What is that smell?

“What is that horrible smell?” I said out loud. It was the pork chops I just opened for dinner! Time for a plan B! Normally in the past this would mean pizza or a dinner out, but now i’ve started to learn to keep a few extra meals on hand. I looked through my cabinets and figured out 2 meals I could make.

Stuffed pepper soup and Spinach lasagna rolls.

I was still craving pizza, and my resolve was starting to wain as the kids started to whine/cry about some toy they both wanted. I thought about it and the rolls I figured were pretty close to pizza, they should hopefully “hit the spot”.

Here is the recipe for those that are interested, it is from Skinny Taste!



Servings: 9 • Serving Size: 1 roll    • Points+: 6 pts • Smart Points: 6
Calories: 224.9 • Fat: 5.1 g • Fiber: 3.4 g • Protein: 13.0 g • Carbs: 31.5


  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
  • 15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 cups Pompadour sauce
  • 9 tbsp part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of the 9 x 12 baking dish, enough to cover it.

Place some wax paper and lay out lasagna noodles on it. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly using the back side of a spoon. Roll carefully and place seam side down, Repeat  until done.

Pour some of the sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over each one(just a pinch should do it). Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts.

My way of making it is a little different though, I get 8 rolls(use about 1/4 cup per roll), and use prego light smart sauce. I also cook it in my oven at 400 for about 30 mins. Sometimes I add fresh garlic and scallions, finely chopped to the mixture! Another variation I have made, and it was very yummy, was to add fresh diced eggplant(remember to let it sweat out before using).

Dinner was a bit later than we would normally eat it, but I must say it really hit the spot! Better still, I made a better food choice!

So to close off this short post, a little “pro-tip” is to always have a few extra meals available for those times that Murphy hits you.

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker


Tri-State Bike Ride 2014

It was 4:30am and I had only had about 3 hours sleep, but I didn’t have time to worry about that, after all it was THE day! Both boys were asleep so I decided to get everything ready and loaded up before waking them. Here is my packing list:



Bike Helmet

Bike Shoes

Bike Gloves

Cell Phone Cord

Battery Pack

Bike Clothes

Spare Clothes(For my wife’s car)

Beach Towel

Swim Shorts

Water Bottles X 4



A lot to bring, but luckily my Kitty Litter Panniers were up to the task, and with everything loaded up, breakfast eaten(Oatmeal, banana, and yogurt), I roused the troops! I needed to be at the starting point by 6am, and wanted to leave the house by 5:30. The ride there was pretty smooth sailing with a quick stop for an energy drink, we arrived about 6:10. I got a good luck kiss from everyone and rode over to the registration area.

As I looked around I noticed this was NOT the WHAM Ride, everyone had some serious bikes and were dressed in full kits. Check in went smoothly, though I ordered the wrong size shirt, I really should have gone with the 1xl not the 2xl. I was also handed a 10 million page cue sheet with complicated directions that had me going cross-eyed. I tried to talk to some folks around me but wasn’t having much luck, so I pulled out my “can you take a picture” opening line. photo 2

photo 1 That worked and soon I had struck up a conversation with a nice lady from Chicago, she was training for an Iron-Man event and this was simply a training ride for her. I also spoke with a guy who was on a recumbent, but I seemed to be annoying him. Finally I started chatting with 3 older guys, though I was more listening as I didn’t have much to add to the conversation.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, the time is now 7 o’clock! 15 short and awkward minutes later the briefing started. I was relieved to find out the path was marked with spray paint, and that the cue sheet were for a back up system(or in case you get lost). We were also told about the “sweeper” Beth, who is the last rider and we needed to stay ahead of her if we were going to finish. Suddenly it was over and it was time to ride, the thoughts going through my head ranged from “WOOT!” to “How the HELL am I going to be able to do THIS?!?”. I had decided before hand that I would need to pace myself, despite wanting to go full bore with the rest of them, I held back to a 12mph pace.

ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM, people were passing me quick. I was worried I would be seeing Beth soon, when I looked over and saw a lady next to me about the same pace! I had noticed her reflector on the front, it was huge and she rode a vintage style road bike, so I started talking with her. We will call her Bell, since she was from Belfast, Ireland. She, like myself, was worried about being able to complete the ride. As we rode along together we seemed to be becoming friends, and the talking helped take my mind off the big task ahead.

On our way to the first rest stop, we made our first of many wrong turns, this one under a bridge, luckily we noticed it quickly and were able to get back on track(along with the 3 other riders who were following us). The adventure was only beginning though, as we soon found ourselves near the Shedd Aquarium, and a 10k race being run! It was right in our path, and we didn’t want to try and find a different route(which would have ended poorly). So not only did I do a tri-state ride, I also did a 10k race..it counts right? I tried to shout encouragement to the folks running, but in retrospect I think I came off more as an ass. The one downside to this was that our average speed plummeted down to 9.8 from 12mph! I needed to try and make some time up, or it was going to be a close call for the finish, as I figured my avg would drop more as I got to the end.

This is my riding buddy Bell!


The first rest stop was nice, hit the bathroom and ate PB&J number 1, wish I would have grabbed a picture of the peanut butter gun. My goal was to only spend 15 min per rest stop, and made it out right on schedule. Minus a bit of confusion on where to actual go, it was pretty uneventful, not! It was such an awesome experience riding along the shore through Chicago!! With the beaches full of people, the street musicians and just the scenery, it created the perfect amalgamation. I was a bit sad when we started heading out to the suburban areas, but we had to keep moving forward!

We arrived at the second stop doing well, but ready for a quick stretch, and PB & J 2. So I have a habit of talking peoples ears off, I sometimes come off a bit strong and I was worried about this with Bell. I asked her if she wanted to keep riding with me, and she did, which worked out nicely. It was around this stop we picked up a new friend, “Fixie”, the guy who was ballsy enough to ride a fix gear through 3 states! It was nice to add to the group, and I enjoyed getting to talk to him. It was funny that his bike was green and blue, and my outfit matched it nearly dead on.

As we biked on, I made it a point to drink my fluids, mixed with a Gatorade solution(I went weaker with it as to strong makes me sick when I am riding), and I also tried to eat something every 10 miles or so, doing this kept me feeling fresh for the majority of the day. As we went toward the third rest stop, we hit long stretches of straight roads, it kept making me wonder if we were going the right direction. The nice part of this was, it let us make up a bit of time that Chicago cost us. When we hit the third stop our avg was up around 10.5mph. We did end up on a bike path for awhile and right before the rest stop there was a steep decent, short but like this “ \ “. I almost wiped out at the bottom of it as I turned. I went back up to the top of it to make sure this was the right direction. It turned out we just need to go straight and as I put my foot down to turn my bike around I over stretched and had a sharp pain going up my leg. I was really worried that this might be the end of my ride, it hurt. I kept riding though and was able to stretch it out at the rest stop. The things that sucked about this stop was that not only were the bathrooms locked, they were out of water!! People might make fun of me for carrying 4 bottles of water, but guess who has thumbs and still had 2 fresh bottles left? Yup, this guy! I added some mix to them and ate PB & J , and we headed out after 10 min.

We are over half way at this point, and I am excited for our next stop, this one was only 10 miles away, but would place me at my furthest distance to date! It also was my scheduled 30min lunch break too. I was wondering why it was only 10 miles away, but noticed that the terrain was slowly starting to change. Instead of FLAT were getting some small hills, nothing that really registered as a BBBEH(Big Bad Biker Eating Hill), though it would have in the past. After a few more wrong turns, one down a gravely bike path, and a few right ones, we find ourselves on a nice path. It was here that I noticed something, I am feeling good! I decided to kick things up a notch, and for the next few miles we were hitting speeds up to 19.5 mph! Sadly this was when we lost Fixie, but it is hard to hit speed on a single gear bike. Now he only reason we slowed down was due to the path ending, and needing to go on more winding and involved directions. In short order we arrive at rest stop number 4, this would be the last one till Kenosha. Here they had a hot dog place, ice cream place, and a deli! YUM! I decided though that I would eat PB & J 4 instead, and I am proud of that choice. I had been planing on a nice brat and ice cream cone for weeks, it sounded sooo good, but I knew for myself it was a bad choice. I would be left craving more, and I didn’t want that. I filled up my bottles and was getting ready to leave, when one of the other riders mentioned the lost their water bottle. Again, having 4 bottles comes in handy, and I was happy to loan her one of mine.

We had to choices on this final segment, a gravel bike path which would be a couple of miles shorter, or a road path that while longer, was also smoother. We talked it over briefly but we both agreed that the road would be the best way to go. Shortly after leaving we hit a BBBEH, well really this was a bridge, but it was a big one. I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to make it up, but luckily I packed that last item on my list! The great part though was that right after this was another hill! I ducking love hills! Not really, but that is what I tell myself as I am climbing them. I pushed deep and even passed someone(a stick as my friend “kool-aid” would say), and made it to the top. The guy I passed was part of a group of 3 guys, a father and his 2 grown sons, and we soon were riding with them. They had done this ride before, but had always taken the bike path. It was different riding with them, they called out every car they saw, even when it wasn’t in the way. Nothing wrong with this, just caught me off guard. I also noticed they all had helmet mounted mirrors, I asked them about them and I think it is something I might look into in the future. They really liked the fact that it was ALWAYS in view so no need to strain at funny angles to see it, even when going into the drops.

I was watching the mileage go by and noticed 80 was coming soon! I decided it was time to kick things up a notch, and our average speed had raised up to 10.8. Boom, I hit it! 80

I took off after awhile, and found myself all alone. I was getting hungry but since I was close to the finish line I decided to not eat. I wanted to save those points for a yummy dinner after all! The more I rode on though, the more the miles kept rolling, the hungry I was getting. I soon found myself rolling to a stop, I was done, I couldn’t go on anymore. I had gotten in my 80 miles, so I felt like it wasn’t a failure. That thought ended quickly though, I pulled out a snack, drank some more water(though I was getting low), and felt refreshed. I pushed on, not as hard or as fast as I was, but still moving! I had finally hit Kenosha! I wasn’t at the end though, I passed a spot I was certain was the end but was wrong…was there an end? At this point I figured it out, I must have taken a wrong turn! Great, how long had I been going in the wrong direction??? I pulled out my cue sheet and found out that I was in fact on course, I just needed to keep going. Isn’t that a lot like life? We think we are going in the wrong direction, things are going horrible, but the reality is we just need to push on a bit further down the the road!

Refreshed, on course, it was time to go into drive mode, I plodded along, not worried about the mileage just enjoying the town. I went through some of the “down town” area, with its shops, and even saw a bride and groom getting photos done( I shouted out a giant CONGRATS, as I went pass them). I soon saw it, the mystical and mysterious ending point! YES!!!! I DID IT!!!!! I survived, and not only that, I had ridden 89 miles(My longest to date!!!)! Later that night my wife asked me if I can believe I started the morning in Indiana and BIKED all the way to Wisconsin? My response was, NOPE! It still is sinking in that I did it, and the best part is I know I can do a century. If I had stopped for a quick rest, another 10 would have been easy to do. I forgot to take note of the time that it was but, it was about 4:30, and an official riding time of 8:11:27. I didn’t get a chance to go in the lake as my oldest boy wasn’t feeling well and we needed to leave. Next year though!

Also, Bell finished as well! She is putting together a video, and I am hoping to be able to share that with you all soon!


Some finish line photos thanks to Mrs. BBB!







I am looking forward to next years already, and even more rides! I am not wasting my 30’s! If you are thinking of doing something like this, I highly recommend you do it! Sign up and force yourself to do it, you might just surprise yourself….


Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

Almost forgot, here is more information if you are interested.

Bicycle Illinois Tri-State Bike Ride: http://www.bicycleillinois.com/tristatetour/tristatetour.htm

Can you really ever change your eating habbits?



Easter was tough this year, started out with a small gain on Saturday and just went down hill from there. First off, the candy this year was harder to turn down than in years passed. I know it is my weaken resolve but still I tracked for it. On the way to my sisters house we stopped at an “Oasis” and things went downhill fast. I tracked for a roast beef sub from subway but when I got there the food didn’t look like it should be eaten. No biggie I can make healthy choices anywhere! Sbarro was right next to me and I decided to look up a piece of pizza(proud of myself for doing that). It was 16 points for the pizza I wanted so I went and got a slice of the pie. It was yum yum yummy in my tum tum tummy!! Sadly though it was over to quick and left me still hungry. So I decided to go in search of food, and saw Auntie Ann’s pretzels. I walk on by it though determined to find something better, mmm Starbucks sounds good! Not worth the points! Finally, I end up deciding on some yummy popcorn for about 9pp. It really hit the spot, and with that we hit the road again!

So why is my day going downhill? Because what I didn’t tell you was that I ate Denny’s for breakfast, though I tried to make some good choices. I had 4 egg whites, 2 hearty pancakes, and a side of Grits. In all I used about 18 points. Did I mention that the popcorn I ate was 6cups? I wanted to leave that part out, but honestly who am I lying to? We arrive in time for dinner and it is spaghetti, which I had tracked for 2 cups worth. I quickly find myself enjoying a third cup’s worth, like I said not going well. This meal would end up being 26 points, because I also decided to have a Ice Cream milkshake and 2 peeps. So if you are keeping track 18+16+9+26=Totally not worth the points!

I am going to do something that I don’t think I have done before, I am going to show you my tracker. I never like to share my tracker with people because it is a very personal thing. It almost feels like walking out in public naked! Somethings are just suppose to be private. This time though, I am stepping out naked and sharing it. So here it is

Day before Easter
Day before Easter

shocking I know. To give you some perspective, when I first joined weigh watcher, at an official 432 pounds, I started with 71. However this is exactly why we have our weeklies points! Also, it is only one day, and simple enough to recover from!

Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday

As you can see, it didn’t go so well…so what is the silver lining in all this? I think some of you already know, it was only one weekend. I didn’t “fall off” the wagon, I simply hit a slight bump. I love the fact that my entire week isn’t shot, I get to continue on and make new choices with every meal. I didn’t get fat in one weekend, and I won’t get skinny in one either.

Moving on….

I mentioned above about things being point worthy and while it seems like a simple concept I do want to talk about it. What makes somethings point worthy and others not? Aren’t my points able to be used however I wish? Who was the second gunman on the grassy knoll? All fair questions, though I don’t have the answer to the third. What I am going to share can also be applied to those who aren’t on weight watchers, the principles remain the same.

The bible talks about standards such as this
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is fair, whatever is pure, whatever is acceptable, whatever is commendable, if there is anything of excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—keep thinking about these things.”

which got me thinking about my Point Standards. If I was to share my own this is how it would go:

“What ever things are filling, what ever things are healthy, what ever things are positive, what ever things can be controlled, and what ever things taste yummy”

If I have a loaf of bread for 4 points and Johnny takes to bites…never mind. If I have a loaf of bread for 4 points and doughnut for 4 points, which is the better option for a meal? I will give you a hint, it isn’t the doughnut. Now, that is not to say you can’t have donuts, but it is about what is going to be more filling. Filling is a very important part to living a healthy lifestyle, when you walk around hungry you make less positive choices. I know when I get to hungry I just want to bite the nearest person. When we pick foods for treats we should still think about this important factor. Am I going to be satisfied after one, or am I going to want N+1? I know for me, 90% of the time one doughnut is not enough, so it easier to just not have that one.

What things are healthy? Name 4 healthy foods, go! How did you do? What if I told you, I can take any healthy food you can name and make it unhealthy? I bet you believe me, because it is a very simple thing to do. We often don’t think about how things are made, we just see “broccoli is healthy”. Is it drenched in butter? Cream? Steamed? It is about looking below the surface at what is all involved. You don’t have to live on “health” food to eat healthy, it really comes down to paying attention to things like sodium, fats, and so on. In the end though don’t forget that the joy of healthy living is the flexibility to sometimes eat the unhealthy.

Positively positive! We all to often talk about food being bad or good choices (), but really we need to get out of that mindset. I will be the first to admit though that it is a hard thing to do! I try to look at food in a positive aspect, is this food going to make me “feel good” after I eat it? Will I wish I hadn’t? If I eat 2 brats loaded down with all the goodies, was it a positive or a negative choice? Chances are I am going to wish I only ate one of them, and am going to feel it later in a non-positive manner lol. When you make positive choices it invigorates you, and empowers you to make a positive choice the next time. Remember though, if you make a rather regrettable choice, it isn’t the end of the world, and you can make a positive choice as soon as the next bite.

Boom! The trigger just went off, and now you lay on the floor in a puddle of chocolate syrup. I have a list of foods that I simply can not eat, no mater how bad I want them. One single bite can make me spiral out of control. When looking at food the number one question you need to ask yourself is, can I stop at one? To often we lie to ourselves, sure I can stop at one, two, three, four, and soon the box is gone. We all know when we lie to ourselves, it isn’t an “accident”. When you lie to yourself nothing positive can come of it. Ask yourself, with all honesty, can you stop at one? Perhaps you can limit yourself by supply, only ordering one or two so that you can’t eat more(you can’t eat what you don’t have). One thing that has worked for me is finding alternatives to those trigger foods. I love love love love love love cold spaghetti’ O’s with meatballs. I will eat any can of it I can get hold of and still want more. So as an alternative, when I go to an Italian restaurant I often order spaghetti with meatballs. It is a controlled environment and this lets me indulge without worrying about stuffing my gob.

Trigger Foods
Trigger Foods

Last part is to make sure you enjoy the foods you are eating. Every bite should be yum! If it isn’t than why eat it? I hate spending my points on food that tasted like dog poop, and I don’t feel positive after those meals. So don’t force yourself to eat on “diet’ mode, it will only make you burn out. As I to often say, I am so glad I don’t diet! I am on a Livet, because we shouldn’t do things that make us die.

I hope you find this helpful, these steps have taken me(and still are) a long time to work on. I will never be free from my food addiction, ever. Every bite is a constant struggle, and sometimes I relapse, but using these tools helps make those relapses happen less and less. When we learn to eat to live and not live to eat, we all will be better off.

One last thing before I go, I got out last night to ride Katrina and it was such an amazing ride! Do to my wife’s new job, the weather, and sunset I have not been getting gout. So each ride I make sure to get the most out of it. The feeling of the centrifugal movements of the pedals under my feet, the wind blowing past my face, and the sheer simplicity of human powered movement, creates a feeling of nirvana.

Don’t forget to check out the Friends Of Katrina section above, and send me a picture of you with your bike! Also, feel free to check out my Amazon store, every purchase helps me save for my bike tour(and doesn’t cost you anything extra!) http://astore.amazon.com/bigbonbik-20

Keep on rolling,

Big Boned Biker