Chicken Avacado Wraps and Fresh Pasta alla Checca

So, we haven’t checked in for a few days (if you didn’t notice, you may want to sign up for email notifications when we post on our main page: 🙂, but we have been sticking to our diets. Workouts have been a bit spotty – but whatever. Hopefully, we’ll get a workout in later today…

In the last few days, there’s lots of things that have helped us keep to our diets including Subway and various snacks, but here are two of the most memorable dishes we cooked at home:

Pasta all Checca (pronounced “Kecka”) is a classic Italian dish that features fresh tomatoes simmered in olive oil. I like to throw a few pepperoncinis in there while it’s simmering! 😉

Plated Pasta all Checca. Amazingly, we were able to eat more sauce for less calories than jarred sauce! If I remember correctly, our pasta dinners came in well under 500 calories!

Lisa checking out our delicious Chicken Avacado Wraps with tomatoes and onions! We put a serving of BBQ sauce on top too. 😉

Small Amount of Pasta – (said as Rainman guy)

Yesterday, Lisa and I both ran a quarter mile again and did our normal workout. Also, we consumed less that 1500 calories each – Lisa with 1365 and me with 1480 calories – staying within our goals. A “small amount of pasta” for dinner really helped us stay within our diet yesterday.

First of all, I could write you pages about how to make the most delicious and decadent plate of pasta. However, that’s not what this is. This is an easy way to enjoy pasta for only 580 calories. IT’S SIMPLE! 2 exact servings of wheat pasta, 2 exact servings of the lowest-calorie, jarred sauce that you can find. Pass GO and COLLECT $200!


By using a food scale and a measuring cup, you can ensure that you’re eating just the right amount. 😉

Plated Pasta

A good tip is to use garlic salt, crushed red peppers, and black pepper on your pasta instead of Parmesan cheese! 😉

Ham and Swiss Lavash Wraps – Diet Month

Lisa and I have a big trip in about a month, so we’re back on a diet and counting calories again! We’re posting them here again, because it keeps us honest with our diets. 😉

Lisa had 1345 calories yesterday, and I had 1370 calories. We both also ran a quarter mile and did a 30 minute workout routine.

The highlight of yesterday was definitely our dinner – weighing in at only 585 calories – two Lavash Ham and Swiss Wraps garnished with pepperoncini’s and served with brown mustard!!!! – made all with ingredients found at Fresh and Easy! I’d spell out the recipe, but you can probably figure it out from the pictures! 😛

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Brian and Lisa Make the Perfect Pizza Yet Again!!!

One of Lisa’s co-workers graciously gave us a Pampered Chef Pizza Stone! Definitely the perfect gift for pizza lovers like us! Therefore in the theme of a super italian food weekend we thought it would be fun to make a homemade pizza with our new cookware.

Regarding the ingredients, we highly recommend the Fresh and Easy for the best pizza. We started with one of their fresh, Whole Wheat pizza dough balls. Leave the dough out for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll the dough into a 12-14 inch circle. Coat the pizza stone with 1 tsp. of olive oil, and then rub a small amount of minced or crushed garlic into the crust. Top with your favorite sauce, cheese, and toppings. For this one Lisa sliced up some Salami! Then bake for 8-12 minutes.


Baby Step to the Vodka

I didn’t count calories for yesterday, because it just didn’t seem fair. It didn’t seem fair, because I had just barely decided to lose weight yesterday afternoon, and it seemed like I should at least get to have on last hurrah. So I did.

Sandwiches, chips, Trader Joe’s fresh pizza from the refrigerator section, Gorgonzola flavored crackers with baby Swiss cheese on them, and vodka. The vodka and crackers with cheese are what I really want to talk about.

My random decision to pair Trader Joe’s baby Swiss (that happened to be on sale) with their Gorgonzola flavored crackers turned out to be a serious win. I highly recommend it.

Grab these and some baby Swiss! 😉

The only thing I really did to change my diet was drink vodka instead of Bud Light. 😆 This lead to a grand savings of 200 calories for me. Although, after eating my fill or pizza and crackers with cheese, this was probably a drop in the bucket. However, the booze switch did lead to the discovery of another great Trader Joe’s “Vodka of the gods”. NOT TOO SHABBY.

Nice, big bottle of decent vodka for $10?! What?

World’s Greatest Meatballs Ever

In my opinion, turkey tastes like farts. However, these meatballs are one of the few things where I think turkey actually tastes better than beef.  I think the reason for the turkey’s awesomeness in these meatballs has to do with the bird’s gaminess (or fart flavor), because the flavor really comes through all of the “filler” that goes into these meatballs.

Add in a bowl:

  • 20 oz ground turkey
  • smashed crackers  (2 parts meat to 1 part smashed crackers) *Hint* Just throw the crackers into a plastic, sandwich bag and roll over them with a rolling pin for easy smashing!
  • 2 or more whopping tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, and basil)
  • Half a cup of Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh cracked pepper (add to taste – I like lots of pepper)
  • Add celery salt in place of real salt (Keep in mind that you’ll also be sprinkling the outsides of the meatballs with celery salt later.)

I highly recommend putting on a pair of vinyl gloves before you begin mixing the meat. Mix everything together EXTREMELY WELL and form the meat into one, giant meatball.  Then grab a small amount of meat with each hand, and separately roll the meat into two balls with each hand rolling one meatball. If you’re having trouble rolling the meat into a ball with one hand, then you’re using too much meat. Each ball should only be an inch to an inch and a half in diameter. When you’re finished, all of the meatballs should be as perfectly round as you can possibly get them and devoid of any cracks. Sprinkle them with celery salt.

This is what they should look like right before you add the celery salt.

Then, add some olive oil to a frying pan at medium to medium/high heat. We find that a large, electric skillet works perfectly. Once the olive oil is hot and slides around quickly on the bottom pan, quickly add the meatballs one at a time, and make sure that none of them are touching. Every couple of minutes, shake the pan to roll the meatballs around or roll them around the pan using a wooden spoon. Once the meatballs are golden, browned, and crispy – you’re in business!

Nom! Nom! Nom!

Meat and Potatoes Done Right

Do you know what you’re having for dinner yet? If not, you might want to stick with something classic and to the point tonight, and I’m sure you’ll be happy that you did!

Lisa looks happy!

First of all, you’re going to have to start at the grocery store – where most meals start. Generally, I’d say buy the most biggest, baddest, most-expensive steak and potatoes that you can afford. As with most things in life, you generally get what you pay for. That said, we bought the 2 biggest potatoes that we could find and some London Broil on sale. If you can afford Filet Mignon, get that. 😛

Next, you’re going to have to get those potatoes cooking. Scrub the skin on the outsides of the potatoes very well, and dry them off. After that, cover them in olive oil and salt. THAT’S IT. The olive oil and salt is the trick to getting those golden baked potatoes that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. We cooked ours for about an hour in the toaster-oven at 375 degrees and 15 minutes at 400, but that didn’t work out as well as 45 minutes to an hour in the regular oven generally does. We were just trying to use the toaster-oven, because we live in the desert and it’s 120 degrees outside – didn’t really want to heat up the house.

I like how they look polished like bowling balls or something...

I’d start the steaks when the baked pototoes have about a half an hour left to cook. Once again, cover the steaks with olive oil and salt. THAT’S IT. The olive oil seals in the meat’s natural juices, and the salt helps sear the outside of the meat via the magic of science. Sometimes, I’ll apply the salt water or salt directly to the grill before throwing the meat on. The olive oil and salt will help ensure a juicy steak. After the steak is halfway cooked, crack some fresh pepper over it.

You think it looks okay to eat?

We served our steaks with Chris & Pitt’s amazing barbaque sauce, and drizzled some cheese over our potatoes. We just melted some sharp cheddar cheese down in a pan with a little vinegar (so that the cheese doesn’t stick to the pan).

This stuff is REALLY good.


Day 84 & 85: Grilled Turkey Sausage and Zuchini Onion Kabobs!

We had turkey sausage with cream sauce again! This time we put the zuchini on skewers with little onions. Everything turned out absolutely scrumptious yet again! The sausages have 170 calories each and the 3 kabobs only have about 50 calories!

We also worked out on Wii Fit last night instead of the EA Active. We found the Wii Fit island track to be a bit more entertaining than the EA Active track. Plus on the Wii Fit version we got to chase a small puppy the whole way. What could be more fun?


Brian=+1,572 Lisa=-12,980

7/15-7/16 Brian Lisa
Total Calories Consumed 4,998 4,025
# of Steps 18,864 17,999
# of calories for steps 660 630
# calories living 3,600 3,600
Total Calories Burned 4,260 4,230
Net Effect for Day 738 -205
# of Push Ups 30 20
# of Sit Ups 60 75
# of Minutes Ran 12 12

Day 83 – Turkey Dago Meatloaf

No, there’s not actually Degos in the meatloaf – nor Meatloaf the recording artist! We’re referring more to the Italian spices and spicy marinara sauce that it’s smothered with. We’d never used ground turkey to make meatloaf before, but it turned out arguably better than when made with ground beef! It went really well with lima beans, and it made great low-calorie sandwiches on English Muffins! Yum!

We simply spiced the ground turkey with 10 smashed crackers, crushed red peppers, powdered Parmesan, fresh cracked pepper, onion powder, minced garlic, celery salt and “Italian Seasoning”. After mixing everything into the meat, simply form the turkey into the shape of your pan. Then, cover the whole thing with some marinara sauce – out of the jar is fine. Bake it for about an hour and a half (depending on the size) at 350-375 degrees or until the core temperature is above 160 degrees.

We’ve been failing at exercising lately, but our feet our actually injurred in a way to where it’s better that we stay off of them right now. We don’t seem to be getting fat though, and it’s nice to be thinner now but still eating a reasonable amount of food.


Brian= +834           Lisa = -12,775

7/12-14/2011 Brian Lisa
Total Calories Consumed 5,385 3,712
# of Steps 23,621 30,899
# of calories for steps 826.74 1081.5
# calories living 5,400 5,400
Total Calories Burned 6,227 6,481
Net Effect for Day -842 -2,769
# of Push Ups 0 0
# of Sit Ups 0 0
# of Minutes Ran 0 0

Day 70: Taking it easy on Friday for a change!

Well for a Friday, we both managed to control ourselves yesterday. Not sure what our secret really was, but perhaps it was a bit less drinking than usual. Glad to see we both stayed under 1,200 calories and hope that we can continue such positive results. Let us know how you have fun on Friday’s without burning your diet by posting a comment below!

Just wanted to talk a minute about my daytime eating habits during the work week. I work at least 8 hours a day in an office, and find that I like to graze throughout the day on small snacks, rather than bringing a large lunch or going out to eat. While this not only saves me a substantial amount of money, it also keeps me from gaining a lot of weight. When you’re sitting for most of the day, it’s really hard to justify having a fast food burger and fries. Not only that, I have eaten this for lunch a couple of times, and find myself falling asleep in the afternoon because I am just too full. That said, I have found the following snacks work great for my day. Breakfast= 1 serving of Cheerios or other low calorie cereals without milk. Lunch= 1 serving of carrots and 1 serving of celery (only 50 calories for both!). Afternoon snack= Quaker Rice Quakes. That’s only 290 calories for the whole day and way better than any fast food lunch! We’d love to hear about your diet methods while working in an office. Please share by posting a comment below.

The perfect low calorie snack for working professionals!



Brian = -521       Lisa= -5,002

  Brian Lisa
Rice Chips 0 130
Fruit by the Foot 0 80
Hard Boiled Eggs 70 0
Goldfish 0 140
Veggies 0 50
Mini Muffin Pizzas 0 330
Mini Muffin Sandwich 320 160
Pasta 720 0
Vodka 0 195
Total Calories Consumed: 1,110 1,085
# of Steps 7,236 13,675
# of calories for steps 253 479
# calories living 1,600 1,600
Total Calories Burned 1,853 2,079
Net Effect for Day -743 -994