Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I did it!!! My cholesterol is MUCH lower!!!! To celebrate, I've had a fever all weekend...yes, Christmas weekend! Whatever!!! My total was 167, HDL is 57, and LDL (which was the problem that started this whole "life change") is 88--29 points lower than last time! YEA ME!!! :-)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Round 2 With "The Mick"

I was right, he's a dirty old man. My chubby, flabby self does NOT stir this up...here's what happened

The Mick: "With this machine, what you're gonna want to do is (pause...look away from the machine...stare and follow with eyes, head, and body until he's now facing the other direction...wait for it....) work your stomach muscles."

My internal voice: Why did he stop talking?...OH...he IS a dirty old man.

She was about my age, but definately in shape and showing it off, strutting around in her Juicy pants, mid-rif top, and the blonde pony tail wasn't the only thing she had bouncing above the waist!!!

The workout: I still feel pretty good. Suprisingly, I'm not totally wasted after the workouts. I'm starting to get sore, of course. Tonight was a bunch of muscles again. Abs, hips, quads, butt, pecks, triceps, shoulders, back.

I go in for my cholesterol check tomorrow. We'll see how well I did over the past 6 months of changing my diet. I pray this has done me some good. If not, I'm not sure what the doc's going to recommend. He sounded scarey last time though..."If you don't change your diet, I'm going to do it for you." Whatever happens though, I AM going to get a good, solid breakfast with as much cholesterol as I want...maybe even sprinkle some on top for good measure. BRING ON THE BACON!!! and Merry Christmas, of course :-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Session

You know the old guy that trained Rocky Balboa, Mickey??? That's my trainer, only he goes by GC. He's 77, been "coaching" for over 50 years, and might have a little bit of a dirty-ol-man inside him. So, it started off with him telling me about how losing weight is a numbers game, input vs. output, blah, blah, blah. Then he said he believed in having a strong core. Then this is what happened:

GC: I want to strengthen your core.
Me: Ok
GC: I want you to get to a point where you can do that (pointing to the people working out with those ball thingys), but for now, let's use this chair.
(My internal voice: GEESH!!! Is it really THAT bad??)
Me: Ok

And, yes, it was really THAT bad. I started shaking pretty quickly, and he explained that in a couple of weeks, that should stop...LOL!!!

We did every machine there was. An intro, if you will. Amazingly, I'm not too sore today, and I feel pretty good. I go back Thursday for another round with "The Mick"...Rocky, Rocky, Rocky!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Before"...although it's really during...

I have now taken my "before picture" I made sure it captured my most flabby, poochy, and lumpy attributes. Hidiousness, and I'm sharing this for the purpose of explaining that even after losing 15 pounds, I obviously have a ways to go. And, yes, I spared you the back side...LOL!!!

So, what did I do about it??? I signed up for a personal trainer for one year, starting tomorrow. I think I'll have up to 8 sessions per month. According to their schedule, I'm supposed to lose 37 more pounds in the next 6 months, then spend the 6 months after that maintaining. I figure if I can lose 15 on my own, I need to not lose momentum. Of course, it is the holidays. Party party here, and a party party there, here a party, there a party, everywhere a party party. Oh...did I mention there is FOOD at EVERY party? :-) Not doing so hot right now, but hopefully that will change.

Gonna keep on fighting the fight here, and see what happens. I get my cholesterol checked in two days. We'll see how that turned out too :-)

Friday, December 10, 2010

6 Pounds of Holidays

Well, needless to say, the holidays have kicked in. One weekend of Thanksgiving festivities, followed the next weekend with Christmas festivities. BOOM, I'm up 6 pounds from where I was before Thanksgiving. GEESH!!! I honestly think it's all the salty food, coupled with the increased amount of food. I haven't eaten Tex-Mex in over a month, cheese is down by leaps and bounds, ham is up, dressing is up, chocolate is up, eating food at the clinic is up, etc, etc, etc!!! OH...and let's not forget the mounds of chips...I LOVE CHIPS!!! I haven't even made my appointment at the doc yet. I'm supposed to get my blood test this month...yikes! What a waste...sorta. Who knows. Why is change so freakin' hard?!? And...let's not forget that Christmas is still 3 weeks away...LOL!!! Bottom line, I had lost 15 lbs, and now I've gained 6 back. YUCK!!! Back to the drawing board I guess. YUCK!!! ;-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Asian Cole Slaw

I tried out this new recipe for Asian Cole slaw. While not fantastic, it's very healthy and filling. Good for an afternoon snack. Today at work, the AA, who had been coughing up a lung all day long, came into my office for a phone number. She wrote about half of it down, turned her head and coughed a solid one right into my cole slaw. No longer did it hold the "healthy snack" status it once did. In fact, it lost it's snack status altogether and was tossed into the trash...BOO!!! So much for eating healthy...but wait...nurse Linda to the rescue! She gave me her yogurt. Ok, but that didn't last too long, and I may have caved by dinner. Ok, I caved by dinner :-)

Monday, October 25, 2010


Changing habits is stinkin' hard!!! The two things that lower cholesterol are 1. lose weight and 2. don't eat things with cholesterol. Ok, three things...take Lipitor. It's a long term process, not something you can cram overnight and somehow pull off with shining colors the next day. There's no magic trick or quick fix to it, just hard work, and dedication to changing habits...Exercise habits, eating habits, stress reduction habits, decision making habits, habits, habits, habits. It's proving to be a great challenge at this point. I can't seem to figure out when I'm supposed to exercise, first of all. I even had a gym bag packed last week and in the car...never made it to the gym. I did manage to maintain my weight again this week. I'm stuck at the same weight I've been at for about 6 weeks. Not because of anything other than I SUCK at this, and haven't been able to make any movement on it in a while. I'm dedicated through lunch everyday, then see ya later. Wheels off, don't care, want what's in front of me.

So, the new week begins. I wouldn't kid myself to think I have new motivation for this new week. Just keep "resisting the devil and he will flee from me"...a tiresome task, but worth it I'm sure.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Metdown Survival

Wouldn't it be nice if by "meltdown" I was talking about some fancy, gourmet tuna melt with fat-free cheddar, some great tuna mixture, tomato, lettuce, and a grainy bread? I may need to look into creating that, but right now, this is not the subject. My husband and I are in the middle of the adoption process. There are times when my emotions are all over the place waiting for the phone to ring. In turn, everything else become a MAJOR ordeal, and the meltdown ensues. Really, this has only happened three times over the past 2 1/2 years of this process...BUT, I've never been trying to also watch my food intake during it. Emotional chaos usually lasts several days, as I sort through what I logically know is an overreaction based on one event, not EVERYTHING going on around me.

It turns out that the little things are needed to survive while trying to eat well during and emotional meltdown week.

Survival Tip #1: Miraculously, have food already cooked!

Obviously, this is hard to actually plan. Fortunately, this week, I had already cooked a bunch of food when this happened. Usually, I shut down and don't want to cook, I want to eat..LOL! So, I would say half of what I ate this week was planned out, and the other half, well...let's see. I was mindful to not eat greasy foods. I didn't seek out comfort foods. I did, however eat out several more times than usual, so there was more salt than planned for this week. And...there may have been a lunch with cheesy lasagna and buttery garlic bread catered in at work. Possibly, a beef nacho "salad" from Bueno for dinner one night (it's really just very loaded nachos...who do they think they are kidding calling it salad?)

Survival Tip #2: Talk it out with Kevin

I was able to not take anything out on him, but to do that I had to verbally vomit it all in his direction :-) He was great, supportive, and that helps calm me down enough to think through my food choices. This may sounds a bit trite, but it seems to work. When you know you have the support of your hubby, other things just fall into place, and this is what happened here.

Survival Tip #3: Get Enough Sleep at Night

Kevin also gave me one of the best gifts ever this week. He may snore a bit excessively, and he knows this may cause me to lose quite a bit of sleep. He moved to the other bedroom for a couple of days, so I could get some solid sleep. He knows I focus better when I'm rested, and I don't remember the last time I slept so hard. I feel GREAT and have had energy at the end of the day. I can't explain how much this helps in caring about making good decisions when I eat.

Survival Tip #4: Have the Meltdown During the ALDS/NLDS...GO YANKEES!!! GET 'EM GIANTS!!!!

This week there is a bunch of GREAT baseball. The Rangers are duking it out with the Yankees, so we have a divided house. The Giants are duking it out with the Phillies...BOO Phillies! My man, Lance Berkman, is on the Yankees team, and it has been an absolute privilege to watch him play as a Yankee. He's not the best on the team, but he contributes and has earned a spot/chance at a World Series ring! I am so proud of the fact that an Astro has made it to the Yankees (as if I really know the guy...NOT THE POINT!), and I'm loving every minute of every game!

Survival Tip #5: "Crawl up in there and FIX---IT!!!" SNL quote

Take Control!! There are so many uncontrollable factors, that if you can sift through it all, find what you can control, you can take charge. Our gutters came off the house about a month ago during a weird, crazy, windy storm. This was included in the "EVERYTHING IS WRONG" category. So, the "gutter guy" is coming out today to take a look and give us a quote. See...control :-) It helped calm me down!

Obviously, I can control what I eat as well. This like a nagging mom in my head all week. Drove me absolutely NUTS!! Got it about half right this week.

I still have my "vacation weight" to lose, but I was able to come out even for the week. As, I've said before, I just have to keep going. Keep my eyes focused on December and keep the cholesterol down. What a ride this week has been. On some level, I'm glad it's over. Movin' on.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Back To My Old Tricks

As usual, I started today off right. Ate all the things I had thoughtfully planned out, until, as usual, dinner came around. I caved and had a bit of Bueno for dinner...NOT the AHA recipe I bought food for. I have pretty good energy all day long to fight off cravings for all the office garbage like donuts, chocolate, kolaches, cobblers, cookies, etc. Then, I get home, and it's like I turn off all energy supplies and could care less about the whole thing. We don't have junk food in the house, so it's not like I'm having to resist something that's in front of me like at work. In fact, I have to actually leave the house to go get something off track. It takes energy to go off track, and I use it for bad things...that taste so good...I drank water, if that counts for anything. Baby steps. AND, I've been off track for about a month now, so it would be a miracle to have conquered it all in one day. Baby steps, and tomorrow is a new set of dishes to dirty up!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hiatus is Officially Over

Here's the sum of the last month. First, my birthday...which is written about in "Benihana or Bust." Then, straight to vacation. I did meet my target weight for the trip, and that was a good thing, because we enjoyed ourselves. I came back 2.5 lbs more than when I left. Great trip to Eureka Springs, AR. I sort-of watched things like cholesterol, but did not really take calories into account.

There were breakfast buffets with eggs, bacon, potatoes, and pancakes at Pancakes:

Another birthday dinner at DeVitos with spaghetti and meat balls, fried cheese, and birthday cake...YUM CAKE!!!

Salsa (Scorned Woman) from the salsa store. Hottest I've EVER eaten, however tastiest!!

Our own tasty hamburger and homemade fries dinner :-)

And more cake...at the German restaurant. Had some of the tastiest soup at that place. Called it cream of sauerkraut soup,but it was more like a sweet and sour beef stew. I liked it :-)

(Not sure why the pics are so small...not enough of a tech-y to fix it either...boo)

We got back, and I promptly got sick. For two weeks, all I did was eat what Kevin decided to eat. He was sooooo great, and went every night to get us dinner. He's not much into cooking. He can cook, if he has time to prep for it, but an everyday dinner situation is not his style. He is a great "forager" of dinner though. So, obviously I didn't watch anything those two weeks either. So, for a total of 5.5 lbs gained over three weeks. No exercise, not watching what I ate, boo on that!

So, last week, I started up with the food thing again, and lost my "sick weight." Now to lose my "vacation weight" and get down 10 more lbs by Thanksgiving. That gives me 6 weeks to lose 10 lbs. Very doable!!

Also, I started exercising again just today. I forgot about that part. It's been about 4 weeks now since I've exercised, so back to it I go.

All this combined gives me about 8 weeks before I go back to the doc for the check up to see if all this is working the way I want it to. I really hope it works. This has been a heck of a several months.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Benihana or Bust!!

Yesterday was a total pain!! At work they catered in Red, Hot and Blue. Last time they did that, I had "just a little bite" to "compliment" the food I brought from home. I also gained weight that day. So, yesterday, I fought a hard mental battle to not eat anything "from the forbidden table," and what did I get in return...nothing. Didn't lose anything at all! I had just hoped that it would make a difference that was more visible. Sure, spared my body the fat and sugars, but I had just hoped the scale would show something...a kind of reward for fighting so hard to "be good." Oh well. I should go all out today...just kidding. It's just hard to remember that the results the doc is going to look for will be blood work. I'll get the "way to go" pat on the back for the weight loss, but the real results he will be looking for will be in the labs.

This week has been especially hard, because I'm trying to make it until tomorrow. I know I only have one day left, but wow, is it kicking my butt!! My birthday is a little over a week. Last week, Dad and Aunt Nancy came up for a visit and we ate and ate to celebrate my upcoming birthday...and, I gained about 3 pounds over the entire weekend. I've worked this week to get it off, because tomorrow Kevin and I are going to Bennihana for dinner. This was a tradition for so many years growing up on my birthday, and I've decided to resurrect the tradition. That will be a sodium fest galore. We won't be able to go on my actual birthday, because we will be in Eureka Springs, AR on vacation. So, I've been "going to the mattresses" fighting off temptations all this week. Very, very, very difficult. I think, "Do I want (xyz), or do I want Bennihana?" Obviously, the answer is Bennihana. So, I pray, fuss, and pout about the whole thing. I just never realized how much "bad food" was around me all the time. And I mean All The Time! And, I never realized what a pouter I am :-) I really get upset when I have to relinquish my own desires on this stuff, and give in to "the right thing to do."

Sunday, August 29, 2010


So, I have this goal weight I want to be before we go on vacation in a couple of weeks. I hit that weight for one day last week. This will be the weight at which I bought my last bathing suit. You see why I need to do this, don't you?? I don't want to go buy a BIGGER bathing suit!! Who wants to fall into that trap of ugliness and disgust? So...a few more solid pounds...not sodium, but pounds, and I should be good for our little va-ca to Eureka Springs.

I am having a hard time admitting it, but there are starting to be things out there...food things...that I don't want to eat anymore. Don't tell anyone, it would ruin my image ;-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Second Month

Despite my efforts to rebel and revolt, I have lost more weight :-) I've had an interesting ride for the second month. Called rationalizing in the grief process, I have somehow fought and won the battle of emotion trying to take over logic. I've stopped exercising because of time constraints and it's just freakin' HOT out there. I've had my eating rampages. Still, I've lost weight. PHEW...I guess :-) So, I've lost 14 pounds now, and have 19 more to go. I'm really impressed with how well this is working. It's good to know I can have a pouty moment, and still come out ahead. I'm learning the restaurants and quantities. I've cut down on several things I do enjoy, but not cut them out. So onward I go, into month 3! Holla!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Taking it Back

I think I'm just going to gain back the 13 pounds I lost. I'm not sleeping well, so I get tired after my 11 hour work day, then I am so pooped I don't feel like cooking dinner. So, out to eat we go...ugh...Calories are ok-ish, however the sodium intake is so much that I'm starting to gain some back. UGH...didn't I say that part already? So, forget the whole thing, I'm going back to the way it was...OR...maybe a melatonin to help me sleep, and try again tomorrow.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yeah...that worked...

So, not even one meal since I wrote the epiphany about "breaking up with food" I went straight to Weinberger's Deli and had a Reuben with chips, pickle, and root beer. There's just nothing better than food to lift your spirits when people and life fail you!! And...that's what happened, so I ate a Reuben for lunch. What else is left when food isn't there?? I guess I'm not ready to answer that question. I told you I was bad a breakups :-)

Keep Going!!

College story:

I went to ACU, and living on campus, I had a curfew. Freshman year, during finals week, several of my friends and I decided to sneak out of the dorm and go meet the boys to "study" at The Kettle. The room we chose to sneak out of faced the security building. We timed the rotation of the security guards as they passed the window in their car, so we could make our escape in stealth mode. Why I remember this part, who knows, but it was 11 minute intervals. So, the security guard passes by, we have 11 minutes to break free. We all made it out the window, started running toward my car, and it was like we all hit a brick wall. We didn't notice there was a guard on foot. We made it about 10ish steps before running into him. Out of sheer determination to make it work, I yell, "KEEP GOING!!!" We all did, and made it to The Kettle unscathed.

Forward to today:

Trying to find this determination for this lifestyle change. Honestly, it's mentally exhausting. I know it's good for me. I know it will keep me from having medical problems. I like the food I'm eating. AH HA!!! Maybe I'm not good a breakups!!! LOL!!! I should think of this like a breakup! I'm breaking up with fat, grease, fried whatever. I was once told that the time it takes someone to get over a boyfriend is twice as long as the relationship lasted. OH BOY...I'm in trouble. I've had a very long relationship with fried, greasy, cheesy goodness. Breaking up with food...who knew?!?!?

Friday, August 20, 2010

They Said WHAT?!?!?

I'm almost 2 months into this "life change" and I've lost 13 pounds!!! Only 20 more to go!! So, by my estimation, when I go back to the doc in December, I should be at my ideal weight. Hopefully, this will help my cholesterol and blood pressure. I have a question...WHY DECEMBER??? Doesn't he KNOW that's when we all eat not just more, but more of the bad stuff that tastes soooooo goooood?!?!?! Anyway, all of this is still working. One of the most peculiar parts of this whole thing is what books and people will say about weight loss, for instance (and btw, I hear all of these sayings in a high-pitched, sarcastic voice):

"After a couple of weeks, you won't crave the foods you used to eat."
"I tried eating my old food, and I don't even like it anymore."
"You'll feel so much better."
"Oh, you're dieting again..."
"I wish I could eat healthy like you do"
"Is it working?"

All I have to say to all of this is, "SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!?"
I still want pizza, BBQ, Taco Bueno, Coke, fried chicken, etc., I still LOVE all the old food, I feel the same, Not a diet...eating healthy, here...have a cucumber, and geesh, can you not tell I've lost weight yet???? I can tell, why can't you??!!

I think these people/books come from and are aliens. Certainly real people are in the same boat I'm in. Anyway, it's interesting to read/hear the things people say about it all. I think on some level, people are overwhelmed with all the hype out there for losing weight. I like what I'm doing. It's my decision on what to eat, and gives me control over the whole thing. I'm not following someone else's regimen. And, it's not just about losing weight. It's also about lowering my cholesterol and getting my blood pressure down. Anyway...people are funny...looking!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Popcorn Trick

Take 2 TBS of popcorn kernels, put them dry in a brown paper sack (lunch sack), pop for 2 - 2.5 minutes, and you have a no-fat, no-salt, tasty treat that crunches :-)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Beef and Noodle Casserole Dijon

This is a very tasty comfort food dish from the American Heart Association!

8 oz lean ground beef
8 oz frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup water
1 cup fat-free, no-salt-added beef broth
1/2 can low-fat, reduced sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 TBS Dijon mustard with horse radish (I used Jack Daniels brand)
1/2 tsp salt free Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 oz dried no-yolk egg noodles
2 TBS plain dry bread crumbs
1 TBS shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a stock pot on the stove top over medium-high heat. Cook the beef for 8-10 minutes, or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Pour into colander and rinse under hot water to remove excess fat. Drain well. Return to the stock pot.

Stir in vegetables, water, broth, soup, mustard, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Stir in noodles.

Transfer to a casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, or until the noodles are tender.

Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and Parmesan.

Back in the Saddle

I think I really needed a day like yesterday. I've been so high strung lately with crazy work stuff, emotional roller coaster about several other things (missing mom when we registered for the baby, dad starting to date, the fact that we now have the money for the adoption making it that much more real) that I needed a day to not think about any of it. We went to Chocktaw for Kevin's birthday, and I mindlessly sat in front of the Star Wars slots, won absolutely nothing, but didn't lose either, and got to watch Kevin not win or lose at Let it Ride. Well, that's not entirely true...when we counted it up at the end of the day, we were up by $31. Neither of us kept track enough to know who won what...lol! Point being that I now have the mental energy to get back on track with my new "learning experience."

Let's see how long this ride lasts :-)

Friday, August 13, 2010

TOTALLY Off the Wagon :-)

First of all, I'm SOOOO EXCITED!!! Today, I fit in the shorts that I could not get into at the beginning of the summer!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!

So, not only am I learning about eating well, blah, blah, blah, I'm learning interesting insights to myself. By the way, I've been off the wagon for about a week now. Ate out every dinner this week...and why?? I'll tell you why!! The Yankees came to town, and that started the whole thing...sorta. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch my boy Berkman play, and I ate, and I ate, and I ate...it was .45 cent wing night for crying out loud :-) YUM, YUM, YUM!!!

Then, we registered last weekend and it caught up to me about Tuesday. All the emotional stuff that goes with that, and I caved. I was excited, I was freaking out, I was sad my mom wasn't around, and I was eating like a banshee. Taco Bueno, Texas Roadhouse, Red Hot and Blue, Babe's Chicken Diner, and did I mention the Snickers, Doritos, and Cokes :-)

So, I THINK I have it out of my system. AMAZINGLY (is that a word?), I only gained 1.5 pounds this week. I still haven't been to the gym now in 3 weeks! Whatevs!! We'll see, because today is Kevin's birthday and we are both off work, and ready to play. Again...Whatevs!! :-)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

12 Days of Busy, Busy, Busy

In the last 12 days, I have done nothing light of hard labor...for me anyway. I've rearranged furniture to be able to steam clean most of the carpet in the house. I've done rounds, standing on my feet all day long, for 6 of these days, one of which was a 15 hour day. I've now done the baby registry, which lasted from 9-3...with a Red Robin lunch break. And I took two days to make a 16th birthday cake for 70, three tiered.

(Had to show it off, ya know :-) )

All this to say, I haven't been to the gym in two weeks because of all this busyness and I continue to lose weight...YEAH!!!! I've now lost 12 pounds total in 6 weeks. Not too shabby. It seems longer..HA! Onward and upward...march!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

So What...

For all the times I haven't eaten quite up to 1600 calories, I made up for it today :-) I really enjoyed the homemade pizza, and fried catfish today. OMG with the cholesterol though. I went a bit over on that. I thought I was doing myself a favor using turkey pepperoni, however this is not the case. I might as well have used the real deal. Anywho, a good eating day. I worked hard though. I woke up early rearranged furniture so I could vacuum and steam clean all the carpet in the house. That's 3 rooms, a hallway, and the living room, all before 2 when the steamer was due back at the store. Then grocery shopping...at two different places!! So, for that...I ate :-)

So, this process feels so slow. 11.5 lbs in 5 weeks has seemed like an eternity. Each week has it's own battles. Sometimes, the harder I try, the more frustrated I get with the whole thing. I can't imagine at this point, waiting until December to find out if it's working or not. That seems like so far away!! I'm sure this will all get easier, as I get into a routine with it, but it feels like a harder transition than I thought it was going to be. Staying organized with it all seems to help a lot. Keeping true to the daily menu, although difficult quite often, seems to be the trick to all of this.

Groceries are definitely more expensive!! I've almost doubled the price, having to make all the food. Now, we eat everything I make. We definitely eat out less, so I'm sure there is balance there somewhere. And the dishes!! I know I've mentioned this before, but it's still overwhelming. I can't run the dishwasher fast enough to keep up with what's in the sink!! GEEESH!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Huge Drop

I'm not sure what happened, but instead of having a "fight for my dignity" week, I've all of a sudden dropped 3 pounds more this week!! I'll take it!!! That brings my total weight loss to 11.5 lbs!! Not too shabby, and a delightful surprise.

Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken

This is from the American Heart Association cookbook. Surprisingly much like the regular stuff, and very easy to make. We ate it before I remembered to take a pic.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 1/2 oz can pineapple chunks in their own juice
1/2 cup jellied cranberry sauce
2 TBS light brown sugar
2 TBS rice vinegar
2 TBS frozen orange juice concentrate
1 TBS dry sherry
1 tsp low-salt soy sauce
1/4 tsp ginger
2 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS water
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
Brown Rice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Discard all the visible fat from the chicken. Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch strips. Put the chicken in an 8 inch baking pan and set aside.

Drain the juice from the pineapple into a small saucepan. Set the pineapple chunks aside.

Put the saucepan over medium heat and shisk in the cranberry sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, orange juice concentrate, sherry, soy sauce, and ginger.

Put the corn starch in a cup. Add the water, stirring to dissolve. Whisk into the juice mixture.

Increase the heat to medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the pineapple chunks. Pour over the chicken.

Bake covered for 35 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center. Add the bell pepper. Baste with the sauce and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes.

Serve over brown rice cooked according to package instructions.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Experiment or Rationalization???

I am tired of having so much trouble eating out. I have decided to "experiment" with something, that I've told Kevin might just be a rationalization. We'll see. Chili's was the target of my experiment. I looked up how many calories certain menu items had (margarita grilled chicken, guiltless chicken platter, chicken tacos, carribean chicken salad, etc) and found that all but the chicken tacos (1200 calories...WHAT?!?!?)were around 600 calories. This isn't that bad-ish. So, I went to Chilis for dinner last night, ordered the margarita grilled chicken, and didn't eat all the 1600 calories I was supposed to yesterday.

Now, the reason this could be a rationalization is because the sodium for that particular dish, and many others, is over 2000mg. That's about as high as I want to get in any given day...2000-2500. Trying to keep the blood pressure down. We'll see. I guess I would need to check my blood pressure afterward or the next morning or something to know for sure. I think I like the experiment, however I have really enjoyed eating at home. I do get a little fussy about cooking so much. Also, a change in my habits. SOOOO many dishes to clean all the time. I can't seem to keep my sinks empty. The second I get it cleaned up, it's time to cook again and mess it up.

Found a great stew recipe in the AHA cookbook, that really hit the spot for comfort food. I'll post that next. That was Sunday lunch yesterday :-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

First Month

Well, I have finally reached the end of the first month of all this (what I now call) crap. I have found that even through all my anger, frustration, disappointment, and deflation I have been able to lose 9.5 pounds. I have found that there is so much out there that I can eat than I thought, but it's such a change from where I was a month ago. That's the frustration part. The disappointing and deflating part comes when I try to eat out. And the anger comes in when I just want to give up and know that I can't. I've taken a break the past several days from exercise. I've needed to regroup mentally, as I'm still fighting food, and exercise still wears me out.

OH...I did have a success with exercise. For the first time since I started riding, which was in April, my knee didn't pop. Usually, when I get out of bed in the morning, the first step I take with my right leg results in a huge cracking sound. A friend/chiropractor advised me to just keep up what I'm doing and it would resolve itself. It's getting there...yeah! It didn't pop three mornings this week.

I read and bought the American Heart Association cook book yesterday. It has a nutritional breakdown of all the recipes. I'm going to try some stuff this week that includes turkey pepperoni, tortilla rolls, sweet and sour, and stew. It's going to be quite the eclectic week, but I think that's what I need. A little Tex-Mex, Chinese, country, and Italian.

Onward I go...

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Results of Plan #1

There are two sides to the coin this week. Did the plan work...yes. Did I have an emotional/mental fallout moment because all this change is hard and I don't like it...yes. I have lost 1/2 pound since last Friday, and it has been a mental exercise beyond my imagination. I enjoyed eating in over the weekend, because it took SO much pressure off making decisions at restaurants. Really, there are decisions at restaurants, because basically I should order the fish. That's the common denominator at each restaurant. Usually 500 calories or less any where. So that's a plus that I have figured that out, and I'm not as limited. BUT...it feels limited when I'm at a restaurant smelling all the other stuff.

Also, I'm used to eating out more. By last night I felt like I had cabin fever. I didn't want anymore steak or grilled chicken tacos. Both meals are very tasty, and there is nothing wrong with either, except my brain was itching to get out!! Old habits die hard! I feel this is a huge success though, because it's the first time we ate out for dinner since last Sunday. I had lunch catered 3 times this week, twice from Chilis and once from Red, Hot and Blue. I made modifications as needed, and struggled through lunch this week. That kinda messed with my head because then I would want to go out for dinner too.

Conclusion then is although it was a hard week to eat in and eat right, I feel like I learned a few things about myself.
1. I eat my way through situations that are overwhelming.

2. I can eat out, just very limited on what I can eat.

3. Eating in takes the pressure off of making decisions at restaurants.

4. Just because I make it at home doesn't mean the food is low in calories, sodium, fat, or cholesterol (the minestrone soup wasn't great for numbers, neither was the steak or tortillas).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Discovery

This week has been an education on self awareness. When I get tired, I want to eat. When I get confused, I want to eat. When I get overwhelmed, I want to eat. Yesterday, I had everything I brought eaten by 4:30, and it was my 15 hour day. I worked until 9pm. I went over my calories by almost 400, which equals an entire extra meal by 4:30. All I really wanted was some down time to regroup and clear my head. I never got that moment, so instead I ate my way through it...lol. I fortunately only ate things that were "good for me" So, no Taco Bueno binges, or Marble Slab runs. Just the food I made. The only thing I didn't go over on yesterday was cholesterol. I guess I did something right...HA! Well, the food I made and some of the lunch that was brought in by a rep...Chili's salad with grilled chicken. Let's see if I eat my way through today...thbttttt!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The New AA

We have a new AA at work. Today we are going out to eat to welcome her to the clinic. I'm so tired of "out to eat." It wears me out. Don't know where we are going yet, but I'm sure it will be a fat and sodium fest. I'll have to find the needle in the haystack to be able to eat something. It's just awkward in front of work people. "Gloom, despair, agony on me..." (don't know why the HeeHaw moment came on me there...lol)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Too Full Too Quick

I don't understand it fir nuthin'!! I can't seem to get enough calories in the day. I eat 3 meals, and 3 snacks, and STILL can't get up to 1600 calories. Today I'm at 1190. I don't understand it at all!! When I eat, I get full as a tick, and can't possibly eat any more. Maybe I could add more to the snacks. There's an idea. A glass of milk or maybe 2 cups of fruit instead of one. This is truly an amazing situation for me to be in.

More Family History

So, this could be boring, but it helps me.

I spoke to dad last night and he clarified several things. First, he has chosen to be a vegetarian because he is unable to take cholesterol medication because of complications it will cause to another one of his health issues with his liver. Also, his dad had high blood pressure at my age too, and never had heart surgery or any other complications from it. Also, I thought his mom had died from heart related trouble, however it was a cerebral hemorrhage caused by several environmental issues. So, it's not a bleak as I thought several weeks ago when I started all this. BUT, still a concern. So, I'll keep plugging away at it and pray for the best.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Plan..attempt #1

I talked to Kevin last night and he's in.

The Plan:

If I cook dinner on Saturday, leaving enough for leftovers, then that will eliminate eating out Saturday night. Then, if I cook lunch on Sunday, leaving enough for leftovers, then that will eliminate eating out on Sunday after church (this will be a difficult transition, I think). Then, for dinner the rest of the week, we have variety left overs from the weekend, lending itself to be an eating-in choice instead of eating-out choice. And, I won't have to cook during the week when I'm so tired and trying to find energy to work out.

Making it really simple this week. Steaks and chicken fajita with veggies and fruit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Hangover

After I blew it last night and indulged in my burrito, I woke up this morning with a tremendous headache. I don't remember the last time I had a headache. I can only deduce that because I ate out twice yesterday, once without caution, I paid for it this morning. Perhaps I'm getting used to not having whatever it was in that food...salt, fat, both. So, after some ibuprofen and LOTS of water, I'm better.

I know I've said this before, but I'm just stunned at how much sodium is in restaurant food. I suppose I shouldn't be eating out, and that will be hard to change. Maybe I can try eliminating one night out at a time, but where to start?? I'm gonna have to ponder this one. I already changed my lunch habits after I was sick with bronchitis last holiday season. I only bring my food now, because I felt going out was hurting my immune system after I read some stuff on it. I rarely leave for lunch now...only for "occasions." I guess I could apply the same principle to dinner.

I heard a preacher say once, during a lesson on marriage, that home should be a place you want to go at the end of the day. That just popped in my head, so I spit it out there. I guess the parallel is that I need to make dinner a part of that place I want to go at the end of the day. Dinner is what gets me. Unprepared for it means going out.

Sometimes, after working all day (which means about a 10 hour day on my feet for at least half of it) all I want to do is sit, which lends itself to sitting in the truck to go sit at a restaurant for dinner. I wonder how Kevin feels about getting dinner ready...never asked. I'm going in...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I blew it today!!

On purpose!! After a 12 hour day at work, I caved. I ate dinner at about 5:30, and by the time I got home around 9:45, I wanted to eat again...so I did!! Left over pizza and bean burrito...all very tasty :-) I went 1000 calories over my goal...LOL!! Whatever, and oh well!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Shocking Development

Feta Cheese...RUN AWAY FROM IT!!!!

Calories - 100 per oz
Cholesterol - 134mg per oz (more than half the daily recommended amount!)
Sodium - 1674mg per oz (300mg away from the daily recommended amount!!)
Fat - 3.g per oz (more than anything else I ate today)

So...just because the cheese is white, does not mean it's good for me. I read that in a book on women's health. It said white cheeses had less fat. Guess they were wrong! I sure did enjoy that Greek salad tonight though...sniff, sniff...guess I won't have that again with the cheese...

Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Chicken Tacos

Spring rolls are good, and I can eat a lot of them. No cholesterol, no sodium unless I add soy sauce...which I don't, and tasty and filling. I actually dab a very little bit of peanut sauce, which is good. About 130 calories with shrimp or chicken added. Not the fried ones, the rice paper ones. Two places have these delightful rolls...Pei Wei and this little place in Southlake called I Love Noodle. I'm sure there are more, but I like to keep a small box sometimes...

I figured out how to go to Taco Bueno :-) I can eat their chicken tacos and chicken tortilla soup!! Sodium-wise...it's still no bueno, but calorie-wise it'll do in a pinch :-) Makes me happy!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Epiphany #1

During my bike ride last night I was thinking about how much my dad does to stay healthy. He's a vegan who literally runs 5 miles a day. He's around 5'10" or 5'11" and only weighs 145ish (he has a particular weight around 145 that he works hard to stay around). All this he does, and he still has all these cardiac issues. So, my epiphany was that what if, because of my genetic makeup, some sort of cardiac trouble is inevitable. What if there is no way to prevent this because it's genetic, and it is what it is? Well, that certainly sucks.

I remember back when I had knee surgery, I was told by one of my physical therapists that the more I do today, the more I'll be able to do tomorrow. So, I combined that concept to what I am doing to get in shape, with the epiphany. Perhaps the more I do today to get in shape and eat right, the better I'll be able to recover from whatever my genes have in store for me. I've seen it before when I worked on the PM&R floor at Hermann. Those that were in better shape, recovered much faster than those that were not.

Obviously, I'd rather not have any kind of heart surgery, tests (especially that one where they stick the needle up your leg to get to your arteries...creepy!!), whatever. But, if I must, I should be ready to recover for sure!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday Night

So, this doesn't EVER happen, but we ate in tonight...and it's SATURDAY!!! I can't believe it. What is this world coming to?? Tonight I would just rather not deal with all the choices out there, and see all the things I can't eat. Or smell all the things I can't eat. It kinda made me mopey.

And, I'm still having trouble eating all the 1600 calories. I get full before it's all in my belly. And, now I've been told by my trusty dietician that when people don't eat enough, bodies store fat as a result. GREAT!! I'm soooo totally floored that I don't eat enough food. That completely blows my mind in more ways than 20. For example, today I've eaten 1091 calories according to my calorie counting website. I'm full to the brim on fish, veggies and brown rice. I coudn't eat anything else if you paid me right now, and it's 7pm. So...it's not like I'm going to go eat a cow before bedtime. Like I said...blows my mind. Maybe I should eat the cow...

So, now it's later in the evening and I went ahead and rode my bike. I got hit in the eye with a gnat. Owwwch, but overall a nice ride. Came home and decided to eat more. So, in eating an apple, veggie burger patty, and graham crackers, I STILL only brought it up to 1430 calories. But, I got closer than I was earlier. I'm going to take on a new motto...KEEP EATING!!! Not a bad one to have ;-)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Two Weeks

It's already been two weeks since I found out the news about my "rising cholesterol." Honestly, it feels like much longer. Not sure why, but things are moving in the right direction for the most part.

1. I've already lost 8.5 lbs. I'm assuming that was mostly water weight, but that is a good start.

2. I've drastically changed what I eat and how much I eat. This has been an ok to brutal experience so far. Ok, meaning I'm fortunate to enjoy most foods, and I grew up on mostly fat free/sugar free stuff anyway because of mom and dad's conditions. Most of the foods remind me of what my mom used to make, crazy as it sounds. Brutal, meaning the mental exercise to not eat what I want every meal and in between hasn't been the easiest.

3. I've lost some sleep over this. I'm really worried wondering if I have done irreparable damage of some sort by not taking care of myself. Logically, probably not, but still working that out emotionally. I think I see too many dialysis patients on a daily basis, and have become sucked in. BUT, some of them are my age, and they can't turn back...what's done is done. Been praying about this, because worrying doesn't provide any benefit to anyone. Logically, I know it is what it is. I can only do my very best, sprinkled in with my inevitable flaws, and have faith that God is watching over and taking care of the entire show.

4. I really like bike riding!! It has been great for so many things!! I finally figured out how to make the bike at the gym comparable to riding outside. Level 9 - hill program!! Also, there is an aerobics class called "Boot Camp" that I've attended in the past, and am prepping for. I hope to start that once a week, starting next week. Takes a lot of stamina and muscle. Stamina is not the issue...lol!!

That's all for now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Right vs. @#$%@#$^$%^!#$!!!!!!!


Getting a bit harder to stay on track. I'm surprised at how many times in the last week I've resisted things like Taco Bueno, because I sure would LOVE to give in!! I'm a cheese eater, I love a good/solid meatball in some traditional sauce, bring on the pizza and wings, give me a bag of Doritos and an order of Sonic cheddar peppers...UGH!

So, these things have been replaced with strawberries, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, protein bars, and the like. Don't get me wrong, I like these things too, but I would much rather feast on ice cream and a "Saturday Special" (aka No. 1 at Chik-fil-a with honey mustard).


Monday, July 5, 2010

Awesome Snack

This is going to sound like a kid's snack, but I'm totally in.

Graham Cracker and Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Calories: 330

2 whole graham crackers (Honey Maid Low Fat)
2 tsp peanut butter (Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter - I like creamy)

Break the graham crackers in half, spread 1 tsp of peanut butter on two of the halves, make a sandwich with the other two halves and munch away. Tastes like a Nutter Butter!!

I did it...phew!!

This was 4th of July weekend. We always go to Cleburne for Heath's party and then spend time with the in-laws. LOTS of eating everywhere!! I mapped out what I could eat before I went to Heath's party and stuck to it like glue...you know, the stringy kind that eventually does what it's supposed to. It was SO hard not to snack while socializing. I didn't know what to do with my hands not holding anything. It was VERY difficult. I did notice that nobody else was snacking while socializing. I never noticed I was the only one before. Anyway...made it past this one.

Then came the in-laws. My father-in-law always cooks us a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, and biscuits. Well, I can't eat any of that if I want to watch my cholesterol, but I don't want to be rude. I ate some egg, and then asked if I could make toast. They are so nice to me. They had no problem with me making my own stuff. Again...phew!! Then came lunch after church at La Fiesta, and then grilling out at their house for dinner. Somehow, I made it without going over my calorie goal. :-) One problem is that I doubled what I should have eaten in cholesterol today. Hard to remember to watch it all, all of the time. I got so focused on calories I forgot the other. I'll get better though.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Recipe: Bell Pepper Pasta

Ok, so I made this up because this is what I had in the house. I do this frequently, and Kevin is always saying I should write down what I come up with, so here I go.

Bell Pepper Pasta
Calories: 450
Servings: 1 (only because there is no need for me to make more...Kevin isn't the bell pepper fan...feel free to multiply and divide)

2 oz whole grain spaghetti
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup orange bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh spinach leaves
3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, diced
1 TBS Parmesan, shredded
1 tsp dried red pepper (to spice it up if you want)
pinch of salt (or not if you're watching salt intake)

Cook pasta according to box directions.

Put olive oil in saute pan and heat on medium. Once heated, add bell pepper, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and garlic. Saute until bell pepper is tender. After pasta is cooked and drained, put it in a bowl. Top with bell pepper mixture, Parmesan cheese, red pepper (if you chose), and salt (if you chose). Toss and enjoy.

I actually made this yesterday too. You'll notice the picture doesn't have spinach...today I was out :-)

FINALLY...I'm full :-)

Here's what I figure. For years I've been listening to the Weight Watchers people save their points until the weekend so they can get some neat treat to reward their efforts. I decided (rationalized) that because I hadn't eaten enough calories all week that I needed to catch up last night...YEA!!! The shrimp fajitas were delightful, as was the multicolored sherbet that tasted like a ball of "Now and Laters" and turned my tongue green, purple and blue.

So...I gained 1.5 pounds...so what :-) Total loss for the week was 5 pounds. Not too shabby. I hope I don't totally blow it tonight at the 4th of July party...lol!

I think I'm going to start posting good, light recipes. Stay tuned...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Not Eating Enough

Interestingly, I'm not eating enough. I try to cut back, and well, success...but...I'm not eating enough. Except for Wednesday, I've not been able to get up to 1600 calories. I even had a fat free chocolate ice cream yesterday. So, off the the store to get more food.

According to my tracking site, I'm also eating way too much protein, in comparison to all the other stuff. Going to try more whole grain stuff. I'm sure bread will add the "missing calories" :-)

Weight lost: 6.5 lbs
Most filling foods:
-2% Milk (which I'm switching out for fat free - growing up my brother and I called this "water milk" - can't wait)
-plain hummus and fat free triscuits
Favorite exercise:
Biking - Fortunately, for the past several days (and for several more to come) hurricane Alex has given us some rain and cooler weather. I have had to go to the gym for riding for several weeks now, but I'm back outside for this week...YEA!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Out to Eat - Twice

I've been dabbling in the 1600 calroie plan this week. Interestingly, I went out to eat twice yesterday and was able to keep it at 1700. At Chili's when I cut my hamburger in half and asked for a to-go box, the server laughed and said, "Really?" I said, "Yeah, I'm watching my calories." Who says that kind of stuff?? Crazy people say that kind of stuff!! Anyway, I've lost two pounds, which would be great if I hadn't done that a million times before. The first two are nuthin'. It's all the middle stuff that starts chapin' my hide.

In the past when I've "dieted" I struggle the most in the middle of the day. I can eat the same thing for dinner as I do for lunch, but for some reason I start squirming around 2:30, 3:00. After dinner, I'm fine and can piddle about for the rest of the evening, no worries.

Ok, off to set a real plan in motion. Let's see how 1600 calories a day plays out for real.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Research and Planning...boy, that sounds like fun...

Looked at many-a-meal-plans today. They actually include many of the things I already eat. I don't think the actual food I'm eating will be an issue, it's just adjusting to how much...or little...haha! The most shocking thing I found looking around at stuff is just how much sodium and how many calories are in restaurant food. I mean, as a chef, I knew that there was more than "some salt" in foods, but geesh!! One meal may have enough salt for 2 days. One meal also has at least half of the daily recommended calorie intake. So, eat a salad at Chili's and that's half your day's calories right there. A SALAD!!! I guess we're changing our eating out habits now too. I like eating out...I don't have to clean up the kitchen afterward :-) Kevin may be forced into losing weight since I'm the cook. "And the two shall become one" just took on a new meaning for him...lol!!

The website I found for all restaurant nutritional facts is www.dietfacts.com
Enter if you dare...

My friend, Angie, suggested I log my meals on www.mydailyplate.com Checked out the website and it is very usable. I say "chicken" and it spits out a calorie number. I say "root beer" and it tells me I had too much sugar today (like I didn't know that already...ha). I can log my exercise and it calculates input vs. output letting me know if I met my 1600 calorie goal or not. Much easier than what I anticipated with pen and paper. I, too, can catch up with technology...just watch!!

So the surprise is that I've not been eating up to 1600 calories the past two days. I've been restricting myself more than I should be...PHEW!!! Cuz I was gettin' hungry!! Basically, I need to eat more breakfast. Uh...ok, I'm on it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rising Up

I'm 35, and will be 36 in a little over two months. Like I said, my genetics from my dad are becoming a "concern." When his mother was 36, she had an aneurysm and passed away...dad was 16. When dad was 37, he felt a pain in his chest while running his daily 5 mile run, went to the doctor, and had quadruple bypass surgery. 17 years later, he had a repair, and has had several stints since including a pacemaker. What makes this awful strange is that he is a long-standing vegetarian, and still runs 5 miles a day. Is there hope for me...let's see.

At 32ish I had a cholesterol count of 236 and started medication. Also, I'm on blood pressure meds, and that started about a year after the cholesterol thing. I've been puttin' along for a couple of years with normal levels, and now my "bad cholesterol" is on the rise over the past 6 months, from 72 to 116. Apparently, 130 is when it's considered "bad", however this sharp increase is the "concern" I've mentioned.

Now, I've been in somewhat of a denial, not exercising regularly and not eating very well (not horrible, but not good either). It really upsets me that this is happening. STUPID GENETICS!!!! It's kind of a conumdrum...I don't want to deal with cardiac disease, and I don't want to change my bad habits. BUT...duh, I'm going to be changing my bad habits. I'd rather not have bypass surgery please, or get caught off gaurd with an aneurysm thank you!!

So, the doc said that he is going to check my numbers again in 6 months, and if no changes, then I will have to change my diet drastically. I figure, why wait 6 months. I work with a dietician, and she did some figuring for me today. I need to lose about 40 pounds of "my natural girlish figure", and do it on a 1600 calorie diet. I've done some research today...go google...and found out that to be successful I need to log my calorie intake. That seems extremely disciplined, and out of my league, but I'll give it a go. I've also been looking at meal plans. I thought it was going to look horrible, but it doesn't. We'll see how it plays out in reality. It's basically a portion control thing, and then then I'll add the low fat/low cholesterol thing in myself. Hopefully with losing the weight, I'll get to lower my bp meds, if not get off them completely. Also, I'm exercising 4-5 times a week. I started that with my training for my 40 mile bike ride last month. I'll just kick it back into gear...get it...gear...bike...haha? Anyway.

So, I've fought off cancer, I guess I can get my fightin' gloves back on and fight this too. Exercise and diet...my mother would be so proud :-) And she'd say she told me so...that's what moms are for, I suppose :-) My cholesterol is rising up, and so am I!