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 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. 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 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

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 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!!'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.'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!!

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 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 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 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!

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.