I’m into (WW) points (+), but they’re not your average (WW) points (+)

13 Feb

Still recovering from last week.  I feel old. Takes forever to bounce back.

Let me tell you how weird my day of eating was yesterday.  Well just how weird my day was generally, in terms of circadian rhythm.

Wake up at 4 am. Drive to airport. Come back and fall asleep at six. Wake up at 11:30am.

Eat 1 point worth of breakfast: fat free cottage cheese (1/2 cup), 1/2 cup snap peas and cherry tomatoes, 1/2 a grapefruit.  Day-old coffee…egghh.

Umm do an intense Zumba cardio and strength training workout for an hour and a half?? What?

Eat a snack of 1/4 c sunflower seeds, then a dinner of 3/4 cup FF refried beans, 1.5 cups veggies (spinach, peas, corn), 1/4 c lite cheese, salsa, 2 T LF sour cream.  I counted this as dinner cuz it was like 6pm.  So far, we’re up to 15 WW P+.

Then I went out, and it could’ve gone worse, actually.  One pint of beer at a bar, umm a few (?) french fries, then later a glass of Lambic, half a glass of dessert wine, and probably 2 or 3 glasses of zinfandel.  Amazingly, I don’t think my BAC ever got above .03 (my friend had a sweet breathilizer thing).  Oh and two small brownies.  So I counted all of that as 28 points…it’s hard to be precise with alcohol for obvious reasons.  Maybe my morals and resolve just aren’t stringent enough.

So I went 11 points over budget for the day (AGAIN!?).  Sigh.  Stupid wine.  Good thing I Zumba’d so much.  I found the WW formula for figuring out exercise points:

weight (in lbs.)  x minutes x .0008077

This actually doesn’t give me as many points as the pre-programmed “hip hop” activity does (12 points for 50 minutes?!…whereas all other dance styles are like 4 or 5 points for an hour. wiggidy wack!).  So maybe I should be doing more hip hop.

Anyway, I fell asleep at 3 and woke up at 9 to try and get back to normal.  It’s not working. I want naps.

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accountability.

12 Feb

Alright I guess I’ve got to come clean, even if it’s just to this little corner of Intertoobs and not with a megaphone from my rooftop.

Apparently I’m rather good at sticking to a diet/lifestyle change when all other ares of my life are going smoothly.  But as soon as the excrement hits the ventilation system, awareness of and adhesion to a healthy way of stuffing things into my face hole is the first thing to go (aside from maybe personal hygiene…don’t make me tell you how many days it’s been since I washed my hair).

This week really was just about getting a lot of stuff finished by the one day that’s been circled on my calendar for weeks, 10 FEBRUARY 2011, THURSDAY. I’m happy to say it’s the 12th and I survived.  However, there was way too much brain power expended and sleep lost.  It was painful.

So of course, I used food as an emotional release.  I’m actually surprised at how relatively well I did leading up to the deadline, but Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were filled with a hot mess of fat and cheese and ice cream.   I did lose that 1.5 lbs. from last week as of Wednesday, but the current week’s anytime weekly points are already beyond used up.  Let me tell you exactly what happened since then:

Wednesday: My brain is so fried from busting out a project paper, that I space out and deny that I’ve got a midterm I know nothing for the next day.

  • B: pretty lean – 3 points; fake pancakes (egg whites & FF ricotta w/ SF syrup); 1/2 a grapefruit
  • L: 16-point salad — greens, olives, black beans, balsamic vinaigrette, craisins, sunflower seeds, shrooms, tomatoes, a little chicken breast, carrots, 2 laughing cow wedges, an apple.
  • D: here’s where it got hairy.  J brought home Dick’s for me (GREAT, THANKS) and my will and resolve were threadbare at this point.  I ate them.  I estimate that to be 15 points (1 patty, no cheese, 1/2 a small fries).  THEN we got Thai food take-out (no noodles though, thankfully) — and I have no idea how much of that I ate. It was mostly chicken, veggies, and coconut milk/curry (and about 3/4 c brown rice) – so I estimate 12 points.  Then I had dark chocolate to stay awake, and a NSA fudgesicle.  All in all, a whopping 32 points for dinner.
  • TOTAL: 51 P+

Thursday: The only thing I am thinking about today is cramming for this test.

  • B: my go-to breakfast of 7 points: 1/2 cup FF greek yogurt, 1/4 c sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup berries, 1 tsp honey.  Oh yeah plus a venti soy latte for 5 points.  Total 12 points.
  • L: Chipotle bowl with rice, beans, barbacoa, veggies, corn and verde salsas, sour cream, and lettuce. Plus Coke zero.  Total 11 points.
  • S: after my horrible day was over, we went to a cafe and I got a healthy-looking pecan cookie.  Except really it was 4 points.
  • D: Mexican.  I ate about 2/3 of my creamy chipotle chicken burrito which had sauce, chicken, rice, beans, sour cream, and sauteed veggies.  I don’t know why I ignored “creamy” — obviously that’s a bad sign.  But such a good, good sign too.  Plus tortilla chips and a Corona light.  I was throwing caution to the wind.
  • TOTAL: 50 P+

Friday: I don’t even know at this point.

  • B: English muffin with regular cream cheese (probably 2 Tbsp), an egg, and sparse veggies (from a cafe, on the go). Plus half&half in my coffee since I couldn’t be bothered to bother them for skim. 9 points
  • S: banana
  • L: enormous Whole Foods salad.  I went a bit nuts.  Spinach, kale, garbanzos, bleu cheese, sunflower seeds, and some other random zero-point veggies, plus 1T olive oil and balsamic.  Diet coke.  Uh that salad was $12 and hurt my arm carrying it home.  12 points
  • D: oh god.  J made homemade pizza (with white flour since he thinks it makes a better crust than whole-wheat, ugh).  I topped my side with mozzarella, a few (6?) pepperonis, garlic and bell peppers.  I didn’t eat crusts and it was pretty thin (11 points).  But then I had so much cheap wine (11 points).  And then we got fro-yo…and at this point I didn’t want to think about the points so I just copied what I figured it was last time we went and said 12 points.
  • TOTAL: 55 P+. Good GRIEF.

So needless to say, it’s going to be a lean next four days.  That’s alright.  J is off with family on the east coast, which means I probably won’t have as many temptations.  And as for my veg-jihad, let me just say that I had FF cottage cheese with 1/2 a cup of tomatoes and snap peas for BREAKFAST.  Yessss. Go me.

In exercise-related news, I got my Zumba and Jillian Michaels DVDs and I am pumped (clap, point) to have time to do them now.  I’ve done two half-hour sessions of the Zumba cardio in a pinch but I can see myself actually waking up and doing an hour in the mornings.  Unless I can’t tolerate Beto and his midriff-bearing ho’s that early.  Here’s hoping the daily dose of cheez will replace the cravings for actual cheese in my life.

fluctuations

9 Feb

Week 2 success: 1.5 more lbs! HOORAY.

However, at first I only lost 0.4 lbs according to my digital scale.  Then I took off my pajamas and magically dropped another 1.1 lbs.

Which brings me to my point:  I love biofeedback, and so I can’t stick to the once-a-week-ONLY weigh-in.  I only officially record my weight once a week, but it bugs me too much not to know how things like eating a big meal, or a small meal, or working out, or pooping (sorry) affect me.  I can easily fluctuate five pounds or more in a day.  Usually lightest in the morning, heaviest at night, but not always.  When I was running a lot, I could drop 7-8 lbs after a long run, but bring that back up after a restorative post-run meal.  And of course it’s very possible that it’s just my scale who’s got the problem.

I don’t see anything wrong with indulging my curiosity, knowing that fluctuations are normal and that downward trends are all I really should be interested in overall.   It’s frustrating, though, when I want to see week-t0-week progress.  I have to wait all WEEK to know if all this stuff is having a real effect, but when I go to weigh in, something like pajamas can throw things off.  And this is why consistency is so key in weighing in, but sometimes even this doesn’t give an accurate short-term picture.

I know that moderation in diet stems from the same mental processing and general psychological principles of patience and self-control — things I need to work on in LIFE, anyway.   And maybe I just need to convince myself that I’m in it for the long-haul, anyway, and after I’ve been successful at this for a YEAR I can look back and really have some awesome numbers to show for it.  Weekly successes are the building blocks, but the goal needs to be complete lifestyle overhaul — and that’s hard to see when your perspective is through a microscope.

Next up, when I’ve got more time:  we’ll check in on my veg-jihad.  I have a feeling they are not making me fat-wah! (womp womp)

math skillz

6 Feb

Man, I’m really glad I’ve got so much crap due this week because it’s allowing my  procrastinating habits to delve  into depths I never imagined and I’m turning out some delectably crafted morsels.

That’s right…you learned how much I love cooking in the last post, but did you know I am also a preemptive stress baker?  Not a stress baker, because I’m not pouring my stressed-out energy into batches upon batches of cookies; but rather, a baker who is most productive when she should be focusing that concentration in another area of her life.  Which means, inevitably, the delicious wafts of fresh-baked-whatever coming from the oven are just a harbinger of bad stressy days to come.

In a past life, I would’ve been using butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate, and all of the good things in life to sustain this habit.  So this tasty fatty blood-pressure-raising stuff would be ready for me to devour when I shifted into my next role, the Stress Eater.

Not so anymore.  Today, I make my sweets with BLACK BEANS.

OK.  These are absolutely NOT South Beach friendly, but they’re pretty  much vegan and have extra fiber!  I know it sounds weird, and maybe it will be because they’re in the oven right now and I haven’t tried the final product, but I couldn’t taste any bean factor in the batter.  It was GOOOOOOD.

The problem with being the prolific treat-maker that I am is that not every recipe has a WW point plus value (obviously) and the more ingredients something has the trickier it is to stay on plan and figure out the numbers.   This was also the case with the amazing lettuce wraps I made tonight (I ended up just counting the chicken breast and hoisin sauce, since those are really the only substantial ingredients — water chestnuts, onion, and shrooms having 0 P+values).

For the Black Bean Brownies, I had to make some decisions.  The box of Ghirardelli walnut brownie mix I had lists the nutrition facts for JUST the mix, which is helpful for me but I had to scoff realizing that if anyone else was ever silly enough to care about nutrition facts while making brownies, this would be totally misleading, because the oil and egg is where the fat and cals really bulk up, and they’re not counted.

So the box says that one sixteenth of the mix is one serving (HA!) so I doubled that, natch.  Then, I had to add in the black bean nutrition….carry the 1, divide by 16 times 2, let’s see here… so an eighth of a package the way I’m preparing it here will be EIGHT POINTS+.  Plus a glass of fat free milk, and I’ve got a pretty little 10-point after-dinner snack.

I know this is not an exact science, but I’ve also got to figure out how to cut my circular pan into eighths…hopefully these will be more fudgey than cakey because cake doesn’t cut as well out of a pie dish.

My other option was to make this WW variety.  I even figured out that 24 Splenda packs equal the sweetness of one cup of sugar so that I could make those even less carby.  I’ll save ’em for next time I’ve got a 10-page paper and a midterm on the same day.  For now, we’ll stick with da beanz.

UPDATE:  Well I loved them.  Totally worth the 8 points.  And, I was FULL afterwards…from a brownie?!  I love beans.  J said it had an aftertaste, but he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

I want to be a chef.

6 Feb

Seriously, I love cooking.  If I could cook all day, I would.  It’s relaxing, and fragrant, and creative, and talk about huge pay-off — the only thing better than cooking is EATING.

I was inspired by some of the WW featured recipes, and decided to make a three-course dinner last night.  Mostly, I was hoping to use up some random ingredients in the fridge & pantry, and this meal fit the bill.  All I had to buy at the store was the grass-fed lean sirloin beef, the broccoli rabe (actually I just went with Chinese broccoli), white beans.  You’ll sense the pan-Asian theme going on here.

We started with the easiest, best Tom Kha Gai soup I’ve ever made.  This is a tricky soup to get right, but it is now my favorite.  (See recipe below.)  I tweaked the one from the WW site cuz it did not include the most important ingredient: fish sauce.

Then we had spicy Broccoli Rabe with Cannellini Beans, and Asian Beef and Scallion Bites, which is supposed to be an appetizer, but we just ate it like a stir fry with 9-12 bites a person.  Plus a glass of old pinot grigio that’s been in the fridge forever…good thing I’m not a wine snob.

So I felt like I had a pretty great, balanced day of eating yesterday, even though I was a little over on the WW points.  Good thing, making up for that ridiculous Friday where I blue myself.  See for yourself:

Saturday 2/5

B: 1/2 c nonfat plain greek yogurt; 1/2 cup mixed berries; 1 tsp honey; 1/4 c sunflower seeds; coffee & skim (7 points)

L: 1.5 c TJ’s lentil & veggies soup; GIGANTIC salad: 2 cups lettuce, 2 cups raw veggies (red bell, cuke, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas), 1 laughing cow cheese sliced up, 1/3 c garbanzo beans, 1 T homemade vinaigrette (10 points)

S: low-fat oriental snack mix (1/2 c); 1/2 a banana (3 points)

D: 4.5 oz lean sirloin beef w/ scallions; 1 c chinese broccoli + cannellini beans; 1 c Tom Kha Gai soup; 4 oz wine (19 points)

S: NSA fudgesicle (1 point)

Total: 40 points

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The Easiest, Best Coconut Thai Soup EVAR (Tom Kha Gai)

Serves 4.  WW Points: 5 P+ per serving (about 1 generous cup)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips (can substitute tofu and/or more veggies — squash, peppers, onions, etc.)
  • 1 cup fresh sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1.5 Tbsp fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1.5 Tbsp fresh lemongrass, minced
  • 2 small dried, red chilis, seeds removed; minced
  • 2 cups chicken or veggie broth (low sodium)
  • 14 oz can light coconut milk (I got mine at the asian market and I couldn’t tell if it was light or not because it had no English on the can, but based on the nutrition facts, I don’t think it was, so I actually just used about 2/3 of the can)
  • 2 tsp zest of lime
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

In a big soup pot, heat the 2 tsp oil over medium-high heat.  Add the strips of chicken and cook, stirring occasionally.  They will cook and brown pretty quickly, about 4 minutes.  Put on a plate and set aside.

There should still be some oil coating the pot.  Add in the diced bell pepper and shrooms and stir/cook until they start to get tender, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the ginger, lemongrass, and chili.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Return the chicken to the pot.  Add the broth, lime juice & zest, coconut milk, and fish sauce; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until you’re ready to eat it, at least 5 minutes.  Very important to taste and adjust flavor ratio of lime, fish sauce, and heat — if it needs anything, fix it.   Top each cup of soup with the chopped cilantro leaves and ENJOY YOUR SOUP, YOU LUCKY PERSON.

totally just blue myself

4 Feb

Uhhhhhnnnnggggggghhhhhhhhhh.   I can’t use the phrase “blew it” without thinking of Tobias…so let’s just say I blue it today.

Let me describe the relevant parts of my day to you.

Wake up at 9.  Coffee w/ skim around 10.  Do some easy work (editing documents and emailing off to the right people).

My darling boyfriend makes me breakfast at about 10:30, but it is rather animal-heavy.  2 eggs, 2 T light cheese, 2/3 or so of a chicken sausage (a banger in the mouth?), FF sour cream.

Go to Zumba at 12:30. (Awesome as usual!)

Shower, laze around, still not hungry with all that protein in my belly…

What should I do for the rest of this day off which is quickly turning out to be extremely unproductive?

FRO-YO, obviously.

Ah, but first, my brain tells me, you need real food.  And you have been so good about making smart choices, and it’s sort of the weekend already.  Let’s go to that burger joint!  Yes, I can modify whatever I get to be healthyish.

MMmmmmMM.  I order the “Storm Burger.” And at first I try to eat just the chicken breast and avocado, first by taking off the top half of the kaiser bun and folding back the underside bun and trying to balance it as an open-faced sandwich, sans the bottom bread part.  Messy.  So I put it back together and try to squeeze the innards out between the two pieces of bread.  Even gooier.  So I go back to the original plan, and make a compromise by just eating the damn bottom half of the bun with the rest of the burger.  (I should mention there were no forks available.)  Oh, plus the cup or so of sweet potato fries.  SO GOOD.

Alright, so I’m not beating myself up yet.  I avoided a whole lot of carbs by giving that top bun to J, which he gladly smeared with Rooster Sauce and devoured.  On to the main attraction: NEW FRO-YO SELF SERVE SHOP.

We get there and I am, literally, a kid in a candy store.  I had already looked up their flavors online, and saw there were several low-carb and no sugar added, nonfat options.  This particular store only had one low-carb flavor available.  I’d like to stop right here and say that self-serve is probably a bad idea for me.  Something about the freedom to pour any amount of eight different delicious flavors into my cup, and then being faced with five hundred toppings and fruits and syrups…it felt like self-sabotage, despite my good intentions.

Anyway, I went with mostly that low-carby chocolate flavor plus a squirt of the espresso.  Plus more toppings than I’d care to remember, but probably should…dark chocolate mini-chips, peanut M&Ms, coconut, golden grahams, mini dark chocolate raspberry cups, and sugar-free hot fudge.  OH MAN.

The car ride home was long because of Friday rush hour traffic, so I had plenty of time to consider the damage that had been done while logging it into e-tools.  All in all, my eggy breakfast, chicken burger, sweet potato fries, and fro-yotastrophe came in at 38 points for the day.  Not sure I can fit in any vegetables today.  The laws of physics in my abdomen constrain me.

So, my point count was not ridiculous.  But I made bad choices, and the timing was weird.  A couple of gigantically filling meals is not as satisfying as several small ones.  And I don’t feel great.  I am aware of the feeling now that overstuffing myself, especially with sweet things, doesn’t end well.  That momentary gustatory rush is far overshadowed by the sense of “BLLERRHHGGG” I’m getting now.

I think what’s abating the guilt is the fact that I actually worked out hard today.  And a lady complimented my butt? That was weird.  Couldn’t tell if she was coming on to me or just telling me I was doing a good job shaking my ass during all those shimmies.

Oh well.  Even though I screwed up today, the good thing is I don’t feel derailed.

veg-jihad

2 Feb

Well first of all, I lost 4.1 lbs. this week, SO THAT IS EXCITING.  However, I weighed myself on my digital scale which as mentioned earlier is probably losing batteries and wacked out.  Also when I weighed myself later in the day I was like 4 pounds heavier.  But I’m sticking to the consistent weekly weigh in time of being early morning before breakfast and totally dehydrated and after going to the bathroom (hey, it makes a difference).   I’d also like to point out that these supposed 4.1 lbs. included a week that involved a beer, fruit, and multiple occurrences of sweet things (including drizzles of honey on yogurt, for example).  I could’ve done better, but I was also not depriving myself.  I also only ate about half of my 49 weekly anytime points.

But back to the topic of this post: vegetables.  I was curious to see how much veggies I’d had this past week after I watched a clip of Colbert interviewing a VP at Walmart who is partnering with Michelle Obama’s anti-kid-obesity cause to lower prices on vegetables in their stores.  (Side note: not sure I’d ever buy vegetables from Walmart, does that make me an elitist?)  So I stole the term “veg-jihad” from Stephen’s quip about the first lady’s powerful new ally against this growing health crisis.   I think it’s apt.  A veg-jihad is exactly what my diet needs.  Kill ’em with kale.  (’em being fat cells?)

Anyway, looking back on the past week (Weds to Weds), let’s see how I did:

W:  1.5 cups broccoli; lentil soup w/ veggies (1.5 cups); 10 baby carrots

Th: 1.5 cups lentil soup w/ veggies; 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper; 2 cups roasted vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, onion, zukes, eggplant)

F: 3/4 cup roasted veggies; 1/2 cup bell peppers; 2 cups lettuce

S: none?!?

S: 1 cup roasted veggies; 2 cups lettuce & raw salad veggies

M: 1 serv Chipotle veggies; 2 cups lettuce & raw salad veggies

Tu: 1 serv Chipotle veggies; 1 cup stir fry veggies

So that’s not including any fruit or beans.  And I just realized I’m only counting the veggies I logged on my WW e-tools, and since veggies are free, I don’t always include them (especially if it’s not a substantial part of the meal, like practically a garnish).  But I think this is relatively accurate.  And I’m not too pleased. I could do way better.  I don’t see any veggies at breakfast.  Veggies for breakfast still seems a little absurd to me. Am I wrong?  But there’s no reason it has to be.  What is the recommendation now, 5 a day?

There are some obstacles.  First, laziness.  Washing and cutting vegetables and storing them and then remembering to eat them before they go bad.  These things take effort.  But who am I kidding, so do all aspects of trying to live a healthy lifestyle.   Vegetable eating is just another little habit I need to trick myself into owning.

So maybe this week I’ll concentrate on this holy struggle to consume plants, and see if I’ve improved my count.

Oh, quick note on today:  I made this as a dinner side, added avocado, and it was super yummy.  I also ended up going overboard since my point breakdown was 13 for breakfast, 13 for lunch, and 14 for dinner.  All still low-carb-friendly, healthy foods…just too much, I guess.  Stupid delicious chicken chutney sandwich from Solstice.  (Ok the bread was not low-carb-friendly.)