I wish I could take credit for the title, but the phrase belongs to cookbook author Lisa Lillien AKA Hungry Girl.

That’s what she said on Tuesday night when I attended a book signing for her new cookbook Clean & Hungry, Easy All-Natural Recipes for healthy eating in the real world. This all natural cookbook is genius. I’m so excited to try so many of the recipes. While the true definition of “clean eating” is debatable — it has no formal definition, Hungry Girl defines it as all natural. It takes cauliflower to new heights as fried rice, hash browns, tater tots and more. The recipe ingredients are not weird or hard to find. They are normal foods found at your average grocery store.

I’ve been a huge fan of Hungry Girl for years because of how clever her recipes are. She swaps hi-fat ingredients for healthier options and most of the time you’d never know the difference. I also love that her recipes are usually for 1-2 servings instead of the usual 6. It’s so much easier to double a recipe rather than cut it in half or thirds … I have a journalism degree — I’m not THAT good at math.

Mom and I are big fans of Hungry Girl. We have her cookbooks, get her emails and visit her website. The book signing event was this past week and we happily joined the packed house to hear Kathy Hart (of local radio WTMX fame) interview Hungry Girl about how she came to be, the cookbook and life in general. We got great goodie bags filled with tasty, healthy treats and had the opportunity to ask questions, taste some of the recipes from the book and have our new cookbooks autographed. I’m happy to say Lisa was delightful and a pleasure to meet. She took time with each of us and loved that we were a mother-daughter team.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been really stressed, I haven’t been sleeping, no cooking at all (thank goodness for my hubby) and struggling with my weight loss as a result of all of the above! This beautiful new cookbook — which has all the WW SmartPoints available online in a downloadable pdf — is just the kick in the pants that I needed! With everything from overnight oatmeal, egg mugs (a personal favorite) and smoothies, to slow cooker recipes, foil packs, veggie-noodle dishes and desserts, I’m feeling the old confidence and interest in cooking come back.

I think the real point I want to share here — I know, talk about burying the lead — is that I consistently need to search out new forms of inspiration and motivation. I think we all do when making this kind of lifestyle change. I get set in my ways, things become routine and then slowly, without noticing I slide off the wagon. I slide, scraping my knees and elbows along the way. I don’t notice until I’ve been at the same weight for a month! Talk about irritating.

My sleeping situation is a huge problem. However, in the last couple days, I’ve had four nights where I stayed in bed all night! I woke up, but not like before. And, best of all, NO EATING! In the days since my last post on my midnight snacking I’ve been very conscious of what I was doing when I woke up at night. It has been rough. Seriously rough — the night before I went to the book signing I slept 45 minutes the whole night. But, I’m getting there. I’m working on it. I keep going to my WW meetings. My groups (I have two. One close to my house and one close to my parents as I’m back in WI frequently on the weekends) are great. The inspiration and motivation provided by the leaders and members is so very helpful.

We all have bad days and weeks. I was there today, and last week too, and the week before that! I went to the meetings knowing that if I didn’t go, it wouldn’t remain a priority for me every week and then I’d really be off the wagon. No one said this was going to be easy and honestly, I think I deluded myself a little bit too. My commitment and attitude is completely different than ever before. Therefore I thought I’d fly through with sailing colors and while I’m not losing every week, you know what? I AM DOING IT! I just slowed down a little. Life is good. The sun is shining.

Now I just have to survive Passover (also known as the high-carb, high-cholesterol week-long holiday). I have some traditional favorites to make for the family. I’m sure I’ll be making them in smaller batches than before, but I do want to have them too. It’s part of tradition and I must balance traditional foods with my commitment to lose weight and be healthy.

At the outset of this journey, I said I wasn’t going to put a timetable on my weight loss.

I lied.

I’m putting dates on weight loss goals for small stepping stones on the way to the ultimate goal and I’m only sharing one goal at a time. I will also adjust as needed. I have to be realistic. I’m currently down 32 pounds! Nothing to sneeze at for sure. Next goal is 40 pounds total by Mother’s Day. Time to sharpen the proverbial pencil to track my food this week.

Wishing you all a healthy week making good choices!

Note: Photo is me and mom with cookbook author Lisa Lillien aka Hungry Girl!