Monthly Archives: September 2010

Self-Sabotage

Have you ever felt like you were sabotaging your own weight loss efforts?

I have felt great about myself over the past couple of months as the numbers on the scale have gone down more and more. And as the number of pounds that I lost crept into the double digits, I felt like my goal weight was within reach. I felt like my healthy eating and my exercise was totally paying off.

However, I have noticed over the past week or so my exercise minutes have decreased. I keep making excuses. I tell myself I need rest. I have even grown lax in the number of hours of sleep I’ve gotten. Yesterday and today have been the worst. Yesterday, I didn’t exercise again. I think I was depressed because the number on the scale had increased by 1/2 a pound. I should have been able to recover from that. Instead, I ate too many of Julie’s flourless peanut butter cookies that I baked the other day. A binge in its finest form. My husband and I made a homemade pizza on wheat crust last night and I only had 2 slices. All in all, the cookies were the only unhealthy choice (nutritionally) for the day. Ordinarily, I am fine with having sweets occasionally. But having ten cookies?? Too much. . . .

Then there was today . . . I did do some Pilates this morning, so that was a success. I had planned on doing some extra cardio, but did I? No. I had a stressful day (not worth talking about), I ended up eating too many cookies again, and I let my husband talk me into eating out so I ate a huge cheeseburger and fries.

What is wrong with me? I realize this is not the first time this has happened. There was a time when I was a few pounds lighter, but I was approaching a milestone with my weight. However, my weight wouldn’t budge. I kept getting on this binge-healthy eating-binge cycle so my weight would move up and down.

That seems to be happening now. I am ten pounds away from being at my “normal” BMI (as opposed to being on the overweight side of it) . . . of course, after the last 2 days, maybe it’s more like eleven or twelve pounds.

Is there a reason why I wouldn’t want to reach that point? Maybe subconsciously I am scared to succeed. Maybe I don’t want to be thin because of the work that will take or because of what will be expected of me (or what I think will be expected of me). Maybe I have just lost and gained so much weight over my lifetime, the extra weight is really a comfort. If I lose it, how can I be sure I won’t gain it back?

I have to overcome these psychological hurdles. If I don’t, I will never get to where I need to be. I know that the past two days won’t hurt me too much in the long run. But if I don’t figure this out, then I will never lose this weight.

Peanut Butter!

Today, work went by kind of fast. I meant to get up early to work out. I really did. The alarm went off at 6 am. My husband even tried to push me out of bed and told me to get up. But alas, I was way too tired. Call it a Case of the Mondays. :)

So instead I took my time getting to work, made myself a bowl of cereal  . .

1 c. of Puffins with 1/2 c. shredded wheat and fat free milk

and then I took a quick shower and got dressed.

I should have known that my cereal was not going to keep me full for too long. By lunchtime, I was starving. Actually, I was starving before that but I made myself wait for lunch to eat. I was in that in between time where it was too early for lunch, but a little too late for a snack.

Lunch was a tasty leftover taco salad from last week. It was a hodgepodge of meat, homemade taco seasoning, cheese, and iceberg lettuce.

looks gross, but it's so good

And would a taco salad be complete without tortilla chips?

A snack was a yummy leftover Sweet Potato Blondie.

Dinner was supposed to be Spaghetti and Meatballs. However, it had been a pretty stressful at work for my husband. Not to mention the fact that it was raining like crazy outside. So neither one of us felt like taking the time to cook. Instead, my lovely husband braved the weather to go get us some sandwiches at Jason’s Deli.

I only ate half the sandwich, but they did make me mad because they messed up my order. I had ordered Roast Beef with guacamole, organic fresh green, and italian peppers. Somehow, they ended up adding cheese to the sandwich and they completely left off the organic greens. I wasn’t too upset about the cheese because I figured that a little cheese never hurt anybody. But I did miss the greens. :( This was the first time I had guacamole as a spread on a sandwich though and it was sooo tasty. Mmm . . .

With my half a sandwich, I also had some potato chips.

And two dill pickles

But the highlight of the night was dessert! I finally got a chance to try Julie’s Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies and oh.my.god. They are so unbelievable.

best cookies ever

I haven’t eaten peanut butter in MONTHS (and believe me, I have missed it). You can read more about why here. To make a long story short, I needed to find out if peanut butter (or any other nut butter for that matter) is a trigger for my headaches. I am finally at the point of reintroducing peanut butter to my diet. The first recipe I wanted to try as my grand reintroduction was definitely these cookies. I have been dying to try them!

They are the best cookies ever. So moist. So chewy. So freaking good. I actually used this freshly ground honey roasted peanut butter that I just bought at Whole Foods. The honey flavor did add just a little extra touch of sweetness. Mmm . . . so tasty.

how do I stop myself at just two??

Even Callie got in on the fun by licking the bowl clean . . . .

Mmm . . . I love some peanut butter cookie dough!

You should go make these now. Really. Do it. :)

Moderation Nation

While reading Julie’s blog recently, I discovered that the website Moderation Nation was setting aside tons of money so that people could go see a dietician in their area for free. I was totally up for it. I have always wanted to see a dietician, but money has always been an obstacle.

I have already booked an appointment with a RD in my area (this Wednesday) and I am very excited. I do try to eat healthy, but I know that I could do better. It will be nice to get tips on ways I can eat healthier, especially since I am trying to lose weight. The RD I have an appointment with instructed me to keep a food log for three days. I have to say that I haven’t kept a food log in a long time. I even have a CD program that she mailed to me so she can analyze the food and give me a more detailed plan. It also keeps track of my calories, which I also haven’t paid attention to in a very long time. I have to say that my calorie intake has been pretty reasonable, but I’m pretty sure I could be eating more veggies.

The RD did tell me not to worry about what I am eating just because I am logging it and not to skip out on eating something just because I knew it would be going in the log. I really tried hard to do that. I couldn’t help but think about how healthy my meals were though and what she would think of my choices, especially for today.

Breakfast: one egg white with two eggs and American cheese with two slices of bacon

Green Monster Smoothie which included spinach, 1/2 c. fat free milk, several strawberries, a peach, some vanilla protein powder, and ice

Lunch at my parent: chicken, asparagus, macaroni and cheese, corn casserole, and a roll

Dessert: a yummy piece of strawberry cake (so tasty!)

I never actually had dinner because I had such a late lunch. All in all, I didn’t do too bad today. And I made the best choices I could at my parents’ house. But I enjoyed every tasty delicious bite of that macaroni and cheese (which I got seconds of!).

If anyone would like to make an appointment with a RD, you may want to check out the site. I think it’s worth it!

Sick Day

Most of today was spent curled on the couch with a horrible migraine. :(

I woke up feeling great. I managed to do a morning workout. Note to self: do those more often because I am just about always too lazy tired to work out at night. I did a 25 minute Jillian Michaels kickboxing workout, followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical. Felt awesome to move that much and at that point, I needed a hot breakfast.

I had some leftover blueberry pancakes that my wonderful husband had made me on Sunday. It was basically my Basic Pancake recipe with a cup of frozen blueberries thrown in. They were sooo good.

topped with I can't believe it's not butter light and drizzled with honey

And where would my pancake breakfast be without some bacon??

After my breakfast, I took a shower and it was at that point that I started to feel bad. I managed to dry my hair in the hopes that it would get better. I really hate calling into work. But alas, by the time I had dried my hair, I had a full fledged migraine that was not going away anytime soon.

I pretty much spent the rest of the day curled on the couch (with my cuddle companion, Callie, of course) dozing off and on and watching daytime TV.

My (very) thoughtful husband went to Whole Foods on his lunch break so that he could buy me some tomato soup. That is my all-time favorite sick food (next to grilled cheese). Unfortunately, they were out of my favorite soup (yet again). I usually get 365 Organic Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. We couldn’t get it at the store last week because they were out and apparently they were out again. Argh. Corey bought me another brand of soup that was Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato. It was okay, the flavors were nice. But it was no Creamy Tomato Basil. I’m sure you will understand why I did not take a picture of that bowl o soup. I was just not feeling in the mood for picture-taking at lunch time.

A cup of soup was all I needed to fill me up for most of the afternoon since I’m not usually very hungry when I have a migraine. Later afternoon, when hunger did strike I was feeling a bit better and I decided to be brave and make my first ever Green Monster Smoothie! I was a little nervous and I thought I would screw it up, but it came out really, really tasty.

nutritious and filling smoothie . . . just what the doctor ordered

In this smoothie was: several strawberries, a peach, a handful of spinach, a cup of fat-free milk, a couple of tablespoons of vanilla flavored whey protein powder, and several ice cubes

I actually made enough for two smoothies, so I froze some so I can have the rest for breakfast (or a midmorning snack tomorrow). It was definitely way more than I could drink today.

I also paired this smoothie with one of my Sweet Potato Blondies. Delish!

quality afternoon snack

For dinner, Corey and I had taco salad. Mmm . . . I love taco night. We make our own taco seasoning that is far superior to anything you can buy in the store. I stopped eating the store bought stuff, mainly because I realized how sensitive I am to MSG (it triggers bad migraines). But now you couldn’t pay me to go back to the store bought stuff. You can find the recipe Corey and I use for our taco seasoning here. It is so yummy.

looks gross, but it's good

I know it looks messy, but it is so tasty. It was a messy combo of meat, iceberg lettuce, and cheese. I also paired it with some unpictured tortilla chips. I would have included some peppers in this salad, but we were all out. :(

So that is my day. Now I must go and rest so I can heal for work tomorrow. Corey and I are catching up on some DVR shows, such as Survivor. And Grey’s Anatomy premiers tonight! Woo-hoo! So many shows, so little time.

Anniversary Dinner

Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday, but it was one of those days where I just really didn’t have the energy to post. :)

I did want to post about the lovely anniversary dinner that my husband and I shared. We went to a wonderful Italian restaurant in Atlanta, Pricci. The restaurant was very special to us because it is the same restaurant that we ate at the night we got married. :)

The entire meal was super tasty and delicious. It started when the waiter brought us a lamb and potato croquette in a sundried tomato sauce.

I could have eaten a ton of these! They were so good. My husband and I were so hungry that we were drooling when the waiter brought out a bread basket. The best part of the bread (by far) was the marinara sauce with mozzarella cheese that came as the dipping sauce. If it’s even possible, it was better than butter!

I may have eaten more than a couple of slices!

I had to stop myself from eating too much bread or I would ruin my appetite. I did order a chopped salad with a creamy basil dressing for an appetizer. Had to get my veggies in somehow, right?

The salad was pretty good. I wish there was a different lettuce besides iceberg, but the dressing was nice and there was a nice selection of vegetables hidden under the lettuce.

For the main course, I ordered, a chicken breast stuffed with spinach and asiago cheese. Yummy! It came with some potatoes and the whole dish was so tasty.

so much food!

There was so much food on the plate! I only ate half of my chicken though. Because I did want to save room for this . . .

decadent dessert

It was apple pie gelato. Mmm . . . there were real apples in the gelato and it came with a piece of biscotti that was so good. The dessert was out of this world. I love apple pie and I love ice cream. Most of all, I love that we live in a world where the two can be combined into one phenomenal dish. :)

All in all, it was an awesome night and we will make that restaurant an annual tradition for our anniversary. It’s nice to have traditions like that.

Happy Anniversary!

Two years ago, I married the love of my life.

Our first dance

The past two years have been rough because, let’s face it, marriage isn’t easy. But I wouldn’t trade one single day that I have spent with him. He knows me better than anyone and he puts up with my odd little quirks (yes, I have those!) better than anyone I have ever known. He is also fiercely protective of me, would do anything for me, and devotes his life to making me happy. I don’t know what I would do without him and I love him more and more every day. I am so glad that eharmony brought us together!

such a happy couple

Happy Anniversary baby and I love you more than anything in the world!!! :)

Sweet Potatoes

I have recently fell in love with sweet potatoes. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I discovered sweet potato fries. And before that, I don’t even remember the last time I tried a sweet potato. Maybe never? I know, it’s hard to believe. But ever since I first tried sweet potato fries, I have had them several times because they are so tasty and much more nutritious than regular potatoes.

Several weeks ago, I checked out a cookbook from the library, Vegan Cookies. In this book, I saw a recipe for Sweet Potato “Blondies” that I have been dying to try. A dessert that has a vegetable in it has to be good for me, right? :)

It all started with a single sweet potato.

I did make a few changes so that it wasn’t vegan (let’s face it, I’m no vegan) and I used white chocolate chips instead of nuts (I can’t really eat nuts right now and regular chocolate gives me migraines). Also, I made a few changes in the process because it called for sifting and I don’t have a sifter. They still came out so incredibly tasty! They are sinfully good, extremely moist, and taste like an actual blondie. Make these now!

mixing the batter with some delicious white chocolate chips

the beautiful blondies before going into the oven

the blondies after being cooked . . . pardon the big hole in the middle. My husband REALLY wanted to make sure they were done.

Sweet Potato “Blondies” – as adapted from Vegan Cookies

3/4 c. cooked, well-mashed sweet potato
1/2 c. olive oil
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. nonfat milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. toasted chopped nuts of your choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 x 8 inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, mix sweet potato, oil, sugar, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. Mix flour mixture in with wet mixture and combine just until moistened. Mix in chocolate chips and nuts, if using. Do not overmix.

Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, checking the bars at 25 minutes by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. Bars are done if the toothpick comes out mostly clean. Be careful not to overbake. Allow the bars to cool for 30 minutes for the texture and flavors to fully develop. Makes 12 bars.

so freaking good

Breakfast for Dinner

What a day. What a day. It’s been quite the busy day.

Corey has been out of town for the past few days and he gets home tonight. Yay!

The day started with breakfast.

some puffins and shredded wheat with strawberries

And at work, I was met with one crisis after another. There are some days at work where (unfortunately) I have to devour my lunch as quickly as possible. On those days, I always make sure and pack something that is quick and easy. Today was a yummy lunch of leftover pizza from last night. I ate it cold which is so tasty.

Isn't leftover pizza the best?? It's just as good cold as it is hot.

I did bring a spinach salad to eat with it, which I technically ate as a snack a couple of hours after my lunch. That was how busy work was.

gotta get in those veggies

A snack was a simple container of cottage cheese. Am I the only one who can eat this stuff plain?

Thank goodness for easy portability and built in portion control.

I was so glad when work was over. I picked up Callie from daycare and she was utterly exhausted. When I got home, I knew that I needed a good workout. I decided on some old-fashioned step aerobics. Believe it or not, I received a step and a DVD over a year ago and I have yet to use it. How crazy is that?

old school step workout!

I don’t know what took me so long to wipe the dust off the DVD or stepper, but I’m glad I did. I still don’t have all the moves down, but it was an awesome workout. I sweat a LOT in just thirty minutes. I guess I will add that to my cardio repertoire. It’s nice to mix things up a little bit. I can’t stand being bored in my workout routine.

After that strenuous workout, I was starving but not in the mood for anything super heavy. Actually, I was kind of in the mood for eggs. Mmm . . . breakfast for dinner. So I came up with a kind of breakfast pizza.

Yes, that's hot sauce on top. I put that stuff on everything!

And what breakfast would be complete without bacon?

crispy deliciousness

The breakfast pizza was so tasty with some pasta sauce, cheese, and the egg. The perfect light dinner.

Breakfast “Pizza”
English muffin or small pita split in half
several tablespoons pizza or pasta sauce
2 eggs
cheese of your choice (I used American here, but you can use Mozzarella, Parmesan, etc.)
seasonings to taste

Split English muffin or pita in half. Toast in toaster oven. Spread pizza sauce on English muffin and put spices (such as garlic powder, oregano, red pepper, etc.) on sauce. Place cheese on the sauce and heat in microwave or broil in oven until melted. Meanwhile, fry the two eggs in nonstick pan until desired doneness. Place one egg on each English muffin or pita half and enjoy! So yummy!

Recipe Failure

I think my cooking skills are on the fritz. Yesterday, I burned my kale chips.

Tonight, I was attempting a Chili-Cornbread Casserole. I was kind of playing around with a recipe I saw on Eating Well. I’ve been craving chili for a couple of weeks, so this seemed like the perfect thing.

I don’t know if it was the recipe or me, but something went wrong.

The seasonings for the chili were off.

The seasonings could be fixed. However, when I went to make the cornbread topping . .  .

What went wrong?

I wasn’t even able to mix it to the point so I could place it on the chili. I don’t think that’s how the cornbread topping was supposed to look like.

I am so bad at failure. I know that recipes are a learning process. Maybe I will try this recipe again. Not sure. But for now, I am all cooked out.

Meanwhile I ordered a pizza for dinner instead.

great replacement for failed recipe

Reflections

Last night, my Internet went out. Drats! My husband and I are kind of fed up with Comcast because we keep having trouble with our Internet. Either it’s too slow or we keep having outages and last night the Internet was out all night long . . . the horror! So alas, I was unable to blog.

Anyway, one thing that I wanted to talk about today is weight loss. I don’t mention my weight on this blog that often (not that I’ve posted thousands of entries or anything) and I will rarely post about whether I’ve gained, lost, or just maintained for the week. The fact is that I have been focused on my number for way too long.

There was a time not too long ago (in my yo-yo dieting phase) where I would be obsessed with how much I lost for the week. I would also be obsessed with counting calories and also with whether I was eating “good” foods or “bad” foods. If you’ve read many entires to this blog, you probably know by now that I am not that girl anymore. I eat fried foods. I eat butter and chocolate. I also eat fruits, vegetables, and tons of bacon. Well . . . maybe not tons. But a lot. Honestly, right now I am more focused on the journey rather than the destination. Did I say that right? I am trying to like myself again. This is a hard one. 5 years ago (seems like a lifetime), I had finally reached my goal weight after months of painful exercising and depriving myself. But was I happy? No. I wanted to lose even more weight. Because I hated the person I was. I hated my body. And I hated who I was on the inside as well.

me at my goal weight

At this point in time, I know enough to realize that a number on a scale isn’t going to make me happy. Do I still have a goal weight in mind? Sure. I know that my BMI is considered overweight and with my family history of heart disease and diabetes, I definitely want to take care of myself. But I also know that if I don’t work on liking the person that I am now, then I won’t like the person that I become just because I am 30 pounds lighter. I will still be miserable and I will eventually gain the weight back just like I have all the other times. So even though I still weigh myself once a week (and really struggle to keep it at that), I try not to get down if the scale goes up or if the scale doesn’t go anywhere. My clothes do feel looser and I actually feel better about myself than I have in years. But it’s not about the fact that I’ve already lost 15 pounds. It’s about the fact that exercise is giving me back some of my confidence, I feel more energetic, and I also feel healthier because of the foods that I am eating.

And every day, I am working on accepting my outward appearance for what it is and appreciating my body for everything it gives me, regardless of my size.

Since this is a food blog and I was unable to blog yesterday, I will leave you guys with some pictures of things that I ate yesterday and today.

I had a big bowl of Barbara’s Puffins, shredded wheat, strawberries, and nonfat milk for yesterday’s breakfast. It was very filling, but I may have eaten a little too much cereal. It was the first bowl of cereal I’ve had in ages so I went a little cereal crazy!

A taco salad made with homemade taco seasoning, some iceberg lettuce, and cheese for yesterday’s lunch

And don’t forget the tortilla chips!

Last night’s dinner was chicken stuffed with cheese. Mmm . . . delish. I will share that recipe at a later time. It is basically chicken cordon bleu without the bleu. :) It is a healthified version of course and so tasty . . .

Today’s breakfast consisted of more cereal ( though I ate it all before I could snap a picture). Lunch consisted of leftover baked chicken strips that Corey and I made for dinner the other night served over a bed of spinach with some of my homemade Italian Vinaigrette dressing. Mmm . . .

Afternoon snack was a Red Delicious apple. Yay for apple season!

Dinner tonight was a small pita stuffed with a burger, some lettuce, bacon, and ketchup.

You may not be able to see the lettuce, but trust me it's there!

I had some beautiful tomato with it . . .

I also cooked (or tried to anyway) some kale chips. The instructions were to check them every 10 minutes. I had the timer set for 10 minutes so I could keep a close eye on them. However, after 7 or 8 minutes in the oven I noticed a funny smell and I realized that they had burned! I will try them again . . . maybe tomorrow. But next time, I will keep a much closer eye on them.