Welcome to MY blog

So, here I am. I’m starting a new blog, a new journal, and a new part of me. What will you see here on MonicaBrady.net? Well, you’ll see a lot of my thoughts about Life, Social Media, and a lot more of my weight loss journey. I’ve tried writing about things on my other sites, but they just don’t fit. I’ll be silly. I’ll be serious. I’ll be whatever the time warrants.. But most of all, I’ll be me… Join me!?!?!

Healthy Eating Tips and Recipe- Greek Shrimp Scampi



So part of this healthy changes thing is eating better… Exercise alone will not make the changes that I need, so diet is coming into a big part of it… When I say “diet”, I don’t mean starve yourself, shakes and smoothies, or cabbage soup… I mean more of.. HOW I eat, and not so much of WHAT I eat… and even more of planning ahead…

So this past week, I scheduled our dinners. I planned around what we had going on, and planned around all of my points. I knew I was hoping to have at least 10 points left at dinner time, so that’s what I did. I went through all of my cook books. I got rid of any of them that don’t have the nutrition information for the recipes. From there, I took any recipe that just looked good, and figured out the points.. I wrote the points value in the book.. yes.. on the pages.. So now, I know exactly what I’m dealing with when I’m trying to figure out dinner plans.

I made one of my favorite dishes the other day, and a bunch of you asked for the recipe.. so here it is!

Greek Style Shrimp Scampi

Yield: 6 servings

Preparation: about 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 25 minutes

What you need:

  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cans diced tomatos
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/5 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

How you make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Toss in the minced garlic and cook for 30 seeconds.
  3. Add tomatoes, and 1/4 cup of parsley. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the entire mixture into a 13×9 baking dish and sprinkle with the feta cheese.
  6. Bake at 400˚F for about 10 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with the rest of the parsley, lemon juice and some pepper.

If you’re looking at Weight Watchers Points, this is 5 points per serving (following the Points Plus scale)

If you’re not following WW, here’s the skinny according to Cooking Light:

  • Calories: 203
  • Fat: 8.1g (sat 4.6g, mono 2g, poly 0.8g)
  • Protein: 22.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fiber: 1.2g
  • Cholesterol: 154mg
  • Iron: 3mg
  • Sodium: 975mg
  • Calcium: 236mg

You can serve this dish with brown rice, whole grain pasta, etc.. just make sure you track your servings of that as well!

If you make this recipe, I want to know what you think about it! Leave me a comment! Enjoy!

2014 Goal Setting

Whoa, Where Did 2013 Go? I feel like it totally just disappeared! It’s cool though.. some of me disappeared with it.. Like 30+#’s of me… It is so awesome…

Looking forward to 2014.. There is so much to do this year… starting with a huge commitment to fitness.. and keeping this blog up…  Yeah.. I’m off to a great start.. here I am on Jan 21st, and I still haven’t posted to this site. But here I am.. Better late than never…

I’ve had so many things I wanted to do here. I wanted to just start a vlog… and go straight to videos… But then I have to fix my lighting, and edit, and all that mess.. Maybe someday… Right now… You’ll have to take me typing and read :)

So.. back to goals… I want to hit my goal weight this year. I am just under half way there. I went back to Weight Watchers the first meeting that we had… On January 8, 2014… I weighed in at 196#s.. That brought me up 3.6#s from my previous weigh in on November 27th, 2013… a whole month + earlier… That meant that over the holidays, I didn’t track, I didn’t really worry about it, and I still only gained 3.6#s. It would’ve been nice if I wouldn’t have gained, but I also didn’t do much exercising… so I know that had a lot to do with it. Nonetheless… ONWARD!

My next meeting, on January 15, 2014… I weighed in at 194.6#s… It was tough to get back on track with tracking, but I’m working at it… I lost 1.4#s, almost half of what I gained. I need to keep going! I will feel so much better when I start back on the losing track again… Like.. AFTER losing the small bit I gained over the holidays..

So… exercise… Here’s what’s happening there… I had hoped to have some sort of steady workout routine this year… I have so many videos, and stuff… it just doesn’t happen very easily though. I get lazy, and find excuses… My friends got me interested in this Bikini Body Mommy Challenge, and no.. I’m in no shape now, nor will I ever be, to wear a serious bikini… but, It’s a free 90 day workout plan… and the gal that runs it has proof of it working for her… I’ll take that…

So here I am… I’m looking forward to a great 2014… and I’ll keep you updated throughout the year…. Hopefully I can find time to update at least once or even twice a week… Just stay tuned… :)

I Feel Like I’m Stuck

Sorry.. I’ve been so busy lately… I haven’t had time to sit down and write here for a little while!

The last time I left you, I was at a food blogging conference, of all places… The week after that, I was in Bentonville for a visit to Walmart Home Office to talk all about Summer and attend their Annual Shareholder’s Conference. My last weigh in that I spoke of here, I weighed in at 212.6 pounds. At this point, I had lost a total of 16.2 pounds. I was pretty happy….

Well, I’m happy to say, I’ve come such a long way since then.

On August 21, 2013, I broke into the one hundreds… I weighed in at 199.8… so by the skin of my teeth… :)

On September 4, 2013, I weighed in at 197.8, officially losing 30 pounds total.

I weighed in tonight at 197.4. I’ve only lost 2.4 pounds in the last couple of weeks… I was losing that or more in A week when I first started. I feel like I’ve come to this mountain that I have to climb. I can’t consider it a wall, because I’m still losing… extremely slowly, but I’m losing. The good news is.. I’m not gaining. I’ve kept myself under 200.. and that’s a HUGE accomplishment for me.

How I Survived Airport Food and a Conference

This weekend, I’m at, of all places, a food blogging conference. The sponsors are various food product companies, and they have lots of food for everyone to try. Yeah.. and flying from North Carolina to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was no short trek. It involved finding lunch. I had just over an hour, thanks to an early landing time from NC, and I was on a mission. With my camera bag, laptop case, and phone in hand, I ran from one terminal to the next, hoping to find something that I could eat, and not spend 1,098, 253, 999 points on. Good luck right?

There was Samuel Adams, Boar’s Head, random food stands, Starbucks, and a plethora of other random food places. Nestled into the corner of Terminal A, I found Qdoba. I’ve never eaten there, but they just happened to be on my Weight Watcher’s app under restaurants. I figured that they had a much smaller than a regular storefront menu, so I wandered up there to take a look. Sure enough, they did, but it was ok. I asked them if they had just a single taco. Of course, that was the kid’s menu, but they allowed me to order it.. even though I don’t look anything close to 12 years old. I was able to get a 5 point lunch from Qdoba. I was shocked, but happy, and ready to move on to my next flight.

The fun part was on the airplane. I’ve always known that I eat when I’m bored. Flying is one of the most boring things ever for me. I can’t sleep, but I get so bored reading sometimes. I need something to do, and when they come by with the drink/snack service, I’d always grab cookies, pretzels or peanuts.. and they’d usually give me two packs. I did good. Water, and no snacks. YAAY!

So, the conference has been a whole other story. Breakfast was fun. I grabbed a few slices of pineapple, and a small scoop of eggs,  and two slices of bacon. They didn’t have oatmeal, which is what I’m used to eating for breakfast, but I did have my food scale with me, so I started weighing everything. I ended up eating about 5 points for breakfast, which I was pretty proud of.

Lunch was a little difficult. We had a Lentil themed lunch, with little samples served of different recipes to taste. I kept track of the sizes of the dishes, and how many I tried. All in all, I had about 1 cup of lentils. I really filled up on the veggie tray, so lunch didn’t cost me too many points.

We had a milk and cookie break. I don’t drink milk, so I was good there, but the cookies were something I was interested in tasting. Luckily, the company reps had put the nutrition information on the recipe, so I was able to work out the points on them. Good thing! It kept me from eating all three of the cookies, even though they were decently small.

I’ve got one day left, and that will include a few hours of conference, a few hours in a couple of airports, and two flights home. I’ve started the morning with a small, breakfast, and lots of water, and coffee… We will see how well I do :)

I don’t get to weigh in officially this coming Wednesday because I’ll be in the air again… so it’ll be the second week of June before I get to see any official numbers… I’m debating jumping on my scale at home, just to see of the numbers went down.. I can’t count on those numbers though, because they are always different than the official number. We shall see… Hee hee..

Ok… Onward to learning about water, time management, and potatoes. Happy Sunday everyone!

Weigh-in Wednesday May 29, 2013- I’m baaaack!!!


I had a feeling… That tonight was going to be a good night… That tonight was going to be a good good night….

Ok, ok.. enough of that. Tonight… I went to my WW meeting, and had absolutely no expectations as far as how much I had lost or.. dare I say it… gained… Last week’s weigh in was a tiny bit of a downer, but I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to give up, and I didn’t! I made a couple of changes to my week. I still did my exercising, but I also made sure that I ate ALL of my daily points. I even went over one day by a few points! I didn’t even worry about it. I knew I’d be ok.

This meeting was pretty good. We talked about emotional eating. We answered questions in our booklets…

1. What emotions or situations make you feel like reaching for food?

2. What are the benefits of reaching for food in such circumstances?

3. How else can you get the same benefits?

4. Which of these alternative activities will you try?

Basically.. What triggers the bad eating/snacking habits and how are you going to try to fix them? Reframing it’s called… It made me think… Really think. I know that when I’m frustrated, bored, etc… I look for snacks. I may or may not actually be hungry, but it’s a habit. What am I going to do about it? Drink water, snack on fruits or veggies, go for a walk, read a book… or write on my blog.. Something.. anything but grabbing a snack from the pantry.

The girls are about to be off of school for two and a half months. My goal is to keep them active, which will then keep me active. We have the pool, we have the park, and we have lots of things to do at home too. I am planning on keeping the refrigerator stocked with fresh fruits and veggies. I want the girls to go for healthy snacks instead of junk foods too.

Ok.. So I’ve rambled on about everything else.. I’m sure the suspense is getting to you… I guess I should tell you about my weigh in…

There were smiles and fist pumps and silent rejoicing tonight. I weighed in at 212.6! I’m down 3.6 pounds from last week, and a total of 16.2 pounds from my starting weight… I got another 5 pound Gold Star today… Amazing how a Gold Star can still make me giddy at 34 years old..


So.. like I said.. It was a good night. It totally made up for last week’s 1 pound gain.

Friday night, I fly out to Philadelphia for a conference. When I signed up for the conference, I was not on WW. It’s called Eat.Write.Retreat. It’s basically a cook food, learn cool food photography techniques, and then eat said food… LOL… I bought a small food scale to take with me. I don’t care if people look at me weird. I’m not letting up. Next week, I won’t be at my WW meeting. I’m flying out to Arkansas for an event at Walmart’s Home Office, which I’m very excited about. Pray for good weather. I’m going to take my food scale with me that week too. I hope that when I weigh in again in two weeks, I’ll have a good number on the scale!

runningman2Oh, and I also received this really cute WW Running Person Pendant today… It was part of the Live Life Active Campaign. I made activity goals, and attended my meetings, and after 8 stickers, I got my pendant… It’s on my necklace right now, but I’m looking for a charm bracelet to put it on… I’ll find one soon :)

Well.. That’s it for now.. I’ll update you while at my conference… Good night everyone!

I Love My Bike!

* This was written last Friday, May 24, 2013. It’s been sitting in my drafts because I forgot to hit “post”… Short and sweet… 

Even after a 22.5mi ride!

As often as possible, a group of us ladies get together and ride the trails around town. We have a blast. It’s a great stress relief, it’s perfect conversation time, and it’s awesome exercise. It’s our time to kinda just get out into the fresh air (when it’s not full of pollen), and we love it. In the past, we’ve done 11 mile rides, but this week, we decided to take it a little further. We rode 22.5 miles, and boy.. was I feeling it later on that day. My legs were on fire towards the end, but when we were done, I felt so good. I felt like I truly had accomplished something awesome…. well…we.. WE had all accomplished something awesome.

I am kinda sad that I won’t be home the last two Fridays of the school year, to even attempt this bike ride again, but I will definitely be looking forward to the first chance we get to ride when the kids go back to school!

Next post- Weigh in Wednesday 5/29 edition!

I’m Not Giving Up- Weigh-In Wednesday 5/22/2013


I just want to start off by saying that I LOVE ALL OF YOU!

So, I went to my WW meeting last night. I had a positive mind, thinking that I’d have lost at least 1-2 pounds, especially since the last two meetings when I thought I didn’t lose anything, I lost 2 & 3.8 respectively. I never thought that I’d have gained any weight. I mean, after all, I’ve been tracking, and exercising.. I mentioned Barbara, and how I can read her face now.. As soon as I stepped on the scale, I knew something was wrong. I had gained 1.2 pounds over the last week. WHAT?!?!?! I was sad… at first. I was disappointed… at first. I couldn’t even think of why I would have gained when I was so constant in losing over the last 5 weeks. But then I thought, there’s going to be fluctuations, and for many reasons.

Deborah told me her heart sank when she heart I had gained a pound and was very quick to show me her history and how she had lost and gained over the years, and kept telling me not to worry about it. The very moment I posted online that I had gained, everyone rushed to explain that my “womanly cycle” could be to blame, and remind me that we did just start up weight training again, and encourage me to keep going because I’ve been doing awesome so far. You guys are all so very awesome… and I’m more than grateful for the encouragement and support. But you know what? I’m ok with that 1 pound. I really am. Want to know why?

  • I tracked everything I ate, and only went 4 points in to my weekly extras.
  • I made great choices when I did get to eat at one of our various restaurants.
  • I snacked on small veggies, and when I hosted my Park Lane Jewelry Party… I made WW friendly appetizers. I tried to make sure that they were good things, but also good for me.. and my guests.
  • Heck.. I even RAN A 5K!
  • Oh yeah.. I’ve lost 2 inches off my waist, and have a certain pair of shorts that will fall off without a belt.
  • I feel better than I did before I started this journey.

Things that could be the cause:

  • It’s about that time for my cycle
  • I had a couple of days where I didn’t use all of my points.. It’s gotten difficult to do since I have changed the kinds of foods that I keep ready for snacking.

If either of these things were the real reason, then it’s easy to remedy, and once my body readjusts itself, I’ll be good… and it’s only 1 pound.. If it was 2, or 3 or more.. Then I probably would’ve been worried about it. But, it’s something small, and I can lose it easily. Now if this is a continuing trend, then I’ll start worrying, but I don’t see it being so.

I guess the point of this whole post is… Don’t worry! I’m Okay!!! I’m not giving up or giving in. This is the first time I’ve seen weight loss in YEARS, so no way am I quitting now! I want to see 199. I want to be OUT of the 200’s for good. I have 67.8 pounds to lose to reach my ultimate goal. It’s a hefty goal, but I will do it, and I can’t wait!

Thank you all so much for all of your encouraging words, and support! Keep it up!  It’s working! :)

PS. That photo is from the Run for the Warriors… They are my workout buddies and awesomely amazing friends!


I Didn’t Just Finish.. I RAN IT!

A Family that Runs together... well.. runs together..

So this past Saturday was the Hope for the Warriors 5K, 10K and Half Marathon.. This was the first race that was ever on my radar… and I mean.. EVER… two years ago… I had planned to train. I had planned to make it my goal that I would actually run a 5K. Something that I had seen all the people on Biggest Loser do year after year.. I knew I could do it, but I just had to get dedicated. A week or so after I decided that was going to be my first “big hurrah”… I fell down the steps in my garage.. and was stuck in a “Walking cast” for nearly 2 months.. I think… In any case.. By the time I was done with Physical Therapy, it was too late.. and my therapist suggested I give it a while before I even thought about running around on my ankle. So.. I moved on to bigger and crazier things.

In February 2012, I ran participated in the WDW Princess Half Marathon. Yeah… I ran.. some of it… but not much… because I didn’t train like I should have. I did finish it, but not how I would have liked to. I’ll do it again soon, and smash it. In October 2012, I ran in the Marine Corps Marathon 10K. Again, I ran some of it, but not like I could have with training.

Fast forward to 2013. A friend of mine has a daughter who really wanted to run the Hope for the Warriors 5K. Her dad deployed, and I was asked to be her running partner. I jumped at the chance to help her out. Did I train? Nope. I kept meaning to, but every excuse came up and my expectation was that I was just going to walk most of the race. So many things came up before the run, I just pretty much chalked it up to the “at least I’m getting some exercise” thoughts.

The week before the run, my friend’s daughter cracked her toe, and she couldn’t run. My hubby had decided he was going to do the 10K as part of his marathon training (crazy man), and I had signed up my girls to do the 5K with me. THEY wanted to RUN. I laughed, figuring it was a passing thing. They’d start running, get tired, and we’d walk the rest of the way. No big deal. Then came run day.

So, this 5K was really happening. What was I so concerned about? After all, I had already done a Half Marathon, and a 10K. This should be cake. Well, I had thought about it. My girls wanted to run, so I wanted to give them that chance. I set up a rockin’ play list, and figured as long as I could keep them in my sights, I’d be ok. We gave hubby hugs and kisses and wished him luck on his 10K and listened for them to call our race. We went back and lined up. They counted us down, and we were off. We started off jogging fairly lightly, but with the determination that we were going to run till either they, or I couldn’t run any longer. Not too far from the starting line, I felt someone tapping my shoulder, and when I looked over, a familiar face was smiling at me. It was someone from my Weight Watchers meetings! I remembered her mentioning that she was participating too, and we struck up a conversation. We talked the whole way. She kept me going, and I kept her going. We.Ran.The.Whole.Thing. Slowly.. but I kept it up, and finished in 43:46. My girls? They ran it too. They finished in 43:42 and 43: 44… Yeah I let them beat me… I was so proud of them!

At the Finish Line, we ran through, and met up with a couple of friends, and ran to get bananas for everyone else as they came through the line. We actually beat hubby to the finish line. Sure.. he was running the 10K.. but he runs faster than we do! We did make our goal though.. getting there before him… but he wasn’t too far behind!

Everyone did such a great job, and I can’t thank everyone for their support.. including my unexpected running buddy. I’ll see her at the next meeting! Now, I’m actually a little bit more motivated to run another race. Not necessarily for time, but just to keep myself going. I know I need the cardio… Maybe I should start looking up more 5Ks in the area… I know a couple I’d love to do. Any suggestions?

Next up: Weigh-Wednesday May 22, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday- May 15th edition

I really didn’t feel like I was going to do too well this week. I don’t know why, but I thought that my weight loss was going to totally be minimal… and I was ready for that when I got to the Weight Watchers Meeting. I grabbed my weigh in booklet, and my paperwork for Barbara to track everything for me. I got on that scale just praying I’d make my 5% goal… I didn’t care that I’d only lose a pound… but I wanted to hit 5%. I stood so still, and when I saw her face, I knew I had at least hit that.

Barbara, is our sweet secretary at our WW meetings. I am learning to watch her reaction, since I can’t see the scale numbers. She smiled and said “Oh this is a good one!” I lost 3.8 pounds over the last week. My biggest drop to date. Not only did I reach my 5%, but I smashed it last week. I weighed in at 215 even. I am now what I was when I first moved out to North Carolina. It took me 3 years of up and down to get to the weight I was when I started WW. Lots of up and down. Mostly up… Now… I’m making sure that it’s always down…

This weekend is going to be crazy. I signed up to run a 5k with a friend’s daughter… and my girls are participating with me. I am a little nervous. This race… The Run for the Warriors… is the first race that I ever wanted to sign up to do two years ago. I was ready to start running, and that’s when I fell down the steps in my garage and messed up my ankle. I was frustrated. I wanted to run it so badly, but I couldn’t. This year, I will finally get to participate in that run…

More to come over the weekend..

Chicken Pot Pie- 8 WW Points Plus


This recipe is something I’ve made that tasted awesome. I had never had chicken pot pie before, so this was new to me… The recipe comes from The Complete Cooking Light cookbook, but I changed it up a bit by omitting mushrooms and peas since we don’t really like them… and added just a few seasonings to add a little flair! I’ll give you their recipe, and explain where we changed it up.

Prep time: 40 Minutes

Cook time: 1 1/2 Hours

Here’s what you need:


  • 9 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2.5 lbs chicken pieces, skinned
  • 3 celery stalks, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf

Pie Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups diced unpeeled round red potato
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped leek (about 1 small)
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • Cooking Spray
  • Biscuit topping

Biscuit Topping

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder <~ I used a full tsp
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp stick margarine or butter, melted

How you make it:


  • Combine all broth ingredients in an 8qt Dutch oven or stock pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered for 1 hour. Remove from heat.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from broth, place in a large bowl, and chill for 15 mins.
  • Strain broth through a cheesecloth-lined colander in to a bowl, and discard the solids.
  • Set aside 4 1/2 cups broth, reserve remaining broth for another recipe.
  • Remove chicken from bones, and cut the meat into bite sized pieces.


  • Preheat oven to 400˚F
  • Bring 4 1/2 cups broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add potato, chopped celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Add carrot and leek. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and peas and cook 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. (We omitted the mushrooms and peas)
  • Combine flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add milk, stirring with a whisk. Add to vegetable mixture. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add chicken.
  • **We added seasonings like Garlic & Rosemary, a pinch of cajun seasoning, and some others… Season how you would like it! Just keep in mind some of the nutrition info may change depending on what seasonings you use.
  • Spoon into a 13x9in baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Drop Biscuit topping onto mixture to form 16 biscuits. Bake at 400˚F for 30 minutes or until golden.

Biscuit Topping:

  • Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and garlic powder in a bowl. Stir in milk and margarine just until flour mixture is moistened.    Yield: 16 biscuits

Total Yield: 8 servings. Serving size; about 1 cup of chicken mixture, and 2 biscuits.

Calories: 327 (18% from fat) Fat: 6.6g (sat 1.8g, mono 2.1g, poly 1.7g) Protein: 26.5g Carbohydrates: 38.8g Fiber: 2.7g Cholesterol: 64mg Iron: 3.5mg Sodium: 668mg Calcium: 155mg