Friday, February 26, 2010

Forgive me readers... I have sinned!

I have to confess - yesterday I ate some baked goods! I know what you are thinking... oh what's a small spurge going to do me, no big deal, don't worry. But when you are on a low carb diet it can have a pretty big impact and I am hoping it will not tip the scale too much. It all started with the snow... it was coming down quickly and everyone at the office was planning to head home early to avoid the dangerous road conditions (that were only bad on the less traveled roads). Like many days at my office there was a fair amount of baked goods available on the conference table near my desk... home baked funfetti cake with chocolate frosting, apple crisp, churros (this is a new item to the usual food that is often available - I do not know who brought them, but whoever you are please do not bring them again!), B&W crumb cake, large cookies (choc chip and sugar w sprinkles), and possibly other stuff. Well I was coerced (that maybe a strong word, but based on what happened later that day it is appropriate) into bringing some home for the kids and hubby - "oh, you will want some treats for the kids when you are stuck in the house" and "oh it will only go to waste if you don't take some".... my response should have been "the kids don't need anything, I went food shopping in preparation for the storm - thanks, but no thanks!" or "these will just go to my WAIST if I bring them home - thanks but no thanks". As you already know I brought it home - 2 pieces of crumb cake, 2 large pieces of cake, 4 cookies (2 and 2) and 1/2 a churro (damn that person - whoever you are!) The kids were enjoying a snack of these delicious treats once we got home, and I just gave in and cut a small piece off the churro and ate it.... that lead to eating all of it.... and that lead to eating a piece of the crumb cake! Then the worst part of the situation was when I heard those dreaded words..."Are you suppose to be eating that?" from my lovely husband. That made me feel like I had been "caught" (because I had been) but my response was "I can eat whatever I want, thank you very much." (And I can eat whatever I want... techincally) While eating the baked goods I did have thoughts of going carb-crazy for the rest of day, but that short conversation was all I needed to end it right then and there! So thank you to my husband for being a pain in the butt and getting me back on track!

As of Wednesday (2 days ago) I was down a total of 10.5 pounds - I hope that I can at least maintain the loss this week and not gain (but of course seeing another loss would be good too!)

That's all I have for now... I have to go in the kitchen and throw out some cake and cookies (sorry to my family in advance)!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow, Fevers, Working from Home... OH MY!

The last couple of days have been a little rough... my son was sent from daycare on Tuesday with a fever (most likely connected the ear infections), we got close to a foot of snow yesterday (and we ALL stayed/worked from home) and this morning my little man is still not feeling 100%.

I tried hard to stay strong when it came to my diet - I had a few unconscious mistakes, but other than that not too bad. I think I might do an off cycle weigh in today or tomorrow to give myself some incentive for the weekend.
The last 2 days at home have allowed me the extra time to try out 2 new recipes: Chicken Stroganoff and Crockpot Pork Tenderloin - both recipes were found on Both were pretty good and will be made again in my house.

Chicken Stroganoff
Serves 4
2 - 7oz boneless chicken breast (no skin)
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms, any kind
1 medium yellow onion, cut into chunks
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
garlic powder
salt & pepper

1. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder
2. Heat a skillet (not non-stick) on high & and add 2-3 tablespoons of oil
3. Sear each side of the chicken for about 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes
Remove the chicken from the pan and discard the oil (if there is any). Put the chicken back in the pan and add 1/2 cup of broth. Cover and cook on med/low until no longer pink in the center. Add more broth as it reduces so there is always about 1/4" in the pan. Remove the chicken and the remaining broth from the pan and place in a dish.
4. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Toss in the mushrooms and onions and sauté on medium until soft.
5. Pour the liquid (from the dish with the chicken) back into the pan and add an additional 1/2 cup of broth to deglaze. Turn off the heat to very low and add 1/2 cup of sour cream. Mix until well integrated.
6. Slice the chicken breast into 1" strips and add to the pan. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest to thicken the sauce.

Nutrition Info - these are approximate
Calories: 219
Carbs: 5 grams
Protein: 17 grams
Fat: 14 grams

This recipe was tasty - I used chicken stock instead of broth (I always think it adds more favor) and I do not think I let it sit long enough once it was done to really thicken the sauce. I was better the next day for lunch. I served it over penne for my husband - I ate mine with steamed green beans.

Crockpot Pork Tenderloin
Serves 8
2lbs pork tenderloin - trimmed of any visible fat
1/2 cups olive oil (extra virgin)
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon thyme
black pepper

In a gallon size ziploc bag - mix up the olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, mustard, pepper and thyme. Place the pork tenderloins into the bag and marinate for 30 minutes to 3 hours. Place the pork and the marinade into the crockpot (or slowcooker) and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Nutrition Info - these are approximate
Calories: 201
Carbs: 1 gram
Protein: 34 grams
Fat: 6 grams

This was also tasty and pretty easy. The original recipe said to marinate the pork overnight but to me that is too much! I think pork tenderloin is so tender that it can easily get over marinated - yuck. I let mine cook for 7 hours and it basically shredded when I took it out the cooker... maybe 6 hours should be the max next time.

One thing I find difficult about being home on the weekends or working from home is the lack of schedule when it comes to meals... on a normal day my schedule is pretty set breakfast between 8:30 and 9am, lunch between 12 and 1 and dinner around 6:30.  I have a few snacks throughout the day along with plenty of water.  At home I barely eat breakfast and then I want lunch no later than 12... I rarely get a snack or water.
Throw a sick kid into the mix and forget it!  I have to end this post and go get something to eat!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Early weigh in...

We decided to weigh in a day early this week due to the pending blizzard that is scheduled to hit the area tomorrow. I am down 2 pounds - would have liked more, but I will take whatever I can get! That is 6 total since I started.
Monday evenings my daughter has her gym class, and in order to make it to class on time the family eats on our way to class. We eat somewhere in between the daycare and the gym - we have multiple options including Panera Bread, Subway and KFC (these are our favorites). I have always liked Panera Bread the best - I love the soups, sandwiches and salads - I LOVE ALL OF THEM! We ate at Panera last night and I am sad to say it is not the best option for someone trying to stick to a low carb diet. I know what you are thinking - it is called Panera BREAD for goodness sake! Yes I can enjoy a salad (with or without chicken - I always include the chicken) and I did just that... I had the 1/2 Greek Salad (+/- 3 grams of carbs) and a small bowl of the French Onion soup without croutons (13 grams of carbs). But that is a lot of carbs for one meal for me (at this time). While I only went over my allotted daily carb intake by 6 grams I was not really satisfied after the meal. I would have preferred to have the creamy tomato soup and 1/2 a sandwich... and I would have liked to finish the mac and cheese my son did not eat, but alas that is not an option for me right now. Therefore the following must be said:

Dear Panera Bread,
While I am sad to have to break this type of news to you at this time - I cannot subject myself to your delicious menu items as often as I would like to these days - but that does mean I don't love you. Really it is not you, it me... I just need some time apart from you to find my best self. I hope you understand. Please try not to cry. Keep a bowl of creamy tomato soup warm for me... maybe next fall or winter we can see each other again from time to time.
A former patron

Just to kick me while I down (figuratively speaking) my daughter said she would like to go to Subway next week! Ugh - I think that may be a bit of a problem for me ... I will have to do some major research of the menu and figure out what to order. If necessary I can go to Saladworks a few doors over, because it is snap to lug 2 children to 2 different eating establishments in the span of 20 minutes, right?

In case you were wondering I did not may the spinach muffins last night - I will attempt them tonight (or tomorrow during the blizzard).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Long Weekend

Well I am back at work after an impromptu long weekend - I ended up staying home on Friday because my daughter was running a fever. We took both kids to the doctor on Sunday morning - my daughter has pink eye (as a result of her cold/flu) and my son has an ear infection in both ears... yeah you can imagine how much fun we had at my house this weekend. But the good part - and for me I am amazed at this - I was able to stay true to my diet and not cheat once! That is pretty unbelievable for me - I hope the scale reflects my efforts on Wednesday.

I am planning to make 2 new recipes this week - spinach muffins (As you might have already figured out - I love spinach!) and chicken stroganoff. Both look pretty good - I am hoping to make the spinach muffins tonight. I will let you know how they work out!

I started drinking my protein shakes for breakfast again - not every day, but when it is convenient or when I need to save some carbs and fat for later in the day. I really like this particular protein shake - it is made by Syntrax and is called Nectar Whey Protein Isolate - I like the Cappuccino flavor. It tastes pretty good - I use the blender to mix it up with water and ice - it gets creamy and frothy. It tastes best if you drink it right away. Here is the nutritional breakdown:
Calories - 90
Calories from Fat: 0
Total Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: <5mg
Total Carbohydrates: 0g
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 23g
Calcium: 160mg
Phosphorus: 75mg
Magnesium: 20mg
Sodium: 60mg
Potassium: 120mg 

For zero carbs, zero fat and 23g of protein you can't beat it! I bought it at Vitamin Shoppe, but you can also find it online at Amazon. It comes in many different flavors... I have tried the Cappuccino and Fuzzy Navel. As I said the Cappuccino is good... the Fuzzy Navel is drinkable. I think I will be going with the Chocolate Truffle flavor next.

This morning for some reason I did a few stretches and squats right after I woke up... maybe my body and mind are asking me for an exercise program? Not sure - let's see what the scale says on Wednesday before I start getting a crazy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Four, Cuatro, Quatre Baby!!!

That is correct - 4 (FOUR) pounds down from last weeks weigh in for the office challenge! That is the motivation I was looking for!

I can see now that the extra time I have spent preparing my meals in advance is worth it and I will continue to do it. Although it is much easier when I can take left overs from the prior nights dinner than creating another whole meal for myself. I did that last night - I got my lunch and lunch for my son taken care of right after dinner - it saved me lots of time. Last night I made Spinach Meatballs - they were really good! At just 0.5 (grams) carbs per meatball how can you beat it! For anyone on Weight Watchers I entered the recipe into the Weight Watchers recipe builder on the WW's website and it came out to 1 point per meatball! Pretty good if you ask me... here is the recipe:

Spinach Meatballs
Makes 30

1lb 95% lean ground beef
2 eggs
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 button mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon each salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Treat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. In a food processor combine spinach, parmesan, mushrooms, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and spices. Process until well combined.
3. Add eggs one at a time and process until well combined. Transfer to a large bowl. Add beef and mix until well combined.
4. Shape into thirty 1 1/2" balls. Place on the baking sheet and bake 20 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

I ate 8 meatballs (4 carbs) with 1/2 cup of marinara sauce and 1/4 cup of RF Shredded Mozzarella - my husband and the kids had spaghetti with their meatballs! I was happy the kids ate them - I would not say the LOVED them, but I did get a "I don't hate them" from my 4 year old! I think both kids ate 1 whole one cut up - usually they eat 2 or 3 traditional meatballs, so that is fine. I had 6 meatballs for lunch today (again with sauce and cheese) - heated it up in the microwave at the office.
Some good news - other than the 4 pounds I lost - I was able to wake up with my alarm this morning! Yay me... oh I also woke up with a start at 2 am. I thought it was 6 am, but no it was 2 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING! My son decided he wanted to get up and cry out for someone to come and rock him a little bit. I was back in bed by 2:15 - thank you to my husband for taking over. I was happy I woke up at 6 am when my alarm went off - I had lots of plans of what I would do with an extra half hour added on to my morning- but alas those plans went down the drain when my son woke up at 6:05am. I am afraid that if I try to wake up any earlier he will wake up at the same time! I will try it again tomorrow and hope he sleeps later.
My latest challenge - I will be heading out to dinner tomorrow night with my girlfriends... I will be reviewing the menu of the restaurant to see what the best options for my dinner will be. I know I will go over my max carb allowance for the day, but as long as I avoid processed sugars, etc. I should be fine. The only thing I will REALLY MISS will be the wine - oh lovely wine, how I will yearn for you, but that would totally kill my momentum. So I have to pass on that cold, refreshing, delicious, crisp, smooth drink and stick with a diet soda or better yet water. I know water is the best option to drink at any time, but I just can not get excited about water.
Well the day is coming to an end and I think I will head off to bed... and dream of sipping that cold glass of wine I will not be ordering tomorrow night.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 2: So far so good...

Well it is close to the end of day and all and all it was a pretty good day. I was able to pack up my breakfast and lunch last night before I fell asleep - I was also able to prepare lunch for my son (so that saved me some time this morning). I was pretty busy at work most of the day so I ate when I could and was not hungry the rest of the day.

Tomorrow is the weekly weigh in for the office challenge - now I have only been on my plan since yesterday - but I hope I will see a change on the scale (a good change). I can't complain if it does not show a loss because it has only been 2 days, but it would be a good motivator if it did.

What I will complain about is the fact that now I seem to be immune to my alarm clock! I wake up and it has either gone off and I have snoozed it in my sleep or it has been going off for 15 to 20 minutes and I did not hear it. I have it on the "buzz" mode because music doesn't work for me... I just hear it in my dreams like background music. This has never happened to me before - I am the person that wakes up when one of my kids rolls over in their bed or breathes heavily. Not sure what is going on, but I have to figure something out. I would like to be up earlier - to exercise* or at least eat breakfast before I leave the house in the morning. I am going to try and get to bed early tonight!

*Ok I watched the exercise DVDs I bought - Tony Horton's 10 minute Trainer... whoa! I am not sure I am coordinated enough to do the moves they are showing, but I am going to try.  A couple of challanges I am facing - where to do the exercising in my house - there is some jumping involved and I would prefer not to break anything or cause my house to collaspe. In addition, I would prefer not to exercise in front of an audience- see I already have an audience with me when I get dressed in the morning, go to the bathroom, and even at times while I am showering... oh the joys of having 2 small children! But at least the first couple of times I would like to be alone.  Maybe I have to think about exercising in the evening after the kids go to bed.  We shall see!

So far I ate today -
• 1 mini quiche
• 16 oz decaf coffee w 2 Tbsp 1/2 and 1/2
• 8 oz decaf tea
• chicken breast with salsa and cheese (same as yesterday w/o the sour cream - and yes I missed the sour cream)
• small salad - lettuce, cucumbers, tomato and sliced mushrooms with a little EVOO and lots of red wine vinegar
• 1 SF Jell-O (orange)

(I packed myself some turkey and RF swiss - but decided not to eat it - my carb count was getting a little high and I wanted to leave myself some room for dinner. I think I will eat it tomorrow for breakfast.)

Tonight I am going to try a new recipe for Spinach Meatballs - it has frozen chopped spinach, lean ground beef, parmesan cheese, egg whites, and some seasonings. I hope the kids will eat them - they will have them over spaghetti with marinara sauce... I will have them with the sauce and some RF shredded mozzarella. I will let you know how it turns out!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 1 - Officially on the new plan

Well it is the end of day one - and I am spent!

I stayed up late last night preparing food for this weeks breakfasts and lunches - I had to wait for the kids to be in bed so that I could concentrate on what needed to be done. I took some time in the afternoon to review/print some information from the my diet plans website ( and then headed over the supermarket. I shopped both for me and the family - while I will try to only prepare one dinner in the evening (we will all eat the protein portion and they will enjoy the side dishes too) the shopping cart was mighty full.
I cleaned and pounded 6 chicken breasts - I cut each in half (making 12 - 4 to 5 oz servings), I baked off 4 servings and individually wrapped and froze the remaining 8.
I measured out 1 cup servings of lettuce, 1/4 cup servings of sliced cucumbers and stored them in the zip lock bags in the fridge. I cut up 2 campari tomatoes for today as well.
Then I prepared some mini quiche for quick breakfasts - 6 eggs, 1 cup 1/2 & 1/2, 1 cup reduced fat shredded cheese and 1/2 cup crumbled bacon - mixed all together and poured into muffin tin and baked it for 40 min at 350 degrees. Notes for next time - I the recipe said it would make 12 muffins/quiches... I only got 10. I think I must have over-filled the cups - I will try to be less generous next time. The recipe said to grease the muffin pan - I have a non-stick pan and I did spray it with Pam, but they still stuck. I have to grease it up better next time.

I packed the following food for the day (in my new Vera Bradley lunch tote (thanks Big Sis!)):
1 Mini Quiche
1 serving of Ham (Oscar Mayer Deli - shaved)and 2 slices of RF Swiss
1 chicken breast, 3 Tbs of Salsa, 1/4 cup RF Cheese
2 Tbs sour cream
1 bag/cup of lettuce, cucumbers and tomato
1 Sugar Fee Jell-O - Lemon/Lime

I added:
1 cup of decaf tea
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Bottled Water

I took my daughter to her gym class tonight - therefore we ate dinner at one of her favorite places on earth... KFC. I ate a Grilled Chicken Breast (I tried to not eat the skin - I did not eat all of it) and I had a diet soda.

All and all I think the day went well - I was feeling a little nauseous in the late morning (but I think it was motion sickness from riding on the "vomit-comet" otherwise known as my company's van service). I was a little discouraged when another co-work said she was going to get a burger and a chocolate milkshake for lunch... but when she saw my lunch and how I had carefully measured each item she changed her order and got a salad (no milkshake). So I guess you could say I am helping others be healthy - I am like a superhero really.... ok maybe that is a little much for the first day, but by June 2010 you will be referring to me as Captain Cares About Others Health! I will have to work on a better name, but you get my drift.

I am going to pack up my lunch for tomorrow and go to bed... and dream about eating pasta and ice cream and chocolate candy!