Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mallisa's Food Staples

Mallisa here...

Thought I'd let you guys in on my health food staples, too. I haven't exactly been grocery shopping recently, so it will be a little "pic skinny", but we're all pro-skinny around here!

I work from 6am through lunchtime at a coffee shop most mornings, so I try to get enough good energy in when I can while also trying to avoid muffins, scones, cookies, brownies, and other evil things. Here are a few of my go-to breakfast and snack items (dinner is usually me trying out a new recipe on pinterest or just picking up sushi or Subway).

(my snack food is kind of breakfast foods)
-Egg whites (separate them yourself or buy All Whites)

-Wheat/Light English muffins

-Instant grits

-Instant oatmeal (add fresh fruits and nuts!)

-Greek yogurt (add fresh fruits and granola for a home-made parfait!) reviewed different brands
Image also from

-Sliced turkey for egg white/turkey/tomato muffin sandwiches
-Fat free cheese for breakfast sandwiches and grits
-Special K cereal

-Almond Milk/Light soy milk


-Yogurt parfait (either home made or store bought)

-Kashi Light granola
(If you want to make home made parfaits- this is the choice I'd make for granola!)

-Special K Cereal
-Multi-grain wheat bread
-Almond butter/Apple butter
-Sugar free jelly

-Kashi multi-grain wheat waffles
These are great for toasting and adding a little spray butter for "fancy" toast, or adding peanut butter and a banana for a more filling meal. MMM!

I can't stress this enough. I was never a big fruit eater until recently, but not only are fruits good for your body, I think they have a healthy effect on your mind as well. Nothing like eating earth's candy.

I'm sort of an "on-the-go" type of eater. When I'm not cooking dinner its usually foods like this. I try to make smart food choices during the day, and save my calories for lunch or dinner when I'm eating with my man and there's no telling what we'll end up having or where we'll end up going. I stay on top of calories by using my DWLZ app (you look up a restaurant and it has the nutritional facts for most items on the menu- SUCH a life saver!)

Also, log your food! Everything that you eat! I can't say that enough. People have always said to me "Oh, you use Weight Watchers? That doesn't work for me", or "Oh, you count calories? That doesn't work". Well, I don't know what kind of parallel universe this happens in, but from my experience (and most others' that I know) if you account for EVERYTHING that you eat and drink and stay under your calorie goal, it works. You become hyper-aware of what you're eating and you start making better choices about your food.

The MyFitnessPal app makes it TOO easy to log all of your food. (I know, I know. Chinese food. I was bad today- but because I ate really well the rest of the day AND did a little cardio, I didn't go over!) Once you get into the habit of logging everything, it becomes second nature and it's not a hassle at all. It's kind of even become like a game with myself.

Hope this short list will help jump-start your new shopping and snacking habits! Until next time...



I found an old piece of crappy wood in the garage, spray painted it lightly with Krylon Multi-Surface spray paint so that some of the imperfections would still be there, and then used a GIANT permanent marker and some paint to do some simple swirls. Total time (including dry time) was about an hour! Thank you, thank you very much.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Mallisa here...

I used to think you'd only catch me running FROM a psychotic clown with a bloody knife or TO a free, endless chocolate fountain, but guess what? Kendall and I ran our first race on the 4th!

It was just a 2 mile run, and we couldn't run the whole two miles straight, but we finished in 23:10. Not bad for first timers! We are going to keep up with the running and hopefully be ready to run a 5k by the fall.

Hope everyone had a fun filled 4th of July. I know I ate bad. I've been trying to recover from that cheeseburger ever since (once your body gets used to eating super healthy, it punishes you after cheeseburgers). I haven't felt skinny since! Such is life, you have to cheat every now and then...

I'll be posting my "Health Food Staples" soon, but until then, I'll leave you all with some tid-bits.
And remember:
What you eat in private, you wear in public.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Health Food Staples

        My Hubby and I lead a very routine lifestyle, and I like it that way! One of my favorite routines is our Sunday routine. We wake up, I make us both breakfast, and we head out the door for church (we attend an AWESOME church in Woolmarket, by the way – check it out here). After church we usually grab some lunch in the Promenade and, every other Sunday, we go on our bi-weekly grocery shopping trip! Fun fact: eating healthier makes grocery shopping so much more fun (to me it does, anyway)! It’s like a mission to find the healthiest items that I possibly can.

       Just like any household, we have “staples” in our house that keep us afloat and eating delicious for the duration of two weeks. When you are first starting out a new healthy eating lifestyle, it is hard to figure out what is the best/healthiest/your favorite foods to keep in the house. I am no expert, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share what I lean on to get me through each day. If you could make a few substitutions and start picking up some of these items on your weekly shopping trip, you could save yourself hundreds of calories and loads of unnecessary fats and carbs! These are the things I keep in my house to help me make healthy choices on a daily basis.


        Generally for breakfast I try and pack lots of fiber and protein to get me through the morning. Throughout the summer I have been working out in the morning, so I have been eating more hearty breakfasts. However, at the beginning of my diet I would simply eat ¾ cup of dry Kashi GoLean cereal, and that would get me through until snack time about 3 hours later. The fiber in the cereal really keeps you full! I am all about EASY cooking! I don’t like to mess up too many dishes or wait 15 minutes for my breakfast. I like quick and easy. Here are some of my breakfast staples that I keep in the house (generally, I rotate these on a daily basis):

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait (my creation) – 180 calories + whatever fruit you add
1/2 cup cereal, 4 oz. cup of Greek yogurt, diced fruit of your choice - mix and enjoy!
Kashi Blueberry Whole Wheat Waffles with sugarfree Syrup – 210 calories and delicious!
A sweet treat for breakfast!
Whole wheat English Muffin with Natural Peanut Butter and Banana – my “fuel” breakfast, what I eat before an intense workout – 400 calories
This screams "FUEL"!
Quaker Lower Sugar Oatmeal and Fruit  - 120 calories + your fruit

Turkey and Veggie Omelet (create your own!) - One whole egg and 1/4 cup egg whites with 2 slices of diced turkey lunch meat and veggies galore!

Turkey Sausage and Egg Whites – 180 calories and lots of protein!
Add mushrooms, onions, spinach, peppers, garlic, seasonings, etc!


         Lunch is a much simpler affair for me. I try to eat a small lunch daily. Lunch is mainly there to curb my hunger until dinner. Being off during the summer, I usually just eat something quick and easy at home, or I will meet up with my friend(s), Mom, or Hubby for lunch, during which I usually get a salad. Generally, I rely on these for lunch when I eat at home:

Healthy Choice 

Smart Ones
My favorite! Yum!
I know, they’re not the healthiest, but they’re low calorie, quick, and easy. <3


        Being the healthy housewife that I am, I spend about an hour prior to our biweekly Wal-mart adventure figuring out what I’m going to cook for dinner for the next two weeks. Most of the recipes I try come from my Pinterest board – Recipe Box, and I am constantly adding new recipes on there! I usually leave one or two nights for Allen to cook (turkey burgers or grilled sirloins) and a couple of nights are dedicated to eating out. We enjoy a date night at least once a week!

Some items on this week’s dinner menu are:
Chicken Taco Chili – 200 calories
Breaded Pork Chops – 210 calories (pork loins and a box of shake and bake ;)
Spicy Honey Brushed Pork Loin - I'm tweaking this recipe to be pork instead of chicken
I won’t know the calorie count on the last few meals until I make them and figure it out on MyFitnessPal.

Veggies! (frozen or fresh) – broccoli, asparagus, squash, mushrooms, onions, brussel sprouts, corn, sweet potato fries, green beans, black eyed peas, edamame, mixed greens salad, etc. Explore the produce section! 

Brown Rice
Whole Wheat/Low Carb Tortillas
Whole Wheat Pasta


        Ahhh, my favorite meal of the day! Snacks! I consider myself a snacker. I’m a “5 small meals a day” kind of girl. I enjoy a snack between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner, and sometimes even after dinner! Here is a list of some of the snacks I have in my house right now:

Quaker Mini Rice Cakes – 130 calories for 13 (beware: highly addicting)
Reduced Fat Wheat Thins and Hummus- 200 calories for 16 chips and 2 tbsp of hummus
Kashi Banana Chocolate Chip Soft N’ Chewy Bars - 130 calories (so good!)
Unsweetened Apple Sauce – 50 calories for ½ cup, sprinkle with cinnamon
Jello Live Active Sugar Free Pudding Snack – Milk Chocolate Bliss – 60 calories
Sugarfree Sno-cone – Avg. 3.5 calories/oz. of syrup at $1.50 = perfect for these hot summer days!
Frozen Yogurt – a decadent (and addicting) sweet treat. Visit your local frozen yogurt bar to enjoy ice-cream deliciousness at 25 calories/oz. Don’t load up on toppings! Stick to fresh fruit and granola if you are a topping-aholic like me ;)
TCBY - Frozen Yogurt Bar, Strawberry Swirls – 100 calories
Weight Watchers Chocolate Fudge Ice-cream Bar – Snack Size – 45 calories
But most of all, FRUIT – watermelon, apples, cantaloupe, bananas, strawberries, tangerines, pineapple, blueberries, kiwi, and anything else I can get my hands on!

Other necessities:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive Oil Spray
Parkay Buttery Spray
Minced Garlic
Almond Milk
Fat Free Sour Cream
Bottled Water (and lots of it!)
Salsa – 10 calories for 2 tbsp
Lemon juice – for flavoring veggies
Reduced sodium soy sauce – for flavoring veggies
And lots of seasonings and spices!


ALWAYS look for reduced-fat or fat free options, especially when you are purchasing dairy! Fat-free cheese is more expensive, but you save so many calories and reduce your fat intake tremendously! The same goes for sour cream, cream cheese, and milk. Look for low calorie bread, and ALWAYS buy whole wheat or multi-grain. These grains take longer for your body to digest and keep you full longer, not to mention the added nutrients you get out of them!

***The trick to losing weight: Reduce your calorie intake by making SMARTER choices and SMALLER portion sizes! You’ll be on your way to your goal weight in no time!

Keep up the great work! With love, K

Sunday, July 1, 2012

WHEW! What a weekend.

Mallisa here...

This weekend I had my first Saturday off from the coffee shop in MONTHS, and boy did I make use of it. Friday night Wayne & I drove to Baton Rouge, LA to see the band Eisley.

For your listening pleasures. If you like dreamy/spacey/romantic/strange sounds.

Friday definitely ended up being my cheat day. I ended up eating things like:
-Double iced soy latte from Starbucks
Sometimes one must splurge.
-Crab cake sandwich with sweet potato fries.

All delicious. All totally worth it.
I didn't drink at all so that was a lot of calories I would have normally taken in that I didn't really need to worry about, and I made up for it all on Saturday and Sunday. We ate at The Chimes in Baton Rouge, so me not drinking and having eaten dinner there = BIG DEAL.
Their beer menu is MASSIVE and quite amazing.

Saturday was a bit less eventful. I played productive and worked out at the gym. Had the house to myself and took advantage of it with some quiet time on Pinterest and some of this:

Pinot Noir is my guilty pleasure. One glass (about 8 oz) is around 180 calories, so if I'm good throughout the day I can enjoy a glass (or two if I've been reeaally good) at the end of the night.

Also enjoyed one of these:

I'm still skeptical. They literally taste TOO GOOD to only be 100 cal.

For lunch, a Which Wich date with my main squeeze.
My sandwich ended up being 420 calories and absolutely DELICIOUS.
I have a little trick for you if you like Which Wich.
Next time you're there, take a couple of the brown paper bags home with you. Use Dotti's Weight loss app or website ( - She is a genius and this website is SO useful whether you're on WW or just counting cals) to calculate the calories in a few different sandwiches. Fill the bags out and label them with how many calories. Then, the next time you stop for a sammie all you have to do is turn the bag in or just transfer the info to a new bag if you want to save the info for another time.

Which-Wich alter egos.

THEN, bright eyed and bushy-tailed, Kendall and I met at the lighthouse on the beach at 7:45 this morning to run. We are going to be running in a two mile run on Wednesday and thought we should practice (practice definitely being a good idea). So we ran one mile in one direction using Nike+ app (awesome- you must get it) and then back. We ended up pretty tired and sweaty. Also experienced a little bit of a wake up call- running (especially in the heat that is July in south Mississippi) is HARD.


The rest of the day consisted of snacking on this:

Um, YUM! One of my regulars at work has been bringing me a TON of delicious fresh veggies from her garden. This week I scored some zucchini, squash, and eggplant.

What you're looking at is zucchini and squash drizzled with some apple cider vinegar with salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary. 2 cups = 40 calories. Awesome snack, low cal, healthy AND fresh.

Riding bikes, and swimming. Then for dinner I cooked this:

Yes, it just looks like a pile of unidentifiable stuff covered in marinara, but it was so good and SO low cal:
-Baked eggplant (drizzled with a little EVOO, S+P, 20 min on 350*F)
-Topped with [more] zucchini, squash, artichoke, mushrooms in marinara
-Then sprinkled a mixture of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and baked until browned (well, almost browned. I was pretty hungry).

Back on the grind tomorrow. Hope you gathered a few helpful hints from this post.
  1. My awesome Which Wich trick
  2. Go spend some time on Pay up for the app- its SO worth it.
  3. Get the Nike+ app to help with running.   
  5. Buy Skinny Cow products to curb your sweet teeth!
Stay tuned for a DIY project post coming up sometime this week. Until then,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How I lost 70 pounds...

Mallisa here. In my first post I briefly mentioned that about three years ago, I lost a grand total of seventy pounds. I thought that since we created Craft. Eat. Love. around the central idea of health and weight loss, I would elaborate a little more on my story.

Growing up my entire life I was always fat. I was always the heaviest of all of my friends when I was a little girl. I outweighed my mom (I definitely didn't get my genes from THAT side of the family) by the time I was 12. I was never happy with myself, but my family wasn't exactly the kind of family that would watch what we ate. Since I was three, it's always been me and my dad (whose idea of cooking is microwavable taquitos. No offense Dad, if you ever read this). When dinner time came around, its wasn't "What should we cook for dinner?". It was "How many double cheeseburgers from Hardee's do you want?". I don't blame my upbringing for my being fat, but it is apparent that my health consciousness has been self-established since becoming an adult.

I was never happy with myself, and all throughout high school I was always the biggest of all of my friends. I know what it feels like to go into a dressing room with a pile of jeans and even the largest size that you picked up to try on "just in case" won't button. I know what it feels like to avoid talking to strangers because you don't even want to be noticed. I have worn jackets in the dead of summer just to hide my body. I've shed my fair share of tears over the disgust I felt over myself, but I never knew how to embark on the journey to self appreciation and confidence. It all started (unfortunately) with an extremely unhealthy relationship that I was in. I was depressed and miserable, which just lead to more and more eating. At my biggest I weighed 210 lbs and wore 15-17 in jeans.

After a short stint of severe depression which lead to me dropping 20 pounds (the unhealthy way), I began to get a lot of positive comments on my slightly thinner frame. The feeling that I got from these compliments was almost like a drug. That's all it took. I put all of my energy into losing weight, being more healthy, and learning to be happy again. I left the d-bag that I was with and started to research Weight Watchers. My aunt had been counting points and it was working for her, so I decided to do the same. I googled all the information on how WW worked, how many points I was allowed to have, how to determine the points in food, and I began. I will admit- the 8 months-a year that I spent counting points was expensive. I was used to prepackaged food, so buying Lean Cuisines and Smart Ones was okay with me for every meal. I eventually learned how to incorporate healthy foods into my recipes at home and started changing more of my lifestyle, rather than just my diet.

No more white pastas and breads. Wheat only. No more desserts ALL TIME. No more DRINKING my calories. I used to be addicted to sodas and sweet tea. Now that I've pretty much cut them out completely, I don't even want them anymore.

I will forever vouch for losing weight the WW way. Lowering calorie and fat intake, and upping your fiber consumption. I haven't been counting points or calories over the last couple of years. My dieting has been on and off, but the fact that I have kept up a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE has kept me at my post-weight-loss weight and size. I have splurged every now and then and fluctuated between about 5 pounds. Over the past week or so I have been counting calories and trying to get back on the horse because I want to lose 12 more pounds. There's no way I'm going to buy Kendall any skinny shorts. She's buying me some.

It's been hard for me to be open about my "old self" to new people that I meet. To this day, the love of my life has never seen a photo of me at my largest. I am ashamed of who I was- but the more time that goes by, I start to realize "That's not who I am anymore". I was misguided in my youth about health, and now that I am an adult, I realize how easy and fulfilling it is to live a healthy life and so I am proud of how far I have come.

I'm going to do something I have NEVER done before.

It is embarrassing, but astonishing. I have always wanted to hide my past in fear that people would judge me or hold it against me- but that is the fat girl inside of me talking. The girl that used to be afraid of what people thought. That that person used to be me. USED TO BE- Before I made the lifelong commitment of appreciating my body and taking care of myself. I may have my slip ups sometimes (BROWNINES CHOCOLATECAKE CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE! I'm a fiend), but I am proof that you can enjoy the things that you love in moderation. I am proud of where I have come from- as shocking as it may be. I am proud that I've kept all of the weight off. The fact that I have kept it off is proof that the big girl isn't the real me. I am happy that this is the real me now:

I'm far from perfect- working on reaching my last goal. Ten pounds to go. A lot of toning to do... 

But I love myself now.


Meet Malllisa

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,

"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen".

Since Kendall and I became best friends when we were seventeen our projects have been like clockwork. 
Every once in a while we come up with some huge elaborate plan that we must follow through with immediately.

...It's like I  can see it happening- she and I will be sitting there/shopping/laying on the beach/riding down the road and the light bulb bursts out of the nothingness above her head, her eyes light up, and her mouth opens wide. I know she's about to shower me with all the details of her next brilliant plan. This most recently happened when we were sweating like wild hogs doing cardio during one of our gym dates. Thus, here you are currently reading this blog. TA-DA! The way things evolve.

You see, Kendall and I have been on a serious health kick lately. Like the rest of you, we've been delving deep into the world of Pinterest. We have been sharing healthy recipes, exercise tips, DIY home improvement projects, and party planning ideas. We lean on each other for support when it comes to exercising and eating healthy and what better way to share our trials, tribulations, and successes than through blogging? So here we are- I guess I should [attempt to] give a short little rundown on myself.

Mallisa (the blonde one).

Me on paper:
-Working on my bachelor's degree in English.
-Currently finishing my pre-reqs at the local JuCo (ranked 11th in the nation and proud of it).
-Barista at a local coffee shop.
-Flower child
-Living with my favorite person and his adorable (almost) 4 year old.

Wayne & I

-Lover of indie/folk/pop/alternative music.
-I dabble in photography.
-I went through a dramatic weight loss about three years ago (total loss of 70 lbs).

Me in a different, more abstract form than paper:
-I have a tremendous thirst for creating things.
-I rarely finish anything  or follow through with the things I really want to (but the older I get and more stable my surroundings become, I'm  getting better).
-I LOVE cooking but decided I could never do it as a career.
-I have an extreme passion for coffee!

Fun fact: Espresso has no calories.

-& I like lists.

Mixing my love for all things domestic with obvious knowlege of how to lose weight and how to cook, I hope that blogging with help me to stay on track to meet my last weight loss goals, keep up a healthy lifestyle, exercise my creativity through crafting and photography, and inspire others to achieve all the goals they set for themselves.

In the future, you can expect a few things from me: photography, recipes, tips and tricks that help me in my dieting, some DIY projects for the home. I hope you enjoy following us along on our journey!

Signing off,