So You’ve Lost Some Weight, Now What to Wear?

I recently uploaded to videos about clothing retailers who helped me find my way when I found myself with a baggy, uncomfortable wardrobe and not much to wear. Discount retailers TJ Maxx and thrifting and consignment played a role, but when I needed professional help from a stylist or sales associate, Stitch Fix and Talbots were a huge help! 

Read more

Cajun Shrimp!

Cajun Shrimp
This shrimp recipe couldn’t be any easier! I served my shrimp with grits, but you certainly don’t have to. I had been making this Cajun shrimp for a while before it ever occurred to me to put it alongside grits. But you could make the grits and call it shrimp and grits!

You can make the Cajun Shrimp recipe from fresh or thawed frozen shrimp. If you buy it not peeled and deveined, you’ll need to, and a portion of the video above is devoted to showing you how if you don’t already know.

Cajun Shrimp, serves 2 (4 WW SP per serving)

  • 1 lb. of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole Foods Market Blackened Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray, if desired. Thaw shrimp if using frozen, and peel and devein if necessary. Toss the shrimp in a bowl with the oil and seasoning and place on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake uncovered for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour the lemon juice over the shrimp on the baking sheet, and toss gently with a spatula. Serve with pasta, rice, zoodles, or grits.

Grits, serves 2 (6 WW SP per serving)

  • 1/4 c yellow stoneground grits
  • 2 cups cooking liquid (I prefer 1/2 water and 1/2 chicken broth)
  • 2 Tablespoons half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Bring liquids to a boil in a small saucepan and add grits and salt. Reduce heat to low and stir frequently to prevent sticking for about 30 minutes. Grits may be done sooner, depending on how warm the “low” setting is on your stove. Before serving, stir in the half and half and adjust seasoning as needed. Consult the package directions for the grits you purchased.

What I Wish I Knew Before Starting WW… or any weight loss journey

Things I wish I knew before starting a WW, or any weight loss journey:

1. Plan! This is so obvious, but I wish I had learned to be more intentional about it. I was pretty good at tracking and keeping a food journal, but I was horrible at planning. I need to do a better job. Goals!

2. WW may change the plan, but it will be OK… Over the years that I’ve been in and out of Weight Watchers, or WW, they’ve revamped their plans and changed the points values on dairy, proteins. Some carbs like beans and corn are currently 0 Smart Points when they used to count. Even the name given to points has changed. I’ve seen plain old Points, Points Plus, and now Smart Points on Freestyle. It doesn’t matter what they call it, because they’ve changed the numbers of points that you can have in a day accordingly as they’ve adjusted the points values of food. Relax and trust the process. They know what they’re doing!

3. Food isn’t the most expensive part… it’s the clothes. The best I can tell you is to make thrift stores, consignment stores, and discount retailers your friend. Think Goodwill and TJ Maxx. As you lost weight you don’t want to look baggy, and clothes that are designed to be tailored and fitted are really uncomfortable when they don’t fit. When you wear something that fits after being baggy, people will notice and compliment you. Speaking of people expressing their opinions…

4. Well-meaning people will say things to you that hurt without it being intentional. For example, “You look so much better!” Better than what? Really? I didn’t think I looked horrendous before; losing weight was just as much about my health.

5. Find an exercise program that you love, but it does not need to be on day 1! I am not giving you an excuse NOT to exercise on this one. I’m just saying that it might make you feel less overwhelmed to implement change, and thus stick with your new plan, if you take a gradual approach. For example, if you eliminate sodas, eat less, eliminate foods you love (unnecessary self-imposed torture, by the way), and workout hard every day starting on Monday, you won’t last. Trust me.

Take it easy, don’t be too hard on yourself, but do something. Good luck!

Easy Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken
The act of cooking a roasted chicken with the one you love has become the height of romantic kitchen endeavor. Who would have thought that the culinary coupling of a prince and Hollywood royalty would inspire us all to want to master this roasted bird? Harry and Megan made the at-home date night of roasting a simple chicken chic when they announced that that’s precisely what they were doing when he popped the question. Do you want to get cooking with the one you love?

When you roast your own chicken you control the seasoning and with my recipe, you can create a beautiful pan sauce of onion and lemon to serve along with your chicken. This roasted chicken would be great alongside the rosemary roasted potatoes that I showed you how to make in a previous video.

Click here to learn about the perfect potatoes to pair with your poultry!

Roasted Chicken

  • whole chicken, 3-5 pounds
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3-5 peeled garlic cloves
  • medium red onion
  • salt and pepper to taste, or dried herb blend to taste
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Pre-heat your oven to 425F. Rinse the chicken and pat dry the outside skin thoroughly with paper towels. Add the lemon half and garlic cloves to the inside of the chicken and tie the legs together with a bit of cooking twine. Tuck the wing tips under the breast. Slice the onion into rings and place in the bottom of a dutch oven or pan that can be used on top of the stove. Place the chicken on top of the onions. Brush with the melted butter and season with salt and pepper or dried herbs. Add a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of the pan to prevent the onions from burning. Place the pan in the preheated oven for one hour. Remove the pan after one hour and check the onions. Add more water if the onions are getting too dark around the edges. Return to the oven for an additional 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and move it to a platter to cool. Carefully remove the lemon from the chicken and squeeze some of the juice and pulp into the pan juices and onion. Alternately, when removing chicken from the pan, make it a point to insert a fork into the lemon so that the juices will drain back into the pan. Place the pan of juices and onion on a stove burner set to medium and simmer the sauce until it has thickened slightly. Serve the pan sauce along with the chicken.

Equipment used in YouTube Video

Le  Creuset Dutch French Oven

Peugeot Pepper Grinder

This blog post is not sponsored, but sometimes I use affiliate links.