Trish’s Dish

Red Gold Cake Elegant Birthday Pinterest Graphic-1

A huge part of my philosophy is to eat what you love and love what you eat. I decided to look at foods I love and create my own (easy) versions that hit the right flavor or texture profile to allow me to continue to enjoy LOVE the food I eat.

I know I have some peeps like me out there. We don’t have fancy ingredients. We don’t have time. We aren’t ‘chefs’ and don’t necessarily use ‘recipes’… We cook. We throw it together. We want our food to taste comforting and delicious. I couldn’t live without yummy comfort food and I’m willing to bet I’m not alone. 

My offerings aren’t highfalutin, I’m not a food photographer, I don’t have or use kitchen gadgets galore, I’m just a recovering food addict keeping it real in the dated kitchen of my tiny rental. You can always find a way to eat what you love, love what you eat, and lose weight doing it.

This week’s Trish’s Dish offering is a tweak on Eggs Benedict. I fried two eggs over easy, topped them with shredded Italian cheese blend and topped with prosciutto (all bought at Aldi). On the side, I made a hollandaise -ish dip by mixing up some mayo, mustard, grated Parmesan (in the can) and paprika. This is a filling meal with the protein of the eggs and prosciutto and the fat from the mayo and cheese… and all for only 1 carb (from the ounce of cheese).

Quick, easy, and keto / low carb friendly. I could NEVER have lost over 125 pounds unless I could enjoy some good eats. You really can eat, lose, and love!

Keep It Simple Sunday 8.12.18

KISS August 2018Time for my weekly KISS update, when I check my progress, adjust my strategies, plan my meals, and prepare as much as I can for a successful week of healthy living.

Let’s start with the progress check. 

Start weight 282 / Current weight 156.6 / Goal weight 141

Today, I am 125.4 pounds down with 15.6 pounds to go to reach my ultimate goal of 141 pounds (exactly half my highest weight of 282 pounds).

My goal for August is to finish the month at 155 pounds. Here is the data from my daily weigh-ins:

  • 8/1- 159 
  • 8/2- 159 
  • 8/3- 157.8 
  • 8/4- 156.4 
  • 8/5- 154.6 <– all new low weight!
  • 8/6- 154.6
  • 8/7- 154.6
  • 8/8- 155.6
  • 8/9- 156.6
  • 8/10- 156.6
  • 8/11- 158.6
  • 8/12- 156.6

Last week, I mentioned that my weight tends to stall and bounce once I reach a new low (which I did when a I hit 154.6) and wouldn’t you know it?… I bounced up all week. Nothing to obsess over. I just keep my ship steady and my body responds accordingly. There is still plenty of August left to go to ensure I reach (and maintain) my goal of 155 pounds. We can always control our efforts, but we can not always control our results. Focus on the effort.

This upcoming week, it’s back to school; my students return for classes. It will be hectic, but I am looking forward to having my classroom buzzing with excited energy. I teach adults, so it isn’t as stressful as it is for K-12 teachers… I honestly don’t know how they do it! However, it will be a week with slightly higher stress than the norm, so I took that into consideration in my planning.

As I created my meal and wellness plans for the week, I needed to strategize around the facts that my days will be busy, so won’t have a chance to eat lunch until after 1PM (more likely 2PM) and once the students leave for the day, I will have an initial wave of exhaustion as I get back in the school day groove. That late lunch paired with fatigue requires a filling and satisfying food choice. Here is what I settled on…

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My cheeseburgers are quarter pounders made with 80% lean ground beef (the fattier, the better). This powerful protein and fat combo will be the punch I need to switch gears and spend the afternoon getting ahead catching up on paperwork. I seasoned them with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, a little Montreal seasoning, salt and pepper and cooked them in bacon fat in a frying pan (gotta’ love low carb / keto). I topped with a slice of Colby Jack and put a mayo/SF ketchup mix on the side for dipping. Easy prep, filling (and yummy) lunch.

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Now, I know you want me to talk about the chocolate raspberry nut cheesecake whip listed in my food plan as my evening snack. I plan to take some pictures of it when I make it tonight and use it as one of my Trish’s Dish posts this week, so do check back for photos of the prepared snack. It is simply cream cheese, SF raspberry syrup, unsweetened powdered cocoa, and nuts mixed together into a heavenly concoction. Sweet, fatty, filling, low carb / keto. 

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As far as my wellness goals this week, I am going to utilize Intermittent Fasting (IF) since I won’t have time to eat until the afternoon anyway. I also set a low water intake goal this week (1 liter minimum), for two reasons. One, I know I will struggle to find time to drink during instruction and two, I know I will struggle to find time to use the restroom during instruction. Truth. The first few weeks of school are CRAY-ZEE!

So there it is, the results of another week of Keep It Simple Sunday reflection, planning, and prepping. Taking this bit of time to KISS helps me manage my health and wellness goals, which has enabled me to overcome a LIFETIME of obesity. 

As I always say, if I can do it (as a food addicted, binge eating, dysfunctional foodie), I promise you can, too.

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” – La Rochefoucauld

A huge part of my philosophy is to eat what you love and love what you eat. When I first started my journey towards a healthier lifestyle, I stalked many blogs, websites, and forums and sometimes got intimidated by the complicated recipes, long ingredient lists, and the amount of time it looked like many people were able to commit to cooking. In the famous words of Johnny Cash and June Carter, “It ain’t me babe.” 

Then I realized my all or nothing/black and white thinking was striking again! This perfectionism always sabotaged my weight loss efforts and I know I needed to change this to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

I decided to look at foods I love and create my own (easy) versions that hit the right flavor or texture profile to allow me to continue to enjoy LOVE the food I eat.

Moving forward, I’m going to start sharing some of my dishes. At first, I was hesitant to do this because there are so many great food blogs out there and I know my offerings (and photos) might look quite pathetic compared to most, but you know what? I know I have some peeps like me out there. We don’t have fancy ingredients. We don’t have time. We aren’t ‘chefs’ and don’t necessarily use ‘recipes’… We cook. We throw it together. We create dishes for ourselves (and our family). We just want our food to taste comforting and delicious.

I couldn’t live without yummy comfort food and I’m willing to bet I’m not alone. I’m not going to let my perfectionism stop me from sharing my meals and snacks with you. I’m keeping it real. After all, I’ve now lost 128 pounds and people are always asking me, “What do you eat?”

So without further ado, here is my first (humble) share of one of my healthier go-to dishes.

Sausage Cauli Primavera

I just diced some onions and mushrooms and fried them in some extra virgin olive oil. Then I halved a few grape tomatoes and tossed them in too. Then I sliced some spinach and feta chicken sausage links (Aldi brand) and put those in the pan to brown and caramelize. Meanwhile, I microwaved some frozen cauliflower rice and, yep, you guessed it… tossed it in the pan. Stir. Stir. I sprinkled with some canned grated Parmesan, garlic powder, paprika, salt & pepper. Added some butter and let it all mingle. Once I put it on the plate, I topped with Parmesan crisps and a few scallions and called it Sausage & Caulirice Primavera (12 carbs). Dinner… done (in 20 minutes).

Keep It Simple Sunday 8.5.18

KISS August 2018

Time for my weekly KISS update, when I check my progress, adjust my strategies, plan my meals, and prepare as much as I can for a successful week of healthy living.

Let’s start with the progress check. 

Start weight 282 / Current weight 154.6 / Goal weight 141

Today, I am 127.4 pounds down with 13.6 pounds to go to reach my ultimate goal of 141 pounds (exactly half my highest weight of 282 pounds).

Here is the data from my daily weigh-ins:

  • 8/1- 159
  • 8/2- 159
  • 8/3- 157.8
  • 8/4- 156.4
  • 8/5- 154.6

What?! On August first, I set a monthly goal to lose 4 pounds this month and reach 155. Here it is on the 5th and I’ve already exceeded it. No complaints here! I’m not going to readjust my goal though, because I find that sometimes my weight loss comes in spurts and stalls; I may very well spend the rest of the month bouncing/maintaining and I will still be able to call the month a win. If I manage to wiggle down a few more pounds, cool. 

I have a couple of odd food days this week that I needed to strategize for when making my meal plan. First one is an all day training off site that includes a lunch. The lunch menu is a pasta dish with garlic bread and a brownie for dessert… Um, no. The second odd food event is a potluck staff meeting. Gotta’ bring something to please a crowd that fits into my low carb/keto way of eating (WOE). No prob.

So here is my basic plan for my ‘normal days’ and then I will share my plan for the two ‘odd days’…

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For my three ‘normal days,’ I prepped the egg and chicken salad and put both in a larger container that I will keep in the work fridge. This way I can portion out a serving and eat it with my pork rinds and sparkling water.

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At the off site training, I don’t feel like lugging around a thermal bag with a lunch needed to stay cool, so I opted to enjoy a Quest protein bar and a pack of pistachios. These two items combined are filling and delicious and will keep me on track.

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I’m not a fan of potluck. In fact, I call it Passive Aggressive Potluck, because I join in quite reluctantly (with a smile). It’s just that so many people follow so many different eating plans and nutritional guidelines… then you have to keep the item cool or hot… or find a way to heat on site… and transport the needed serving utensils… then the pressure to sample the contributions of others even if it is not part of YOUR nutritional plan or to your taste… then you have to bring home leftovers that you don’t even want to eat because so many people breathed on it/touched it/who knows what…

I know, I know, I’m a party pooper. To keep myself on plan, I will be bringing a Tex Mex Shrimp quiche (crust-less and low carb of course). One dish, a pie cutter, no need to reheat. Done. I will make it fresh Wednesday, so couldn’t prep it today like I’d prefer (another reason to feel passive aggressive).

Finally, I found some sugar-free ice cream treats at Aldi this week and thought I’d give them a whirl. Made with Splenda and 3 carbs each. It’s August and I live in Florida. Sometimes you just want to eat frozen things. I also made sure I had some individual nut packs on hand for when I need to crunch. The small bags work better for me, because I can go overboard with nuts (especially cashews and peanuts). These are only 3 carbs each.

snacks 8.5

So there it is, the results of another week of Keep It Simple Sunday reflection and planning and prepping. Taking this bit of time to KISS helps me manage my health and wellness goals, which has enabled me to overcome a LIFETIME of obesity. 

If I can do it (as a food addicted, binge eating, dysfunctional foodie), I promise you can, too.

 

August – New Month, New Goal

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It’s the first of the month, so it’s time to reflect on last month’s progress and set a new monthly goal. In July, I fell short of reaching my monthly goal of 155 lbs. I got down to 157.8 pounds (weighed in at 160.4 on 7/1/18), but with my excursion to the Pacific Northwest (and the less than stellar eating that took place there) I am finishing the month at 159 pounds for a net loss of 1.4 pounds. A loss is a loss!

If I was a little earlier in my weight loss journey, that might feel disappointing, but having already lost over 120 pounds I can tell you that some months the weight loss is fast and some months it’s slow. The key to success is to keep facing the right direction and stepping forward.

… and that is why I love the first of the month (except the fact that rent is due). The first of the month allows me to let the curtains close behind me on all the goings on of the previous month and just focus on looking forward at a new, fresh and shiny opportunity. Hellooooo August! Let’s see what we can accomplish. 🙂

This month, I am keeping the goal of reaching 155 pounds. To meet that goal, I need to lose at a rate of 1 lb. per week, which at this point is a healthy one and if I happen to exceed that, it will be low carb gravy baby!

Goal for August = 155 lbs

  • 8/1- 159

So there you have it. By taking just a few moments on the first of the month, I have refocused my health goals, renewed my positive energy, and feel confident that I am starting August off on the right foot. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you do the same.

Keep It Simple Sunday 7.29.18

Featured Meal Plan-1

Time for my weekly KISS update, when I check my progress, adjust my strategies, plan my meals, and prepare as much as I can for a successful week of healthy living.

Let’s start with the progress check. 

Start weight 282 / Current weight 159 / Goal weight 141

Today, I am 123 pound down with 18 pounds to go to reach my ultimate goal of 141 pounds (exactly half my highest weight of 282 pounds).

Here is the data from my daily weigh-ins:

  • 7/1- 160.4
  • 7/2- 160.4
  • 7/3- 161.2
  • 7/4- 160.6
  • 7/5- 159.8
  • 7/6- 159.8
  • 7/7- 159
  • 7/8- 158.4
  • 7/9- 158.4
  • 7/10- 158.4
  • 7/11- 158.4
  • 7/12- 158.4
  • 7/13- 158.4
  • 7/14- 157.8
  • 7/15- 157.8
  • 7/16- 159.6
  • 7/17- 159.6
  • 7/18- 159
  • 7/19- 158.4
  • 7/20- 158.4
  • 7/21- DNW: Traveling
  • 7/22- DNW: Traveling
  • 7/23- DNW: Traveling
  • 7/24- DNW: Traveling
  • 7/25- 164.6
  • 7/26- 163.4
  • 7/27- 160.8
  • 7/28- 159
  • 7/29- 159

Since I was traveling in the Pacific Northwest, I did not weigh (DNW) for four days. I’ll be honest, I was quite pleased to return from that trip with ONLY a 5.2 pounds gain and let me tell you why. 

First, my metabolism is damaged from a lifetime of obesity and I can easily pile on ten pounds in a weekend of overeating. Second, I did not consider the nutritional value of anything I put in my mouth during that trip. Instead, I nurtured my foodie ways and enjoys seasonal, regional delights… and oh my, there was plenty of that to be enjoyed! Third, a decent amount of that weight gain was bloating from the long return flight (Washington to Florida). 

I also think the amount of walking we did on our trip helped counteract the overall damage, hence the mere 5.2 lbs gain. As you can see from the daily stats, I dropped 4.6 of those pounds in 4 days, further proving it was mostly water retention. Overall, I’m a happy camper with this morning’s weigh-in and to be where I am.

Upon my return, I stepped on the scale first thing in the morning and got right back to my healthier way of eating. It’s so cool that I can say that healthy eating is my new ‘normal’ and that the overindulging that took place on the trip felt situational and temporary. It used to be the other way around; I would overindulge daily and occasionally string together a few days of healthy eating. Oh how things have changed (thankfully!)

Now it’s time to look ahead to strategize and plan for the week. Since I am not returning to work until August 1st, I don’t need to do any food prep today. However, I did plan my menu and make my shopping list. Here is what I settled on to help me shake off the last bit of vacation weight:

7.29.18

Since I am able to prepare my lunch fresh at home, I have decided to enjoy a variety of omelettes this week. I have great fillings on hand like prosciutto, bacon, portabella mushroom, scallion, tomato, onion and then a plethora of cheeses such as goat cheese, feta cheese, Italian shredded cheese, Colby Jack shredded cheese, Chipotle cheese. Yeah… I love cheese.

This plan will get me through until I return to work, which happens to coincide with the first of the month. That’s when I take a moment to reflect on my monthly progress on a whole (because the daily & weekly data doesn’t always show overall trends) and make a new monthly goal for August. That means I have a few more days to finish July strong! A few days of omelettes should help. 🙂

So there it is, the results of another week of Keep It Simple Sunday reflection and planning (minus the prep). Taking this bit of time to KISS helps me manage my health and wellness goals, which has enabled me to overcome a LIFETIME of obesity. 

If I can do it (as a food addicted, binge eating, dysfunctional foodie), I promise you can, too.

 

Keep It Simple Sunday 7.15.18

Happy Sunday everyone! Time for my weekly KISS update, when I check my progress, adjust my strategies, plan my meals, and prepare as much as I can for a successful week of healthy eating, losing, and loving. 🙂

Let’s start with the progress check. As a reminder, my goal for the month of July is to reach 155 pounds. Here is the data from my daily weigh-ins:

  • 7/1- 160.4
  • 7/2- 160.4
  • 7/3- 161.2
  • 7/4- 160.6
  • 7/5- 159.8
  • 7/6- 159.8
  • 7/7- 159
  • 7/8- 158.4
  • 7/9- 158.4
  • 7/10- 158.4
  • 7/11- 158.4
  • 7/12- 158.4
  • 7/13- 158.4
  • 7/14- 157.8
  • 7/15- 157.8

My body was looooooooving 158.4, but I managed to coax it down a smidgen. Happy with that. Not going to adjust my strategy too much this week in regards to my carb range, as my current plan has kept my rate of loss on track to meet my monthly goal.  However, I have a couple of ‘out of the norm’ things happening this week. 

First, DH and I are leaving for an anniversary trip this weekend, so I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t hoping to see 155 pounds by then. This fact might motivate me to keep my carbs in the lower range each day by choosing smaller portions of veggies with dinner.

Then on Wednesday, our school is having a potluck for our (adult) students to celebrate the last day of summer school. My students are from all corners of the globe, so potluck means a variety of authentic international epicurean delights, made from scratch with love.

Since I am all about the Eat. Lose. Love. philosophy, I plan to love on some yummy eats and still lose this week with a strategy in mind. I will use a small plate and sample just a bite (or two) of each student’s contribution. Knowing I will be cramped in an airplane seat in just a few days will keep my portions in check. 😉

So with all this in mind, here is my simple plan for the week ahead.

Updated 7.15.18My food prep was quite easy today, as I only needed to pack a lunch for three days. I started by making these Devilled Egg Fat Bombs.

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20180715_121409I had leftover filling from the devilled eggs, so put the extra into little 2 oz. cups (from Walmart) and I plan to eat it like a dip using pork rinds as the vehicle. I portioned each day’s eggs, pork rinds, and dip and packed that along with a can of sparkling flavored water.

20180715_133951I was NEVER a pork rind eater prior to discovering the benefits of low carb living, but these Clancy pork rinds from Aldi have such a mild taste and an airy texture similar to cheese puffs. When I was morbidly obese, my term for cheese puffs was puff crack. I could eat an entire large bag in one sitting (and did… often). 

20180715_122648.jpgI use these pork rinds in several ways. Sometimes I sprinkle them with Cajun seasonings and dip them in ranch (Doritos copycat). Other times I put them on a plate, drizzle melted butter over them and sprinkle with cinnamon and Splenda (churro anyone?). Pork rinds are a great crunchy low carb alternative to chips, crackers and the like.

To wrap up my prep cooking, I made another batch of my Fizzy Fuzzy Navel jello to have on hand. This has been such a refreshing snack in the summer heat.

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So there it is, the results of another week of Keep It Simple Sunday planning and prepping. I love to KISS as I know it keeps me on track during the week. The proof is in the (sugar-free) pudding… here are my stats:

Start weight 282 / Current weight 157.8 / Goal weight 141

I am 125 pound down with 16 pounds to go to reach my ultimate goal of 141 pounds (exactly half my highest weight of 282 pounds). I owe a lot of this success to my KISS method. <3

If I can do it, I know you can too!!

Keep It Simple Sunday (KISS)

red kiss neon light signage on dark lit room
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

It’s Sunday, so that means it’s time for my weekly KISS routine; I check my progress, adjust my strategies, plan my meals, and prep as much as I can before the work week kicks off. First up, reviewing the data.

July Daily Weight Tracking

  • 7/1- 160.4
  • 7/2- 160.4
  • 7/3- 161.2
  • 7/4- 160.6
  • 7/5- 159.8
  • 7/6- 159.8
  • 7/7- 159
  • 7/8- 158.4

Had a decent week yielding a 2 pound loss. During last week’s planning, I had settled on a maintenance level menu and looking over my journal, that is exactly how my eating shook out. I enjoyed a few protein bars, was more generous in my vegetable portions and probably a little too generous with my nuts and 90% chocolate portions a few days, but clearly it didn’t affect the scale as I saw and all new low this morning.

I am leaving for a trip in two weeks and would love to see 155 on the scale on the day of departure. I fully intend to enjoy culinary delights during my visit to the great Pacific Northwest and know I will return home holding some extra weight (I can gain up to 10 pounds of water bloat in a weekend of unhealthy eating, which is really further evidence that my body doesn’t handle refined carbohydrates very well). Once I get back from my trip, I will most likely spend the remainder of July taking off what I brought back (… still worth it… sorry, not sorry).

With this in mind, I’m adjusting a few things as I plan for the week ahead. Since my goal is to keep the scale moving towards 155 pounds, I am going to drop the nuts and the chocolate and keep a keen eye on veggie portions. Here are my food and wellness plans:

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With my plan sorted out, I made a grocery list and hit up Aldi and Walmart this morning so I could come home and start prepping. My prep cooking today consisted of a Greek Frittata and Fizzy Fuzzy Navel jello.

The frittata is not a recipe; I just slung it together to use up frozen spinach, eggs, and an open jar of pimentos I had on hand. I picked up a few more things at Aldi to kick it up a notch and indulge my foodie lovin’ ways. This blog ain’t called Eat. Lose. Love. for no reason. I love me some good eats. 😉

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I would have made a quiche, but didn’t want the extra dairy from the HWC or sour cream that most crust-less quiche recipes call for so I decided to KISS and Keep It Simple Sweetie (after all it is KISS – Keep It Simple Sunday). Whenever I am free-styling in the kitchen, I keep a log of my ingredients on the whiteboard on my fridge so I can keep a carb count.

frittata white board

I threw all ingredients in a bowl, poured into a skillet, and finished it off under the broiler. 

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I portioned it into containers and lunch is sorted out for the week. I’ll eat these slices hot or cold, depending on how much time I have to eat lunch (I’m a teacher; sometimes I have two minutes to inhale it while standing).

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Then I made the Fizzy Fuzzy Navel jello using SF orange jello and peach flavored sparkling water. Served with extra creamy Redi-whip, it hits the spot. 

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Some evenings, I want something a little more substantial than jello as a snack (which is when I am drawn to nuts and chocolate) but since I want to avoid those items this week, I will make a microwave egg custard if wanted/needed. 

My basic batter is one egg and one ounce of cream cheese. I soften the cream cheese in the microwave for about 20 seconds and stir it with SF Torani syrup until smooth (caramel flavor when I want flan, raspberry flavor when I want a shortcake, and vanilla and cinnamon when I want a snicker doodle… the options are endless). Then I add an egg and mix it all well, pour it in a ramekin, and microwave the concoction for about 1 minute and 30 seconds. 

I sacrificed myself for my blog today and made a caramel pecan pie custard with whipped cream and cinnamon for lunch, because I felt you really needed a visual. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

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Once I put it on the plate, I usually top it with whipped cream and/or a drizzle more of SF Torani. Protein, fat, sweet, warm, yum! 

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So there you have it, the results of my Keep It Simple Sunday (KISS) routine for 7.8.18. I have checked my progress, adjusted my strategies, created my meal and wellness plans, and prepped as much as I can. Time to switch into auto-pilot and let my KISS efforts support me through another (hopefully) healthy and successful week.

Keep Calm and Follow Your Plan!

 

July – New Month, New Goal

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Photo by john paul tyrone fernandez on Pexels.com

It’s the first of the month, so it’s time to reflect on last month’s progress and set a new monthly goal. In June, I lost a total of 9 pounds (weighed in at 169.4 on 6/1/18). That exceeded my expectations (happily). This month, I will be over the moon if I can reach 155 pounds. 

Goal for July = 155 lbs

  • 7/1- 160.4

I just completed my Sunday morning routine: create a meal and wellness plan, go grocery shopping, and prepare my work lunches for the week.

This week, my meal planning is more of a maintenance level. I kept very low carb (VLC) last month to tweak out that 9 pound loss and I feel the need to take a breather this week. I can’t keep it in high gear all the time or I risk feeling ‘diet-y’… this is a lifestyle change and for the long haul, some weeks will be in 5th gear and some weeks will be in 1st. So, here’s the plan:

week of 7-2

The number next to each meal is my carb count. I drink two coffees through the morning and each has 1 tsp of heavy whipping cream (HWC) so that’s 1 carb.

I bought some sliced turkey and bacon at Aldi for my lunches. The turkey is 1 carb for 2 slices. Since I am portioning 4 slices for each lunch, that is a 2 carb lunch. I placed one slice of bacon in each turkey slice and rolled ’em up. I will dip these in mayo and enjoy a flavored sparkling water too. Easy prep!

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My dinner options are plentiful and delicious! I am a foodie and need to enjoy my meals. I have a variety of proteins (chicken, scallops, steak, sausage, eggs), a variety of cheeses (goat, feta, cheddar, chipotle onion cheddar, parm, cream), a variety of vegetables (cauli-rice, roasted cauli-florets, artisan lettuce, mushroom caps, avocado, onion, grape tomatoes, scallions, green beans) and a variety of condiments (marinara, salsa, pesto, BBQ, mayo, steak sauce, spices)… I am never bored with my dinner options. I have allocated 17-21 carbs for dinner (though I rarely ‘spend’ that much on dinner).

I gave myself two snack options this week. At Aldi, I bought almond/walnut snack packs that have 3 carbs each and if I pair it with a square of 90% dark chocolate from Walmart, I have a satisfying 5 carb snack. As a recovering Reese’s addict, this hits a familiar flavor profile in a much healthier way. If I’m in the mood for something more fruity and refreshing in this summer heat, then I will eat some sugar-free jello with a serving of extra creamy whipped cream at only 1 carb.

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My wellness plan each week allows me to focus on behaviors that support my overall health and well-being.  I regularly set goals for my daily carb range (25 or less this week), daily water consumption, physical activity, Intermittent Fasting (IF), vitamins, and sleep. These goals help remind me that self-care comes in a variety of ways. This lifestyle change isn’t just about weight loss, it’s about the health of my mind, body, and spirit.

Water – This week, I am committed to drinking at least three 16 oz bottles of water each day. I used to HATE drinking water and really struggled to make it a habit. I realized I was never going to be able to push too much, but am happy (and healthy) with my current levels. I open a bottle of Aquafina each morning to chug during my commute and then refill it from the water fountain at work when I arrive. As long as I finish that one bottle while at work, I am able to refill it one more time for the drive home. Done! … and if I manage to drink a few more, great. If not, at least I met my minimum.

Movement – My exercise routine throughout my 120lbs+ weight loss has been taking a pre-dinner walk with my husband, henceforth referred to as Dear Husband (DH). We tend to walk every day, but I always set 5 days as my goal so that if it rains or if I get caught up late at work, I don’t give myself a hard time about missing a day. I am the Queen of Self-Sabatoge and will gladly rationalize how failing to take a walk one day is a green light to binge of sugar. Seriously. ::sigh::

Vitamins – I’ve never been a big supplement person. I take a daily multi-vitamin (Centrum Chewable) and I take extra vitamin D because I tested on the low end for that during my lab work. Other than that, I let my nutrition provide me with the nutrients I need.

Sleep – I make getting enough sleep a priority by having a bedtime on school nights. When I don’t get enough sleep, I am tired and cranky. When I am tired and cranky, I crave sugar. Those Snickers commercials know what they are talking about; you aren’t you when you’re hungry and sugar filled candy bars are NOT the answer!

Eating Window – Finally, a quick word about Intermittent Fasting (IF). I wouldn’t say I follow IF as a rule, but I generally take note of the time the first time I eat each day (which for me happens to be after I dismiss my students around 2PM). Then I try to finish eating within 8 hours after that. I figure it can’t hurt and some studies indicate it might help, so why not? In the event I don’t stay within an 8 hour eating window, no big deal (NBD).

So there you have it, the results of my monthly goal setting and my weekly planning and prepping. I’ve set my self up for success and am looking forward to a productive month and a healthy week ahead.

 

Tools of the Trade

This month I hit a pretty big milestone in my journey to lose half myself: 123 pounds down, 18 to go. Today I weigh 159 pounds and it is the first time I have been in the 150’s since I as 12 years old!

I thought I would mark the occasion by sharing some of the tools I have used to support my weight loss success. 

First up, the scale. I record my weight every morning and use the EatSmart Precision digital scale, which costs less than $30 and has been reliable and accurate. I think in the past year, I only needed to change the batteries once. I spared you the cliche photo of my feet on the scale as I have Fred Flintstone toes. You’re welcome.scale 2

I haven’t always subscribed to daily weighing; there were periods in the past that I would have let the number dictate my mood and my behavior, so it was better to weigh weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. Everyone needs to dial in a weighing schedule that works for them, but I do believe we should weigh ourselves for accountability. During the times in my life I was gaining weight, I wasn’t weighing and during the times I’ve been losing weight, I was. Coincidence? I think not.

Next, measuring cups and spoons. Any standard set will do (even the dollar stores carry them). In the beginning of my journey, I used them more often as I learned proper portions. Now I can eyeball most things and only use them for items that I tend to over do it with (nuts, cheese, heavy whipping cream). I use this teaspoon each time I make a coffee to add my heavy whipping cream. It was part of a set I got as a favor at a wedding shower; the spoons lasts longer than that marriage did.Sppon

I also measure veggie portions for a few days whenever the scale is stalled out, just to his make sure I haven’t been inadvertently consuming more carbs than I think (carb creep real people). I’ve never felt the need to measure protein or fat; I eat both liberally. Some people use digital kitchen scales to be exact, but these simple measuring cups and spoons have served me well.

Now let’s talk about tracking. I don’t count calories. I don’t micromanage my macros. I  just watch my carbs. When I am meal planning for the week or the day, I just stick to the carb range I have chosen based on my current goals. In the beginning, I would use our good friend Google to find out how many carbs were in an item (i. e. How many carbs in 1 cup of slices mushrooms)… and Ta-da!

After eating keto/low carb for a while, you tend to know how many carbs are in the foods you eat on the regular, so you don’t often need to look things up. I know there are a bazillion apps that allow you to monitor in greater detail, but that just isn’t my style. I’m low tech.

I kick it old school and keep a good ol’ fashion journal. There is something about holding a pen in my hand and writing on paper that provides me with time and space to focus on my health without multitasking. If I were to do this with an app, it would increase the distractions with notifications and possibly encourage me to become obsessive about my food (and I’m trying NOT to be obsessive about food).

The time I spend tracking my health and weight management is almost a form of meditation. It takes anywhere from 1-4 minutes per day. Seriously. I don’t carry my journal around with me; it stays in the side pocket of my recliner cover and I take a few minutes after dinner to enter all the information I choose to track and tally up my carbs for the day. Easy peasy.

Now, don’t let my high falutin ways intimidate you, but I use these notebooks from the Dollar General ($1.00 each) as my daily journal. They come in a variety of cute patterns, have a built in bookmark, and are a comfortable size for me. I have a drawer full of these notebooks. Some women buy shoes, some women buy purses, and I buy notebooks at the Dollar General.notebooks

This is the one I am currently using. I use Frixion Erasable pens (I am a geek for these), because they allow me to make changes and keep everything neat (I may or may not have some slight OCD tendencies… Just sayin’)with Pen

with notes

So there you have it. A few simple tools of the trade that have helped me shed (as of today) 123 pounds. You don’t need expensive kitchen gadgets or high tech items or tons of free time to improve your health. You just need to commit to making it a priority and you will be eating, losing, and loving like me!