Friday, February 27, 2009

Heading home for the weekend..

Well, this weekend will be full of challenges. I am heading home for a birthday party weekend at my parent's house. My whole family will be there. There will be cake, and FOOD, and did I mention food?

I am feeling a little better too, which means I am getting hungry. Food/hungry...not a good combination.

However, I am going to try really hard to watch my intake. I am tired of indulging on "special occasions" and throwing myself off track for 2-3 weeks. It has got to end. So here is to a loss tomorrow morning..and hopefully one next week too! :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Crab soup and macaroni..

It's just that kind of night. I still feel sick, and have had a stuffy head, relentless cough, and no energy since Sunday. I can't take off work to recover, because there is no one to cover for me, and if I did stay away, my work would be tripled when I returned. Blech. It could be worse though...I mean I can get through the day, it is just trying to sleep at night that is hard, because I can't breathe through my nose. Anyway, enough whining. :)

Being sick has one great side effect for me...I really have no appetite for the unhealthy stuff, because I can't taste much. So this week I have easily stayed on track. Still haven't hit the exercise properly, because it makes my coughing so much worse.

Tonight I got home and made some macaroni with marinara sauce for my son. It was a high fiber pasta, and it looked good after I made it, so I ate some of that myself with a little light butter instead of sauce on it. Then I had a bowl of crab soup that I had made last month and frozen. It worked for dinner, and I probably am done for the night. I am really hoping for a good week on the scale, though the lack of exercise may throw a wrench in that plan!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Review: McDonald's Cafe Cappucino

Today as I was leaving work, I was cold and hungry. My son wanted to get his once weekly treat of McDonald's, because he was hungry too. (I am trying to wean him off of fast food altogether...but it is slow going!) So we went through the drive thru. He got his little nuggets and fries, and I had a coupon for a free medium McCafe coffee. I decided on a cappucino, w/ fat free milk. The board outside said they had SF syrups, but when I requested one, apparently, they were out, so I got it plain, and added Equal myself. (Which is really hard w/ a cappucino, because it just sits on top of the foam!)

It was a delicious cappucino, I have to say. What was great about it was the amount of milk foam that they made. It had so much! Usually most of it dissolves quickly, but this foam stayed around to the very end, and made it seem like more of a decadent treat. The milk part filled me up with a "healthy" protein, and I felt both warm and filled up after I finished it. Today, on this cold windy day, it hit the spot.

I think I would get one again, but I have to check the price. :) I didn't even pay attention to that today, because I was getting it free! I have a hard time paying more than two bucks for a cup of coffee. Starbucks gal I am not. I am too cheap! (Though I love to go there on a gift card!)

Eating this week is still going well, but exercise not so much. I have another rotten cold/sinus infection (not a selling point mentioned when interviewing for the school nurse position, but definitely part of the package deal), and am so stuffed up, my head feels like a log! It is hard for me to exercise when I have slept poorly b/c I can't breathe, and then get pounding headaches when I do get my HR up. I feel like I have been sick more than not this winter, but that's okay. One nice thing about colds is that for me it decreases my appetite a bit, and that is always a plus!! :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pancakes on the brain, and other things.....

This morning I tried to make some pancakes that were kind of nutritious. They included oatmeal, and egg beaters, and some pumpkin, along w/ a tiny bit of ww flour and some spices. I have to say they hit the spot, and were probably not any worse than a bowl of trumped-up oats. I have had pancakes on my mind since seeing that clip of "Nannerpus" on Pasta Queen's site. My son and I have been falling into fits of giggles about it intermittently, as one of us will shout out "Nannerpus!" and start waving our arms around. We especially love when one of Nannerpus's peel arms smacks himself in the eye, and the eye falls off. (I have really never grown up.) Of course Nannerpus is sitting on a pile of pancakes, and though I am not a real pancake fan, once in every great while, I just want some!

Today, being Saturday we are off. I have a memorial prayer service to go to tonight, but otherwise my day is free. I am going to try and get in some strength training (sorry TJ, I really dropped the ball with our challenge), and then some cardio exercise. Need to clean and do mundane things like laundry as well. Last night I cleaned out my fridge, and wow, does it look spacious now! Got rid of some salad dressing of the 2006 era, and made room for lots of fresh veggies. I have been on a cucumber kick lately. Love them seeded and sliced w/ a bit of vinegar, splenda, S&P,and a dash of oil to soak in. Tastes so good and refreshing.

Overall I had a good week since Sunday. I managed to lose the 6 lbs I had gained, plus 0.4 more. Glad about that. I really want to pump it up, and manage two or three good weeks in a row, and get out of the 3-teens for good! I am so sick of the 300's, and thought I would be long gone by now!

Have a great weekend everybody! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Smooshed Strawberry Stuff

The day before yesterday I had bought a bag of frozen organic strawberries that were on sale. By the time I got home to put them away, they had thawed quite a bit, and were getting mushy. I decided to let them thaw almost all the way, and then squished them in the bag, until they were really smooshed. I added a bit of splenda, and then looked in the fridge for a vehicle for said smooshed strawberries. There it was: a fat free plain greek style yogurt from Trader Joe's. I added a little Splenda and some vanilla, and stirred it up. Then put in the strawberries, and a dollop of SF Cool Whip. Stirred it all again. It is so very yummy, I am amazed I never thought of this before! I had tried it with just cool whip, but I am trying to get away from the processed foods as much as I can, and I wanted the healthy aspects of the yogurt. This tastes like a really good dessert. Kind of cheesecakey, or moussey. The strawberries add an intense flavor, because they get all juicy when squished.

Still feeling good as far as the healthy eating is. Not having the cravings, back to loving lean meats, salads, and veggies. Not really eating just for the "fun" of it. Thank goodness. I still need to work on increasing my exercise, but overall, I feel so much better already, and the scale is going down.

My little boy has strep, so we are home today. I hope to catch up on some exercising, and some cleaning. The house really needs it! :) I could use the exercise from the cleaning too! Hope everyone is having a good week!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm Back in the Game, Baby!

Do you know how you suddenly get "in the zone" of weight loss, and it is not a struggle every minute? You feel like you could go on resisting cake or cookies forever, and are willingly eating cucumbers and carrots because you WANT TO? You look at others and wonder why they are having such a hard time sticking to healthy eating. (Hate to admit I do this one, but I do. I am not judging, because believe me, I have been there. But it seems SO easy, and you wonder why it is not easy for others. It is like you get insomnia about the first 30 years of your life or so.) You have a spryness to your step, and you don't have to drag yourself outside to walk, or get on the treadmill? What in the world is that, and why does it come and leave so randomly? If I could just package and sell that feeling, I would be a millionaire. A THIN millionaire.

Sadly, for me, I have found that feeling comes and goes. And boy, when it leaves town, so does my penchant for healthy eating and exercise. I am such a fickle girl. I hate the feeling of helplessness that replaces the "in the zone" feeling. Hate it. I can't stand sitting around, not wanting to exercise. I hate feeling sick of watching every morsel I put in my mouth. Just tired of it all.

However, I LOVE, love, the in-control, take-charge feeling of being "in the zone". Today was just such a day. Had a fake Egg McMuffin for breakfast, with an apple and some coffee. Lunch was at a pizza restaurant (all-day meeting and I had no choice of the restaurant.) Everyone else had pizza, I had salad w/ turkey on top. It was no biggie. No craving and drooling over pizza. I WANTED the salad. Weird. Snack was cottage cheese and a banana. Home again, and I had a bunch of stir fried veggies w/ some chicken. A small plate, not a gargantuous one like I have been using lately. Dessert? A bunch of thawed frozen strawberries, smooshed, with some SF cool whip squished around. Really, really good. I think I am done for the night. Yes! Amazing. I am not sitting here longing for chocolate, or cookies, or anything really. I am a little cold, so hot tea sounds nice, but that is doable. I can't believe it. I am back. I just hope this streak holds! I am ready to be losing again!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Today is the DAY!

Okay, no more fooling around! I am off today, thankfully, since I work in the public school system. So I am using today to make up a complete menu, AND MEALS, to eat this week. I am going to stick 100% to those menus and meals, with no deviations. I will exercise daily. I will not touch candy, or cookies, or cake, or anything with sugar this week.

I so need to get back on track. Since talking to my fitness coach last week, I have just lost control. And I don't know why. But I am back in the saddle again, and I am going to have a tremendous week. Stay tuned! :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Well, I knew the weigh in would stink. The good news is that it was less than ten pounds. The bad news is that it is more than five. The ugly news is that I am still having trouble getting completely back on track.

Yesterday was really challenging. I ate very lightly all day (maybe that was a mistake), because I knew I had an outing to the dreaded Chuck E.Cheeses in the afternoon. Started out well with a salad, but then caved and had a couple of slices of pizza.

I did have a major victory that night when I wanted some iced cookies and pretzels that my son had made for me at school. I resisted those, which felt good. I am back at it today, and hope to make good choices all day long. I am never, ever giving up, and I am hoping that those 6 lbs are mostly fluid retention. I am tired of struggling, and I am ready to be back in full-force, making that scale go down!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I am soooo ready for this week to end.

I don't know what is wrong with me this week. I start every morning fresh and in control. Get on the treadmill before work, have a healthy breakfast, hit the road. Good day during the day, healthy snacks and lunch. A-Ok. Then I get home. THUD. For some reason, I want to inhale anything and everything. It is not that I am physically hungry. I am mind-hungry.I just want to eat foods that I know are not good for me.

One day this week I stopped at McDonalds for my son. I have cut my son's visits to McDonalds down to once a week, total, if at all. Eventually I would like to make it once every two weeks, then once a month, etc. I am slowly weaning him off. :) Anyway, when I go, I usually get nothing or a salad. This week, I actually ordered a small hamburger. And ate a few of his fries. And then they had accidently put an extra 4 nuggets in his happy meal. I ate those. I don't know what is possessing me! I haven't eaten that junk in a very, very long time.

After I get home, I had the mind-set of "oh, I have eaten things I shouldn't have....I might as well have some chocolate too, since I'm already off for the day." So lame, but it worked for me! :) Chocolate was followed by Cheetos, and then a poptart. "A poptart!" you shriek in horror. Yes, total non-nutritive junk. Sadly, I can feel that I am way up on the scale. I hate to weigh in tomorrow. Really, really dread it. I know I have not eaten more than 7000 extra calories this week, so I should have only gained max of 2 lbs, based on pure mathematics of calories in and calories out. But knowing my body, I gained 10. So sorry A Team. I will get it together as soon as I can. Hopefully from this point on. That is my plan.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Struggling...still struggling

I am having a tough time this week for some reason. All I want to do is eat. I was reading an excellent post by Lyn, from Escape from Obesity blog, and all I could do was nod my head in agreement when she described how binge behaviors occur. This has happened to me twice this week, and I don't know what starts it, or why I do it. Truly it is like an alien takes over my body and just eats! It leaves you feeling horrible, both physically and mentally.

I called to talk to my fitness coach yesterday. He has suggested mixing things up. Trying to increase the cardio, and then varying my intake. Some days eating 1400 cals, then others 1800 or 1900 calories. (My usual intake is 1700 calories.) I know that I need to do something to get back into it and start losing again. I have basically been stuck at the same weight for about three months, and I am so ready to go down under 300 lbs.

It is at least nice to know that many of you struggle with these same issues of wanting to eat things that are not good for us. I hope to someday not be tempted by foods I should not eat, but I have a feeling that day is a LONG time coming.
Nevertheless, I shall not give up, and I am going to give it my all for the rest of the week before weigh-in.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I wish Valentine's day was gone already!

Chocolate overload. It is everywhere. In pictures, in ads on TV, in every aisle of the store. I LOVE chocolate. But I just can't eat that stuff very much anymore. And yet it is taunting me.

My Dad gave me a big Russell Stover's heart filled with chocolates this week. It is a tradition. He has always given my mom and his three daughters chocolates for Valentine's Day. When he gave it to me Sunday, he did say..."I know you might not want this, but if you don't, you can take it to work and they will eat it."

Well, he was wrong...I DID want it. Badly. But I just can't. My mom said..."just have one every few days." She is good at that kind of thing, I am not. I opened the box on the way home. I decided to just have my favorite. One turned into six before I slammed the lid on.

The next day, I took it to work. I walked by the box all day long, never touched another candy. They are gone. Whew! But I know more candy will be back until Valentine's Day is gone. It can't happen soon enough for me!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Weigh-in .....I feel like I lost 3 weeks!

I was shocked to discover this morning that my weight was up by 0.6 lbs this week. I really don't know why. I have had a good week with my eating, and I even cut out all grains and processed carbs this week. I expected more.

However, if there is one thing I have learned in this whole "Healthy Life" journey, it is that the scale does not always reflect our efforts. Or our failures. It goes both ways. So though I am a bit disappointed, I am not discouraged.

I do feel like I "lost" three weeks though...I looked at my stats, and was basically at the same weight three weeks ago! So I have not made progress in any visible manner in those three weeks.

What can't be seen on the scale however, is that I am back to regular exercise again, and I am out of the whole craving sweets mode that was a result of Christmas treats. So I would say I am ahead of the game. I feel good physically, except for a bit of muscle soreness from pushing myself a little in the exercise dept. Here's hoping that a great result shows up on the scale by next week!! :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cheese, Glorious Cheese!

I love cheese. Just about all kinds of cheese. But especially melty, stringy, yummy cheese, like muenster and mozarella.

Tonight, on the way home from work, I had a Luna Bar as a snack. (Which by the way, was quite excellent....Chocolate Peppermint Stick, and it tasted like a giant Thin Mint!). Anyway, my son had some cubes of cheese that he had not finished, and I started feeling sooo hungry while we were running some errands. I ended up eating his leftover cheese as my main protein for tonight.

So I am filling it in w/ some sauteed squash and onions. At least the cheese stopped my hunger, but I hate when I spend my dinner calories on stuff that would be better left uneaten! I had some SF jello for dessert, and actually feel quite full right now. I am hoping I can make it to bed w/ out feeling the need to eat anything else. Weigh in is in 2 days!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Preventing Diabetes in Children

Diabetes runs in my family. I am pre-diabetic myself, meaning I have insulin resistance. So far my numbers do not show that I actually have diabetes fasting blood sugars are okay, and my HGB A1c is in the non-diabetic range. Thank goodness. But knowing I could easily end up with diabetes is one big reason that I wanted to get healthy. I want to prevent it.

Yesterday I went to a conference about diabetes in children. The research is chilling. So many young children are being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes....the one that can be prevented. It is scary.

I have changed the way that I eat. I don't eat the refined carbs much anymore. But my son still does. I still buy the snack packs for him. He still likes chips and cookies, and chocolate. Although I do encourage him to eat fruit and veggies, that isn't his primary snack choice for the most part. He is not at all overweight, and he is very active, but maybe I need to just stop buying any of those kinds of snacks for him at all. He loves apples and blueberries, and will eat those very readily. If I had no other snacks available, maybe he would make those his first choice.

I don't know. There is a part of me that wants him to be able to be like the other kids....have some Doritos, have a cookie at lunch. He always has something healthy a lite cheese stick, or a yogurt, or some fruit. But is that enough? Am I setting him up for Diabetes later in life? How strict should I be? Is it necessary to restrict his snacks just because I have a problem with those foods? How do you all deal with this with your children??

Monday, February 2, 2009

Brave Blogger Bit Big Black Bean Brownie

Here it is...the long awaited black bean brownie review, by someone who is not counting points, and thus does not care that there are only 2 measley points in one said BBB. (I want to be like Rachael Ray, so my new abbreviation for Black Bean Brownie will be BBB.) It does not have EVOO in it.

The recipe for the BBB is to take one brownie mix and dump it in a bowl. Open a can of black beans and drain off the saliva. Fill the can back up with pure water, allowing the beans a luxurious last swim, before their pulverization. Pour can of beans and water into a blender, and blend away! When bean water resembles a beige colored sludge, stop blending, and pour this mixture into the brownie mix. Stir until well incorporated. Scrape into a 9 X 13 pan, and bake as per box direction.

Appearance and Texture Result: This recipe results in a shiny, slightly gummy version of a chocolate brownie. Though actually if you call them "fudgy" instead of gummy, it psyches you into believing they really are just right. Kind of a cross between a brownie and fudge in consistency. Slightly sticky, but maybe I didn't bake them as long as I should have. The knife was clean when I tested them in the oven, but perhaps another minute or two would have helped.

Taste Result: These brownies were actually very good! There was absolutely no taste of beans at all, and you could not even see one little speck of bean. They were sweet and chocolately. Rather addictive, actually.

I took these little gems to a Super Bowl party last night and fed them to unsuspecting adults and children alike. No one could tell, and when I finally told my mom and aunt what was in them, they were shocked.

So if you want to add a little fiber and protein to your brownies, and have a can of black beans in your cabinet, start baking! But don't be surprised if you end up eating more than one. They are that good.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Love that Trader Joe's...but now I want to eat!

I went shopping at Trader Joe's yesterday, as I was out and about running errands in that part of town. There is only one TJ's "close" to me, and it is about 25 miles away. Not close enough to run to for every week shopping...I have a Food Lion about one mile away, and I can't validate wasting so much gas. But I LOVE Trader Joe's.

It may actually be good that it is not closer than it is, because it might making losing weight be even harder than it is already. Every healthy thing that I bought there looks so yummy that I want to try it!! They had some amazing stuff. Huge cranberry orange muffins that are so full of fiber, that a whole huge muffin is only 240 calories, with tons of fiber, and maybe 6 gms of a healthy oil. It was delicious. Then there was the chipolte hummus. So smoky, spicy and good! The little soft, whole wheat mini pitas were yummy dipped in it. And TJ's own natural peanut butter...excellent! I stocked up on frozen fruits and veggies, and picked up some of their greek style yogurt, which is great. Found some dried pineapple and dried figs to use when the sweet tooth strikes. They are really chewy, and take a while to eat one serving, which is good for me.....slowing down when I eat is something I am working on.

So for dinner last night I didn't really sit down for a meal. I kind of sampled a few things I had bought, and it was enough. I can't wait to go back again and try some more interesting items that I saw there. Trader Joe's is such a great place for new, healthy foods.

On the weigh-in front, I am down to 315.4 this week. Last week I was at 320,but had gained some back w/ that weigh in, so overall I am only down 0.8 in the past two weeks. But at least I am down, and I am hoping for a win for the A Team this week!