15 minute Pepperoni Pizza


As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I love a good, “craving tamer,” that satisfies my hunger and cravings without sacrificing my health or hindering my progress. 

This pizza is super delicious, extremely easy to make, and it rang up to only seven smartpoints! 

I paired it with a salad and doctored up the jarred sauce I used with some extra herbs in order to heighten the sophistication of my #brokecollegekid meal. 

Ingredients: 

1 flat-out bread co. whole wheat flatbread 

7 slices of pepperoni 

2 tbsp sliced olives

2 tbsp pizza sauce (any kind!)

1 oz Trader Joe’s Shredded Light Mozzerella

Optional: Italian seasonings (like basil)

(I also put about 1/2 tsp of olive oil on the bottom of the bread to make sure it didn’t stick to the baking sheet)

How:

I baked the flat bread for a few minutes on its own at about 350 to get it a little crisp before I put the sauce and the rest of the ingredients on.

  • Spread out the sauce, top with pepperoni, then a layer of mozzerella, olives, & then more mozzerella. 
  • Bake it in a toaster oven for about 15 min at 355. (Regular oven for about 10 min, 350)
  • Slice it up and then enjoy!

I’m happy I get to enjoy a wide variety of foods without giving up the foods I love. Next time I’ll probably add in some more veggies on top, (Bell peppers are bae).
Bye bye muffin top!

Weighing in: 25 Down and Checking Things off of my Bucket List 

Woohoo! Today I’m 189.3 which means I’m officially 25 pounds down! I’m so excited about this I #literallycanteven.

I have been trying to up my daily exercise and have been getting around 30-60 mins of cardio + alternating between arms/legs and core doing strength training about six days per week.

I also ran a 5K on Saturday, something that was a HUGE “bucket list” item for me. I’ve already ran many 5k’s as a cross country runner but this time felt a bit more victorious because I really worked for it and got over my built up fear of running in public. I even got a little emotional at the end and shed a tear (maybe two), because I haven’t been this proud of myself in a very long time. 

Next up on the list is to get back on the mountain and go snowboarding again. Something I used to love but haven’t done in over seven years. I’m going next weekend and I just can’t wait.

I’m also excited to be taking a trip to Arizona for spring break to visit my grandparents and I’m going to try to be touristy in a different way than I am used to– hiking and biking whenever possible. Also some reading books whilst laying in the sun is definitely in order. I bought the plane ticket for myself as a reward and as a way to say hey, you deserve this. 

It’s a huge thing for me to check off a milestone like this because a year ago I didn’t think I could do it but here I am doing it.


Bye bye muffin top!

Kenzie 

Low point potstickers and “rice” 

One of the ways I’ve managed to find success thus far is by replacing foods that I’m craving with a healthier, more nutritious alternative that I make for myself, at home. 
One of my very favorite meals is fried rice, potstickers, and miso soup at a restaurant. Unfortunately, if I even tried to put this all into my point tracker I’d probably run out of two days’ worth of points. 

I’ve been making this meal for dinner recently and adding in different veggies into the cauliflower if I brown it a bit in a pan. But today I just opted for steaming it in the microwave.


I found an awesome alternative for potstickers at Trader Joe’s which allows me to have 7 potstickers for only 6 points! 
To make them, I follow the instructions on the package which just involves lightly sautéing and then steaming them for about ten minutes.  

The Trader Joe’s potstickers don’t come with sauce, which is arguably my favorite part of the whole meal, so I’ve been enjoying making my own. My favorite sauce so far consists of:

Ginger (1tsp)

Garlic (1tsp)
Honey (1/2 tbsp)

Worschestershire (1/2 tbsp)

Soy (1/2 tbsp)

Sesame (1 tsp)

Rice vinegar (1tbsp)

*The honey and sesame oil add about one additional weight watchers point, but it’s still delicious without those components.

I’m a huge fan of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, and other alternatives to simple carbohydrates so naturally riced cauliflower is a no-brainer. 

The riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s makes it super easy for me to just cook the amount of “rice” I want and leave the rest in the freezer until I’m ready for more. It also cuts down immensely on my food prep time as it takes only 3-4 minutes to be fully cooked. 

I also enjoy this meal with miso soup which is one 1 point (I like Kikkoman Tofu Miso packets) you just mix it with water and heat it up and it’s genuinely delicious.

I spent a total of 12 minutes making this meal and I am completely full and satisfied from it at the cost of only 8 points!
What are some of your favorite “treat” alternatives? Let me know in the comments below & feel free to subscribe for more recipes, meal ideas and more!
Bye bye muffin top

Xoxo, Kenzie 

A VIP experience, Twenty Pounds Down, and Gaining Back the World.

This morning I weighed in at 193.8, which means that I’ve officially lost 20.7lbs since I began this journey the day after my twenty-third birthday. The weight has honestly come off much quicker than I was expecting but I assume that this will slow down over time. I believe this is in part due to going to the gym at least 5 times per week and consistently tracking my points and being mindful following days when I’ve slipped up and gone overboard.

Last night I went to a concert and after the show the group I was with was invited to go onboard the tour bus to hang out with the artist. I joined in and had a wonderfully fun time. Admittedly, I enjoyed a few drinks, but I was cognizant in staying within my allotment of Weight Watchers points. I don’t regret it at all, but I also want to maintain my sobriety 99% of my time throughout this journey. A month ago I probably would have declined the invitation to go, for fear of how I looked. A year ago I would have been inhibited by my crippling and uncharacteristic social anxiety. I had great conversations with the artist, his crew, and my friends. I actually felt like I was welcome, enjoyed, and belonged there. With each pound lost, I am gaining back so much more in my life. Experiences like that are why I am doing this.

Additionally, after the show I purchased a t-shirt, partially as a souvenir, and partially because I have a very limited amount of clothing to work out in at the moment. I got a size XL and when I put it on this morning, I realized it is way too big for me. I will still wear it to the gym and whatnot, but it was a positive reminder that this process is working and worth it. img_1284

With each pound lost I feel like my steps have become lighter, everything has become just a bit more effortless. For the first time in months, I’ve been able to fall asleep without the assistance of my Trazedone prescription. My eyes have fluttered open, ushered so by the light of the morning. My wakefulness precedes my alarm clock. I remain awake with a level of alertness that I am just now calling forth from the depths of my memory. My skin somehow feels like it is glowing- I see a blushed warmth in my cheeks when I smile at myself in the mirror— I actually look at myself in the mirror, and I don’t feel the burning singe of hate in my heart I had grown to fight, and then began to ignore.

To feel hungry— to feel a genuine want and need for food as a form of nourishment is something I had forgotten about. The joy of taking time to prepare a meal, to chop the fresh produce and enjoy an apple’s natural sweetness, the crisp crunch of a carrot, or the buttery texture of an artichoke is something that disappeared from me in the midst of my depression.

Of course, preparing a fresh meal is not always something I am able to do because of the constraints of time, but it has become a truly enjoyable ritual to carefully select things at the grocery store, consider how they may nourish me and how I will prepare them. This is so vastly different from my previous habit of hurriedly picking up as many frozen meals and pre-made foods as I can afford with my limited funds— If I even made it to the grocery store. Food delivery services cater to depression, fuel it, by allowing you to forgo the necessary events of interaction, or the need to take the blip of effort to put things into a shopping cart, to place them in a microwave.

I have so much more now. It’s as if all of the things that were fundamentally wrong in my life are slowly being fixed, healed through this process.

I’ve experienced the comfort of knowing I have emergency money in my savings account. The financial ability to go to movies, experience fun outside of bars, to gas my car for a day trip, or enjoy a new book that I gift to myself.

On a heavier note, i’ve felt safety in knowing that, if assaulted again, I would have the physical power to run away or fight back. I feel safety in knowing that as my confidence has slowly returned to me, I have a voice that I can use, a voice I am starting to believe in.

There is something amazing in the way I can feel my personality returning to me— a spirit of light and enjoyment of life that had left my body for a few years. I laugh genuinely, and with my whole heart. I’m not afraid to be around people. Let me rephrase that: I’m no longer trying to hide— my body or my mind.

I cannot wait to see what other revelations will come as I continue on this journey. As I nourish my body and take care of it as a temple, I nourish my passion for enjoyment of life and I drink in the experiences that come my way.

Oh, and my double chin is now like, a 1.5 chin so big ups for that!

Goodbye to the twenty extra pounds of weight and the world that have been on my body, mind and spirit, and, Bye Bye to my slowly dwindling muffin top!

Tracking & Forming Habits

I’m a person who has a hard time seeing progress or staying motivated unless there is tangible proof that something is working. For me, setting a variety goals and tracking them has been a fun and rewarding way to stay engaged in my journey.

Here is a list of my favorite ways to track everything from inches to pounds to hours of sleep. I also included a few things that make it easier for me to stay on track when the unexpected occurs.

  1. #1 is the Weight Watchers app. This is the only part of the program I pay for and I am 100% obsessed. The interface is super user friendly and there is a HUGE community of support on the app’s “connect” feature. Users can post questions, motivation for others, recipes, etc. and there is always someone there to cheer you on or give you feedback. It’s been extremely important to me in my journey because it serves as a way to keep me accountable and occupied if I am feeling bored. In addition to the social aspect of it, I also keep a daily tab on my weight and log all of my food there to keep track of my points as well as see a visual chart of lbs I have lost.
  2. Happy Weight- this app is unique in that it shows the rate you are currently losing, where you will be if you continue losing at that rate, vs. at your goal rate, etc. it also shows you a “daily moving average” of how much you are presumed to weigh if you factor out water weight or extra lbs from a heavy meal. It keeps me realistic about my goals.
  3. A cloth measuring tape! I use this at least once a week to take measurements that I write down on a calendar. It helps to see an inch or two has been lost even if you don’t lose weight in a week or you gain some muscle.
  4. My Fitbit Alta! It’s great. It syncs right up with my Weight Watchers app, the Fitbit app, and allows me to participate in challenges against myself, or others. If you allow it, friends can also see how many steps you take so there’s an element of accountability to ensure you aren’t a total couch potato.
  5. A scale- because duh!
  6. A food scale and a set of measuring cups- these are so handy. Seriously. Who the heck knows what an oz. of anything looks like? I know I don’t. The guesswork is removed and portion control becomes a breeze. (I got my food scale on amazon for 13$)
  7. A gym membership. If you can afford it, it’s great for numerous reasons. Since this post is about accountability, it’s super motivating to see the same people at the gym each day or to meet a friend there.
  8. A nearby butte to hike. On days where I don’t feel like going to the gym at all, I try to plan a hike with friends to ensure I’m still getting exercise.
  9. A yoga mat & some hand weights. Similarly to the butte, this gives me a 0 excuse mentality for at least doing some yoga or a small home work out when I don’t feel like venturing out.
  10. A water bottle- I love my hydroflask. My water literally never gets warm, and it keeps me drinking water all day long simply because it’s sitting there.
  11. Ziplock bags, Tupperware, and a lunch bag (I love the ones by PackIt. You can put them in the freezer and it removes the need for an ice pack). I try to carry around some basic snacks with me at all times so that if the hunger monster hits I’m prepared.

Got any additional tips for motivation or tracking your progress?! Let me know in the comments below.
Bye bye muffin top!

Xoxo Kenzie

Self Care Bootcamp

In the midst of school, work, family drama, depression, anxiety, and life in general, it seems silly that one of the things we forget to do the most is take care of ourselves. 

I realized that the premise of every sleep-over party I had as a child was rooted in acts of self care: Painting our nails, watching our favorite movies, eating a delicious snack we all enjoyed, spending time with friends, and generally just carving out time to have fun.

The very things I used to do because they seemed better than anything else have seemed to go by the wayside, in favor of running errands, doing homework, and being busy for the sake of being busy- and what I used to view as fun and relaxing has over time become more like a chore.

The thought of exercising or spending a day in the kitchen can feel like some impending task that I need to accomplish, rather than a thing I participate in because I wholeheartedly enjoy it.

In working towards dealing with my depression, I’ve found that it has been more difficult to tell myself to relax and enjoy something, than to keep going going going until I feel like stress itself will rip me apart.

I’ve had to make an active effort and sometimes involve friends for some encouragement, but I’m finally at a place where I can identify the types of self care that I enjoy and that I try to do at least one of on any given day.

The root of all productivity is to give ourselves a better, more successful life- to be as happy as possible- so why do we fail to take stops along the way and allow ourselves to be happy and relaxed, here and now?

Of course, moderation is key to anything so doing these things all day long and neglecting responsibilities is never a great idea- but if you are an anxiety ridden, type-A, perfectionist like myself, then you will find the challenge lies in doing what feels like “nothing.”


Here are some of my favorite ways to practice self care:

  1. Go for a hike, alone or with friends
  2. Pick a recipe, and make a home-cooked meal that involves more than two ingredients- no microwave allowed!
  3. Get my nails done (or DIY that shit!)
  4. Get a massage (Self massage is good too!)
  5. Journal- bullet journal, regular journal, any kind of writing and self reflection. Writing a daily gratitude log is a great place to start.
  6. Watch my favorite show- if Netflix asks, ‘if you’re still watching’ then you might be overdoing it a little.
  7. Take a nap!
  8. Go to my favorite bar, sober, and alone and dance.
  9. Take myself on a date: movies, dinner, hot tub, sleep.
  10. Art- I prefer painting or collaging
  11. Ted Talks!  [Recently discussed with some friends how if Ted were personified he’d be the ideal life partner]
  12. Drink a cup of warm, calming tea
  13. Put a nice scent in my essential oil diffuser
  14. Do my makeup for no one but me
  15. Read a new book, or an old favorite
  16. Thrift shopping
  17. Walking outside with a dope playlist
  18. Sweating it out in the sauna
  19. Yoga [or what I think resembles yoga]
  20. Drinking green juice
  21. Rubbing Aveda ‘Stress Relief’ all over and inhaling deeply
  22. Adult coloring books
  23. Spending time with uplifting friends
  24. Meditation [Still figuring this out]
  25. Foam rolling
  26. Face masks
  27. Using LUSH bath products
  28. Do a daily emotional check in- written or otherwise
  29. Counseling! It’s the best
  30. Repeating a mantra that makes me feel grounded and confident.

Weighing in: Checking off milestones 

Today I made it to what the WW (weight watchers) community calls “Onederland,” this means that you are now in the coveted 100’s in the midst of your weight loss journey. This was probably my largest motivating goal since I started this whole thing because I kept feeling ashamed of myself that I had gotten past the 200lb mark (my highest weight being 214.5).

I am excited because my main goal now feels that much more attainable. The challenge, now, will be finding motivation in other milestones- a friend suggested 5lb increments.

I am excited to get to 195, 190, 185, etc. but I’m nervous about sustaining my focus during those times.

However; Another way that WW’s define success is through ‘NSV’s’ or ‘non-scale-victories.’

So I decided that some of these, NSV’s, for me, will involve going down in pant sizes, being able to run a 5k, losing inches around my waist, etc.

I’ve heard that the best way to form a habit is to reward yourself for accomplishing goals, so I decided that as a necessary reward, each time I drop a pant size, I will invest $20 into my “goal weight wardrobe.”

I will save money to put towards purchasing new clothes when I reach my final goal. I also have a few gift cards I’m saving from Christmas and my Birthday to help me with this.

I’m happy I had the foresight (read: denial), to keep most of my old clothes despite gaining a lot of weight– So I will have some outdated back up clothing to last until I hit my final goal.

For today, hitting onederland feels awesome, but for next week, a looser fitting shirt or more distance on the treadmill will mean success to me.

I’m planning on keeping track through my daily and weekly weigh ins, but I also hope to feel accomplished by the way my life improves.

Bye bye muffin top!

XOXO, Kenzie