Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tonight I made the recipe from Carb Lover's that I was most excited about. I give you, Chicken Pasta Primavera.
I love a good pasta dish. I always loved pasta. Give me a seat at a table at Olive Garden and I'm basically in utopia! Perhaps that's just the unlimited breadsticks though....
I think that the editors of Carb Lover's Diet printed the measurements wrong on this recipe. If you follow it exactly, the servings only allows for 1/2 a cup of pasta and 2 ounces of meat. That's a pretty small serving to me. Here's what I did:
- Used 1 cup of dry pasta, which roughly gives you 2 cups cooked; diving into two servings. Even by increasing the serving size in the recipe I was eating 1/2 a cup less than the serving suggestion on the packaging.
- Cooked about 1 lb of chicken breast; divided into 3 portions that's about 5.33 ounces per serving (these are all estimations as I don't own a food scale)
- Cubed the zucchini vs. ribbons (It was just easier to prep that way)
- Served it with 2 T of Parmesan cheese per serving instead of 1 T
- Omitted the salt
It resulted in a nice, filling portion of 435 calories for dinner. And it was pretty delicious (but it needed the salt).
What I ate today:
B: Banana and fiber granola bar
L: Morningstar black bean burger on whole wheat thin bun, small apple and string cheese
S1: 2 whole grain wasa crackers w/4 tsp almond butter
D: Chicken Pasta Primavera
Calorie count: 1,239
How I feel:
Still going strong. Walked before dinner for about 25 minutes.
I had the realization today that of course I am rocking this new menu. I am doing so well because it is within the structure of Monday thru Friday. I generally don't have a problem eating right during the week. The real test will be Saturday and Sunday. I'm glad I've started to think about this so I can start to mentally prepare myself to stick to the plan and not slip. Especially because I am going to the National Banana Pudding Festival! No pudding samples for me unfortunately...
Thank God tomorrow is Friday!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
What I ate today:
B: Banana shake (frozen green banana, 1% milk, honey, spinach)
L: Big Chopped Salad
S1: 1 oz tortilla chips and 1/2 cup salsa
D: 4 black bean tacos
Calorie count: 1,459
How I feel:
Still going strong today. I walked around 1.68 miles after work and then had dinner with friends. I probably didn't need that last black bean taco at dinner because again the meal was filling, but it was so delicious I wanted another one!
I've shared two of the Carb Lover's recipes with friends and both were loved by all. I did add some lime juice and jalapenos to the black beans tonight that surely made them tastier.
Of course, I am craving my usual chocolate and fries. But these are just cravings, it has nothing to do with actually being hungry. Despite my weird dream about food last night, the food has been pretty satisfying on taste factor.
In the dream, I was at some sort of state fair type place and people were trying to shove french fries and funnel cakes and corn dogs my way. What the heck!?!
I turned down breakfast on Saturday with a friend at one of my favorite southern, family style restaurants, Monells. It was a big decision for me and one I don't regret. We are going to still meet up after breakfast and have a great day together. Still, I can't believe I turned down Monells because I am always looking for an excuse to go there!
I honestly don't feel that restricted on the kickstart plan. Sure, I'm having to make changes in what I am eating. But I have wonderfully supportive friends. Tonight my CSA group will get together for dinner (as usual on Wednesday nights) and I am serving them the black bean tacos from the Carb Lover's book. I have also invited them to bring something along if they'd like and we will probably make a veggie dish from our CSA stash.
If I can do this, then anyone can. It just takes a little planning.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
(items in red were not on today's meal plan but were added or subbed in)
B: Banana and fiber granola bar
S1: 14 baby carrots and 2T of hummus
L: 2 eggs, 1 apple, 4 wasa crackers and 2 wedges of laughing cow cheese
D: Ginger Shrimp Stir-fry (with 1.5 oz extra shrimp)
Calorie count: 1,226
If I am hungry before bed (which I can't imagine at the moment) I'm planning to have a Vitamuffin and I'll end the day at 1,326.
How I feel:
Definitely not as tired today as I was yesterday. I'm chalking yesterday's tiredness up to it just being a Monday. Also, allergies are running rampant in Tennessee right now so that helps no one.
I was hungry just 2 hours after my breakfast, so I had some carrots and hummus. It was only around 90 calories for a filling snack. It kept me satisfied until lunch at noon when I was starving again. I added an extra egg, 2 extra crackers and half an ounce of extra cheese at lunch.
I had chips and salsa set aside for a snack, but I ended up not being hungry and a late afternoon meeting kept me occupied. Dinner was awesome (more below). It was so delicious and the portion size was huge! I'm basically sitting here in a food coma right now.
The recipe was Shrimp Stir-fry with Ginger. I substituted olive oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for the sesame oil and ground ginger for fresh grated.
WOW! If all the recipes in Carb Lover's are as good as this one then we will be in business. And like I said it was a HUGE portion.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Yesterday I stocked up on all the Carb Lover's essentials:
Very green bananas, eggs, salmon, zucchini, tomatoes, frozen chicken and shrimp, Amy's black bean enchiladas, Lean Cuisine Salmon and Basil, Greek yogurt and stir-fry veggies.
Corn flakes, corn chips, Fiber One cereal, 1% milk, fiber granola bars, lettuce, potatoes, corn tortillas, Parmesan cheese, corn tortillas, whole grain thin buns, oat bran pitas and dried cherries.
All in all I spent $80 on groceries this week. My normal budget is $30-50. Many of these things will last me more than one week. Items that may spoil after a week I can pop in the freezer and pull out as I use them (bananas, breads, etc). So, hopefully my grocery bill next week isn't as high.
The 7-day kickstart meal plan on Carb Lover's claims to help you dive into Carb Lover's and lose up to 6 pounds in 7 days.
When researching CL I was concerned that the calorie intake was too low (1,200 for kickstart and 1,600 for immersion). I used the handy 'Ask the Expert' tool on the Carb Lover's website to ask their registered dietitian Sonthe Burge about my concerns. Below is the answer she provided.
Q. At first glance of this diet it mentions limiting your caloric intake to 1200 calories. I am 6 feet tall and weigh 316 and feel like this calorie goal is inadequate for my size. Please advise.
A. I agree, the calorie recommendation may be difficult for you to stick with. Add 500 calories to both plans, by increasing your portions at breakfast and lunch and adding a snack. Make your first goal to follow the meal plan. with larger portions. You'll be surprised these foods will fill you up. Good luck.
I am planning for 1500-1600 for kickstart and 1800-1900 for immersion. The menu today had 3 meals and one snack. I was really unsure about the Banana Shake that was on the menu for breakfast keeping me full all morning long, so I brought some fruit to have as a morning snack. I'm glad I did because I was ravenous by 11. I should have eaten it earlier (around 10) but I was trying to hold out. I also brought a fiber granola bar to eat at 4 pm, before my 5 pm workout.
What I ate today
(items in red were not on the meal plan in the book, but I added them to bring up the calorie count)
B: Banana shake (1% milk, green banana, honey and ice)
S1: 10 Strawberries
L: Amy's Black Bean enchilada, string cheese, apple, a few carrots and hummus
S2: Fiber granola bar
D: Chicken pita sandwich (chicken, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes and light Italian dressing) w/baked potato
And I'll probably have some Greek yogurt as a snack before bed.
Calorie count: 1,614 (with Greek yogurt)
How I feel
I've been hungry and tired all day. I'm not sure I can blame Carb Lover's for either of those after coming off a 4-day vacation. But I hope I'm not either of those tomorrow.
My diet for the last 2-3 years has been similar to CL so I don't feel super restricted. Of course the calories are more restricted than I have been doing and I'm not yet finding that these foods are more filling than what I was eating before. I'm not normally good at following something so structured and as you see from above I added things into my day that weren't on the menu (but I think they are still safe). All of the foods on the menu are super tasty though, so from that aspect the diet is good.
Day one check!
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I have a horrible history of going on vacation or getting out of my normal schedule and letting my food choices slip and exercise go to the wayside.
The past 3 days I thought I had really kept a handle on what I was eating. Sure, I had things like ice cream and while my daily calorie intake wasn't at my 1750-1900 goal, I kept it between 2,000-2500. I tracked my food using Spark People's mobile site.
I wasn't sweating the 2500 calorie days because 1) at just over 300 pounds, It would take over 3400 calories a day for me to maintain my weight, so to gain I would have had to be eating well over 3400 calories a day. And 2) we did ALOT of walking, touring, sightseeing. Thursday we were going, going, going from 9am till well after 10pm and Friday was the same pace for most a good 8 hours.
Sure, I ate some things I normally wouldn't have at home, but we ate a lot of meals at the cabin. I ate 1 homemade chicken fajita when I would normally have 2; I had one biscuit and gravy with fruit on the side when others had a plate full of 2; I left food on my plate when we went out to breakfast; I had fresh fruits and veggies every day and I drank at least 64 oz of water every day (usually more).
We walked up a half mile vertical incline to the highest peak of the Smokies and did more walking around town than I have done in weeks. I was sore at the end of each day and I felt good about it because I had spent my two days of mini-vacation being active and enjoying it.
But something still went wrong...this morning the scale showed an 8 pound gain from my weigh in last week.
WHAT. THE. FUCK.
I know, I know, everyone tells me it is fluid. I was slightly swollen from the high altitudes, walking so much and being in the car a lot (it was a 30-45 minute drive into town one way...we did a lot of driving back and forth).
But I am still so frustrated. By consoling me by saying I'm just retaining fluid means you don't understand the situation at all. I've never been able to control my food choices or portions on vacation before. Never. And this time I did - and still nothing changed. I have nothing to show for it. I might as well eaten 4 fajitas, 3 biscuits and gravy and drank margaritas all day long. I would have had more fun.
All that aside, I'm still beginning Carb Lover's tomorrow. I'll post my starting weight for the kickstart week in the morning and will blog every day during kickstart to see how it's going. I will share how satisfying the food options are, the difficulty of fitting it into my lifestyle, the cost of following the plan and of course my progress. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I'm taking my own snacks, fruit, breakfast cereal and I am making fajitas one night for dinner. My main focus will be watching my portions and to quit eating when I am full. It sounds simple, but you don't know my family - we love to eat!!
As far as exercise, I'm hoping that walking around Gatlinburg, Dollywood and the Smokey Mountain National Park keeps me active enough.
Have a good rest of your week - I'm off!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
This week's weight 311.6
No gain/loss this week
17.8 pounds lost since June 2010
Holding steady. And honestly, I'm ok with that. I had a weight loss last week that was double my normal weekly loss and given my food choices this week, I'm ok with the scale this week.
I have been a little rough on the calorie intake this weekend. Mexican for dinner on Friday (with lots of chips) and a birthday party yesterday put me about 1,300 calories over my goal this weekend. I hope I've learned my lesson - don't eat a basket of chips and no brownies, cookies and cake in the same sitting.
Later this week, I will be spending a couple days with my sister, brother-in-law, and niece in Gatlingburg, TN. My goal is to focus on portions and to bring my own snacks and fruits and veggies to make sure I have healthy choices while I take an extra long weekend.
Have a great week y'all!
Going back to this post, I got in all my exercise
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
I got something I was very excited about in the mail this week:
Carb Lover's is the new diet that critics are calling the "new fad diet." I've never been one for fad diets. In fact, until about 2 years ago I never made a serious attempt to lose weight in my life. I always say I just didn't know I was fat, but maybe it's just that I didn't care? And since then I've used the basic "calories in, calories out" principle.
I am a firm believer you can't make someone change something that they don't want to change. I don't consider Carb Lover's a "fad diet." People who are quick to judge are those who haven't researched the diet and the principles of Resistant Starch. Carb Lover's doesn't mean I am going to be free to eat bagels, cookies, cupcakes and whole loaves of bread. It doesn't restrict you from eating any ONE food group, which is the RIGHT way to lose weight and make a lifestyle change. What it is going to give me is a structured plan to make sure I AM eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.
I plan to start the week of 9/27. This will give me time to read through the book and stock my kitchen for the week one kickstart plan. Stay tuned!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I am up 1.4 pounds from my Sunday weigh in. But luckily I do these mid-week check ins so I can turn my week around if needed.
The good thing is I can identify the problems, oh and there are a lot of them.
>I brought home 4 pieces of baklava from the Greek Fest on Saturday. And I ate ALL of them myself over the last 4 days (my roommate has been out of town).
> I binged on chocolate chip cookies Sunday night. I was craving chocolate and ate 6 without even thinking about it, costing me 390 calories.
> I haven't been getting enough rest at night. I've been staying up way too late and have only been sleeping 5.5 - 6 hours a night. That is not enough for this girl who needs 8-9 hours of sleep to be content.
> Last night I had an appointment after work. My plan was to eat some 100 calorie popcorn as a late afternoon snack to get me through to 7pm (when I would be able to have dinner at home), but I wasn't hungry so I didn't have the snack. I was fine until I got out of my appointment at 6:30 and was STARVING so I made the horrible decision to drive through a fast food restaurant. I knew it was wrong at the time and I didn't change my mind. My dinner of fried chicken tenders and french fries cost me almost 1,000 calories. Not cool.
> Skinny Cow ice cream cups. Enough said.
What I'm doing to change how my week is going:
>I will stick to my calorie goal of 1750-1900 for the rest of the week and will continue to track everything I eat on Spark People. No more sweets or fried foods for awhile.
>Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day
>Walk for 20 minutes at lunch today, walk 1 mile after work tomorrow, go to water aerobics Friday and walk 1 mile on Saturday. My back pain is slowly going away, but I still have pain from time to time so I do not want to over exert myself and go back to where I was 3 weeks ago. But I can take short walks each day with no problem.
>Go to sleep at 10pm each night to wake up at 6:30am to get to work on time.
>I will NOT buy any more Skinny Cow ice cream products. They are "low cal" but if I have them in the house, I just end up eating them every day. I do much better when I don't have any sweets in the house at all. Then when I crave something, I go out and get a single serving and I am done with it.
Let's see if I can turn this week around and at least hold onto my 4.8 pound weight loss from last week. Even if I have no gain, no loss on Sunday I will be happy.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
This week's weight 311.6
4.8 pounds LOST this week
17.8 pounds lost since June 2010
Wow, I am just speechless about the weigh in this week! Almost 5 pounds - seriously!?!?! I haven't had a number this high since I was recovering from vacation.
I feel better when I exercise, of course, but this has also made me realize how important food choices are for a healthy lifestyle. My food choices have been on point for the most part, and more importantly I have watched portion sizes. Also, when I've known that a higher calorie meal is coming up, I modify my other meals of the day to be lower calorie, but still filling.
I keep saying my scale is broken. I stepped on the scale this morning about 7 times and got the same number each and every time. I even reset the scale and then tried again....still 311.6.
I know I feel this way because I've rarely been this successful and consistent losing weight. I also have never weighed myself this regularly. The only other time I did and was successful was when I lost about 35 pounds after I enrolled into a 4 month adult weight management class. But there, I wasn't on my own. I had a weekly meeting to be accountable to and a team of 3 professionals - a dietitian, psychologist and an exercise therapist - for support.
There are two milestones this weigh in is responsible for.
> I am officially more than half way to my 30 pound weight loss by the end of 2010 goal. Only 12.2 pounds to reach that goal.
I hope to keep this momentum going and to slowly reintroduce low impact exercise this week.
A very happy Sunday to you all!
Friday, September 10, 2010
A little over a year ago I moved from one side of Nashville to the other. Near where I used to live there was a good Chinese buffet and my roommate and I would eat there sometimes every week. It probably benefited me moving away from that area of town as now I only have mediocre Chinese options.
Tonight I ordered chicken with broccoli and spring rolls. Of course spring rolls are no where near healthy, but I caved to my cravings.
I ate half the chicken and broccoli and 2 spring rolls. I also tossed the white rice they sent with the entree and made my own brown rice. My dinner was around 830 calories according to Sparkpeople. Luckily I ate light earlier today so I am still well within my calorie target.
Problem is, now I have leftovers (enough for an entire meal) in my fridge.
My relationship with this protein packed, sour goodness has been a tumultuous one. I didn't like it when I first tried it. When Yoplait came out with their version of Greek Yogurt, I started buying it and got hooked. After realizing it doesn't contain the live active cultures that other Greek Yogurts boast, I started in on my Fage obsession. Now, I can't do the Yoplait stuff as it tastes like chalk to me.
But DAMN Greek Yogurt is expensive.
I know relatively speaking it's not THAT expensive, but when you go from eating a $0.60 cent sugar/high fructous corn syrup glop to eating $2.39 cent yumminess that's a 398% increase in cost of my breakfast! If I eat it every day, I am spending over $16 just on yogurt. I just don't live on that kind of budget as my grocery budget for the week is usually $30-$50.
Then I learned you can make your own Greek Yogurt at home from regular plain yogurt. Has anyone attempted this? Seriously, let me know - I want to know if it's worth the hassle or if it's no hassle at all.
Speaking of Greek...if all goes as planned I'll be visiting the annual Greek Fest tomorrow. Pray for no rain!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I got my inspiration from the food blog I link to all the time - HEAB. Seriously, if you don't follow her eats then you are missing out. I admit she's into some seemingly hippie, earth-loving stuff, but don't knock it till you try it.
My version included:
2 Ole extreme wellness whole wheat tortillas (seriously my best discovery - they are only 76 cals each)
4 T Muir Glen organic tomato sauce
2 T Mozzarella cheese
1 Morningstar Farms Italian sausage link
2 T Pesto sauce
Typing this out, I just realized that I forgot to add fresh basil to my pizzas tonight, which I have ALOT of. Boo!
I toasted one side of the tortilla in a skillet on the stove, topped with my ingredients and then broiled in the oven for a few minutes. Viola! Here's the finished product:
Happy almost Friday y'all!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
That is basil, sweet potatoes, various peppers, summer squash, butternut squash, cubanelle peppers, acorn squash, 2 kinds of eggplant, 2 kinds of cucumbers and okra! What a stash!
As is typical for Wednesday nights, my awesome housemate, KG and I made a CSA approved meal - Alea's Eggplant Pizza Bites.
Letting the eggplant sit, sprinkled with salt to draw the bitter juices out (it worked!)
Finished product - we added pepperoni because I was feeling some protein (it was supposed to be turkey pepperoni, but Kroger fails and was out).
Upclose of the cute little bites.
With the pepperoni, each bite was around 37.3 calories. I had 7 bites so I ended up with around 261 calories. We also made some sweet potato fries from the sweet potatoes from last week's CSA pick up. My dinner was probably around 450-500 calories. I love our CSA!!!
Back pain update
After walking a little over 2 miles on Saturday, my lower back pain got progressively worse over the long weekend. It seemed to be better yesterday and today I didn't take any pain meds, although I did use my Lidoderm patches. I haven't done any exercise this week, but I am thinking of starting by doing just a short (20 minute) walk tomorrow, followed by water aerobics on Friday. I hope that this back pain goes away soon, I'm ready to exercise regularly again!
This weekend is Nashville's annual Greek Fest. It will be my third year going and it is my favorite event of the year! Dancing! Gyros! Lukamades! Opa!
Today I had a NSV.
My slim fit pants I am wearing today feel too large, to the point that I have to keep pulling them up. Good thing I have a long shirt on or otherwise it would be uncomfortable. It feels good to have this problem.
Today is CSA day, and we haven't had a CSA related post in awhile. I plan to change that tonight. Look out for a post of all the goodies we get!
Monday, September 6, 2010
I still love a nice and filling, hot breakfast on Sunday mornings after my weigh in. Here is this week's spread:
I'm headed to the water park near my house to spend my Labor Day in the lazy river. How are you spending your Labor Day?
Sunday, September 5, 2010
This week's weight 316.4
1.8 pounds LOST this week
13 pounds lost since June 2010
I actually didn't believe the scale this morning. I stepped on it 3 times, and the display showed 316.4 each and every time.
I went about my morning perplexed. In my head I thought, "There's no way this can be right. I only exercised once in the last 7 days. And I didn't have a great food week either. I ate Mediterranean, and pizza and sushi."
So I went back into the bathroom and decided I had to take a picture of my weigh in this week. Because I just don't believe it. And somehow having all 2 of my readers seeing it helps validate it.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
You pickle and can them!
But canning is SO labor intensive. Last summer I had my first canning experience when KG, Miss Lynn and I canned 20 pounds of fresh picked peaches. Whew - it was hard work! So when we're only talking about 2 1/2 cups of each kind of pepper it wasn't really worth sterilizing, cooking, filling and processing to yield just 1-2 jars of each. So what to do? What to do?
I edited the recipe a bit and used:
1 cup vinegar (white or cider)
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
a shake of olive oil
Presto! Fresh pickled jalapenos and cubanelle peppers.
I am in love with this sauce! I haven't actually used it in a meal, but I couldn't help myself from licking the spoon after I made it. Pesto is traditionally very very fattening (it's basically all oil and cheese) and I was happy to learn of this amazing healthy recipe to allow me to use some of my basil.
How's your Labor Day weekend going?
Friday, September 3, 2010
Last night my favorite frozen yogurt chain, Sweet Cece's, opened a new store 4 miles from my house. eeeeeee!!! I admit, for someone who is in the process of losing weight, I am entirely too excited about this new addition to my life. BUT with this new location (previously I had to drive about 14 miles into downtown) I can forgo the DQ dipped cones and go for a lower calorie, fat free choice.
Sometimes I stretch the truth and say something is 'basically healthy' when it has some sort of tiny health component to it. However. Sweet Cece's really isn't horrible for a treat. If you stick to the half cup serving and choose your toppings wisely you can have a luscious frozen treat for just around 150 calories! My favorite lately has been Original Tart with a sprinkling of coconut, almonds and fresh fruit. Last night's fruit options were raspberries, blueberries, pineapple and blackberries.
Yes, I just wrote 2 paragraphs about froyo.
Skin Cancer Screening
Today I took part in my employer's free skin cancer screening. I didn't notice anything particular on my body that concerned me, but afterall, as a child I pretty much spent entire summers out in the sun, sometimes without adequate protection - swimming, water skiing and enjoying my parents' boating hobby.
Ultimately there was nothing to worry about my moles caused by sun damage, but the doctor mentioned my Keratosis Pilaris. It is a skin condition that causes rough spots, or bumps that are red/white on your skin. Usually on your arms and thighs. It is only on my arms, but I am sort of self conscience about it because the bumps sometimes look like pimples and as if you have acne. I was told as a child I would grow out of it, but at the age of 26 (almost 27) it is still present as ever. He mentioned while it's not curable (it's hereditary), there are over the counter and prescription remedies to treat the cosmetic issue of the disorder. I've hated having this issue my whole life, so I am thinking I should focus on treating it.
Does anyone else suffer from this? The doctor said it's usually more present in those who have bad allergies, but I am not allergic to anything and experience only mild seasonal allergies. I've found that exposure to the sun really helps the areas it is present on my arms, but I am researching over the counter creams and soaps that are supposed to help.
Progress this week
My back is about 85% better. Tomorrow I plan to do a 3 mile walk to enjoy the wonderful 70 degree weather we are supposed to experience. I've had a rough week in the food department, I'm not expecting forgiveness from the scale on Sunday.