Welcome to 'Keeping the Bulge at Bay'
This blog is designed to discuss the hardest part of losing weight...keeping it off! To understand my story and what my reasons are for creating this blog, please follow this link to my first post: "The REAL Beginning..." It's raw, real, and honest.
Hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please feel free to leave any feedback you may have!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Prep-A-Plenty Potluck

Who doesn’t love a good ole potluck dinner? Well, I for one love them! My college friends and I try to have a potluck dinner at least once a month, and let me just say, they have made quite the upgrade from the college days of mismatched plates, no silverware, and practically using a tennis racket as a strainer (ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration but let me tell you-desperate times called for desperate measures).

My fiancé and I hosted the most current potluck last Saturday and the food was beyond delectable…salad with candied pecans, homemade tomato bisque, hotdog and bean casserole, tomato and mozzarella pasta  salad, tons of bread (three different loaves-a carbaholic's dream), veggies and dip, and lasagna cups-not to mention the Budweiser, Sam Adams, Guinness, and wine that was flowing like a river!

Knowing that the potluck was occurring that evening, I made sure to get a work out in during the day. Of course timing wise it occurred right when a few guys were arriving early to play cards… allow me to set the scene for you… envision me flat on my back in the living room, legs in a dreadful 90 degree angle with a stability ball in between going back and forth as fast as possible- all while three guys walk right in to begin playing setback with my fiancé …attractive thought right?...ooyvey!

My $9.99 version of P90X...I'm cheap, what can I say? (GREAT workouts though!)

Beyond working out, many of you have mentioned that if you don’t splurge once in a while, then it isn’t true maintenance and maintaining is going to be that much harder…and I absolutely agree! However, I have had a lot of ‘splurges’ lately (insert the three previous posts on coping with food coma from my sister’s wedding related festivities), therefore, this potluck was not the time to splurge. I will say however, I gave everything a try-and it was all devilishly good!

The key for me to eat healthy at what could be called a potluck ‘pound increaser,' is to ensure that there are things present that I can eat as much as I want of. To accomplish this feat I made sure there was a snack that I could munch on while preparing my main dish. This also is a little safety trick I have that keeps me from test-tasting everyone dishes before they hit the table (I mean, it’s someone’s job to make sure all the dishes are edible for human consumption, no?)

Here you can see the veggies and fat-free dip that I munched on while everyone was arriving (honestly, I started my veggie munch-o-mania long before people arrived but who needs to know that little detail...).

Now for my entrée, I found this recipe long ago and tried it for the first time at this gathering. Let me tell you, this recipe is going to be a staple in my weekly meals from now on-who doesn’t want lasagna that you can eat with your hands?!? And to make it even better,  I cut down the calories and fat even more than the recipe (fat free instead of reduced fat cheeses, extra lean ground turkey, and heart healthy low calorie pasta sauce).

Are you salivating yet?

I added a lot of veggies to the sauce to make it more ‘gusty’ and even that much more filling and healthy (two words that many dieters claim don’t coincide-FALSE!). This sauce, with all its gutsy splendor, is guaranteed to satisfy your stomach and your waist measurement!  (Add veggies to it that you like-the more you customize it to your taste, the more likely you are to stay on track.)

Two layers of  wontons, ricotta, sauce, and finally mozzarella cheese

I have learned recently that muffin and/or cupcake tins (I used cupcake tins) are really great ways to create innate PORTION CONTROL! You know exactly how much is in each cup (in my version of these lasagna cups there is about 120 calories per lasagna cup!!).

Final Product!!

They look good, taste good, and are good for you! -I know,  this sounds like an infomercial…and you, YES YOU-can make these amazing lasagna cups for a simple onetime payment of 9.95 ;)

Any who, after the potluck I took one to work with a side of yogurt to have as my lunch on Monday-it was fabulous and completely satisfying as a lunch too. However, my fiancé keeps referring to these as ‘amazing snacks’ (2 bites and one is gone)…trust me-he’s wrong (like all men are haha), but these are healthy enough that if you want more than one-you’re good to go…

Here is the link to the recipe I based my version off of: http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2010/11/04/petite-lasagnas/

Overall, just like in life, we must pick our battles. We all have battled our weight and are winning the war. However, there are daily battles we must choose to fight or to pass. Due to the mouth-watering indulgences I have allowed myself to have lately I decided the potluck was a time for me to fold the cards dealt to me rather then going all in. I filled my plate half with salad,  had very small portions of all the other delights that were present, and had two of my lasagna cups. Fill-up on what you know, and take small risks on what you are not sure about...this will undoubtedly lead to success.

Please share, what are some of your sure fire recipes that you lean on when you want to ‘be good’ at a meal or gathering? I have more recipes I will try to share with you all soon!

Until next time, keeping the bulge at bay…


  1. I love a good healthy spinach salad with sliced strawberries, walnuts, feta, and grilled chicken. It makes the perfect healthy dinner!

  2. Stop-a-Cheat-Soup

    Stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, celery, onions, mushrooms and every non-starchy veggie you like. A little non-fat chicken broth and spices; it smells amazing, tastes amazing and you can eat gallons, well not gallons, but a couple of cups is VERY filling, low cal. and healthy. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese and it’s a great ‘lead-in’ to a pot- luck.