Monday, May 28, 2007

A New Tool in the Toolkit

Hooray! I've rediscovered an old love.... dijon mustard! This stuff is great. The brand I have (Safeway... I'm cheap) has zero calories and zero grams of fat, and LOTS of potential uses. I've used it as a marinade on chicken breasts, as a base for my first home-made vinaigrette, and just plain on sandwiches.

My problem with sandwiches is I tend to like the kind that go best with lots and lots of fatty mayo -- tuna salad, chicken salad, ham and swiss. But lately I've been trying different combos that taste just fine without mayo. I've got lowfat roast beef and lowfat pastrami, and they go great with this mustard. So I still get the convenience of just grabbing a sandwich, and getting the protein and dairy boost (cuz I'll still allow myself one slice of cheese), without the unnecessary added fat goo from mayo. Hooray!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Before the Feast

I'm heading off soon for some Memorial Day party indulgence...

...but I'm proud that rather than just lounging around all morning, I actually did just do a 20-minute ab workout. (A tearout one from SELF magazine that I like a lot.) I'll be feeling it tomorrow, for sure, but at least it makes me feel a little better about knowing that I'll be sampling lots of different tasty treats all afternoon!

Small Victories

Yay, I lost this week! It was small - only .4 of a pound - but that's enough to keep the losing trend going (hey, 2 weeks in a row I'll call it a trend). More importantly, it means I'm now in the negative on my little ticker, having lost the almost 2 pounds that I was up a few weeks ago. I don't know why my hula girl has a hard time with decimal amounts, but you still get the idea... now it's my job to make the amount a whole number, so she's not so confused. :-)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Light Dinner, aka Ode to Cumin

Inspired by one of Scotte's recent culinary adventures, I made a great light dinner tonight:

Mahi Mahi with Avocado & Corn Salad

The fish:
It started as a frozen filet from Whole Foods. After thawing, I sauteed it in olive oil in my favorite non-stick pan. I sprinkled it with cumin and black pepper. Mmmm, light, flaky, tasty.

The salad:
I took a 1/2 bag of frozen corn kernels and roasted them in the oven for about 15 min at 400 degrees. Before popping them in, I drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled - you guessed it! - cumin and black pepper liberally across the top. Then I diced and scooped a whole avocado, and mixed it with the cooled corn.

And, here's the shocker -- I made my own vinaigrette! I've never done that before! It took 2 tries to get something tasty -- but I ended up mixing together 1 tsp of dijon mustard, about 1/2 tsp of lime juice, cumin, black pepper (natch!), and olive oil. It didn't mix together as well as I would've liked, and it was kinda tart, but overall it did the trick.

Visual Reference

There's nothing like seeing a picture of yourself - a side view, no less! - to give you that kick in the pants you need. Yikes.

So, I've been refocusing the last few days -- making better choices in my regular routines.

Por ejemplo:

Thursday for lunch at the deli, where I would've normally wanted a bready ham sandwich with mayo, instead I got a turkey wrap that has lots of veggies and a cucumber sauce. And no cookie!

Friday for lunch at a Thai place, where I would've normally wanted green curry with lots and lots of fatty coconut milk in the sauce, I ordered lad na with pork - a light brown sauce with lots of broccoli.

And Friday afternoon, when I went to see a movie? No popcorn!

And today? I just spent 45 minutes in the gym! Hard core, no excuses, in the gym. Hooray!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Reese's Smoothie?

I experimented with the blender again today, and based on a recipe I found on the Internets I came up with the following concoction:

- One WW giant fudgsicle - 1 point
- One T reduced fat peanut butter - 2 points
- 1/2 cup skim milk - 1 point

Oh my goodness! This tasted like a frothy peanut butter cup! Not bad for a sweet, satisfying 4 point dessert!


I lost 1.4 pounds this week. Yippee!

And that's even with being at a conference for 5 days -- airport food, constant grazing at buffet tables, irregular schedules, all of it! That's great, cuz last year I gained weight at this particular conference. I'm happy! (Even though my ticker seems to have gone a little crazy....?)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bringin' Back the 70's

I was inspired tonight to go digging through the storage bins in my closet to see if I could find an old friend... I wasn't sure if it had survived all the moves of my 20's, and I didn't know if I'd kept it or sent it to Goodwill at some point, but.... success! I found it! My trusty old (and I mean old, it was one of Mom's hand-me-downs when I moved out) Osterizer blender! I think that sucker predates me, and I'm no spring chicken.

I was so happy that I found it that I just threw together a smoothie for dessert, using some frozen organic blueberries, fat free milk, and a little bit of light whipped topping. Deelish!

Now I'm on a mission -- to fully integrate smoothies into my home repertoire. Breakfast, snack, dessert - it's all good!

So what are your favorite blender concoctions? Now that I've dug out the Osterizer, I plan to get as much life out of the old girl as I can!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Gurgh. Aaargh.

Shiny new scale and I have not figured out how to be friends yet.

I'm up 1.6 pounds from last week! Bah.

Well, I know I had some indulgent dinners, and I ate out 4 nights in a row.... plus I have GOT to work in some exercise. I think I need to kick my own butt and just start doing it!

This week will be a real challenge, cuz it's conference time.... but I'll be very active, so maybe it will work out okay. Until next time...... pffffffffft!

I Met My Challenge!

I stuck to my lunchtime challenge for the rest of the week - hooray!

Wednesday: Another day of soup and a bagel at Au Bon Pain, with yogurt this time.

Thursday: Chicken bento box (though I did have a salty oat cookie)

Friday: A steak salad

So, I know these still aren't super low-cal lunches, by far, but I'm glad that I was able to go a whole week without getting into the cycle of killer deli sandwiches yet again. And I enjoyed every meal that I had at lunch... so let's see if I can make this a habit.

Now, to work on dinners, too....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Two Days In

I've been doing fairly well on my lunchtime challenge so far....

Yesterday, I had a Cosi Signature Salad, as is (no added grilled chicken as usual), with the whole grain flatbread. That's it - no extra yogurt or cookie or anything.

Today, I'd been having a bit of tummy trouble so I didn't eat breakfast. By the time 11:30 rolled around, I was light-headed... but I also had a meeting coming. So I had to eat fast.

I got a large beef stew with a plain bagel and just one little cup of cream cheese at Au Bon Pain. Tasty. Again, no cookie or yogurt as a "side"....

I've successfully avoided the killer lunches both days -hooray! And I've discovered a very easy and convenient new snack for when my mid-day munchies come. The basement cafe at my office sells little single-serve cups of cereal, including my fave Smart Start, so I grab one of those and a tiny little carton of fat-free milk. It's sweet AND crunchy and keeps my satisfied.

That's all good stuff. Dinners, on the other hand, have NOT been very good.... but one thing at a time!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Take a Deep Breath

Ugh. So, my shiny new scale did give me a totally different number today. Like I said, I'm going to just accept it. What else can I do? But, um, yeah - it was TWELVE pounds higher than what my old scale gave me. (Remember, the old scale used to waver a lot on the dial, so I was never really sure where it was landing.) I guess it really was time to upgrade my weight loss technology, if it was so wrong....

But. Yikes!

So, there's nowhere to go but down!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lunchtime Challenge

Lately I've been getting really lax on trying to have good lunches during the week.

My days are really busy, so when noon rolls around I'm usually facing one of two scenarios:

1. I need to give myself a break and get out of the building for a while, so I'll go out with a friend for a restaurant meal, most likely Austin Grill. (Mmmmm, gooey cheese and meat.)

2. I'm on the run and have a lot of meetings, so I just run out to grab something quick, usually at a deli or Potbelly's. My favorite so-bad-they're-good (but really, ultimately, very bad) options? The Italian sandwich at Potbelly's or a turkey & swiss & avocado sandwich on a greasy, buttery croissaint from the deli. Yikes.

I realize that this is the time of day where I'm most likely to make bad choices, with little forethought.

So, this week, I'm challenging myself to break that cycle. I want to eat healthier stuff at lunch - meals that are still satisfying, but are lower in fat and have better ingredients. My goal is to spend this whole week going back to some of the good options I have been successful with in the past: soups, salads, fruit, and bento boxes.

That's my plan for the week -- spend 5 days avoiding killer sandwiches and cheesy entrees. I'll report soon on how I do!

Shiny and New

I got my new bathroom scale today. Isn't it all sleek and fancy-looking?

I am worried that I'll have a bit of a shock when I step on the scale Monday morning. My suspicion is that my old dial-a-number scale probably lost its precision quite some time ago. So, scary, this digital readout may give me a number that is higher than I want to see... yikes!

But, I've decided that I'm going to just go with it. It's not that I will have suddenly gained 10 pounds or something, it's that I'll finally know what I actually weigh and can use that info as a starting point. And there's no way I want to mess with doing some algebra program to translate my stats from the old scale to the new one. Who can handle doing that on a Monday morning???

So... wish me luck. I will report in on the scary new number on Monday!