Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Oh, but honestly, I haven't made it to the gym. Last night I ended up having to work at home for almost the entire time, so I didn't make it. And tonight I'm really tired and excited about a darn good night of tv. No gym tonight either. The rest of the week is getting pretty busy... so maybe I'll do a lot of walking over the weekend?
Monday, February 27, 2006
A Hot Bowl of Chili on a Cold Night
(heh, yep, a subtitle.) On Sunday, I devoted much of the day to some crock pot love. I bought ground turkey, kidney beans, 3 kinds of diced tomatoes, and chili seasoning. Oh, damn, and I just realized just this minute that I also bought a pound of frozen corn that I forgot to use. Well, next time. And Safeway was out of my little pack of pre-diced onions, so I actually bought an onion and gave it a rough-dice myself.
Anyway, I browned the turkey with some of the diced onion in a sauce pan, then tossed it into the crock with the rest of the onion, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 can each of plain organic diced tomatoes, tomatoes with green chiles, and tomatoes with jalapenos, and 1 can of water. That's it. Nothing more. I set it on low for about 4 hours. Wow, the smell in my apartment was deelish, as was the final result. Doesn't it look tasty? I had 2 bowls!
For points, I gave it about 4-5 points per bowl. The only items with any point value were the beans and the turkey and each bowl didn't feature huge amounts of either. This was very low fat. I used lean fresh turkey and drained it off. It was so tasty! But, in the TMI zone, let me just tell you... I could've used some Beano. :-P
Call Me Pop-Eye
(yep, another subtitle.) Tonight I made my favorite pasta dish. Inspired by Mandy's wilted spinach from the other night, I had purchased a whole pound bag of fresh leaf spinach. Since they were out of the onions and I used my only onion for the chili last night, I decided to wait until some other time to try just the plain spinach side dish. So I also bought a big package of mushrooms and prepared to make my tasty pasta. I sauteed the 'shrooms in olive oil and lots of garlic, then wilted the whole bag of spinach in the same pan. I added in about 1/2 cup of Barilla tomato basil sauce, and voila! My deelish easy pasta sauce was ready. I served it over Buonaturae whole wheat fusilli pasta, which is actually quite tasty. I made enough for another meal later.
So, between both of these meals, I've had lots of healthy and really tasty stuff. And I have at least 3 more meals' worth of leftovers waiting for me. As the ever-hot-cold Ray Ray would say, YUM-O.
So I'm still at 11 pounds down, which makes me happy. And I'm really making an effort (as I wrote about recently on my other blog) to try and schedule more at-home time for myself, which can mean not only better eating in my own kitchen, but also the possibility of some actual gym time. I'm feeling ambitious, like tonight could be the first gym night in ages. I had the whole "my keycard doesn't work" excuse for months, but now that I paid 25 bucks for a new one I kinda have to man up and go use the treadmill. Stay tuned for the outcome of this plan....
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Today's good dieting sales:
Hanover canned kidney beans and black beans - 64 cents, reg price 79 cents
South Beach cereal bars - $2.50, reg price $3.99
Starkist Lite Tuna in Water 3-pack - $2.59, reg price $2.69
Barilla Tomato Sauce - $2.50, reg price $2.95
Green Giant boxed broccoli in low-fat cheese sauce - $1.50, reg price $2.00
Smart Ones - $2.20, reg price $3.49
Lean Pockets - $2.25, reg price $2.75
Fresh Ground Turkey - I don't know what the per pound sale price was, but I saved about $3.50 on two packages. Woohoo!
Del Monte Fruit Naturals pineapple cups - $1.00, reg price $1.50
Sliced Mushrooms - $2.00, reg price $2.29
Safeway reduced-fat wheat thins - $1.50, reg price $1.99
Safeway chili seasoning mix - 79 cents, reg price 99 cents
One of the men stocking the freezer case gave me the tip that Lean Cuisines will be going on sale this Wednesday. Be on the lookout!!!
Saturday, February 25, 2006
She said she started by caramelizing onions (in long, thin slices) in a little bit of butter, then tossing in the spinach and a little water and letting it wilt. So simple, so delicious.
My question -- if I try to recreate this myself, can I use olive oil instead of butter? That should have the same effect, I hope, and it's better fat for you. This may be a new use for those pre-diced onions from Safeway.
It reminded me of my favorite tapa from Jaleo... the sauteed spinach with raisins and pine nuts. OMG, that's so delicious. If I wasn't intimidated at the idea of roasting pine nuts myself, I'd love to make buckets of that at home, too!
At lunch, I was again feeling majorly stressed. In fact, I'd had plans to go meet friends at Au Bon Pain for a healthy soup/salad outing, but work was not going well and there was no way I could leave for an hour without resolving a whole lot of issues. So, sadly, I had to cancel. But I still needed to buy lunch. My first instinct was to just go to the Deli and get some fries and grilled cheese, cuz I was so stressed and I just wanted grease. But, my feet didn't fail me.... I ended up going to a different cafe and getting a really healthy lunch to go: a small skim chai, a gorgeous mixed greens salad, and a cup of lentil soup. I was really hungry, so I did eat the 4-inch baguette with a little butter that came with the salad. But, what the heck, the rest of the lunch was so healthy and light I was okay with it.
I went out to another friend's place for a small dinner party last night. She and I had been talking all week about her intended menu and how to make it WW-friendly, which I really appreciated. The meal was delicious - and my only downfall here was in eating too much of it. Ah, portion control. She made roasted chicken with rosemary that smelled divine, with wilted spinach and caramelized onions, a side salad with a lite vinaigrette. She also made a dish of homemade macaroni n' cheese, but she doctored the recipe to make it much lower in fat than it would've been otherwise. I did have a few (ahem, big) bites of that. But I made sure to fill my plate mostly with all of the green stuff, and that spinach especially was delicious.
The bad decision-making of the night came after dinner, and I like to think my critical thinking skills were a little impaired by the wine.... there was a Boston Creme Cake for dessert, and I found myself eating - oops - two pieces of it. It was so tasty!!!
Well, between the last 2 days, my point total is a complete wash for this week. It happens. But I'm glad that I'm still focusing on making mostly good decisions about what it is I'm eating. I don't know what to expect with this week's weigh-in, but I'm still feeling good about how I'm doing. It's so important to at least be thinking about making choices, rather than just shoving the closest food item into your mouth.... :-)
Friday, February 24, 2006
Yesterday was a very tense day at work, one of those where by the end of the day I felt demoralized and as if I'd been beaten up cuz I spent the whole afternoon putting out a series of fires. I have a thick skin, so none of this really upset me personally, but it's still stressful and exhausting, taking both an emotional and a physical toll.
When I came home, I was single-minded: I wanted to comfort myself with food. And I had a particular kind of food in mind - macaroni and cheese, the kind from a box. I went down to the mini-mart in the basement to pick up some. And I decided "what the heck?" - that if I was splurging on one vice I might as well just quench all of my cravings and get it all out of the way on one night. So I also bought a real Coke and a pint of Ben & Jerry's mint chocolate cookie ice cream. I felt happier already, just having it all in my grocery bag.
I made the mac 'n cheese, but luckily I was running low on supplies so I didn't make it exactly as called for. It says to use a whopping 4 tbsps of butter, but I only had 1 tbsp left, so that actually helped a lot with the points.
I ate all of the mac 'n cheese, drank 1/2 the Coke before it started to make me feel icky, and ate about 1/2 the pint of ice cream. God, by about 11 pm I felt terrible. My stomach was very angry with me.
I just tallied it all up, which is an NSV in itself cuz sometimes I just wouldn't ever count all this stuff. The good thing is I'd been really good during the rest of the day, so it's just the nighttime that screwed everything up. The mac 'n cheese: 19 points; The Coke: 2.5 points; The ice cream: 14 points. Wahhhh!!!!
So I have now used up all of my flexies for the week and then some. I think I'm at negative 5.5. Ah well, today's a new day. And my throat is hurting so I think I'm gonna stay home for a while this morning and take it easy. Back to soups...
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Last night, I ended up at Cosi, as previously reported. And while I went with all kinds of Turkey Light and/or Hummus & Veggies strategy in mind, I was cold and hungry and just really wanted something warm and comforting. So I got the TBM melt -- for you non-Cosi-ers, that's the tomato, basil and mozzarella melt. A whopping 15 points. Eeek. But, I knew it when I made the decision and just decided to go with it and use my Flex Points. It was darn tasty.
And I think I was still pretty good overall, since my dining companion kept encouraging me to try a piece of her deelish-looking pizza, and I said no. So all was not lost.
I ended up using 12.5 flexies for the day. Ah well -- soup for lunch and dinner today, methinks.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Monday, February 20, 2006
I was good the rest of the day.... and tomorrow it's back on track, for real. Thanks, everyone, for celebrating with me. And now I need your support again as I go back to soups, salads, and light wraps! :-)
I really didn't expect that. I kinda thought I might have gained this time. But this is good - it's totally motivating to see a little success!
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Egg beaters with low-fat cheese
More apple juice
Wheat bread w margarine
Beef vegetable soup
Apple cinammon oatmeal
Canned bean chili with low-fat cheese
Wheat bread w margarine
And probably more hot chocolate later
Boring, huh? My throat does feel a little better, but I'm nervous about that weigh-in tomorrow. Starchy stuff usually doesn't help with the scale....
Saturday, February 18, 2006
There was a great WW message board post today from someone who was venting. She said she remembered reading some other person's post about how she had just made her Lifetime status and lost tons of weight, but she'd done it by eating only turkey and salads for an entire year. The current poster was using that as an example of the way that she - and the rest of us - would NEVER want to do it. There were lots of great responses and "Hallelujahs!" from other commenters about how they make WW work for them, and still can eat steak and drink wine, etc. I know it's becoming a cliche for me to say this, but the beauty of WW is that you CAN learn how to eat what you love and still lose weight. It teaches you how to incorporate sensible amounts of your favorite things in with a healthy diet. And so you can have birthday weeks or pizza binges or a night with 6 glasses of wine, and still stay on track.
So that's what I need to do now -- just get back in the swing. The best trick is to make sure I write everything into my Points Tracker, cuz then I really know how I'm doing.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
I do have 2 belated birthday events coming up - a steak dinner tomorrow night and The Melting Pot on Monay. As far as I'm concerned, those still fall under the "birthday freebie" clause. Cuz, really, what's the point of trying to be good for those two meals? I'll get more enjoyment out of them than I will out of diet food for weeks. So I'll savor it!
I did go for a cheaper lunch option today. Thank goodness for corner delis!
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Monday, February 13, 2006
I had actually received an email yesterday from Asian Mistress, sharing with me the advice of a friend who had found Dotti to be less-than-reliable in the past. In this case, it worked in my favor cuz she had it so much higher. But beware that Dotti may be lowballing certain things.... I think it's best to always check for the restaurant's own nutrition info first before going for Dotti's answers. I haven't lost total faith in her, but this was not a happy development.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Part of the indulgence included a fan-freakin'-tastic bowl of Carolina gumbo for dinner. Oh, sweet heavens, it was good. I'm a fan of gumbo goin' way back. My parents make about 2 big batches of homemade gumbo each year, and ever since I've left home they make sure to freeze a few big containers of it to give me when I visit. Love it.
So now I'm on the hunt for an easy, low-point, preferably crock pot-friendly gumbo recipe. The WW online recipe requires a Dutch oven. I confess I'm not even sure what that is... I'm going to keep looking, and ask for the parent recipe to see if I can doctor it up to make it low-point. If anyone has any suggestions, please send them my way!
I did weigh myself this morning, before the day of indulgence, and saw that I had actually maintained for this week. So I'm officially still at the 10-pound mark. I will step on the scale again in the morning just to see what the damage is, but I'm gonna go with today's weight as the on-the-record number for this week.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
This is not a ton of food compared to what I used to eat before restarting the diet, but it's definitely more and lower quality food than I've eaten in the past month. And guess what? When it came time for dinner tonight - when normally I would have heard the siren song of that leftover pizza in the fridge - I was NOT hungry. In fact, I was feeling pretty grossly full. I just didn't want to eat anything. By 10 o'clock, I knew I had to at least eat something small, and the only thing that appealed to me was a package of the Green Giant broccoli in low-fat cheese sauce. I just ate that and I still don't want anything more today.
So, the NSV of all of this is that on a day when I'd given myself free rein to eat whatever I wanted... there really wasn't much that I wanted! I ate a big-for-dieting lunch and that was more than enough for the whole day.
Tomorrow will be a culinary adventure with a huge Sunday brunch, and then once that's over the diet is back on again. But if tomorrow's anything like today, that one big meal will probably be enough to get me through the whole day!
Friday, February 10, 2006
But then came the after.... this was an event that has been a long time in the making and was very, very stressful. So some coworkers and I HAD to go out afterwards. And, since it's birthday weekend I decided to treat myself to my favorite - chocolate martinis. And cuz I was super-hungry, I got mini-burgers and ate 1 1/2 of the them plus the super-tasty potato chips they came with.
I'm starting to tally up the points now, but that may be kinda moot. As I said on Monday, I knew this week was going to be really tough. I'm just happy that I still was good at breakfast and lunch even though I knew the night would be a wash. My goal is to do the same today, cuz I've got big evening-out plans and I'm totally allowing myself to celebrate. My plan is to be good as usual for all the regular meals, but to enjoy the hell out of my birthday celebrations and then start up again for real on Monday. And you know what? Weight Watchers lets you do that! It's a lifestyle, not just a diet..... :-)
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Then the day continued to get worse and worse - very melodramatic. At one point, I gave up on the day and sat on the floor near one of my staff member's desks and bemoaned the day while I polished my shoes. Literally! So she and another staff member dragged me (right, twisting my arm) to Starbucks for fortification before our event tonight. I went for the tall skim chai, good, and I got a chocolate chunk cookie, not so good. But I only ate 3 bites of it, good. This further confirmed both the facts that (a) I am an emotional eater, and (b) I'm doing okay at controlling things, cuz I coulda ate that whole darn thing.
Then we had the catered event tonight. I had my glass of wine and just a few bites off of the grazing table. Nothing too bad, but it still adds up.
The day was saved by the fact that - due to the event tonight and a donor tour this afternoon - I was on my feet running around or leading tours for about 4 hours of the day. So I just gave myself a blanket 4 Activity Points. It may be more, it may be less. Counting up all of the points for the day, I only dipped into the Flexies for about 5.5 of them. Not horrible, but I certainly hadn't wanted to do that yet, knowing of the splurge that is coming over the weekend. But, overall, I'm cool with it. Tomorrow's another day, with another major catered event and lots of on-my-feet time. But hopefully I won't have all the trauma and drama that I had today!
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
So, back to the story.... I just dodged a little minefield of my own making! I knew when I came in this morning that I would have to make a trip to Starbucks, cuz the sinus medicine has me in dire need of caffeine. At about 10:30, a friend and I went over. And I remarked to my friend, "I'm a little hungry, too. Maybe I'll get a low-fat muffin or something."
When we were there, I scanned the food options. And while several things looked tempting - the reducted fat coffee cake, for example - I decided to not get anything. I thought "that's about as reduced fat as my a@@" and made the call that I would just get my tall, non-fat chai latte and then come back to the office and eat my 3-point granola bar. My friend said "Good for you!" And so does the WW points tracker. A quick check of Dotti's says that even the low-fat coffee cakes would still have run me 6-8 points, which I so didn't need.
Hooray for smart decision-making!
Monday, February 06, 2006
I did use a lot more of my Flex Points last week, mostly on Cheerios!, so I probably need to keep that more in balance. But I know this week is gonna be filled with allowed splurges cuz my birthday weekend is coming up! I have 2 major plans, one that involves lots of alcohol and one that involves lots of food. I'm allowing myself to enjoy those events, so I'm not stressing about how it will affect the scale next week. I'll be staying on plan for the rest of the week, of course, but I'm planning that most bets are off for those 2 celebrations.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
My crock pot is quite possibly the best invesment I've ever made. I believe I paid $12.99 for it about 7 years ago at a Phar-Mor in Pittsburgh. I use it a lot, to make chili and a variety of vegetable and chicken soups. Today I went with a simple old standard - just some chicken, veggies, and pasta.
I tried something new, though. Safeway now has these little half-pints or so of pre-diced veggies in their produce section. As I've mentioned before, one of the worst features of my current kitchen is there's no room to do any major prep. So I did take a shortcut and bought a package of pre-diced onion. I also got a package of snack-size carrots and celery, and then diced them down from there. That covered the veggies for my soup.
Then it was time to prep the chicken. I bought a package of lean chicken tenders and cut them down to sorta-cubes. Here's another area where I'm ill-prepared - I don't have a good kitchen knife. So I had to use a serrated steak knife to trim and cube the chicken, which was not the best way to do it. I onlyused 3 of the tenders, cuz I got tired of using that knife, so the soup didn't have as many chicken pieces as it could have.
The broth part was simple - 1 can of Campbell's 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup, 1 can of Safeway reduced sodium chicken broth, and about 3 cans of Brita water. (My soup will not be tainted by gross DC tap water.) I added some pepper and some pre-mixed poultry seasoning, but I really wanted the chicken and the onions to create the main flavor of the soup.
After 3 hours of cooking on the low setting, I added in about 1/2 a box of farfalle bow-tie pasta. I let that cook still on low for another hour. My apartment smells fantastic - chicken and onion-y. I just ate my first bowl of the soup, and it was really good. I probably could add more seasoning next time, and the pasta is definitely well done. But overall, I'm very pleased.
As for points... like most homemade things, this is based on estimates. But the pasta has the highest point value of all the ingredients, since there's so little chicken in it and I used the low sodium/reduced fat broth and soup as a base. So I am figuring approximately 3.5 points for a bowl. Which means I can have another bowl during the second half! :-)
On to the diet-friendly sales:
Hamburger Helper - $1.99, regular price $2.59
the red box (I have no idea what brand) of farfalle pasta - $1.00, reg price $1.39
Reduced fat Wheat Thins - $1.66, reg price $3.19
Campbells Chunky turkey chili - $1.66, reg price $2.95
Lean Cuisine, pizzas and select entrees- $2.50, reg price $3.29
Perdue chicken tenders - $5.60, reg price $6.11 (probably by weight)
Safeway brand pink lemonade light canister - $2.99, reg price $3.99
Safeway brand reduced fat, low sodium chicken broth - $.60, reg price $.88
Several of these items are key ingredients for my cooking plans for later today. Stay tuned....
Saturday, February 04, 2006
But, since today would require the building of an ark, I'm skipping my usual Saturday grocery trip and eating stuff out of the freezer....
Friday, February 03, 2006
I have been pretty good this week on sticking close to my daily points allowance and not using many of the Flexies. And today I was really good - a 1-point breakfast and a light lunch, with no snacks. Since today was my one-month reward day at the Spa, I didn't spend it at my desk wanting my 3 o'clock munchies. And I got in a good amount of Activity Points - 3 of them over the course of the day.
In keeping with the reward day theme, I decided to splurge at dinner. A friend and I met at Austin Grill and I went for their semi-affordable version of the big steak dinner. Of course, I started with chips and salsa and a sangria. Then the steak dinner, which came with a nice big side of steamed broccoli and some garlic mashed potatoes. I only ate a few bites of the potatoes, but made sure I ate all the broccoli. And, well, all of the steak... :-)
I just tallied it up, and really, it wasn't so bad. The steak itself is high in points, but it's not like it's pizza or buffalo wings. With that whole dinner, plus the rest of the day, I ended up at 36 points. The 3 AP's count, and so I'm really only using 7 Flexies. And there are still plenty to use if I need a little freedom on the weekend!
Wow, it was tasty. I can certainly plan for more special treat steak dinners in the future!
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Tomorrow is my reward - I'm taking the afternoon off for a spa day. A facial and massage, here I come!