Friday, March 16, 2012

"Better Than Lasagna" Soup.

Vanessa's Version of Lighter Tastes Like Lasagna Soup

Adapted From Here

I found this recipe on Pinterest and I just had to give it a try. I left out the oil because it seemed unnecessary and cut down the basil. Other than that, I followed the recipe pretty true. Next time I think I'll add more veggies, although it needs nothing else! This soup was fan-fricken-tastic.  I paired it with a big ole salad and one serving was way more than enough. P was in Heaven because this really didn't even taste healthy! I think it should be called "Better than lasagna" soup. Maybe I'll have to rename my version.

There were 6 servings left over, so we will have plenty for the next few days. There was mega sodium in this. You could probably make some changes and cut some of that down. I just bought regular old chicken broth; next time I think I'll buy low sodium and leave out the salt in the recipe. I don't think it was really necessary.

Number of Servings: 8


    1 pound Italian seasoned ground turkey1 onion, chopped
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
    1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    4 ounces broken whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles)
    4 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese


Add sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10 minutes.

Add  broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended (about 20 minutes). Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 10 – 12 minutes. Half way through add in the basil so it has a little time to set in. Remove from the heat; stir in mozzarella and the parmesan. (whole-wheat lasagna noodles take a little longer to cook.)

Serving Size: Makes 8 one cup servings

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 222.2
  • Total Fat: 6.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 49.0 mg
  • Sodium: 1,247.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 21.6 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.1 g
  • Protein: 20.8 g

Have you ever tried a recipe like this? What are some of your favorite lasagna ingredients?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The weekend... Only about a week late.

This was my outfit on Friday. I felt like an old lady a little bit. And my shoes ended up giving me mega painful blisters because they got wet. :( And don't mind my cheesin. All day every day.
So last weekend I had three birthday parties in a row. The one on Friday I was not excited about. It was with PeeWee's coworkers. I've never met any of them and I was having a LOT of anxiety over it. I don't do well around new people. I come off as really shy because I just don't know what to say. I was already wary of going because I had some prejudices against one person going. I went, tried to be nice and it all came back to bite me. The night wasn't really fun. I saw a bunch of people that I knew and talked to them more than the people that we were with.

We stood in line for over an hour to get in to where the band was playing. It was loud and crowded and there were no tables open. I never drink so I had no clue what to order. I went with a single vodka Redbull. It was just ok and not worth it in the least. The band that was playing was really good and silly. Definitely entertainers. We ended up staying for only an hour. I was a little annoyed that we waited so long to get in and stayed for such a short time. But I was more than happy to leave.

I guess I need to start work on my "meeting people skills." I guess that all of P's friends thought that I was rude and unapproachable. I was actually very nice. A lot of unnecessary drama came from the night and I don't plan on hanging out with these people again. (Read: It's hard to find good friends these days.)

 I guess the wuppies didn't want to be left out of the pictures. I tried about a million times over and there they were. They love their momma.

On Saturday I had my good friend Dawn's birthday party. I haven't seen these lovely ladies since Dawn's last birthday. I forgot just how much fun they are. We were loud and crazy in the restaurant. Then we danced our booties off. It was so much fun to go out with a group of real friends. P-Dog even ended up getting off work early and stopping by. I had no clue what to drink so I took a suggestion from a friend. I ended up drinking too many vodka Diet Cokes. They were delish. I also had a couple of kamikazes. Considering I rarely drink, I had a few too many drinks and ended up making P take a cab to get me and my car. Luckily we only live like a mile away. Yeah, he loves me and my drunkness. I am definitely going to get back together with these girls sooner than Dawn's next birthday. 

This is from Friday night. Yeah, cheesy me and P trying to hold in his gorgeous smile.

And Sunday was the celebration for my dad's birthday. We had it at my very favorite little Italian/Greek family restaurant. It was a little hectic with twenty (plus) people. But I was glad to get together with the fambam for his birthday and to celebrate my late grandpa's birthday as well.

Well, that's a recap of the weekend. Not too exciting and not many pictures. Another example of my boring little life.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A-Z Survey: Get to know me a bit

I saw this survey on and she got it from here:

I thought it would be fun to answer some questions and let my (non-existant) readers know a little about me. Here goes nothin':

A is for age: 24, turning 25 in June. I find it rather scary to turn 25 and have to be a real life grown up!
B is for breakfast today: The same as every day: 1/2C oatmeal with 1t splenda and 1/4C Vanilla almond milk, a large banana, and a hard boiled egg (new this week) with a little salt.
C is for currently craving: Fruit! I'm out right now other than bananas. I could go for a good Jonagold Apple (my very favorite type)
D is for dinner tonight: I'm horrible at planning ahead so I have no clue!
E is for favorite type of exercise: I'm working on this one... I want it to be running, but I'm just starting out. Turbo Jam? Sweatin to the Oldies? Love me some Richard Simmons short shorts!
F is for an irrational fear: Slugs. Yes, I'm deathly afraid of them. Yes, I have nightmares about them. No, I don't care that they move at about a cm an hour.
G is for gross food: Mushrooms. I can't stand the texture. I always pick them out of my food and put them on the side of my boyfriend for Pee-Wee.
H is for hometown: Marysville
I is for something important: My family.
J is for current favorite jam: Anything Christina Perri. In love.
K is for kids: Someday, but for now I'm perfectly content with fur kids.
L is for current location: Work! (Bad)
M is for the most recent way you spent money: I bought some Skinny Cow ice cream and a couple of drinks last night.
N is for something you need: A Garmin Forerunner. A bicycle. An iPod Touch. Oh you said need, NOT want? Ok, then groceries.
O is for occupation: Property Clerk.
P is for pet peeve: People who chew their gum loud.
Q is for a quote: "Whatever tomorrow brings I'll be there with open arms and open eyes"- Incubus, Drive. I have part of this tattooed on my shoulders.
R is for random fact about you: I have some God awful number of nieces and nephews. 13, 15, 17? I can't even keep count any longer.
S is for favorite healthy snack: Fruit. And greek yogurt.
T is for favorite treat: Ice Cream. Ugh, ice cream, you will be the death of me yet.
U is for something that makes you unique: My ability to (uwillingly) get people to tell me all sorts of stuff about their lives without ever showing any interest.
V is for favorite vegetable: Asparagus.
W is for today’s workout: Nothing so far. I'm hoping to get in a walk/jog or some turbo jam tonight though.
X is for X-rays you’ve had: Most recently, one for my foot and one for my chest. Plenty more before that.
Y is for yesterday’s highlight: My little Sergeant laid down on his own in his obedience training. Booyah Grandma!
Wuppies Lay Down!

Z is for your time zone: Pacific? I really don't know what the time zones are called or which one I'm in. Haha!

5kYourWay and other ramblings.

I started the Sparkpeople 5kYourWay Walk/Jog program (AGAIN) on Sunday. I was a little too sore still yesterday from all the Turbo Jammin, Total Gymin and the walk/jog so I took an extra rest day. Let me tell you, those 60 seconds of running kicked my butt. But I felt accomplished when I was done. I want this so bad. I just need to stop sitting around and dreaming about it and actually make it happen. This is my goal and I will achieve it.

I've been trying to get my eating back on track, but it's not really working. I am realizing a couple of things. For one, I am a calorie hoarder. For breakfast and lunch I am only eating about half my daily goals. Then dinner obviously doesn't take up the other half. So I find myself just stuffing my face at night after the BF goes to work. This is not helping me reach my goals at all. This week I have been trying to pack some snacks for work and get used to eating every few hours again so that by the time meal time comes I'm not starving and overeating. I haven't been too successful so far, but I also need to go to the grocery store. We're running low on everything. I know that I will be more successful if I spread my calories out to 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day. This is how I was successful last year. I just need to start planning ahead. What a concept, huh? I must have just made that up as I write this...

The other thing that I am realizing is that I am a binge eater. And it doesn't even matter what the food is. When I get stressed or bored I find myself eating and not being able to stop. I sometimes even eat things that don't even taste good. Old, stale mini marshmallows anyone? Last night, this is what I was doing. I realized it, tattled on myself to the BF, then packed up the computer, magazines, books, and the pups and hightailed it to the bedroom. This is the farthest place from the kitchen. I actually ended up just falling asleep after not even reading the first chapter of The Hunger Games. This may not be the best way to deal with this, but it was a start. I need to find other things to do when my precious BF is at work. I need something to keep me busy and out of the kitchen. I think this is just going to be something I am going to have to work on day by day. I'm sure those urges will never go away, but I need to try to work through them and not give in.

I think to start working through all of these issues, I am going to start writing things down to help remind me why I am trying to be a healthier person. I can name countless reasons, but I think it would be best to see them whenever I need them.

I just want to be able to find my happy place again. I know that my relationship is suffering right now due to the fact that I am so unhappy with myself. I mean we're not on the verge of a breakup or anything even close to that, but it could be better. I want to have good friends again. I have been trying to purge everything/everyone bad out of my life little by little and that has left me with my family, my boyfriend, and a small handful of true friends. I know that these are people that I can go a year without seeing and things will be right back to how they were. I just need to reach out to them all more and spend more time on those good relationships. P and I need to get out more. We spend a ridiculous amount of time at home. This is where I'm at my happiest. But spring is near and I want to do things. I want to do things that will bring me closer to my happy place. I tried to get P to start a list of all the things we want to do in spring and summer, but he never takes me seriously and the list ended up in the garbage. I'm going to list mine here. (Because this blog isn't already all over the place and uber long.)

Things I want to do:

  • A 5k (Color Run! Color Run! Color Run!)
  • Hike
  • Ride Bikes (with the pups in a children's bike trailer whether the BF likes it or not! Ha!)
  • Spend time on the Centennial Trail
  • Either the Market Ghost Tour or the Lust Tour
  • Go to the zoo
  • Go for nightly walks with the pups
  • Go camping
  • Go to a concert
  • Spend lots of sunny days at the dog park
  • Go to free waterfront concerts
  • Walk the beach
  • Have picnics
  • Have BBQs
  • Start a vegetable garden
  • Do yardwork (because I now own my first home and I CAN!)

Maybe this lengthy blog is a sign that I should get on here more often and not go 5 days between posts. When I can post from home I will update everyone on my big weekend out. I took few pictures, but I will add them.

What do you want to get out and do this spring and summer?

Friday, March 9, 2012

I'm a grandma!

This is just random thoughts and stuffs from the week since I haven't had a whole lot exciting going on.

I finally got to pick up my new running shoes (Brooks Adrenaline GTS12) yesterday.  Because I bought them so far away, I didn't have the change to test them out yet. I'm going to try to get out with Mabel after work tonight though. Why not get all sweaty and rained on when I plan on taking a shower and getting ready all over again after work anyway? I so wish that these were purple and not pink, but they'll just have to do.
I've spent a lot of time shopping this week. I don't know why, but I just felt the need to spend, spend, spend. Check out the awesome vest I found. Yes, I like Grandma things. Yes, I'll rock them til I probably really am a Grandma, then I'll try to be hip and trendy. I just love this vest, but I can tell you I've gotten some strange looks. Not my fault that people will just not realize that "Grandma" is the new black. (Don't mind Mabel's creepy eyes in the background and my way too cool for me pant leg).
I thought I would share w hat I have to deal with at home. This the my precious BF with his GARGANTUAN fajita salad. Yeah, by the time he's made his I'm half way done with mine. He complains that he can't fit any more on the plate, but just keeps adding more and more. Yeah, he's a keeper.

Yeah, he's just as big of a cheeseball as me. <3
I'm just a rockin my BIC Band in this pic. I am so in love with these things so I had to take a picture and share.
Oh, have I mentioned lately that I'm spoiled? Our one year anniversay is coming up next weekend, but much like me the BF can't keep secrets or wait. I am doing an awesome job. I planned our weekend a month ago and he still doesn't know a single thing. (It's killing me!) So, he bought me a beautiful ring for our anniversary. There is such pretty intricate detail that you can't see in the photo. I'm so excited. This is my sister's birthstone which makes it even more special. Every time I look at it, I feel like I have a piece of her with me. Who else has a BF that awesome and thoughtful? Yeah, didn't think so.

This weekend I have three birthday parties in a row. That's a little much for this Grandma. The one tonight doesn't start until 9:30. 9:30?! Who do you think I am? A 25 year old or something? Yeah. That was my response. That is just rather late for me to be out and about. P-Tone says "Don't worry deary, we'll be able to get our early bird dinner and watch the news." How does he love me? Anyway, this party is for his friend and co-worker at our local casino. I'm not really into casinos, so I'm not thrilled. I tried to stay home, but it didn't work out. I don't really do well around new people. I tend to be quiet and probably seem rude. I guess you could say that I am shy. But once you know me, you would never believe that I could be shy. I'm having a lot of anxiety over going. I hope that it's not too bad.

And tomorrow is my friend Dawn's birthday party at our other local casino (Oh joy! Lucky me!). It should be fun though. I love these girls. They are so much fun and I haven't seen them in a year so I am excited.

Then on Sunday is my Dad's birthday party, which he is throwing himself. It will be good to be with the family even if P has to work and can't be there. Booo! Now that he has his GED I'm hoping he'll get a BIG BOY job soon.

I really don't drink, so that shouldn't be a problem this weekend. I'm just hoping that the food doesn't totally blow things for me. I've not had any self control this week at all. I've ate terribly and I don't even know why I'm eating most of the time. I need to work out a plan to NOT do that. I think that I'm a bit of a binge eater. It's the night time when I'm home alone that kills my whole day. I definitely need to put a plan into action to curb this. I've been reading Runs For Cookies ( and she talks about it and has kind of opened my eyes to having a problem. And reading this stuff is helping me realize that it can be helped. 

That's it for today. I know, big exciting life right here.  Be jealous.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My name is Vanessa and I am an energy drink-aholic.

Step 1. Admit you have a problem. Ok friends, it's time that I admit this to the world: I have an energy drink problem. It's gone from one 20 oz Red Bull a day to, well, a whole whole lot more than that. Much more than I would like to admit. Ok, maybe that's part of admitting I have a problem: Admitting just how bad it is. Today and yesterday both I drank 4 (FOUR in case you think you're the crazy one and not me) 12 oz cans of Rock Star Zero Carb. What does that equal, all you mathletes out there? 48 oz of heart attack goodness. IN ONE DAY.

Energy drinks and I have a long, shameful history. It started with Jolt Cola when I was just a wee little elementary school kid. I would drink one liter bottles of it and go crazy. Then, it moved on to Surge. (Does anyone else out there remember that?) Then somewhere down the road came Rock Star and Red Bull. There has not been much separation since them. I go through phases where I drink a lot and some where it's just a few times a week. No matter which phase I am in though, I still drink way too much.

I do not even know why I drink it. I don't feel like it gives me any type of the energy that it promises. I think it's more just the habit of drinking rather than the actual effect.

Last year, along with giving up soda, I gave up energy drinks for about three months. And it wasn't that bad. But the second I decided to drink one, I was hooked all over again. I also gave them up in 2010 as well, but the same thing happened then.

Now, I do know just how bad for me they are. Please no lectures today. When I'm about to have an "I'm a addict and I need one and need one NOW" break down, then PLEASE LECTURE ME! I just love them and I can't help myself. I know that this is something that I need to work on. I've decided that as of tomorrow I am going to give them up. And this time, I think it needs to be for good!

Wish me luck or at least wish me sanity!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Motivation Monday: And Exciting news!

So yesterday was rather boring. Hence there being no post. I slept in a little, then stayed home and cleaned away while the BF slaved away at his suck job.

On a  brighter note... Today we found out the P passed his very last GED test that had to be graded! Yeaaaahhh buddy! I've been waiting for weeks to hear this news! I am the proudest girlfriend EVER right now. It took a lot of pushing and bitching on my part, but he did it! I knew he could. He never studied for a single minute and he rocked every test on the first try! I'm insanely proud. I feel like I'm his momma or something. Sugar momma maybe.

Other than that uber exciting news, today I've decided that I'm going to sit back and re-evaluate my relationships. There are some that just do nothing but bring me down. So, I'm going to decide who is really important to me. And weed out all the baddies. And other than feeling sorry for myself, I've decided that I need to start being grateful for everything that I can do and everything that I have.

Motivation Monday:

This week I think my motivation is going to simply be the fact that I am physically able to do things. I am physically able to cook good meals. I am physically able to exercise (even if sometimes it doesn't FEEL that way). I am able to walk/run in the pouring down Washington rain. I am able to follow Turbo Jam and Jillian and get my butt kicked. Sometimes my knees hurt and my hips go out (um yeah like every day lately), but I am still able to do so many things. I am able to make a wonderful dinner with my wonderful boyfriend. I am able to work every day. I am able to spend quality time with my family. I am able to to a lot of things that a lot of people just don't have the luxury of. There are so many people out there with physical and mental ailments. They aren't able to do the things that I can. So this week I shall take advantage of what I am able to do with the body that I have to make it better and even MORE able in the future.

Here's to what we are all lucky enough to be able to do!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Weigh in, running shoes, and some pretty shoes too.

Isn't PDog lucky to have such a sexy gf rockin the socks and sandals look?
New Shoes
Bic Bands

This morning I woke up and actually remembered to weigh myself first thing. I have now officially lost 5% of my starting weight. I am so excited because this was my first mini goal! I feel so accomplished. I've never set little goals like that before and I knew I was getting close, but I didn't know I was that close. 10% is my next goal. I am starting the SASS challenge with the DONE Girls on Sparkpeople so this was a really good start. I also did my measurements today and in the last month I have lost 7 inches over my body. I have one thing to say about all of that:
Today I wanted to go to the zoo, but it ended up being a little too cold and rainy. So instead, I decided to head out to a running store and get fitted for a pair. I have a pair of Adidas currently and they kill my arches. It hurts enough that I just don't want to go out in them. I don't think I know anyone that has been fitted for running shoes, so I wasn't sure where to go. I didn't want to go all the way to Seattle, so I decided to head north. I ended up in Mount Vernon at Skagit Valley Running. They were really nice and I ended up really liking the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12. They were really comfy and I noticed the difference in the arches immediately. They were only about 3 times what I would normally spend on shoes, but I think it was worth it. Unfortunately, they had to order my size so I won't get them until next week. Here is the link for the photo.
Me and PeeWee (boyfriend) also went to Lunner. We went to Red Robin and I chose unhealthy choices and went way over my calorie goals for the day. I let myself get to the point of no return hunger wise. I'm not beating myself up over it though.
There was a Famous Footwear near by and I wanted to go in there for a little peeksy. I rarely go out unless it's some type of sporting event or a dinner. I have a birthday party to go to next weekend. A bunch of us girls are going to dinner then out to a casino/club. I am going to need a new outfit that I'm going to look for this week, but I decided to look for a good deal on some shoes. I ended up finding the cutest sandals. They aren't something I would normally wear, but for $20 and all their cuteness, I had to get them! Now I'll just have to find an outfit to match them. P said that he would buy me the outfit at his work. Lucky girl right here! I am really excited to see all my bank girls. It's probably been about a year since I've seen them all because I had a lot go on in 2011.
Next weekend is going to be uber busy. I have a hockey game on Friday. Yep, here I go pretending to be a sports fan again. Then the birthday shenanigans on Saturday. And my dad's birthday party on Sunday. Busy! I'm looking forward to it though.
Also, when I got home I had the BIC bands that I ordered in my mailbox! I am so excited! I put one straight on and it hasn't budged. I am so glad to have found this company. A great cause and a great product!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Who am I?: An Introduction

I am just a born and raised fat girl. I don't think I've been thin since months before I came out of the womb. I am trying to get healthy and get active and this is a blog about that. And many other things. A little bit of food, some workouts, some home stuff, and some boyfriend stuff. I would like to say that I am writing this blog to keep myself accountable, but I'll be honest. I'm not. I'm probably going to be way over enthusiastic on good days and lie on bad days. Ok, maybe I won't lie, I'll just do a really good job at avoiding facing it and try to change the subject as much as possible.

I lead an incredibly boring life. Some times I pretend to be a sports fan. Some times I pretend to be a home maker. Some times I even pretend to be a DIYer. I have a lot of big dreams, but not much follow through. I expect that if my creepily obsessed puppy and cat had opposable thumbs, they'd be the only ones to read this. But they don't, so I'll just be sharing this with more people who just don't care what I have to say. Such is life. And no other puppy and other two cats would be completely uninterested right along with the rest of the world.