Citrus Garlic Pork Skewers with Veggies

Tonight we grilled (indoors on the grill pan), and luckily I did not set off any of the smoke alarms!  I made some Citrus Garlic Pork Skewers (recipe follows) with grilled zucchini, yellow squash and scallions!  The boys also got quinoa, which I missed just a LITTLE bit, because it’s truly one of my favorites.  But, I had plenty to eat, so not to fret!

For the pork skewers, first prepare the marinade.

  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Place this in a ziplock bag, and then throw in about 1-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin chunks for the skewers.  Mix this about well, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  When you are ready to cook, thread the pork pieces on the skewers.  I cooked mine on a hot cast-iron grill pan, but it would work well outdoors as well.  Cook for about 10 minutes and then turn over.  You will need approximately 20 minutes cooking time total.

While the meat was grilling, I also sliced yellow squash into medallions, and then sliced a zucchini lengthwise.  I also cut some scallions and then grilled all of the veggies on the grill with just a little bit of salt and pepper!  Yummy.

Make sure to measure your veggies (for this situation it would be 1/2 cup of each of the three vegetables), and weigh your pork for your 5 oz serving.


Vanilla Shakes!

Today I have officially lost seven full pounds since beginning my diet 17 days ago.  Of course I miss those “pound a day” drops of the beginning, but I’m happy to see the scale doing down again.

I really don’t like the French Vanilla Shakes!  So today I tried another mixture to help me through the “sample pack” order.  As with the strawberry and banana shakes (neither of which I like on their own), I decided that I needed to try something different.  So today I mixed a packet each of French Vanilla and Dutch Chocolate shakes together and prepared 1/2 of the mixture.  I use my digital kitchen scale for this, trying to divide the mixture as evenly as possible (without being overly obsessive about it!).  Much better!  That said, the next time I want to mix a French Vanilla shake with something else I will try the Dark Chocolate shake instead to give the resultant shake a bit more of a chocolate kick.

I also have some sugar free Torani Chocolate Syrup.  I could add a splash of that to help out, but I don’t see a reason to use up some of my sucralose allowance for a combined shake if I can avoid it.  I’m sure that just adding sugar free chocolate syrup to the vanilla shake would help, but since I have plenty of chocolate shakes to experiment with, that’s my plan for today.

Fajitas for dinner

Tonight we had Fajitas for dinner.  Well, I didn’t get to enjoy quite as much in the way of fresh tortillas and guacamole, but here’s the recipe for my Medifast portion, as well as details for the rest of the family!  If you need to be especially careful about making sure you only eat what you are allowed, make this in two different batches – one for you, one for the rest of the family.   Typically when I make this, I would estimate 1/4 pound of chicken for each diner, but since it’s lean white meat chicken, you can have about 1/2 pound raw chicken (6 oz cooked weight) all to yourself.  Since there were only three of us for dinner, I used one pound of chicken, and could pretty much just divide the pan in half for me :-)


  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb of chicken breast, cut into small strips and pieces
  • 1 cup scallions with greens, sliced diagonally
  • 2 cups bell peppers of various colors, stemmed, seeded, de-ribbed, sliced lengthwise into strips
  • Salt


  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 fresh Jalapeño pepper, seeded, ribs removed, finely chopped (be careful not to touch your eyes or anywhere near your eyes after handling a Jalapeño pepper!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, including stems


1 Mix all marinade ingredients. Coat the chicken with the marinade and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Before you cook the chicken, drain off most of the marinade, pat with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

2 Set a large cast iron pan or griddle over medium high heat and let this heat up for 1-2 minutes. Add the tablespoon of oil to the pan and let this heat up for 1 minute. Add the chicken, turning until almost done.  Remove the chicken from the pan.

3 Add the vegetables to the pan and let sear for a minute  before stirring, then stir every 90 seconds or so as the veggies sear. Cook for 5-6 minutes total.

One-half of this pan yields one lean & green medifast meal!

For the non-dieters in the group, serve with shredded cheese, salsa, shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole and warm flour tortillas. My favorite, even though I can’t have them, are tortillas that can be purchased uncooked, and fried up on your griddle fresh while you finish off the meat.  Yum!

Strawberry/Banana Shakes

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m not terribly fond of either the strawberry shakes or the banana shakes.  But I have found that mixing the two together is a good deal!

Today I took a packet each of the strawberry and banana shakes and mixed them in a container.  Then I used half of the mixture to make my shake.  I make my shakes in a blender.  I start with a handful of ice and throw it in the blender.  It comes up a bit higher than 1 cup on the blender’s measuring marks.  Then I add water to the 1 cup mark.  I give that a good kick (high on my VitaMix) until it is mostly like wet crushed ice.  Then I add in the shake powder and give it another couple of whirls on high.

I think I’ll be able to manage to use up the strawberry and banana shake mixes now, even though they are not my favorites.  Mixed together they make a nice shake that I like!


Tonight we decided to go out for dinner.  Chili’s is just down the street, so that’s where we headed.  Husband and son had fried cheese as an appetizer, and then both got burgers (they are skinny boys – really unfair if you ask me).  I got the Guiltless Gourmet Classic Sirloin.  I decided to check out the nutritional value differences between the Chili’s Classic Sirloin and the Guiltless version.

Calories Fat Sat. Fat Carbs Protein Fiber
Classic Sirloin

Wow!  I mean the caloric difference alone is astounding, but if you look at the fat it’s outrageous.  The big difference?  Seasoned butter on the steak and the loaded mashed potatoes.  There are other differences of course, such as different veggies and no doubt some butter on those as well, but really the seasoned butter and the loaded mashed potatoes are the bulk of the extra calories.  How can a humble potato become such a perfect fat delivery system??  I write with indignation, but I know that I love a “loaded mashed potato” as much as the next guy.  I’ll just have to remember once I’m no longer watching every tiny thing I eat that there is danger out there!

This seems to work with my day

Today I was struck with a realization as to why Medifast seems to be working well for me, whereas plans like Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers have been less effective.  I’m easily consumed by my day, PLUS I have a family that enjoys quality dinner time together!  What a concept!

As far as that day that gets away from me,  I often get up in the morning, get my son off to school, and then get totally engrossed in a project and forget what time it is!  Easy foods are great for me during the day.  And by easy I mean it takes only a minute or two to grab some food and go.  Nutrisystem was pretty good in this regard, but Weight Watchers was difficult for me.  Preparing lunch or a snack always seemed to involve more work that I wanted to put into the process.  Every couple of hours I can make myself take a break long enough to walk to the kitchen and grab a bar or blend up a shake.  I can even usually coax myself into the 5 minutes or so it takes to heat up a bowl of soup.  So the busy day syndrome isn’t bothering me with Medifast.

Then dinner comes around and my family converges at the dinner table.  We like to sit around dinner, discussing the day’s events, and catching up on activities.  I have to say that Nutrisystem was a failure in this regard for me.  Preparing a healthy, yummy dinner for my family, and then heating up what always seemed a paltry prepackaged meal was never a good incentive for me to stay on the program.  Weight Watchers was better in this regard, but there was so much counting involved in Weight Watchers that I wasn’t enjoying it all that much.  Our meals often consist of a lean protein, green veggies, a starch of some kind, and good conversation.  So, just preparing in many cases what I would have been preparing anyway, and pushing the potatoes, rice or pasta off on the rest of the family, is a very natural way for me to handle the Lean and Green portion of the Medifast diet.

One week down

One week has passed since I began my new diet, and I’m very happy to report that I’ve lost 4 pounds.  Luckily I have a scale the weighs in 1/10 pounds, and every single day this week I’ve seen a drop on the scale, even if only a miniscule 1/10 of a pound!  It’s been a good week.

After using the products for a week, I have some likes, some dislikes, and some discoveries.  A couple of the discoveries involve the cooked foods like oatmeal and pancakes.

Oatmeal: It took some getting used to the oatmeal texture.  I found that for my microwave at least, I need to use the full 3/4 cup of water (from the 1/2 to 3/4 cup recommendation) in order to get the right texture.  And the oatmeal must sit for about 5 minutes before it thickens up enough for the texture to be appealing to me.

Pancakes: I attempted to make multiple pancakes, but it simply didn’t work well for me.  I find that one pancake turns out better for thickness and consistency.  This was especially true for me with the chocolate chip pancakes.  All of the chips would settle on the bottom of the shaker cup, and so only one pancake would get any chips if I didn’t make one pancake.

Family Feuds: If you are going to bake your Medifast Chocolate Brownie, and you don’t have anything luscious and chocolaty in the house for the rest of your family, be prepared for a revolt!

I also have some dislikes, mostly in the form of shakes and puddings.  I’m not a huge pudding fan anyway, but I really cannot seem to get the lumps out of my pudding!  So I’ll be unlikely to order more pudding down the road, unless I want to try out some of the baking recipes for cookies and such that I’ve found around the Internet,

Also, I really only seem to like the chocolate flavored shakes.  Both the dutch chocolate and the dark chocolate work quite well for me.  I do NOT like the french vanilla, banana or strawberry shakes.  They will not appear on future orders for me.  For this round of products, I’m going to do some experimenting in the next week by mixing chocolate/strawberry, strawberry/banana, chocolate/vanilla to try to find a better shake blend using the products in the 4-week combo package.

Thank heavens for my Vitamix!

A good blender is definitely a plus when you are whipping up diet shakes, but today I found that it’s just WONDERFUL when it comes to making the Medifast soft servedessert.  I started out following the directions on the packet for obliterating the ice first.  After a couple of whirls on high, it was like I had snow in the bottom of the blender.  Very cool.  And by the time the soft serve dessert was done, it was really difficult to imagine that this started out with some ice, some water, and a packet of powder!  Of all of the Medifast products I’ve tried so far, this is really the coolest (pardon the pun).

Of course, there was also that microwave brownie from the other night – that was pretty awesome as well.  My coach suggested that next time I splurge with one of my “optional snack” servings of peanut butter, and ice the warm brownie with peanut butter.

I DID say I’m on a diet.  HONEST!

Getting geeky with my diet

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a total geek, and I’m just about chained to my iPhone.  Well, long before I had an iPhone, I was chained to a Palm Treo too, and I’ve had diet applications for my phone for as long as I can remember.

My favorite is Diet & Exercise Assistant by Keyoe, Inc.  There are, of course, a myriad of applications for the iPhone and other phones that will do the job.  I just like this one because I had it for my Treo for so long and got use to its features.  If you want to get an app for your phone or pda you will want something that tracks weight (of course), and allows you to add your own foods to the food database.  It’s also good if the app tracks values such as calories, fat, saturated fat, protein, carbohydrates and fiber.

For the Diet & Exercise Assistant app, I created a new food group called 1-Medifast (just to sort it to the top of the list) , and then I created categories for bars, shakes, breakfast, soups, desserts, drinks, etc.  iconFinally, I added all of the foods that were shipped to my in my 4-week starter pack.

Also, since I have a cup of coffee with milk almost every morning, I created a “meal” for that in the 1-Medifast group, and so now I can quickly get everything entered when I eat.

Not only does having everything I eat in front of me keep me honest, but it also helps to remind me that I really AM supposed to eat 6 times a day, and I can see how many of the Medifast food replacement options I’ve already eaten, and know how many more I need to finish before my day is over.

Today is a new day

Being overweight is a drag!  I don’t care really if it’s 10 pounds or 200 pounds, it has to feel just lousy for everyone involved.  I want to lose about 35 pounds.  It would be  nice to say that where this came from is a mystery, but that would by lying!  Sixteen years ago I weighed in at about 40 pounds less than I do today.  In this time I had my “last” baby (which I let go to my head, and I gained more than I should have), and I’ve struggled with a total yo-yo syndrome ever since.  I’ve lost and gained the same 20 pounds over and over during the past 13 years, and it’s got to stop!

I’ve done more “diets” than I probably can enumerate here.  But they include Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Atkins, South Beach, Master Cleanse Diet, calorie counting, the list goes on.   And I’m sure that each and every one of these diets has worked for SOMEONE.  Indeed, I’ve had moderate success with most of them.  But it’s time to try something new.

A colleague has recommended Medifast to me.  I’m working with a coach affiliated with Take Shape for Life.  Only time will tell if this time I’ll make it, but if anything is certain, I’m not getting any younger, and this will only become more difficult if I don’t just DO IT!

So, armed with new goodies, books and support, I’m starting a new path to a slimmer me!  Hopefully this blog will help  me track my progress, and perhaps even assist others in taking this step as well!