mozzarella, 2tsp parmesan, shaved onion and turkey pepperoni for 8 points;

Snacks were: 4oz grilled chicken with 2 laughing cow cheese wedges; and a Yakult light probiotic drink for 3 points total.

The day came in right on the dot at 23 points, and that was achieved using heavy cream and olive oil to get my calories and fat higher.

Now the full nutritional value:

916 calories; 53g carbs; 14g fiber (39 net g carbs); 76g protein; 46g fat.

Not an awful day, I need to get my calories up some more, but overall I’d say it’s not bad!

I do drink assorted herbal and regular teas through the day, and snacks are usually something like light cottage cheese blended with Mrs Dash and cucumber slices, if I get hungry.



Powdered Peanut Butter Mug Muffin

At just 1 Weight Watchers Freestyle point, 6 grams net carbs*, 13 grams protein, gluten free and tasty, this is a nice treat for the sweet tooth.

*I have PB Fit on hand for this, but I’d suggest something without added coconut palm sugar, to get the carbs and sugar lower.

Powdered Peanut Butter Mug Muffin

  • Tbsp Better Body Foods PB Fit Peanut butter powder (gluten free)
  • jumbo egg  beaten
  • packet Splenda No calorie sweetener (I use splenda naturals)
  • Tbsp water
  • tsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder, add an additional 1 Tablespoon of water if using.
    • Beat egg, then stir the rest of the ingredients into the egg in a microwave safe cup.

    • Optional: add 2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon more water for a peanut butter and chocolate cake.

    • Microwave on high for 1 minute for a soft center; 1-1/2 minutes for a firm center.

As written using the PB Fit on the left; PB2 (Bell Plantation) on the right in bold

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 154   /  149
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8 g / 8 13 %
Saturated Fat 2 g / 2 10 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g  / 2
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g  /
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 234 mg  /  234 78 %
Sodium 185 mg  / 184 8 %
Potassium 87 mg  /  87 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g  / 8 3 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g / 3 13 %
Sugars 3 g  /  1
Protein 13 g  / 14 25 %
Vitamin A 7 %  /  7
Vitamin C 0 %  /  0
Calcium  6 %  /  4
Iron 9 %  /  7

Freeze Dried Fruits: The Low-Carbers Unsung Hero

Whenever we (as low-carb or even low-fat/calorie eaters) read about dried fruits, we immediately check for added sugar and are usually not surprised to see that most companies add a ton of sugar.

One product that we may be overlooking are freeze dried fruits.

Take Natierra Nature’s All Foods Organic Freeze-Dried Blueberries for example. Blueberries and nothing else.

I use this as an example because, well, I use this product a lot when I want a fruit component without killing my carbs for the day.

The one above, 10 berries is just at 1g carbs.

These are light, airy and they don’t reconstitute into full, round berries, so you can’t think that way.

What they are: bursts of fruity flavor.

I use them in the mug muffin recipe below, and they are a fabulous addition and feel like you’re eating a carby dessert or treat 🙂

Lemon Blueberry Mug Muffin

3 weight watchers freestyle points

    • 1 tbsp(s), Lemon juice, raw
    • 1 large, Egg
    • 2 packet, Splenda Naturals (1 for the mix, 1 optional)
    • 2 tablespoon, Almond Flour
    • 1 tbsp, Coconut Flour
    • 2 tbsp(s), Water – Municipal
    • 0.50 tsp, Clabber Girl
    • 10 Freeze Dried Blueberries
    • 1 tsp, Lemon Zest
    • 6 sprays I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray(optional)
  • Beat egg and add water, lemon juice and 1 packet sweetener.

  • Mix dry ingredients then mix everything except the other sweetener packet and butter spray, in a microwave safe cup.

  • Microwave on high for 1 minute, then (optional): spray the top with butter spray and sprinkle with remaining sweetener. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds, let cool and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 194
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g 20 %
Saturated Fat 3 g 15 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 186 mg 62 %
Sodium 119 mg 5 %
Potassium 88 mg 3 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g 4 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g 18 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 10 g 21 %
Vitamin A 5 %
Vitamin C 14 %
Calcium 7 %
Iron 13 %

Then -V- Now: Eating Habits

My husband and I have  a son who is 27.

My nephew is 23.

The difference between my son and nephew’s eating habits is astonishing, and they’re nearly the same age.

Son: I’m a little hungry, but I can wait an hour for dinner.


Kind of funny, but I do think it lends a lot to what we’re taught as children about food and our relationship with it.

Like any relationship, it can be healthy or UNhealthy.

Growing up in a 1-horse-town and out in the country even from the town, we didn’t have many fast food options growing up. No restaurants that weren’t at least a 30 minute drive away.

We went to the grocery store once a week, and the the mall (that was an hour away) once a month. We usually had a “sit down” meal at the mall and that was a big deal back then 😀

Those sit down meals were also nothing like today. Portions were smaller, foods were “cleaner”, restaurants did not tolerate kids running around, screaming and generally annoying the entire room, there were no tablets or smart phones: you enjoyed the food and your dining companions.

We ate scheduled meals, and we sat together at the table.

Desserts were once a week, on Sunday.

Snacks were rare and usually a fruit (we had a grapefruit orchard) or small pastry if my Great Grandmother had baked, or a Mexican pandulce – neither of which were sweet by todays pastry standards.

Another thing that has changed: you were in the kitchen at an early age when I was a kid, and you learned, at the least, the basics of cooking. Maybe nothing culinary grade, but you could fend for yourself if needed. This applied to boys and girls.

I am amazed at how many women and men in some groups/boards, that are in their 30s, that can’t even boil water. They depend solely on fast food and take out to live. Or, if they’re lucky, their mom or dad cooks for them. You get the picture.

IMO one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to learn to cook healthy, no matter what healthy means to you, dishes , so we can depend on ourselves instead of some faceless chef, to keep ourselves fed and (hopefully) healthy.

I read a quote that sticks with me: “Being hungry is not an emergency”.

I have been trying to improve my relationship with food for many years and, I think, I’ve accomplished a lot in that aspect.

If nothing else, my son has adopted my newer food thoughts about hunger and when/what/how much to eat. Yes, he still occasionally has ramen at 3am (smells awful and will wake you up /annoyed) but a good 80% of the time he’s switched to a healthier way to look at food as both fuel and for enjoyment.

This is an interesting article about how to improve your relationship with food. If you can adopt just 1 or 2 of these, it may help you as well:)