Thursday, August 27, 2015

Today started with something round and covered in chocolate and that's never a sign of a day of good food choices.  But it was the retirement of a colleague and when he offered it I couldn't say no, for many reasons.  But after eating healthy home cooked food most of the last two weeks it laid in my stomach like a piece of heavy shop equipment.  Funny, two weeks ago, I'd have eaten two of them without blinking.

Lunch was a packed sandwich.  A small tortilla filled with Greek spiced ground turkey, cucumbers and yogurt sauce. It was really tasty and much better than my former fast food lunches.  I paired it with some carrot and celery sticks and an orange for dessert. And since, I didn't use my whole lunch break to drive somewhere to eat, I was able to take a short brisk walk around our building a few times.

Afternoon snack was a baggie of cut up raw veggies and two Keebler fudge striped cookies.

Dinner was a large romaine and kale salad topped with half a package of albacore tuna, more cucumbers and  a couple of sliced black olives in vinaigrette and six ounces of red wine.

Steps were 6180 -  my best all week.
I think that counteracted the donut. Healthy eating will esume on Sunday. I have to load up my truck after a 11 hour day tomorrow to leave at first light for another run north to Chicago with my crash pad things. With the detour on I-65, a three and a half hour drive is now five and a half to six hours. There will be a couple packed cheese sandwiches, carrots and apples and pirates booty  and Kibble for Abby and I (in case we're stuck in traffic and need emergency food). Cheers!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Today was much better.  I made sure I ate breakfast - coconut milk yogurt and an apple.

Morning snack was some chips and two small cartons of juice.  I got a call that the blood bank was super low on O blood so I made a stop and recharged afterwards.

 I had made  a chicken salad for lunch.  In the early light it doesn't that great but it was really tasty.

Chicken breast sliced with some roasted pumpkin seeds and kale and a light oriental (bottled) dressing.

Snacks were an apple, almonds and a Quest Protein bar.

Dinner will be  homemade lentil soup with a bit of sausage in it and a slice of baguette (picture from another meal - I haven't had time to eat yet).  Today was a "have a little meat day".  After the blood donation, I  want something a little more hearty.

Still a little light on veggies so going to try for an extra serving tomorrow.

Steps - forgot the pedometer again but I did do a 15 minute brisk walk on my lunch break and a one before I drove home from work.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My lunch plate was THISSSSS Big.

Today was the start of my new job.   So a bit of stress though I'm thrilled about it. I will be virtual in my old work place until I get my crash pad moved, then I will be working out of Chicagoland which will be great after commuting for 3 and a half years 4 hours each way every Monday morning and Friday night (do not ask what time I get up on Monday to be there on time).

Breakfast was a Alpsnack and a low fat protein shake made with water.  390 calories

Lunch was Mexican with a female friend.  I used the Myfitnesspal online tool for the calories when I got home from work:   900 calories. ZOUNDS and I didn't order one of the BIG platters.  My mistake was the refried beans and I ate the fried chips instead of ordering plain corn tortillas to dunk in the salsa like I did last time.

Dinner was raw veggies and a vanilla berry protein shake.  240.

Post survived first day glass of wine after work.  About 150.  Wine's made of grapes, so that counts as my second fruit serving - right?

Total - 1680.  200-300 more than I should have.  Not enough to gain weight, but a sign I need to get back on track tomorrow

Steps today - pardon me I'll be walking to Eire, Pennsylvania after dinner -)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Today was packing up much of the crash pad and getting it in the SUV for my husband to take back home.  I have a month to get everything moved, but there is a LOT Of stuff as I sold a 3000 square foot house  before we got married and even after giving away a lot of things, there's just a LOT.

So eating was pretty much dine and dash, but I made some good choices.

Breakfast was a protein shake, made with water and a Tablespoon of cherry concentrate and a piece of fruit.
Lunch was a cheese sandwich with  two teaspoons of low fat Miracle Whip (I know, but I like it) and baby carrots on Dave's Killer Oatmeal bread with a small glass of almond milk mixed with protein powder. This may appear to be low in protein but the Dave's bread packs 10 grams and the cheese is an additional 6 and the drink was 13 for a total of 29 grams, all meat free.  Dessert was two cookies. Rather than get those over priced "snack packs" I divided up the cookies into individual servings and tucked away.  It HALVES the cost.
Mid Afternoon - I had half a banana with a small smear of almond butter.

Dinner was a small serving of  Annie's organic mac and cheese made with skim milk that had been frozen as a leftover. I broke one of my diet rules of eating while being on the computer, but as it was a small, pre-measured serving so I couldn't overdo it mindlessly.
With that I had a good portion of an assortment of raw veggies (I skipped the dressing).
Before bed, there will be some tea and milk and a single serving of Pirate's Booty. (No, that's not a gi-normous bowl, those are miniature dice from a travel backgammon board :-)
Calories about 1450.  Steps?  Pedometer was off today but there was a LOT of lifting and carrying.

P.S.  add the calories for a glass of white wine  Trying to sooth Abby after a stressful day moving stuff out of her part time home, I bought her a new Squeaky toy.  Squeak Squeak. . .rinse and repeat

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Day Out With Friends.

Today started with homemade croissants. I make these about 3 times a year and freeze the frozen formed, uncooked croissants.  It's one of my husbands favorite things (and I dearly love them too).  I was good  though and ate just  half of one and then had some Greek yogurt instead with a sprinkling of low fat granola and a mineral water.  In previous days I'd easily have eaten two croissants and a large orange juice.
My husband had NO problem eating what I didn't

Because I was saving up my calories for an outing out with my closest gal friend in the city I work in.

It would be a trip to our favorite pub.   I knew too that I would like have their fish and chips as with moving out of the crash pad I likely wouldn't get a chance to go back there.

I just couldn't go to our favorite haunt and order a salad.

My husband had a meatloaf sandwich and my friend had half an order of the Nachos.  They had a beer (my friend lives within waking distance of the place) and I had tea as I was the designated driver.

I removed a good portion of the breading on the fish  used just a bit of tartar sauce and only ate 3 fries and all of the coleslaw. The flaky fish was delicious on its own and though I probably had more calories than planned, it was a mid-afternoon meal that was both lunch AND dinner for us.

Later, a snack that was an apple and I'm done for the day.

Steps - Only 4100 today but with packing up we burned some calories bending and lifting so I don't think I will have gained anything back.  It's getting easier to make those choices though just one meal at a time.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

My normal Saturday Breakfast.

Today's breakfast.
Smoothie with fruit and also a teaspoon of coconut oil (nuked to liquefy first)

And a slice of Dave's Killer Bread Honey Oat.

Lunch will be a bagged salad with a slice of bread (I use just half of the dressing)
and dinner will be the leftover chicken from last night or a small grilled steak with mixed veggies sauteed in coconut oil and another slice of bread.  Snacks will be a couple of apples (I got a large bag at Aldi).  Since my husband and I will have an evening together there will also be a glass of wine and perhaps a little square of dark chocolate.

First Week Weigh in.

The Ticker above is slightly misleading for those of you visiting for the first time.  I had originally lost 50 pounds a few years ago and kept it off, But after my brother died I gained over half of that back last year. That is what I'm working on losing as I build back those habits that helped me lose the weight in the first place.

This week I was down 2.6 pounds Considering I had limited physical activity this week with the heat and some longer than normal work days that's pretty good

I'm trying for a pound a week and about 1300-1500 calories a day.

This weeks lessons - 

(1)  Eat something before leaving the house.  Walking into work on an empty stomach and finding donuts will make you totally forget the healthy breakfast you brought in to eat

(2)  More fruits and veggies.  I was lacking in both this week.  The calories are almost minimal for non starchy veggies so why not take the time to chop up some more?  That will be my goal this coming week.  I will also add a little extra protein to my breakfast.

(3)  HEALTHY fats.  I had way too much saturated fat this week from a couple of restaurant meals and not enough olive or coconut oils.  A tablespoon (or two depending on your size and weight) of healthy oil a day is good for you.  Later this week I'll have some uses for coconut oil in cooking.


Friday, August 21, 2015


My pedometer arrived earlier in the week.  I was bad and forgot to put in on yesterday.

So, this morning, I'm going to

attach it to the cat

wear it so I can show you how many steps I take.  My goal is 10,000 but if I can get half of that to start I'll be happy.
Today started with a couple of slices of Dave's Killer bread Good Seed thin sliced (only 70 calories and lots of protein and fiber).  I had those with almond butter and marmalade plus a small tangerine. They are in a box as I ordered these two varieties directly from Dave's as my local story doesn't carry the whole line (most grocers out West do though).

Lunch was leftover pizza from last week frozen and then  thawed and reheated with some raw carrot and celery sticks.  The remaining pizza I shared with a bachelor colleague who was happy to have it so I wouldn't "eat it as it's going to go bad".  

Tip for the day  If you eat an extra portion JUST because otherwise it will be frozen again  or thrown out- DON'T eat it.

Afternoon snack was apple and a low fat yogurt. I
Dinner was in the crockpot.  I have one at home and one at the crash pad and they both get a lot of use. I honestly use it more when I telework as on non telework days I'm often gone far longer than 10 hours and dinners those night are leftovers or pasta.
The first time I mentioned cooking in it, my new husband grinned and said "Crockput?  Is that one of the new Olympic events?"

I, of course, had visions of handsome, burly Scottish guys flying 3 quart crockpots across a field;

"YES, that's new, along with Highland Games Caper Tossing and Pizza Stone Put."

Tonight's recipe was an experiment that turned out really good and my husband requests it often. (He loves taking in the individual dinner leftovers in to work rather than eat at the cafeteria at the plant where he is a mechanical engineer).

Don't let the amount of the garlic or the sugar put you off from trying it. Don't let the really boring pictures keep you from trying it.  With the added juice from the dark meat chicken cooking all afternoon in the crockpot, it makes a wonderful sauce for the chicken, with some leftover for later.  Plus, the chicken is amazingly juicy and tender. I served it with a tiny bit of  cooked pasta sautéed with herbs and broccoli and topped with a little Parmesan and cracked pepper instead of my usual tower of rice plus some baby carrots.
Crockpot Garlic/Brown Sugar Chicken

In 2 T. of olive oil, lightly saute a heaping 1/4 cup (yes 1/4 cup) of chopped  jarred garlic, until softened but not browned.
Remove from heat and stir in:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons lightly packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoons of maple syrup
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 pinches of crushed red pepper (more if you like it hot, I use about 1/8 tsp.)

Stir until sugar is melted.  Place four whole leg quarters or 8 chicken thighs and legs in a crockpot and brush  or spoon sauce over the top. ( I had some with skin and some without to reduce the fat). Sprinkle generously with Janes Krazy Mixed up Salt (this mixture of salt, pepper and spices is inexpensive and very good.) or salt and pepper to taste.

Cook on low for 5-8 hours (see note below) hours, opening lid and basting with liquid a couple of times if you like. If  you are the type to cook with your crockpot all day while you work, you'd be better off with large whole chicken breasts, otherwise your chicken may cook to the point of falling off the bone, still tasty if you wish to serve over rice with the sauce though..  (Note: my crockpot tends to cook on the warm side, and quicker than some crockpots so five hours works for me.  An internal temperature reading of 165 F. near the bone is the best way to know your chicken is cooked through.)
When chicken is done, remove from pan to keep warm.  Pour sauce into sauce pan and slowly whisk in 2 teaspoons of corn starch mixed with 1 Tablespoon of water.  Bring to a boil on the stove over medium heat and whisk, adding an additional 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup, until thickened and slightly reduced. Pour over chicken and serve with rice or pasta.

Note for the readers coming over from the Dog blog - garlic is extremely toxic for dogs (I'm not sure about cats - ask your Vet). Do NOT give your pet any of this chicken as a treat, not even a little bit.

That's it folks!  Today's totals Breakfast 300  Lunch 350.  Afternoon protein boost 200.  Dinner 400.  1250 calories. I gave up on a treat after it attacked me, but you'll have to visit The Book of Barkley Blog for THAT story.

Tomorrow is weighing day.  I've cheated a bit this week but I've also made some better habits.

4950 steps.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oh Bacon!

I meant to eat breakfast - really I did, there was even cooked bacon left from the weekend.  But I got a late start as I hit the snooze button twice and though making it to work on time, I forgot to grab my lunch from yesterday, which I'd taken home when it wasn't finished.   

By lunch I was starved but I was determined not to repeat yesterday's high calorie sandwich so  I went home for lunch and had some defrosted pasta with homemade, low fat meat sauce..  To give you an idea of the modest portion -  that is a 9 inch square salad plate. .  With some carrots to munch on the drive back to work, I felt pretty good.

Afternoon snack was a baggie of some leftover popcorn popped with only a tiny bit of olive oil and a pinch or two of sugar for a hint of "kettel korn" taste. . .
and an apple.

I had errands to run after work so an Alpsnack kept me going until I got home. 
Dinner was a cup of Thai Coconut soup with a handful of finely chopped leftover steamed veggies thrown in,  a slice of Dave's Killer Bread, and four ounces of red wine.
Totals:  Breakfast:  0 (not good)  Lunch (about 1 1/4 cup pasta with sauce) with carrot sticks  about 475.  Snacks  340  Dinner 325  Before bed, I'll have a  non fat Greek yogurt with a dab of honey and herb tea  150.    Totals for the day  About 1350.   Yay!   Back on track and when I got on the scale this morning, I was down 1 and 3/4 pounds from 4 days ago.

Steps (I had a lot of sitting today)  3790.  Swimming in pool at crash pad before the pool closed.  20 minutes.

Tomorrow is lunch out with colleagues.  It will likely be Mexican.  Pray for me  :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Good Intentions

I knew today was going to be a busy day so I packed a lunch.  I'm going to eat sensible even with a crazy schedule.

I drank the rest of the refrigerator blueberry smoothie at o'dark hundred and then threw a couple oat muffins in with my packed lunch to munch when I arrived.  For lunch there would be an Almond butter sandwich, cucumbers ,an apple, and almonds and cranberries for a mid afternoon snack  (the Alpsnack I took in to give to a friend who is in administration in my work place so she could try one)

Unfortunately, from early morning until after 1:30 I was tied up with something very important and there was NO break to grab a snack.  When I was clear, I was SO happy I had a nutritious lunch with whole grains waiting. .

Too bad I didn't eat it.

I had opened it up and was huffing the almonds and cranberries when one of the people I was in the meeting with said "Subway" and the next thing you know I'm standing in line ignoring the healthy options and going for the Subway Italiano Melt.  And a cookie.  This is what my midsection is going to look like tomorrow.

Normally at Subway I'll get a plain turkey with cheese and red vinegar (no oil) or the veggie patty (which is surprisingly good and they'll chop it up to put on the Flatizza if you ask, ask for half the cheese and then dust it with Parmesan to save some calories)  But the guy in front of me ordered one of these babies and it looked so good  and I was so hungry my whole "healthy eating" thing went out the window.  Yes it said "turkey" but it also had twice as much salami and pepperoni on it as the turkey.

I have to say -  it was really tasty, made up with provolone,  green pepper and onion and onion and lettuce and I felt better in that I ordered the thinner flatbread instead of the poofy white bread.

Surprise!  The flatbread has 20 more calories and TWICE the fat as the Italian bread.  So the six inch sandwich ended up being around 530 calories or which over a third of them were saturated fat calories.  Was it tasty?  Absolutely!!  Was it a good choice!  Let's ask Abby the Lab
Abby feigns death so not to have to answer.

Sure there were "veggies" on it - they are not enough to really count as much of  a veggie serving on a six inch sub.

OK - I'll add more fruit this afternoon.
Fruit - Fail.

We all have setbacks.  We simply make better choices the next meal, rather than writing the whole day off.  I'll eat the fruit and veggies in my packed lunch for supper and eat the sandwich for breakfast

Total:  Breakfast  340  Snacks  (fruit, nuts, single piece of candy) 365  Lunch  730.  Dinner 130 Calories - over 1600.  Not awful, but not good and there was WAY too much saturated fat.

Steps:  4700 but I'll do another walk before it gets dark.

Lesson learned - before an activity that has the potential to delay a meal, eat some protein, a piece of jerky, a protein bar, SOMETHING.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday dawned at (you don't want to know).

Since skipping breakfast was one of the reasons I was putting weight back on (picture me 10 a.m and a box of Pot Tarts calling to me in the work breakroom) I'm making it a point to eat each morning.
I made my smoothie up Sunday night, enough for 3 days.  I just give it a quick blend and pour a glass. Smoothies are great but for me they don't work as a meal replacement, no matter how many calories. I need something that says "BITE ME!.  So I served my smoothie with oat bran muffins as a change of pace from my usual toast. These are the "Cholesterol Cure" book recipe without the fruit and nuts (extra calories).  They're quite plain though I add.
But they are VERY filling, flour free, very low in sugar and fat, with only about a hundred and ten calories without the raisins and nuts. The texture is similar to a corn muffin and they can be addicting as a breakfast munchie when you get used to much less sugar in your diet.

I probably won't be posting photos of lunches in the lunchroom at work ("Who is that weird woman taking closeups of a tuna sandwich?")  But I will do so when I eat out or just drive my truck to someplace with trees and sit and eat.

Today, I split a Panera Napa chicken salad sandwich (690 calories for a single sandwich!) with a friend I met for lunch and had the apple that was the side.
My 60 plus year old friend instead got a brownie because she rides her bike about 5 miles every day and does 3-4 days of swimming and/or yoga each week.  She's petite and wears those cute, brightly colored designer outfits that make her look like a model and make me look like a Highway Traffic Cone.   (Hmmm. . . correlation between energy out and energy in - must do further research :-)

But I have to ask Panera - seriously, outside of Captain Carb who orders a Baguette as a sie to their sandwich?

My afternoon snack was a few almonds (about 1/3 cup)

Work was going to go later than expected I was sure, so I packed a Bento Box before I went to sleep, just in case.

Fruit, cucumbers from a friend's garden splashed with a little rice vinegar,  dark chocolate sugar-free pudding, salad and some Gardein crispy "chicken" strips.  A light, cold supper I could eat at my desk. Yummy and SO much better than bringing back another restaurant sandwich to eat.

Total for the day:  Breakfast 360.  Lunch  (splitting a sandwich)  425   Snack 170  Dinner 400  for a bit more than 1350 ish for the day.

The glass of wine I had when I got home doesn't count.  Because I drank it standing up.

OK  1500 calories for the day.

Exercise?  Let's just say it's hard on 10-14 hour work days.