Weigh-In Wednesday: Week 20

WIW graphic for post
Weigh-In Wednesday Weekly Stats

Weight Watchers Week Number: 20

Lbs Lost this Week: + 2.6

Lbs Lost Total: – 12.2

WW Stars Earned this Week: None

Food of the Week

Vegetables of the Vine

I am excited to say I made an effort to increase the amount of vegetables I ate this week and have conquered my fear of how-to-cook-eggplant! I made this old Native American Recipe (I found it online, but am not sure where) called Baked Vegetables of the Vine and it was sooo good!

How to Make It (a.k.a Be Creative, I adapted this recipe to suite my tastes)

You Need:

(Takes about 15 minutes to prep)

2 onions, peeled and chopped (I left mine in rings)
2 gloves garlic, peeled and crushed (I buy mine that way in Olive Oil)
2 cucumbers, zucchini and/or yellow squash, washed and sliced (I used a little of each, cut into rings)
1 large eggplant, washed and sliced (I cut mine into rings)
2 green, yellow, red or orange bell peppers, washed, cored and cut (I used red and green and cut into rings as well)
2 fresh from the vine tomatoes, washed, cored and sliced (again, rings)
Olive or other oil of your choosing
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste (I use fresh cracked peppercorns)
Oregano, to taste
Cumin, to taste
Sage, to taste
Dill, to taste
Garlic Powder, to taste


(Takes about 1 hour, 15 minutes to cook)

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Mix all dry spices (enough to lightly cover all the vegetables) in a large bowl and set aside
Pour some of the oil and crushed garlic in the bottom of a large (enough to hold your vegetables) baking pan or casserole dish
Spread oil and garlic to coat bottom of pan
Place all of the sliced onions on top of the garlic and oil, in one flat layer
Sprinkle onions with dry seasonings and a touch of oil
Repeat with each vegetable (except the tomato), ensuring each vegetable has it’s own layer
Season and oil between each layer
Cover and bake in the oven for 1 hour
After 1 hour, remove vegetables and add sliced tomatoes to the top layer
Return to oven uncovered and bake for 15 minutes more
Serve hot and enjoy!

Activity of the Week

I did not run Pretty Muddy Central Ohio. I did not think it would be a good idea considering I have not run since I hurt my ankle several weeks ago now. I need to get back on track with something, though.

Personal Weight Loss Goals (crossed off when reached)

I want to lose…

10 lbs
20 lbs
30 lbs
35 lbs
40 lbs
45 lbs
50 lbs
55 lbs
60 lbs
65 lbs
70 lbs

Personal Fitness Goals (crossed off when reached)

I will…

Run a 5K  Read all about it here.
Run a Quarter Marathon or 10K
Run a Mud/Obstacle Race
Run a Half Marathon
Start Strength Training (again)
Backpack (more)
Start Biking


I’m pretty disappointed this week, to be honest. I worked hard at keeping track of what I ate and it was much healthier. We didn’t eat out and I actually went to the grocery store with a planned out menu and left $120 later to avoid mindless eating on the fly! I especially paid attention to portion sizes and increased the amount of vegetables I ate. I even felt like I lost weight. I was actually feeling great until I got on the scale.

Reader’s Recap

Nothing to share since last Wednesday. Lately I feel like I am in a blogging slump (not to mention running, eating and weight-loss slump), but I am hoping Blog School helps with that! I am working on my first assignment this week and am already loving all of the ladies I have met through the community group.

Photo Recap

Cherokee Chicken

On Monday I made Cherokee Chicken, which consisted of fresh chicken breasts, onions, green peppers and cranberries. I wasn’t sure about the combination of flavors, but it was also very good. My husband ate his with Butternut Squash risotto. I skipped the risotto and had a peach after dinner.

Question of the Week

What vegetable to you avoid cooking because you don’t know how?

Until the next mile marker,

Sara’s Summer Garden Series: How to Make Your Own Soil for Your Container Garden

Sara's Summer Garden Series Cover

You can set up a container garden easily, with as little or as much space as you want, and relatively inexpensively. You can also make your garden as elaborate or as simple as you want. A few of my favorite benefits of container gardening are it is totally customizable to your needs and you know exactly where your crops come from. Whether it be a simple salsa garden filled with tomatoes and peppers or an extensive array of fruits and vegetables, you control for the most part what (if any) chemicals, including pesticides and fertilizers, are absorbed by your plants. You can even make your own soil for your container garden.

I started thinking about the chemicals that went into our foods after reading It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig and determined that not only do we not know what is in all of our foods, but we often can’t control what farmers put in or around our foods to manage pests and increase product yields. Last year, my garden suffered a major hit from the Tomato Worm and we didn’t get any tomatoes. I didn’t put any pesticides on our plants because I was already sick and didn’t want to harm my body any more than it already had been harmed. I also started thinking about how we plant our gardens and the chemicals that are often placed in top and potting soils.

Now I know a natural way to kill Tomato Hormworms is to mix peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and spray the entire plant.

Now I know a natural way to kill Tomato Hornworms is to mix peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and spray the entire plant.

I know we can’t possible eliminate every single chemical that makes it into our food, but my husband helped me devise a way to have a little bit more control about what we do put in our bodies and this year, we made our own potting soil. It was easy, really cheap and the plants have been growing well this year (as have the weeds, no doubt) so I assume it is providing nutrients. In terms of the weeds, I just need to find time to pull them out! If you have a container (or any) garden, you can make your own soil too in just a few easy steps – and I guarantee it won’t even change much from what you are already doing in your day to day life!

How to Make Your Own Soil for Your Container Garden

Note: This takes a little bit of time to prepare so the first year we gardened we bought the soil and then started making our own as we became older and wiser.
  • Get some lawn and leaf bags or save the empty potting soil bags from the year you planted using commercial soil.

Bag used for compost

  •  Each time you weed your garden, trim your yard or pick up after a storm collect the plant waste.

organic 'waste'

  •  Add it to the lawn, leaf or potting soil bags.

organic 'waste' in bag

  • As time goes by and you continue to weed, keep adding to the bag! I add the new material on top and fold the bags down so there is not much room for air. We store the decomposing bags right on our front porch. I have never noticed a smell or anything because we don’t put food scraps in there and the thick material of the bag is a good barrier. Turn the compost every now and then (my husband does it once or twice a month) and soon, you will notice soil!

New compost in bag

  • When you are ready to plant, dump the soil in your bag our on the ground or tarp (so as not to waste it).

New compost on tarp, not sorted

  • Sift through the soil, removing the larger plant materials. Return the large pieces to the bag to continue decomposing.

sifting through compost

  • Add your soil to any pots you are ready to plant!

filling post with compost.jpg

  • The amount of time this will take to create compost will vary depending on factors like temperature, moisture, and what/how much you put in your bag. During the summer (which is the most productive time for us) a three month decomposition is possible, but it could take several months, up to a year. We do not turn the bags in the winter because the process slows down during that time.

That’s it! Easy and a lot healthier for your plants and you. We have two bags of soil going and were able to plant about half of our garden with homemade soil this spring. Now we have four bags going so we will just keep composting soil until we don’t need to buy any more.

Until the next mile marker,

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