Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Do you ever go through spurts in your life where you feel like someone got behind the wheel of your life, turned on the nitrous, and floored it? To the point where you cannot believe how fast time is flying by, and you have no idea what you've been doing? That is me these days. I hopped on here to write a long-overdue post, and realized I haven't posted anything since July. Then I realized it is almost the end of September already!! What the hell!??!! Where does my life go?? So I'll try to catch you up on the last couple of months...

Back in August I finally broke down and went to the doctor for my annual physical. 1 year, 8 month physical. I was supposed to go in December, but couldn't quite get myself there until August. I'm SOOOOO busy. Or at least that's what I told myself. I'm fine. There's nothing wrong with me. I don't need to go waste an hour+ at the doctor's office for them to tell me what I already know. But that delusional thought process was cut short the second my doc walked in. First words out of her mouth: "it's good to finally see you...some people do try to avoid coming in to see us when they've gained some weight". BUSTED. Like, seriously busted. She wasn't a bitch about it at all - just very matter of fact. And she was right. That is exactly why I hadn't gone in to see her. I was always going to go see her when I'd lost the weight I'd gained since I went in for my visit in December 2010. But that day wasn't coming, and wasn't coming, and wasn't coming - so I finally broke down and made the appointment. And it was good that I finally did go. She's like the only neutral 3rd party I ever talk to. She doesn't pull any punches. We talked about why (busy, lazy, stressed, lazy, unhappy, lazy). She asked if I'd been blogging, and I told her I hadn't - because if I'm not doing anything I perceive to be positive, I don't have anything positive to share.

That's when she hit me with it - - she asked why wouldn't I share the truth. The whole truth. The good and the bad. Because people that are going through what I am - trying to go from wildly obese (I prefer wildly to morbidly - - it makes me want to puke less) to fit, active and healthy - typically function like I am right now. They have positive times where everything is fantastic, and they have bad times where nothing seems to be going right. They struggle. They battle. They succeed. They lose. They feel like they're getting the shit beat out of them daily. They feel like they're on top of the world. They experience it all - so why wouldn't I share that?

So here's the truth: I've gained back most of what I lost. Not all, but most. About 40 of the 60 pounds, over the last 1 year and 9 months. I have all bust stopped working out, and even more damaging - I resorting to many of my old eating habits (fast food....crap, basically). I tell myself I'm going to get back on track, but haven't. I've had moments, but they've been few and far between. I've set up plans, and not followed through on a damn one of them. I've planned to weigh myself, and haven't - and I need that accountability. It's like avoiding the doctor - just because I don't see the number, or hear the doc's voice - doesn't mean it isn't happening. Basically - I've resorted to Natalie 2009, and it isn't really working for me. It's not working at all, actually. I have still been holding on to this "all-or-nothing" philosophy that I have proven time and again doesn't do me a damn bit of good. So that's what I'm going to try and break. I will try every day to remind myself that no one is perfect - and I should definitely allow myself the room to not be. I will keep my home a place stocked with things that are good for me, but will cut myself some slack when I do eat something that isn't necessarily great for me. One bad decision doesn't mean I failed - it means I'm human. I'm going to remind myself that although I feel better when I'm active - there are days where I'm just not feeling it, and that's OK. I'm going to try and be as supportive of myself as I would someone else who came to me with similar issues. I'm going to try for the best I can do vs. all-or-nothing. I'm going to be kinder to myself - not delusional about what I'm doing or accomplishing - but kind. Not beat myself up about every decision that isn't 100% in the direction of my overall goal. I'm going to embrace the fact that I'm not perfect. I'm an original, and I'm going to allow me to be who I am - a smart, witty, talented, cute woman who happens to have a weight issue

I'm Natalie. I'm smart, and witty, and talented, and pretty, and occasionally kind. I also happen to be wildly overweight. So I'm going to work to move in a positive direction on all of those things. I'm going to strive to learn new things. I'm going to try my hand at writing. I'm going to take care of myself - my skin, my teeth, my hair, my body. I'm going to work on being kinder - to others and myself. I'm going to work on being better.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Cost of Being Cocky

Remember when I started all this crap?? And by "all this crap", I mean - trying to get my life switched around so I could be the poster child for healthy living. I was so full of hope and optimism and positivity. Like I had the world by the balls. Like this time it was going to be a piece of cake, and not a daily, mind-numbing battle. I felt like I was riding a unicorn while safely ensconced in a shawl made of hearts and butterflies and puppies and bunnies. Basically - living in la la land, thinking I had it all figured out. I got cocky.

Well....somewhere along the line I lost it. I got bucked off the damn unicorn, and lost my frickin' shawl! I found myself, by myself, wondering how the hell everything got so hard all of the sudden. I left the protective bubble of FC, and found myself alone in the tundra surrounded by temptation. The cocktails started to call to me. Soda - granted I drink diet, but apparently that's almost worse - totally had my number and wouldn't leave me alone! And then out of nowhere, my taste buds turned back on. They could no longer be kept content with veggies and low-sodium healthy crap...I mean stuff. They wanted - nay! they demanded flavor in form of fat and salt. They could not be silenced.

I've half-assedly tried to re-create the bubble. I've tried to keep only good things in my house. I've left my wallet at home so I can't stop and pick up bad things. I've set my alarm to get up and work-out in the morning. (do you guys even realize how easy it is to reset it for an hourish later, and just go back to sleep?) But there's this thing that keeps getting in my damn way! Life. Made up of work, money and bills - Life is working against me. In this trying economy, and me with my non-degree'd-self, I'm working for far less than I believe my abilities merit.  Can't the world see that my intangible list of skills warrants a large salary, and an amazing benefits package?? Geesh! So I better just learn how to work with it.

Since going back to work, I've made some questionable decisions - like quitting my gym. How are you going to try and be a person who is getting healthy, and quit your gym? Seriously. Hey - I'm working on getting in shape, and losing weight - - I don't need that stupid gym membership! Idiotic. So I have finally realized the errors of my ways, and have determined that it is essential that I have a gym membership. Some people work out in their homes, and it works great for them. If I had an elliptical in my living room, I'm sure I'd spend time on it - but I can't currently afford a decent one, so that's out. The baby-gym (and I use the term gym loosely here) at my apartment complex is just too depressing to use. And yes - I can go walk outside, and have - but it seems to be 90+ and humid more days than not lately, and I don't care for that. So I'm on the hunt for something reasonably priced, that isn't a crackerjack box. On a related note - If anyone knows of a person in the Twin Cities who'd like to donate personal training sessions, I'd be all for it. I could pay them in high fives...or hugs...scratch that - I'm not much of a hugger...or dirty looks while they train me. Who could turn down that deal? Please pass along their information. =)

So I've learned some things. When things are super-easy, DON'T TRUST IT! Especially considered I'd given it the old college try about 34235 times - did I really think I was just going to breeze my way to fitness and smallness? Apparently, I did. But I've now come to the point where I can admit it's going to be just as much work as I'd hoped it wouldn't be. Every day. What to eat? How to fit in the workout. Every. Day. So here I go....a little less sunshiny....but going none-the-less. I will lose weight. I will get healthy. I just isn't going to be easy.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I get so emotional baby.... - Whitney Houston

It is a definite sign that you've been gone too long when you log in to update you blog, and the WHOLE program has changed. Like I don't even know how to run this thing anymore. I'm really hoping I don't hit the publish button at the end of this thing, and my computer blows up, because that will really bum me out. Another indication that I've been slacking a bit too much may be seen in the inch of dust on my keyboard. But oh well! I put on my dust mask, and here I am - hoping I'll figure out this new blogspot system by the time I'm done rambling.

The reason for my absence has been...well, there is more than one reason...but one of the biggest is: for the last few months I've been severely off my game - like dealing with some pretty insane emotional crap that I didn't even know was an issue for me until all of the sudden BAM! it hit me in the face. It then proceeded to kick me in the crotch, and then sit on me and hold me down. I'm not the hugest fan of emotions, anyway. I feel like the wrong ones always surface at the most inopportune times - - or maybe that's just me? Anyway, I know this is vague - but trust me - I've been a damn mess. I didn't just fall off the wagon. I was shoved off the wagon, breaking both hands and a leg on the way down. So although I've thought about sitting down and clacking (my term for typing) out some cleansing shit was tempting, I was more than slightly concerned it would basically read as a fairly detailed list of how everyone could go F themselves. Super-positive, right. Well - that's the head-space I've been in. While fully taking responsibility for the majority of my shortcomings, I'm also dealing with a fair amount of the blame game - like it's the responsibility of anyone else that life is repeatedly kicking me in the metaphorical balls.

So, anywho - I've been trying to work through that. And sometimes when you're on the mad/sad teeter-totter you are willing to try anything. Along the way I tried a series of bordering on the insane things to rid myself of my funk. The list below should help you get a small glimpse into the abyss that was my emotional state.

  • Chopping all your hair off. I thought I remembered something about Lenny Kravitz cutting off his dreads because they were the place where all of his past negativity was stored. Now - I may have just made that up, or may have been trying to channel my inner-sexy/odd man - but whatever prompted it, it didn't work. I don't regret it. It's hair, it will grow back. But it change a damn thing, other than making my head feel marginally lighter.
  • Pizza. As much as you want to believe the most delicious all around thing on the planet will somehow make your soul not hurt, it doesn't help. What it does do is make Remus gloat like the self-serving jackwad that he is. So do yourself a favor, put down the pizza and walk away...and then keep walking. It's good for you.
  • Avoiding everyone. Actually - this one might not have been so bad. When you're in the midst of your MamaNat and Funky Bunch episode, one shouldn't force themself onto others.  When negative is an understatement, no one needs to deal with that crap. Don't harsh everyone else's mellow - just leave them be. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. If you can't be fun to be around, keep your ass to home. One in the same.
  • Cheetos, French Fries, Beer, Milli Vanilli's, wine, destructive food, destructive drink, you get the point, etc. See Pizza above. And seriously - how many times do you need to hear about not stuffing down your emotions with food before you get it?!?! For me - apparently infinity. The only thing you'll feel is worse. It might not be until you swallow the last bite, but you will.
This is just a few. Around the beginning of July I recalled that there was's called exercise...and it's supposed to make you feel better. It produces these things called endorphins, and they are natural joy-providers. I know it has worked for me in the past, but how easily I forget. So I made it a goal to walk at least a mile every day. I may be doing it alone, or there may be some silently following along. I've missed a couple of days, but for the most part have gotten it in. And I am starting to feel sort of human again.

I'm glad summer is here. It's providing me with a lot of vitamin D, and helps fruits and veggies taste better. I'm working on getting back on the wagon.

Maybe I'll have my crap back together by the time my hair grows out? Maybe.....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

F%$@ it! I'll just be fat!

A couple of weeks ago I was out doing NSDLP (non-sexual domestic life partner) thangs with my former-NSDLP when she very eloquently stated the very thing I was afraid to admit I was thinking. "This morning I was just ready to give up and be fat". Boom. There it was. The exact thing I'd been thinking, but hadn't realized I was thinking.

It just gets so damn tedious - trying to change our whole life.

There are so many people that just live a healthy life. Always have. Their typical life schedule is - wake up, work out, healthy breakfast, work, healthy lunch, salad, to bed. The schedule may be different, but the events are still the same. The gym is just a part of their daily schedule - just something they have to do, like I have to go to work. The sauces just always go on the side. There is no need for cheese, because they just don't care for the taste. Ranch dressing is not even on the radar. Vegetables are their food of choice. Always positive decisions - but for them they aren't even really decisions. It's just what they do. It's their life. Healthy, healthy, healthy.

Then there's my life. EVERYTHING has to change. Nothing about my life is set up for health success. Every choice I make during the day has to have a different outcome than it used to. Yes, I still have to get up. Yes, I still have to go to work. But every other decision has to be different. Breakfast - no! the drive-thru won't do! Get up earlier, so I have time to make something. Lunch - no! running out to grab something quick isn't the way to handle it. Bring something healthy-ish. Dinner - Pick up something on the way home from work. NO!!! Make myself something that's good for me. Workout - - when!?!? Between all this working and damn cooking, when do I have time for that?

So there are moments...or long stretches of time...where just throwing in the towel seems like the best option. Well, maybe not the best - but definitely the easiest, decision. The daunting task of trying to fight every natural urge you have becomes too much. When the supposed-to-be-simple task of just living your life starts to feel like a second/exhausting job that you don't remember applying for, and you most certainly you mis-read the "tasks and duties" listed. Just surrendering to the familiar and the easy seems totally worth it. You've been living this life for a while, and it isn't that bad! Most of the time you're even relatively happy.

But then you remember why you started all of this in the first place. Maybe you decided on your own that it was time to make a change. Maybe your family all got together and were certain you were going to drop dead if you didn't make some drastic changes. Maybe you were diagnosed with something - diabetes, etc - where your medical condition made the choice for you. Whatever the reason - you made a choice at some point to make some changes. And if you're honest with yourself - those reasons still exist.

My biggest reasons for starting: wanting to feel better, wanting to be in better shape, wanting to not live in fear of the seating (airplane, movie, chairs with sides, tiny booths, stadium seating, etc), the desire to stop editing things out of my life because they might be uncomfortable or impossible in my current condition - - all of that crap is still here, staring me in the face. And if I stop allowing laziness to rule me, I still very much want to be a healthy person. I want to do whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want, without having to factor in how my FUPA will inhibit me.

So enough of this crap. I'm done talking about re-committing myself, and I'm actually going to do it. I'm going to figure out how to fit it all in. Yes, yes - my poor couch and TV will miss me, but they'll adjust. And there are TVs down in the gym. So the time has come to stop making excuses about why I can't fit everything in, and making it fit in. Time to stop talking about it, and actually do it. I will be using "" (user name: slimdowntosexy) to track myself (food & exercise) - and by using, I mean actually tracking myself honestly - not just talking about it.

I've regained my desire to do this. I've regained the belief in myself that I can do this. I'm going to get healthy, and I'm going to f%&*ing fantastic! Please join me....

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the greatest chicken

Shout out to Danielle for turning me on to "skinny crock pot" on facebook. I'm more than a bit handicapped in the kitchen, so recipes involving my beloved crock pot are appreciated!!

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you have inevitably read about "chili lime fajitas". They are magnificent in both their taste, and the ease with which they are prepared. I must share the recipe with you now....

* put 1 pound of raw chicken breasts in the bottom of your crockpot
* mix 3 tbls fresh lime juice with 1 tbls chili powder, and then pour over the chicken
* cook chicken on low for 4-6 hours
* remove chicken, shred it, and return it to the crockpot (it's so tender it literally falls apart!!)
* add 1 cup salsa and 1 cup frozen corn kernels (thawed) + anything else you like - - I've cut up a green pepper and tomatoes and thrown them in
* mix it all together, and let it cook for 1/2 hour
* CHOW!!

Eat it on tortillas, or big lettuce leafs. Add guacamole, Greek yogurt, jalapeƱos and a little cheese. Delicious you guys....seriously!

Go follow "Skinny Crock Pot" on Facebook, and let me know what other recipes you try!! The recipes are in the "photos". It's the first comment on the picture.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

They're right! I'm NOT a dog....

Hang onto your hats, ladies and gentlemen. I'm about to share a secret with you - and I'm certain it will be a shocker. I reward myself with food. There. I said it...or wrote get the idea.
  • If I workout, I can have that bag of Cheetos. 
  • If lose enough weight to drop a size, I get to have pizza. (seriously - what sense does that make!??!!) 
  • If I'm good Monday - Friday, I can have a cheat day on Saturday, and eat whatever I want. 
It isn't just me! And it isn't even people that are all my size. There's a guy on the local sports station in the morning who talks about his "cheat" day. He also talks about how much he loves food. He also talks about how much time he spends on the treadmill. It would appear he's better at finding the balance than I am. So I know I'm not alone. But I also know how much I tend to do this - use food as the carrot...only a carrot w/ higher-than-average fat content, that has probably also been deep-fried.

And then I saw this. Holy shit, you guys! I've totally been rewarding myself like a dog. Roll over, you get a treat. Shake, get a treat. Come in the house rather than running through the neighborhood, get a really big treat. It spoke to me on such a level, that I needed to personalize it. I'm thinking about how I can get it blown up, and put on my fridge. Seriously. What the hell am I doing?

For a person with an issue, which I quite obviously have, with food - the last thing I should be using as a reward is food. Would you reward a gambling addict with a trip to the casino? Unlikely. Would you toast the recovering alcoholic with champagne? Probably not. So what the hell am I thinking? Turning the issue into the bonus isn't healthy. So enough of that crap. If I feel like I really need something that's bad for me, I'll have it - and try to have it in moderation. Expecting to never crave or consume unhealthy food, is completely unrealistic. But I won't set up circumstances where I "earn" the indulgence. I can see now that that's just perpetuating the issue.

I'm not a dog. I won't continue to treat myself like one.

Monday, March 19, 2012

two steps forward....what seems like a million back....

I realize this won't be news to you guys - but I hadnt written consistently, for months. I am truly feeling invigorated, and ready to start spilling again.

Last weekend was great for many reasons. I went out and had some fun with friends i hadnt hung out with in months. I met a completely oblivious jackwagon, who unknowingly propelled me to write again (see my last post). I got to catch up with old co-workers that I hadnt seen in a couple of years. And best of all - I think I finally put this stall into perspective.

I felt like if I wasn't making headway (losing weight), I had no business writing this blog. If I wasnt working out, I had nothing to share. If I wasn't eating a healthy diet of lean protein and leafy greens, I should keep my trap shut. If I didn't decide I was going to get healthy, and accomplish that goal with unwavering precision, I didn't have anything people woJuld want to read.

But this weekend something dawned on me - - people who go from being extremely overweight to fit - with no set-backs, no stall-outs, no mini (or not-so-mini) hiatuses (or would it be hiat-I?) from their healthful endeavors - are very rare. There are the occasional machines who decide they're going to get healthy, and just do. But I think most people follow a similar path to mine - super-motivated, lose weight, lose some motivation, stall out, gain weight, get it back together, lose weight, gain weight, gain more weight, lose weight. Yo-yo dieting is a term for a reason. Why do you think all of these diet plans try and boast their "__% have kept the weight off for 2+ years!!!!" statistics? I'll tell you why - because it's fucking hard! Because looking at it as a diet is a recipe for disaster in the first place. Because we're human, and completely changing your life - even when you know it will be great for you, and you'll feel better - is not like flipping a switch. It's like a constant damn battle against your mind and your taste buds and the people in your life who can eat whatever they want and your laziness and your willingness to not fight for yourself and that bitch in your brain that keeps telling you you can't do it. It never ends. There are days where it's easier than others - where talking yourself into a workout is easy, and brussel sprouts sound delicious. But the ugly truth is, those days are few and far between - and they become fewer and farther the louder that bitch in your brain gets. And she can get rowdy!

But I know I'm not alone in this. I know I'm not the only one who struggles. Who feels like she's losing more days than she's winning. But who is also willing to lace up her shoes and continue to fight. Because I am worth it. And health is possible. And I have you guys. And so I'm going to write. And I'm going to be honest with you about what I'm going through. The good, the bad, and the (often) ugly. Because I know I'm not alone, and I know some of you can relate. And I hope you'll continue to stick with me, and enjoy my antics.

So let's do this shit, you guys. We can do this. We deserve to do this. And I'm going to be a baaaaad-ass bitch when this is all said and done. I'd love it if you'd join me.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I tried to get an answer....

Holy crap, have I missed you guys!! I think about things to write about constantly, but just can't seem to get myself geared up to go through the work of logging onto my computer and actually composing them. And yes - I just called logging onto a computer work... What can I say? I am having a fairly significant time management issue. But I've had an experience that I felt warranted me getting my ass off the bench, and back in the game. So here I am....and I'll make a concerted effort to return frequently.

So last night was like the 2nd time I'd gone out in the last few months. I've been working, and lazy, and enjoying my personal time, and lazy, and watching a lot of know - really busy! But last night was my friend A's birthday party at my favorite local watering hole, so I reunited with my old partner-in-crime and headed out for the evening. With memories of my over-imbibing on Halloween still fresh in my mind, I stuck to beer. No shots. No Milli Vanilli's (diet coke & vanilla vodka). This ended up being the best decision I could have made, because I was able to maintain a level head later in the evening.

I got to see, and chat with, a bunch of my favorite regulars. Hugs-all-around. Meaningless small talk. Singing (screaming) along with the karaoke singers. Catching up. Basically, having a great time.

I wasn't watching the clock, but my guess is that it was around 1am...a guy named Joe, who had been talking with a few of the people I was seated near, comes up to my friend M and I and puts his arms around us. He was clearly inebriated. We exchanged some pleasantries -what is your name? Is that your real name? My name is_____. You know the drill. Joe is finally able to pull himself upright, and he zeros in on me. I can sense this is going to be not only fun, but educational - and he did not disappoint.

I'm paraphrasing here, because I didnt have my recording device handy - but here's the gist of how our first conversation went:
Joe: you are pretty. Very pretty. Like very, very pretty.
Me: thank you, Joe. That's very nice.
Joe: (his eyes looking me over) you are very's just too bad you have so much extra weight (I can't remember his exact phrasing, but you get the idea)
*at this point my friend M is turned and listening as well*
Me: thank you....that's so kind of you to point that out
Joe: but you're really pretty
Me: thanks.....I think....
Joe: (seeming to be genuinely confused) what do you mean "I think"? You are.
*now M jumps in and basically informs him he's a douche while I attempt to explain the "back-handed" compliment to him*

A guy walks by, and Joe jumps on him like he's a life-raft, and Joe's been stuck at sea for days.

So I sit there. Not really mad. Not even really hurt. My inquiring mind has clicked on, and I just have questions I'd like answered. Within about 10 minutes he's back. I think his alcohol-altered state didn't warn him he was walking back into the danger zone. I waved him over to me, and to his credit, he did come right over. I told him I write a blog about my weight issue, and I had a couple of questions for him. He seemed receptive, so I kept going.

I started by asking him what he was hoping to accomplish by commenting on my weight. I was completely calm - like I was doing an interview - which I think freaked him out even more. I asked if by pointing out my obvious physical condition he thought I would suddenly, magically lose weight? If he thought I hadn't realized I had a weight issue, and would be so grateful that he pointed it out to me? That somehow, him bringing it up to me would completely change my circumstances? He seemed confused, so I tried another approach.

I asked him if he had ever walked up to someone with a drinking issue, and mentioned their alcoholism? It if he'd walked up to a stranger smoking, and told them they'd be hotter if they quit the lung darts? Did he realize that some people consider obesity to be an illness - so would he walk up to an anorexic person and tell them how much more attractive they'd be if they put on a few pounds? His response: I hadn't really thought of it like that. Shocking.

So I went for it. I asked him what made him think it was acceptable to approach me, and comment on my weight? He accused me of being mad and confrontational at this point. Mad? No. I was completely calm. I shared with him that he was not the first person to non-compliment me. If I had a dollar for every time I was told "you have such a pretty face" (the WORST non-compliment of them all!!).....I'd have a lot of dollars.... Confrontational? Maybe. But I assured him I was being no more confrontational than he was when he decided to notify me of my inflated BMI. He then tried to backpedal into - but I was giving you a compliment! I had to break it to him that the compliment was deleted with the implied "but". "You're pretty, but too bad you're fat." Again - genuine confusion.

I tried to stay on a higher level than him...I didn't want to mention his receding hairline, or messed up teeth, or his obvious personality flaw, or his atrocious horizontal-striped deep v. He's in a I tried that approach. I asked him what he'd hear if I told him "your band is fantastic, but you're really pitchy". He's still not getting it. And now he's found another life raft, and he's gone.

He did re-appear a couple more times, but kept his distance from me. The first time I believe he referred to me as "insane", but M quickly informed him he was a complete dick. The second time the adjective he chose was "deep". M wasn't buying it, and once again had my back.

It may seem like a really unorthodox reaction to this whole thing, but I was proud of myself. I didn't retaliate with name-calling, yelling, crying or swearing - but I also didn't sit there and just take it. I stood up for myself. I was calm. I formulated what I believe to be reasonable and direct questions. I tried to find out what makes people....or at least this person...think it's OK to approach a stranger about their weight.

I still remember our conversation about this at fat camp...and I thought about all of those women when I was questioning him. How hurt, and upset, and embarrassed some of them had been by similar situations. How do we get this to stop?

Do you have a similar story? Have any insight into why this happens? Please share your thoughts!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Taco Soup Recipe

I had a couple of requests for the Taco Soup recipe I mentioned on my Facebook wall last week, so I wanted to share it with you guys! I believe it is originally a Weight Watchers recipe. It is a little more sodium than I would ideally like to ingest - but I have realized that sometimes I just need to pick my battles! It's better for me, and lower sodium, than a Big Mac....right?!? And not to mention, it is CHEAP! *bonus, bonus, bonus*

So here is the recipe, as it was originally published.

1 pound ground turkey
1 medium chopped onion
1 can regular stewed tomatoes
1 can Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can pinto beans
1 can white kidney beans
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet dry ranch dressing

Brown meat with chopped onion and drain fat. Add all ingredients to the crock pot. Do not drain corn or beans. Stir until completely mixed together. Simmer in crock pot all day long.

I made some adjustments to this, to better-suit me. Below are the changes I made.

Instead of Turkey, I cooked up a pound of chicken breasts, seasoned with pepper, and shredded them.

I used black beans instead of kidney beans. They're just better. =)

I couldn't find Mexican stewed tomatoes, so I used Diced w/ Green Chiles.

I used 40% less sodium taco seasoning.

Next time, in order to save on some sodium, and give it a little more zip, I'm going to leave out the can of regular stewed tomatoes, and just put two cans with Chiles in. I'm also going to drain and rinse the black beans, and then add some water.

For a cup and a half serving of this deliciousness, here are the stats: 274 calories, 2 grams of fat & 29 grams (I believe) of protein!! Low cal, super-low fat, and a bunch of protein to keep you feeling full!! And it is really flavorful!! SO GOOD!!!

Try it! And let me know if you make any variations to it you think make it healthier, or tastier!!