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Showing posts from January, 2012

Week 4 Scorecard

One month down. This week presented different challenges than the previous ones -- not necessarily bad ones -- so I think I'll score it a little differently...

Tracked food - yes, and started again doing both WW and Sparkpeople. Time consuming! But I was hungry quite a few times, and figured out that my calories on WW were hitting below 1000 -- no freaking wonder I was hungry! This is when I get frustrated by points - and probably why I've given up so many times before.

Exercise -- four times. Twice running outside (2.45 miles, and 2.81 miles) and twice on elliptical (45 and 40 minutes, doing rolling hills). Added better stretching to all of those.

Planned food -- yes! And it worked out great when we had unexpected company one night and I just made a little more of what I was already cooking. Of course, I did make a ridiculously good bread, but I didn't eat very much of it.

The unexpected - we went out to hear a friend's band play on Friday night. Didn't eat, did have …

Randomness.

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I've got three posts started and none ready to go. My brain is overloaded at the moment. Gotta put all that somewhere...

I made this on Thursday:
Bread. Cheese. Onions. Butter. I did not eat it. Well, I only ate a little corner of it and there was hardly any cheese on that piece. Yay, me. I guess. There's still some on the counter. It's currently whispering "you know you want to" from the other room.



Last night we went out. [I'll wait while those of you who know me pick yourself up off the floor.]... Yes, we got out of the house voluntarily and went to see a friend's band in their inaugural public performance. They were really good! I also had my first glass of wine this year. One and only one glass - a very nice Merlot, which was a little surprising considering this was "Moose Bar & Grill" out in the middle of Nowhere, TX. (or Lewisville. Same thing.)


This morning we went to a memorial service for a dear friend's father. My heart just break…

Go here. Quickly.

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You need to go here.
In Fort Worth, it's in the Stockyards. They are also online, but you miss the smelling part. So find a store and go.

Here's why. They have this:
Rows and rows of jars filled with EVERY possible herb and spice you could ever need, and several you may never have heard of. You can take off the lids and sniff until your nose can't take it any more.

They also have this:

The table in front is hard to pass up -- little crocks on top to hold your favorite spices, with adorable sterling silver spoons. I have the small white one on the right. But look behind the table: BLENDS. Very smart, very spice-knowledgeable people have done the hard work. They've created amazing blends of spices for everything from steak to fish to vegetables and lined them all up.

You can fill little packets and take your favorite spices home to be your very own. Here are some of my favorites.

Seafood Blackening, Salmon Tea Rub, Backwoods Hickory, Southwest Seasoning, California Blend, Vik…

Week 3 Scorecard.

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This was a bit of an odd week. I cooked some new stuff, and I tracked calories as well as WW points. I was hungrier on several days than I have been.

Goal: Track food - stayed in points and in calories. Was a little low on protein some days, low on carbs others. Probably had something to do with feeling hungry.

Goal: Workout 4-5 times -- only got three in. They were good ones -- a 2.5 and a 2 mile walk/jog outside, 45 min/4.3 miles on elliptical. It's time to start adding weight training here.

Goal: Plan meals -- did this kind of last minute a few times, and depended on salads a little too much.

Result: -1.6 pounds! Total 7.1 down

I have planned this week's dinner menu, and found some great side dishes I want to try. Roasting vegetables has become my new favorite thing.

Monday: Lasagna rollups with salad
Tuesday: Crock pot chicken chowder
Wednesday: leftovers :-)
Thursday: Smoked pork loin with roasted vegetables
Friday: Grilled chicken, assuming the weather cooperates, with roasted re…

Determining motivation.

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I read a great post this week - so great I wish I'd written it. The author lost about 125 pounds over a period of 16 months or so and has kept an awesome online record of her journey. It was really interesting to me that I just found her site but I'm already doing several things she mentions worked for her. The post that has had me thinking was specifically about motivation versus determination. Here's the whole post.

Here's what I've come up with based on that post, my own opinion, and doing a little other research. Basically, I think motivation is what we often call "will power" -- and many times it's what we depend on when we're trying to do (or not do) something. I may look for the motivation to work out, to plan my meals, to order the right thing off the menu. The motivation may be a smaller size, a pending weigh-in, or an event. The problem is when the motivation for doing the right thing isn't stronger than the motivation for the other …

Smoothies are my life, apparently.

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Third smoothie entry of the week -- how long am I going to keep this up?

Today's is a variation on my go-to smoothie, made primarily with fruit. I started with the same basic base of yogurt and fruit, but tweaked it a little.

I had honey Greek yogurt on hand, so I used that instead of the usual fruit-flavored regular yogurt. Honey yogurt isn't as sweet to start with, but that works for me.  Because Greek yogurt is thicker, I also added a splash of milk, to enable the blender to mix it up.


I used frozen berries and banana, and my usual cutie. It took a while to blend. Thicker yogurt means it doesn't get down to the blade as easily, so I did quite a bit of stirring and shaking to get it all together. Once that was done, I added 1/4 cup of quick oats -- not the flavored kind, and just the oats, not actual oatmeal. It added some texture and a little fiber.

Overall, I liked it. It was tart - the bananas were the sweetest thing in the mix, so if you prefer your smoothies sweet, ad…

Smoothie week, part 2

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You have a front row seat to a smoothie experiment. I already showed my current favorite smoothie here. Today I branched out. The cast of characters:

A cup of 1% milk, about 1 1/2 frozen bananas, 1 tbsp instant jello pudding mix (if you have protein powder you like, use that - I didn't), and 2 tbsp PB2. Have you discovered PB2 yet? I'll have to do a whole post on it sometime, but basically it's powdered peanut butter! You mix it with almost anything to reconstitute it -- honey, syrup, milk, oatmeal, or just blend it like I'm about to do. It has 45 calories for 2 tbsp, compared to 190 in regular PB. Anyway, this is my first smoothie with it, so let's see what happens.

Once all that was in the blender, I added about 6 ice cubes. I like my smoothies really slushy, so that plus the frozen bananas should give it a good consistency. Add more or less to suit your preference. Okay, here we go....

......blending.....
......shaking......
......tasting.....

YUM. Peanut buttery, ban…

It's smoothie week!

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I got a new toy.
This is an Oster My Blend - personal blender. It's perfect for smoothies. So I hereby declare it smoothie week!

I'm not a big Jamba Juice or Smoothie King person. Usually those are too big or too sweet for me, and quite honestly, cost more than I'm willing to spend. I also don't use mixes. Here's my personal favorite blend for a breakfast smoothie. It holds hunger at bay for a couple of hours if I have one in the morning.

All of my smoothies start with yogurt. I don't care what flavor, because I'm going to add lots of fruit anyway. This one happens to be peach. I do recommend at least a 6 oz container. If you have the small 4 oz ones, you might want to add a little milk to make sure it has enough liquid.
I try to keep frozen bananas all the time. I've always got a few about to turn, so I peel them and stick them in a ziploc in the freezer. They are great for this (as well as for other recipes). The berries here are a mix of frozen and fre…

Food review: Kellogg's Fiber Plus

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I love me some cereal. Always have. Whether it's the traditional way in milk, or by the handful, or mixed with yogurt, I love it. And I tend to stick with a particular kind/flavor until I find something I like as much or better. Here's my current something better.

This was mentioned in "Eat This, Not That" and it looked interesting. I was almost out of my current fave, Special K vanilla almond, so I grabbed a box. Oh my. There are little yogurt covered granola thingies, and berries, and the flakes are crunchy. I don't usually like the dried-ish fruit in cereals, but this smells and tastes great. Here's the best part:
You get an entire CUP for the nutrition values shown here. In WW world, it's 4 points for the entire cup. With a cup of 1% milk, that's 7 points. When I use yogurt (2-3 points), I only use 1/2 cup of cereal, so 4-5 points. For calories, it's very filling. It gets a good rating from the "ET,NT" people in part because of the the…

Week 2 Scorecard

Wow, this was one of those non-standard weeks that makes it easy to remember how hard a routine can be. We had stuff going on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, and then decided to redo the flooring in my office on Sunday. Nothing like that to throw off a workout or eating plan. Anyway...

Goal: Track all food - done 7 days. Stayed in points. Made a couple of new recipes.

Goal: Work out -- Monday 50 minutes, Wednesday 30 minutes, Friday 30 minutes, Saturday 60 minutes, Sunday was flooring day so lots of movement but not formal

Goal: Plan menu -- totally blew this one this week. I didn't eat out, but there was a lot of last-minute scrambling, especially for dinner. This is when not being home in the evenings makes me crazy.

Goal: Blog daily - not even close. Four entries total, one was pretty long. Interesting to see how that keeps up. I have lots of ideas for upcoming stuff, though!

Result: minus 2.5 pounds! [total so far = 5.5 lbs]

Running the numbers.

I am not a nutritionist. I am not a dietitian. I am just someone who's been overweight to varying degrees most of her life, who has tried most types of eating plans, and who continues to try to get to a healthy weight. At the moment, tracking my food on Weight Watchers tells me I get somewhere around 1000 and 1200 calories a day. What does that look like in food?

A few notes first:
I don't drink soft drinks. I used to drink Diet Coke, but I've cut that out, too. I drink water, and I have two mugs (which equates to 4 cups) of coffee in the morning, before 11am. I've added a cup of green tea most afternoons, with one packet of splenda and some lemon. Basically, my liquid is water, since I've eliminated wine from the menu for the foreseeable future. (*sob) I measure out my half-gallon of water every morning and refill my water bottle from that.If you're familiar with WW points, there's a bank of points for the week to be used for splurges. I try to avoid that ba…

I just wanted some Cheetos.

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I hate cravings. I don't have overwhelming ones a lot, but today there were Cheetos calling to me. "Why on earth do you have Cheetos in your house when you have no self-control?" you may ask. Because the stupid Frito Lay people put them in the assortment packs we buy for the kid's lunch. They were there, and I wanted them. For about three hours, I used grapes, blackberries, and grapefruit to distract myself. Then it was dinner time and I had to do something. I decided to make my own chips. I had no idea if this would work.

I grabbed a potato and my handy-dandy mandoline slicer. [Is it "man-do-LEEN" or "man-do-Lin"? Anyone know?] I set it on the narrowest slice - 1/32 and came up with a whole pile o'taters out of one. Nice.

I put those into a Ziploc and grabbed some spices: kosher salt, paprika, pepper, of course. That packet you see in front is a garlic mix I got at the Tea and Spice shop in the Stockyards - if you haven't been, you must go!…

Food review: Joseph's Pita Bread

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You have to get this bread.


If you're counting carbs or adding fiber...these pitas will save your sanity. I'm a carb addict from way back, and trying to keep my carb count down just depresses me. I love sandwiches, but it's hard to justify the points (or the carbs) for slices of bread. And I really don't like the skinny slices that allow you to get two slices for the price of one.

Anyway, THIS is a great solution. Check out the details:

Calories: 60 for the whole pitaFat: 1.5gCarbs: 10 for the WHOLE pita - TEN!Fiber: 5g(that means that your net carbs are really just FIVE!)Protein: 7gWW Points: 2, as shown by my handy sharpie note on the package :-)
I generally eat mine as a sandwich pocket, with cold stuff. But I've also tried it as a pizza crust - sauce, little light cheese, some ground turkey or canadian bacon -- and it works great. They are not pre-sliced.
I've only found these in the deli at Wal-Mart. I've looked at Kroger and at Albertson's. I don…

Week 1 Scorecard

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One week down, and here are the results:

Goal: Track all food -- done 7 days

Goal: Work out 5 times, minimum of 45 minutes - giving myself a 4 out of 5 on this one. Two days were short on time, but activity done

Goal: Drink 1/2 gallon of water daily - done 7 days

Goal: Blog daily - 7 entries, but had multiples on a couple of days. Will give this a yes, but try to spread them out so I get online most days

Goal: Plan menu - done, and made a few changes as the week went on

Result: minus 3 pounds!

Calories and Weight Watchers.

What I've never understand about the Weight Watchers program (in any version, and I've done them all) is that it does not count calories. Anyone who has ever dieted has memorized the "calories in/calories out" mantra, but here's a hugely popular and successful program that completely ignores the calorie count of food. How can that even work?

[For anyone who has not tried or read about WW, the current system counts fat, carbs, fiber, and protein, and assigns a point value to the serving of food. You're given a set number of points to use per day, with additional ones for activity minutes, and a bonus bank for the week. Stay within your points, and you'll lose weight.]

So I tried an experiment. For about a week, I tracked my food on WW and on sparkpeople (dot) com -- an awesome FREE site that I highly recommend. I entered the same foods, the same quantities in order to see what, if any, correlation there might be.

WW gives 26 points a day. Sparkpeople recomme…

Stuff to eat.

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I threw a little something together for lunch today - turned out pretty tasty!
I "fried" the corn tortilla with a little spray butter to get it warm. Topped it with some lettuce, cucumber, feta cheese, and chopped turkey deli meat. I almost put salsa on it, but decided it wouldn't work with the feta. The boiled egg was for more protein. I had a "cutie" with it, but it didn't make it into the picture. Grand total of 5 WW points. [I was too lazy to get the carrots and celery out, but that would have been good, too.]

Sidenote: If you haven't discovered cuties, please do so. Best. Snack. Ever.

Tonight was pasta night. I love pasta - all kinds, topped with all things. What I have never embraced is whole wheat pasta. The taste is meh, but the texture is really what stops me from using it if I have the option. I had been hearing that food companies are getting better at it, so I bought some more - Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain. It hasn't changed my mind…

No coincidences.

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I've been in a bit of a funk today. Not anything to do with food or exercise, just more about life and work and what I'd like to change. A couple of things happened that started my brain swirling and it's just been downhill from there.

About three minutes ago, I opened a box of cards sent to me by a friend for Christmas. They're called self-care cards, and the author says she "created these cards to serve as a daily reminder to take special care of your precious Self" and she suggests just picking out a random message every day. The one I pulled out was "Achievement." Hm. Great, on a day when I'm not sure I've achieved anything, this is what I get. Fine, I'll see what it says..."Chase your dreams. You may be surprised by where they lead you."

Chase my dreams. I feel like my brain's been pushing me there all day...and now I see it in writing. There are no coincidences, there is only an invisible plan. An hour ago, I'd tal…

Ouch.

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This is me.
*snort* Okay, I'm less delusional now.

Found this on Pinterest, where all things live now, and decided I'd try it. Wednesdays are my rest day, mostly because I've got church at night and little time to do anything. Figured this would be a good little 15 minutes or so just to get the blood moving. Riiiigggghhhhhtttt.

#1. Mountain climbers are deceptively exhausting. Keeping my butt up in the air is a full workout in itself. If you don't know what they are, check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI8u58hPam4

#2. I don't know how burpees got their name, because they should be called "hellonearth" at least for someone in my current shape. This calls for 7 (twice!), which feels like 400. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_Dq_NCzj8M

On the plus side, it makes regular pushups, sit ups, and jumping jacks feel like a vacation.

So just 15 minutes (two rounds) of this and today my upper body wants to know why I hate it. I have a new measurement though --…

Sweet.

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I didn't like sweet potatoes until maybe last year. Something about putting brown sugar on a vegetable just didn't work for me. I'd make them for Thanksgiving but wouldn't eat them. Now I've found something I love.

Tuesday we were going to have pasta for dinner, but hubs was in the mood to smoke something. He'd bought chicken breasts with skin on (unusual for us) because they retain the moisture. I went for my walk and he started cooking. I was about a mile into my walk when I started thinking about what to have with the chicken. Salad, of course...hey, I think we have a couple of sweet potatoes. Oh boy, I'll make those. I got home and discovered great minds think alike, or at least they do when they've been married almost 24 years. He'd already peeled and cut up the potatoes. Love when that happens.

Anyway, here's what you do. Line a baking sheet with foil and drizzle a little olive oil on it. Cut your potatoes into relatively even-sized chunks…

Food Review: Breakfast bowl

I struggle to eat breakfast. I know it's important, but I am just not hungry for a couple of hours after I get up. So when I saw a recommendation in "Eat This, Not That" for the Jimmy Dean D-Lights, I thought I'd give it a try.

The Details:
D-Lights Turkey Sausage bowl -- egg, turkey sausage, potatoes, and light cheese230 calories, 7 grams fat, 19 carbs, 2 grams fiber, 23 grams protein = 6 WW points710 mg sodium and 25 mg cholesterolThe Verdict:
It was really tasty. The potatoes were a pleasant surprise (I should read labels). I added salsa and a little pepper, but it didn't need much. I'm seeing how long it is before I'm hungry today. The protein hit should help - that's the first thing I sacrifice because I'm much more of a carb girl, so having a good portion of my daily protein can't hurt.

They have several types of breakfasts in this series, but I haven't seen how the nutritional info matches up. They're all supposed to be below 300…

Day one done.

Hooray, all the Christmas decorations are put up! Well, partial hooray -- they're all in boxes waiting to go to the attic. Oh, and the nativity still has to get put in its box, but other than that, I'm done!

Completely ridiculous move today - went out for a walk without paying the least bit of attention to the weather and almost froze. Why didn't I turn back around? I'll warm up once I get going. Seriously, I said that in my head. And kept walking. Passed a guy in shorts - see his lips move (earbuds in) and yep, he says, "It's cold," as I pass him. Apparently I wasn't the only one surprised. I made it 30 minutes and headed home...quickly. So I'm behind by 15 minutes.

I did make it to the grocery store. Why do I ever think I can start eating better without going there first? I'm obviously delusional. Anyway, $200 later, I have what I need for a bit. I hope. A few of the interesting purchases: quinoa - I've eaten it before, but can't reme…

The rules.

To get where I'm going:
Plan meals, then track my food: Every day, even weekends (especially weekends). If I cheat, track it anyway.Cut out the booze. No more wine, at least for a long time. Even one glass just gives me an excuse not to do something else - not walk, not get off the couch, whatever. So, stop it.Move. Elliptical, walking, workout videos - whatever I'm in the mood for - no fewer than 4 days a week for a minimum of 45 minutes. Weights on two of those days, plus one more. That's 5 days - FIVE. Quit whining.Related to #3, wear the pedometer. It doesn't lie.Eating out -- no more than once a week. It's expensive in calories and dollars, and my food's better anyway. Limit computer/TV time -- obviously not during work hours, and I get to watch shows if I'm on the elliptical. But no more just vegging for hours after work.Try to blog daily. But if blogging keeps me from moving, it gets skipped. I can catch up the next day.Okay, seven's the number of…