Food · Weight Loss

Weigh-in Week 148: I didn’t deserve this gain

Today I was up 0.3lbs for a new weight of 149.3lbs and a total loss of 102.3lbs. Now….before you think I’m getting all huffy about a 0.3lb gain, the truth of the statement is that I totally deserved a MUCH bigger gain. I was girding myself for a 2-3lb gain to be honest. I didn’t deserve only 0.3lbs after the weekend I had.

This weekend I had a fondue party on Saturday – cheese and chocolate and an Oscars party on Sunday night that also included lots of delicious food. Perhaps if I’d been able to control myself it wouldn’t have been that bad, and maybe I would have even been able to lose, but something took over me this week and I’ve been craving sugar like nobody’s business. I couldn’t get enough chocolate, caramels, caramelized pecans etc. etc. It was insane and I felt completely out of control. During this weekend I actually thought the following: “I wish I could eat like regular people”. Sigh. I felt out of control. I felt like all I have worked for was for naught. I felt fear that I would never be able to eat “normally”.

The receptionist at WW made me feel a bit better by pointing out that even though I thought I’d really let go with my eating, clearly I’ve learned something over the last almost 3 years and have developed new routines (or habits). I have to say that that is probably true because on Monday I ate quite healthfully and well and made it out to the gym after work. In the past I would have kept up on my no-holds barred eating. So I think that is a step forward 🙂

I have another confession to make – I love Pinterest.  I love finding recipes on there, but also, I love take them and make them my own.  Part of my getting back on track was that I made this dish on Sunday for my weekday lunches. I have to say it’s been keeping me full and satiated post lunch so far! Baked Eggplant Parmesan:

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You can find the link to the original recipe right here at Lick My Spoon.com. However, I, of course, couldn’t leave well enough alone and made some changes:

1. I added grilled zucchini and roasted balsamic mushrooms to up the veg quotient.

2. I used light ricotta instead

3. I didn’t use the mozzarella on top

4. I didn’t use the panko crumbs on top either

So I don’t know if it can really be called a baked eggplant parm…but it does have eggplant, parmesan, and it’s baked! Right? My 9×13 pan left me with 6 large servings at 3 WW points plus per serving. So, quite frankly, I think that’s a pretty great exchange. And it tastes super amazing!

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Weight Loss

Weigh-in Week 143: Downward Trend

Hello all! Well today’s weigh-in wasn’t bad. I was down 0.7lbs for a new weight of 149.7lbs with a total loss of 101.9lbs. Not bad. It’s going in the right direction. Quite frankly if this kept up over the next few months I’d be very, very happy.

So I’ve started a new contract that has tons of its own challenges – like 12 hour work days that leave little/no time for regular exercise or sleep, lots of free food, and take out options for lunch every single day. I’ve only been at it for a little over  a week so I haven’t gotten into a new pattern yet, but since I don’t work until 10am, I’d like to teach myself to wake up early to get to the gym. However, I’m not a morning person at all so this is actually more difficult than you’d think!

On the food front, I am doing well I think. I haven’t given in to the snacks at work other than the fruit and some 2 snack-sized packages of cheese over the last week. I also haven’t ordered out except the day we ordered from a specialty salad place. I’ve been making large batches of food on the weekend to last me for the week and so far so good! I just need to get the sleeping well and exercising back and I’ll be on track again.

I’m also making some of my snacks. Like these flourless oatmeal banana/strawberry muffins:

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They were so yummy I ate two right away! But they are only 3 pts per muffin. I found the recipe through Pinterest but then mixed the original recipe with the new one. Here are the links: Banana Oatmeal Muffins & Strawberry Shortcake Muffins. [EDIT: First link went down, but you can use 2 bananas in place of the strawberries for banana oatmeal muffins] I split the difference and used one mushy banana and a cup of strawberries to bulk it up and also used stevia to sweeten them rather than sugar to keep my sugar intake down and to keep the points low.  To limit my temptations after they cooled I put them in the freezer so I only take out one at a time. So far so good.

I’m happy that I’m still able to weigh-in on Tuesdays and I hope this will keep me moving in the right direction. Just have to get into the swing of things with this new job. Challenges ahead, but rewards also.

Have you ever had to adjust your whole schedule to a new job? Any tips and advice for me?

Here is the recipe from Dashing Dish in case it goes down:

Ingredients

2 1/2 cup Oats (old fashioned kind, not quick cooking)
1 cup Plain low fat greek yogurt
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Baking stevia OR 1 cup sweetener of choice that measures like sugar 1
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 1/2 cup Strawberries, diced, and patted dry + (optional 1/2 cup strawberries, diced to place on top of muffins)
Optional 1 tsp lemon juice
*Note The paper liners don’t work well when baking with a base that does not include flour (which is the case with this recipe), they always seem to stick to the paper. If you don’t have a silicone muffin tin or liners, I recommend buying the foil cupcake liners at the store, and removing the paper inserts so you are only using the foil part of the liner! That way no sticking will occur!

Method

THE ESTIMATED TOTAL TIME TO MAKE THIS RECIPE IS 30-35 MINUTES.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners, (or just use a silicone muffin pan).
2. Place all of the ingredients (except the strawberries) in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth. Pour mixture into a medium sized bowl, and stir in strawberries. Divide remaining 1/2 cup diced strawberries over the top of each muffin. (This step is optional, but it really makes the strawberries burst with color and flavor on top of each muffin!)
3. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Weight Loss

Weigh-in Week 135: 95lbs lost!

Okay, okay, okay…ready for this?! Today I was down 2.2lbs for a new weight of 156.5lbs and a TOTAL LOSS of 95.1lbs! If you don’t believe me here’s the proof:

So, ladies and gents, that makes for 5 losses in a row and an official breaking out of my “stuck zone”. The big challenge is of course this coming month. With so many holiday events, what’s a girl to do? Well let me tell you – this losing streak I’ve been on has given me a boost of confidence. I think I can completely make it though this holiday season relatively unscathed.

My first official holiday dinner is this coming Saturday – that’s right December 1st! Ack! It’s a turkey dinner so I think I’ll be okay. I’m bringing ginger carrots and chocolate truffles. Both things I’ll know the points of so I can track them accurately. My challenge will be the bread and cheese pre-dinner. I’ll need to make a plan for the week. I’ve noticed that if I plan my lunches well I can stay on track during the week because it gives me a bit of leeway with my evening eating. And this helps me especially if I have events to attend.

Thus, this evening, post run, I made a batch of lemon & dill chicken from this recipe at Eating Well.  It turned out well, I think I’d make it again, but with more lemon and more dill – maybe it was a bit diluted because I used 5 pieces instead of 4? Hmm… With that I made some vegetables and packaged up some lunches for the rest of the week.

I’m feeling good about the upcoming week and I think that’s just as important. I’m proud of my recent successes and I don’t want to fall back into old patterns.  I’m feeling in control of my eating and optimistic at my ability to make good and thoughtful choices. Success breeds success – am I right?

Weight Loss

Two On-Track Days!

So, I don’t want to jinx it…but I’ve had 2 really great days food-wise. Here’ s what happened:

Tuesday

  • Drank my water, even had 2 glasses before bed so I would not wake up dehydrated.
  • Had to buy my lunch, but opted for a big bowl of vegetable pho. Kept me full all afternoon.
  • Ate half a small piece of cake when celebrating a co-worker’s birthday even though more than one person tried to literally force me to eat more by pushing a full piece in my hands and blocking the knives so I wouldn’t be able to cut it.
  • I ate within my points for the day.
  • I DID NOT EAT ANY CRACKERS at work.

Today/Wednesday:

  • I drank my water. I want to get in at least 500ml more before bed.
  • I had veggies as a snack during lunch as promised. See photo below.
  • I ate my baked oatmeal snack at around 3:30pm when I was feeling peckish
  • I made Baked Chicken Parmesan for dinner and some cooked beets. Check out the chicken recipe and instructional video on Laura’s great blog – Becoming the Odd Duck. She totally supported my running way back when I was starting out. 🙂 See what mine ended up looking like below. (Note I also whipped up a quick home-made tomato sauce for these. Delish!)
  • I went for a 5K run and ran fast (for me!) I felt great.
  • I have eaten within my points for the day – including the late-night hot chocolate!
  • I also DID NOT EAT ANY CRACKERS AT WORK!

Weight Loss

Weigh-In Week 130: Oh, hello sabotage

I am up 2lbs today for a new weight of 165lbs and a total loss of 86.6lbs. WTF!! Why do I keep doing this to myself. Yes, I’ve said this before – whine, whine, whine, bitch, bitch, bitch. That’s how I feel sometimes. I know exactly what I’m doing wrong, but somehow, in the moment, despite all my best intentions, making the better decision, the right decision becomes impossible. What starts out as one cracker here, one piece of cheese there, a handful of cereal here turns into a snowball effect and before I know it I’ve finished off a bag of crackers or half a box of cereal.

Yes, there is such a thing as moderation, but one must also know when moderation does not work for them. We all have foods which we love and enjoy so much we just can’t stop ourselves. I know this about myself and Nutella and thus I do not buy Nutella for the house. Ever. Full stop. I know this about myself and white bread also. I also do not buy white bread for the house. HOWEVER. Apparently it still hasn’t sunk it about crackers. Really, it’s like miniature slices of white bread. What’s not to love? How easy they are to eat – just pop one one in, and if so inclined one can use them to scoop up other delightful things like hummus or cheese.

Source

Now I have learned that I should not buy them and bring them home. Which I don’t. But we do have them flowing freely at work. Ugh. The part that really hasn’t sunk in is that I can’t have ONE cracker. It just doesn’t work that way. I just don’t work that way. I have to say no. I can’t have one. Maybe in a year or maybe not. But for now I need to take an honest look at the food in my life that makes me spiral out of control and just cut it out. I need some sense of control over my eating again because for the last few months I just haven’t felt it. I feel the food has been controlling me.

I need to make real changes to my habits because I can see my old habits creeping back in. Oh there always there aren’t they? In the back…lurking in the shadows, just ready to come out when I’m not looking and not paying attention.

Okay. So, I resolve to make some concrete changes this week where I feel I have been slipping.

Be it resolved that concrete things I will change this week include:

1. Drink WAY more water. I haven’t been drinking enough and I can feel it, I feel dehydrated. I will drink at least 3 litres a day. That’s 6 (reusable) bottles worth. I have done it. I can do it.

2. Eat more vegetables. I’ve been skimping on this also. Maybe that’s why I’m not feeling full? I will get back in the habit of bringing cut veggies to work for a snack.

3. I will snack at 3-3:30pm. I made some baked oatmeal this weekend that is 3pts per “muffin”. It is kinda like bread, but no flour. I will bring one with me as a midday snack. Want the recipe? Check it out at Sugar-Free Mom here.

4. I will not eat if I come home after 11pm. Yes, that may seem late to many people, but that’s my reality. I can’t go to sleep right away so usually I pitter patter away some time on the computer before hand and that’s when the bad choices/decisions get made usually.

And that’s it. Not too difficult and it WILL keep me on track. That’s all I got. Off I go to with my new-found resolve. Let’s hope this is enough resolve to get me back in the right frame of mind.

Food

Recipe: Fish Tacos

Okay, so I think I’ve been out of the loop but I only just heard about fish tacos this summer! Where have they been my whole life? I like fish, I like tacos – why didn’t I think of this!

Well I tried my hand at it the other night and it turned out really well so I thought I’d share with you.

Makes 5 tacos

WW Points Plus value per taco: 4

(or 9 for two, depending on what kind of tortilla/shells you’re using)

I used:

  • 400g sole (defrosted)
  • Oil, spray
  • Old El Paso reduced sodium taco seasoning (used half a packet – 17g)
  • Whole wheat tortillas, small
  • Reduced-fat cheese (if using, add 15g to each taco and 1 pp+ extra)
  • Salsa
  • Plain yoghurt
  • Red & Green bell peppers

Firstly, I used a bit of spray oil on a non-stick skillet and cooked the defrosted fish fillets. Once they fillets start to cook, break them apart with the spatula. Here’s a pic where you can see the raw fillet on the right, the cooked fillet on top and the crumbled fillet on the left.

This is the seasoning I used. I only used half of it because it seemed a bit strong for the mild fish. Yes, I am trying to cut out processed foods, but to be honest I don’t eat tacos often enough to have my own taco seasoning recipe. But if anyone does have one and feels like sharing I’m all for it! I do however, try to be sensible about it all and use the reduced sodium one. It’s already salty as is, no need for more.

Once the fish is all cooked, add the seasoning and 1/2 cup of water. It should look like this:

Mix to incorporate all the seasoning and liquid. Let it cook on medium until all the liquid is absorbed and it looks like this:

Yum! And that’s kinda it! Now create your tacos. I used 1/4 cup fish filling per small tortilla.

I used whole wheat tortillas because I prefer them over the hard shells. I added 15g of reduced fat cheddar cheese, a few slices of green and red bell peppers, 1 tbsp of salsa and 1 tbsp of plain yoghurt.

My tortillas are 2pp+ for one or 5 for two, but you might be using a different brand so be sure to calculate your tortillas accurately. For the fish, I got five 1/4 cup servings out of the initial 400g.

And Enjoy! Easy peasy.

Food

Recipe: Individual Peach Pies

Okay, so I’m loving these! I tried them out on my friends and they seem to have gone over well. There’s a few things I would change for  next time, but it’ll up the points+ value for them. The way I made them originally they are 5 points+.

First things first. I did NOT make this recipe up. I totally found it on Pinterest and here is the original source: Yummy Mummy Kitchen.

I made some changes in that I used the Joy of Baking Pate Brisee recipe as the pastry. I made half the recipe – which you can easily halve.  I divided the pastry into eights to minimize the points value, but in retrospect I would probably just quarter the dough, but that will raise the points+ value to 9.

For the Pate Brisee:

  • 1 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water

If you have a food processor you can do this in it, but I don’t so I do everything by hand! Combine flour, salt, and sugar. I do it in a bowl with a whisk. Add chilled butter and cut in until it looks like coarse meal. I use my fingers to do this, you can do this with the processor or a pastry cutter. Add water. Start with 1/8 of a cup and add more if needed. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten to be a disk. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30mins-hour before using. When ready, roll it out on a lightly floured surface.

I divided the dough into eights and rolled out one circle-ish shape from each section. I froze the unused dough for future use.

For the Pies:

  • Pie crust dough (store-bought or homemade, you can also use your favourite recipe)
  • 4 small to medium ripe peaches (double check they fit in your muffin tin)
  • 4 teaspoons of honey (I used creamed honey, but you can use honeycomb or regular honey)
  • Sugar for sprinkling (I used some violet sugar I got from Fuchsia here in Montreal, but any sugar will do)
  • 1 egg & 2 tbsp water for egg wash

Preheat oven to 425F and coat 4 wells of of your muffin tin with a spray. Cut the peaches in half and remove the stone.

Place one teaspoon honey in the centre (where the stone was) and put the peach back together. Roll out the dough and wrap the peach in the dough. Place each one in a muffin well. If the dough reaches the top of the peach and encloses it, add air vents with a sharp knife. (You’ll see in the picture – I made 5…one was a tester!)

Whisk the egg and water together and brush each pie (I’ll be honest – I forgot to do this!) and sprinkle with some sugar before baking. Bake for 13-15 mins until crust is golden brown. Let sit 5 mins before removing. Carefully!

Serve with some delicious vanilla ice cream. ENJOY!