Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Weigh In Wednesday

Hey Guys!  After a terrible weigh in last week (thanks to a certain monthly visitor that lasted 9 (!) days) this week is much better.

First, as of yesterday, I crossed a milestone, I lost 20 pounds!  I feel like I've been waiting for this forever but it was just shy of 8 weeks.  My next milestone is to lose 10% of my weight, which hopefully won't take very long.  Then onto 30 pounds and on and on.  And maybe one of these time I'll drop a dress size!  So far my clothes are looser, kind of like, oh yeah they are supposed to fit like this.  I'm the queen of stretchy clothes so losing a dress size might take a while.  Seriously, it might be like Onederland before I need new clothes.  I do have a size 18 dress I really want to wear at our annual Christmas party.  That's still almost a month away so we'll see how that goes.


My weight loss for the week is 3.2 pounds.  It was one of those weeks where I had a loss almost everyday.  Those are my favorite weeks because you wake up to results.




When I started these weight loss thingies, I was using other people's photos but for the past two weeks I've been using mine.  Last weeks was a photo of an Adirondack sunset, my favorite thing to do every night when we are on vacation.  This week is a photo I took in 2004 when we were in England and this was in an amazing rose garden.  I weighed 180 pounds back then.  It's weird to remember what you weighed during your memories.  I was just coming up from all the weight I had lost down to 132.  I was so frustrated and so lost.  I couldn't get my eating under control and everything I had worked for slipped away from me while I watched.  It's really great to lose weight but it's scary when you lose a lot of weight because after you do this enough (and this will be the 3rd time for me) you know maintenance is really scary.  You can't go back ever to eating however you want.  You can have a meal from time to time or a snack but somehow you have to get back in control.  This is the part I worry about.  I should be worried about all the many many pounds I have in front of me but that's just time.  It's once I get there, I have to figure out how to stay there.  Maybe I count calories forever, that wouldn't be the worst thing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Weigh In Wednesday

It's not that losing 1.4 pounds is bad, obviously it's really good.  What sucks is to get a mindset that I'm going to lose 2 pounds a week and go 2 weeks without doing that.  This was my period week, I don't know why that matters but it does.  My husband lost 3 pounds.  I lost 1.4.  This is just how it goes.

I lost 1.2 of these pounds last Thursday.  Then I maintained for 3 days, gained .2 pounds and maintained that for 2 days and then magically lost .4 pounds last night.  It's been a battle all week.  I'm just tired but it doesn't matter.  It is what it is and all I can do is go on.

I envy people who get excited to lose a 1/2 pound a week.  Man, I envy you guys.


I'd say next week will be better but I said that last week.  I REALLY wanted to be down 20 pounds by Thanksgiving.  That's going to be very tough now.

I should really be very happy.  I had a really good chance of only losing a pound this week.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sunday Dinner - Shrimp Etouffee

I was trying to think of something like a stew that I could make for Sunday and I already had shrimp in the freezer.  I had saved this Shrimp Etouffee recipe from Grandbaby Cakes a long time ago.  The photo and the recipe looked amazing.  I plugged all the ingredients into My Fitness Pal recipe builder and the calories for 4 servings (including a cup of rice per serving) was 485.  Perfect!

Sunday came and I was reviewing the recipe and it said it fed 2-3.  I was serving 5.  I was going to stretch it but I got concerned last minute so I doubled the recipe.  This turned out to be a mistake because it made an entire full spaghetti pot full of etouffee!  Way too much.  I made too much rice too.

The recipe (this is not the doubled version):

INGREDIENTS
¼ cup salted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup chopped onion
½ cup sliced celery
½ cup chopped green peppers
1½ cup chicken stock
½ cup white wine -- I didn't use wine I used 2 cups total for chicken stock instead
½ teaspoon tomato paste
1 ( 14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons hot sauce -- cut this by a 1/4 so this was 1 3/4 teaspoon of hot sauce
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
Cooked rice for serving


INSTRUCTIONS
In a medium sized pan, melt butter over medium heat. Thoroughly stir in flour making sure there are no lumps to begin the roux. Allow the roux to develop, stirring frequently for about 9-10 minutes (until dark but make sure it doesn't burn).  -- Making the roux is the hard part.  I seem to do fine with a white sauce but when I make a dark roux I have some issues (I think the butter easily burns).  So I really pay attention here.  

Next stir in onions, celery and green peppers and cook for a few minutes until tender, frequently stirring. -- this part will look weird because you're cooking the onion mixture in this thick mixture but keep going and don't burn it!

Pour in chicken stock and white wine then add tomato paste and diced tomatoes and whisk together everything. -- I should have taken  my time here and added the chicken stock slowly, I think my sauce would have been thicker.

Season with creole seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and hot sauce.

Allow the mixture to cook for 10-12 minutes over medium heat to come together and begin to thicken then add the shrimp and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 10 minutes on a lower heat with the lid on. -- this time could be adjusted a little, the shrimp cooked very fast and was almost overdone.  Maybe cook 20 minutes, then add shrimp and cook another 5 minutes.

Stir in heavy whipping cream then cook for 2-3 more minutes until thickened. Serve over rice. -- I almost forgot the cream and it really added to the taste so don't forget it.

Even though it turned out a little runnier than I would have liked it was amazingly delicious.  If you are sensitive to heat adjust the hot sauce and cayenne.  We found it kind of hot, it might have been too much for Brian's parents.



Thanks Grandbaby-Cakes for your amazing dish!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Weigh-In - Week 6

I was hoping somehow magically I could pull out a two pound week but I'll take the 1.6 with much happiness.  I dropped into a new tenth digit, which is exciting, and I'm retaining water for that time of the month, which is not exciting.

So onward and upwards.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sunday Dinner - Skinny Chicken Enchiladas

Well I'm a day late with my Sunday dinner but at least I have photos this time!

I used Skinny Taste's Skinny Chicken Enchiladas with a few modifications.  As always, I would suggest going to the linked address and follow her recipe, I am not a food blogger, I'm just sharing ideas and what worked for me.

I spent some time last week plugging in my old Chicken Enchilada recipe into My Fitness Pal to get the calorie count and I got it down to just under 500 calories, which isn't bad, another 90 calories for rice, still not horrible but I decided I would just try Skinny Taste's recipe, for 194 calories an enchilada, I could have 2!

After changing a couple things around and running out of chicken filling for my 8th enchilada, I had to adjust the calories.  I'll explain how that happened below.

Ingredients:

For the enchilada sauce:

2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce - comes in a can. I only used 1 tbsp because commenters were complaining it was too hot. Next time I don't think I'll use these at all, it's kind of wasteful.
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder - I used regular chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken:

1 tsp vegetable oil
8.5 oz cooked shredded chicken breast - I used a Costco rotisserie chicken
1 cup diced onion
2 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro
salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chipotle chili powder - I used regular chili powder
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce

For the enchilada:

8 (7-inch) low-carb whole wheat flour tortillas (la tortilla factory) - I used regular soft taco tortilla (8 inches)
1 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese - I couldn't find low fat so I used regular Mexican cheese
non-stick cooking spray

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic. Add chipotle chiles, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil (This took a little while and then exploded on my shirt). Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil (I needed extra oil so I used my spray) in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic on low until soft, about 2 minutes. (I missed the directions and tried to cook the onions on low. I guess you preheat on medium high then turn it to low when you add the onions. It's still going to take longer than 2 minutes, maybe 5, test a piece of onion to make sure it's cooked). Add chicken, salt, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Put 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll it. (I measured out 1/3 cup and ran out of filling after the 7th enchilada so I only had 7 enchiladas, if you really want 8 I would not pack firmly like I did). Place on baking dish seam side down, top with the sauce and the cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Makes 8 enchiladas.


So mine only made 7 plus I used different tortillas and cheese so I had to enter everything into My Fitness Pal.  Mine came out to 292 calories per enchilada.  I served with Zatarain's Spanish Rice for 90 calories for 1/2 cup.  I like to load on shredded lettuce for crunch.

Here's how they turned out:



This will definitely be our go to recipe for Chicken Enchiladas from here on out.  Thanks Skinny Taste!

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Batteries

So I've been having some battery issues.

First, I had a lovely pink Fitbit (gifted by the lovely Denise from Lottalatte) that I got frustrated with a couple years ago because I could not get the damn thing to 10,000 so I just stopped wearing it.  I decided last week I would wear it again and not like pressure myself but just have a goal of improving myself.  And it was working!  I was even excited to walk around the mall to see how many steps I could get on it.  And when I got home it hadn't recorded any of my steps.  Grrrrr!

To backtrack a little, when I initially hunted it down a week or so ago, the battery was dead.  I opened the back and put in a new battery and I noticed something clicked weird, like a little tiny thing broke in the battery area.  But it was working so I figured I imagined it.  Then it cut off again.  I opened it back up, watched a youtube video to make sure I was putting it in correctly, and put the battery back in.  Then the mall thing happened.  You can shake the fitbit and hear the battery jiggle around.

I read A LOT of reviews on Amazon and apparently dead fitbits are pretty common.  So I checked out other devices and it's pretty much the same thing, they die pretty quick and it's pretty frustrating for everyone.  That said, I really like my fitbit.  I like how it attaches firmly to my bra or pants, I like that it's pink, and I like that it's affordable.  So my goal is to get a new one, maybe Black Friday sale???  I dunno.

I was surprised that it really was helping me in the short time I had it even though I was nowhere near 10,000 steps.

Battery Issue number 2 is my scale finally died.  I've been having some issues with my scale, it was giving me erratic weights and pretty much driving me insane week before last.  I bought a new scale and then I had the new issue of oh shit my new scale weighs me heavier than my old scale.  And my old scale started being awesome again resulting in a 4 pound loss last week.

Well, today it was done with giving me good news.  It flashed "Lo" meaning it needs a new battery.  My new scale weighed me a little higher than my weight yesterday but I'll probably merge into the new scale even though I did order a new (rare) battery.  The one thing that bugs me is I can't get the new scale not to wobble.  We have terribly uneven floors (old house syndrome) but even with the old scale I found a flat spot (In the exact center of the spare bedroom, DO NOT MOVE IT!).  With the new one, it wobbles everywhere I try it.  And wobbles are never good for scales.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Between Weigh-Ins

A little more about yesterday's post.

I chose the tag line, "Life Happens Between Weigh-Ins," as a reminder to myself that life is still happening while I'm dieting, it's not all about the end goal.  It's a play on the John Lennon lyric, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."  My life has been a series of goals but when you look back life is really about all the in between moments, and you can't forget that.  Those are the moments, the every day stuff.

So even though I have this huge goal and tons of tiny in between goals, life is happening all around me all the time.  I can't forget that.

Wednesday Weigh-In

Apparently I had a good week!  My weight went from a virtual standstill until like Saturday and then I started dropping weight every day.  I wish every day was like that, I could get somewhere.

I'm very excited and I'm smart enough not to expect to lose 4 pounds every week.  But I'll take it this week.


In related news, I've been thinking about this a lot and I think I'm going to change my username on Instagram to dietchick09.  I feel like justnesting is someone who's accepted their life as it is and though I'm really happy that was my goal for many years, I'm trying to make a real difference now and I think dietchick09 will reflect that.  Don't have Instagram yet?  Well, get on that! It's the best!

FOUR POUNDS!  OH MY, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Tuesday Tales

I was getting a little ahead of myself trying to follow along in my old blog to match the week I'm in for this time around.  So today I bring you a snippet of 6/17/2002 when I was coming upon Week 5 in my diet.  I lost 1.5 pounds this week for the second week in a row and I was frustrated coming off a 13 pound loss in my first 3 weeks.  Even though I lost 1.5 pounds that week my total loss was 16 pounds.  I am not going to be able to match that this week.

Actually I'm having one of those weeks were I'm just like: don't gain anything TODAY.  I don't even need to lose today I just want to be the same as I weighed in today for my official weigh in tomorrow.  DON'T BLOW IT!  So that's exciting unless of course I do blow it, but I don't think that's going to happen.

From June 17, 2002:
Sunday I was down to 183. Today I was 183.5. I'm losing weight so slowly and I'm hungry so much I don't see how I will make it. Can you be fat and die from starvation? I figured out where I'll be in August when we go to NYC and best case I'll be like 160. That's still huge! I know I shouldn't think like this. I know if I just stick through the hard times by Christmas I'll be thin. By Christmas I'll be beautiful. See, this is how I get in this ugly ditch. I start convincing myself that if I lose the weight everything will be ok. It's only because it's so incredibly hard that I need to know that once I do this, everything will be all right. But you know, it won't.
Just for the record I was 146 pounds by Christmas that year and I was in the upper 160s for that trip to NYC and the photos are some of my favorite, I was freaking adorable.

I chose this quote because I think it fits with some of the things I'm feeling this time.  Losing weight, being on this journey, is the hardest thing in the world.  It's so hard.  I've always wanted to strangle people who think it's easy or do something simple like cut out soda and lose a bunch of weight.  It's just not like that.  At least it's not for me.  And judging by the 100s of Instagram accounts I search out every day it's not easy for any of them either.

I think it's important to have a vision in mind and you're just looking for that vision.  And as much as I'd love for that vision to be 130 pounds, that's too far away, I have to look at something closer.  Onederland is probably that vision.  Everything up to that point, for some weird reason, just feels like I'm trying to back track.  I just feel like I really messed up and went down the wrong road and up to 199 I'm just backtracking my way back up that road to take the real road.  It's a weird thing, but it's what it is for me.  It makes me extra frustrated because I have a long way to go to even get there.  So each 10 pounds, each time I get into a new 10 pound range feels really good, but it's just wading through quicksand to get to Onederland.  Too many metaphors?

And I'm doing the same thing, I'm picturing when everything will be perfect at the end of the road and although I know that's not true, part of me needs to think it will be to go on.  I'm not having a cheat day or a binge meal because I don't know if it will destroy the whole thing.  I can't risk it.  I have to keep going forward.  And literally, sometimes, I'm just willing myself to go 2 hours without eating.  My whole life sometimes rides on making it 2 hours without giving in and eating something.

It's not easy.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Sunday Dinner - Dr. Pepper Baby Back Ribs

I bought this book called Cook This Not That a few years ago and read it cover to cover and made maybe one recipe.  Then I lost the book.  When I started my new diet I knew I needed to cook Sunday dinner for our families every Sunday and I remembered this book so I ordered it again.

My mom mentioned that she had a bunch of meat in her freezer and was listing of everything she had.  When she said baby back ribs my mind went immediately to this odd recipe I read in the book about Dr Pepper Ribs.  It was supposed to save a gazillion calories.

Despite my Diet Coke addiction, Brian and I, for a few years now, have been eating as clean as possible.  What that meant for us was selecting real food whenever possible.  So, for example, instead of eating Log Cabin maple syrup we use Costco's real maple syrup.  We try not to buy anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup.  We try to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid processed food, pretty much anything that comes in a box, whenever possible.  As you can see, it's not a weight loss strategy but just a way to limit the consumption of junk.  And I'm sure I made up for all of it by drinking Diet Coke.  But it was just something we decided to do.

So after I selected this recipe you can see how I would be thinking to myself, why are you cooking with High Fructose Corn Syrup and god know what other chemicals (Dr. Pepper) when you can make a nice brown sugar rub and eat clean.  And up until yesterday I was strongly thinking about backing out.  But I bought all the stuff and I just thought I'd give it a shot.  I did only take 1 rack of ribs from my mom instead of both so I could make the other one some other time.

Dr. Pepper Baby Back Ribs - Adapted From "Cook This Not That"

INGREDIENTS

2 racks baby back ribs
1 (2 liter) bottle Dr. Pepper cola
1⁄4 cup salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1⁄2 medium onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1⁄2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS

Remove the weird film on the back of the ribs (see you tube if you have no idea what I'm talking about).  Cut rib rack in half to fit in a large baking dish.  Go against all your instincts and pour about 3/4 of a 2 liter of Dr Pepper over the ribs.  Then continue that feeling by pouring 1/4 cup of salt over the Dr Pepper and rib concoction.  Cover with saran wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours up to overnight (but that would be weird because you'd have to cook the ribs in the morning).

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.  Remove the ribs from the disgusting liquid, pat them dry with many papertowels.  Clean the baking dish.  Sprinkle the ribs with chili powder and place them back in the baking dish and add 1 cup of water.  Cover tightly with foil. Cook for 2 hours, until the meat literally falls off the bone.

When you have about a half hour of cooking left start the BBQ sauce.  Heat oil in a medium saucepan.  Add onion and garlic.  Spray Pam oil in the saucepan because 1/2 tablespoon of oil is not enough.  Cook them a few minutes until soft.  Add the ketchup, Worcestershire, vinegar, cayenne and then add 1/2 cup of Dr Pepper.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Sauce will thicken.

If you are me, you're wondering if it tastes like Dr Pepper.  It tastes like apple cider vinegar and a hint of onion to me.  Vinegar is not my favorite but I continued on.

From here you are supposed to grill the ribs but we are out of gas for the grill so I decided to broil them.

I switched from the baking pan to a heavy duty cookie sheet lined with foil.  When I moved the ribs from the baking dish to the cookie sheet they started falling apart.  I put them ribs up and brushed them with the BBQ sauce.  I broiled them until the sauce started to caramelize and look a little crunchy.

Then I took them out and flipped them, still falling apart and not looking pretty anymore, and I brushed the top side with BBQ sauce and put them back in the broiler until this side started to caramelize and look a little crunchy.  Go longer than you think but don't burn them, watch them like a hawk.  You want those crunchy bits though.

Regarding the taste of the ribs.  They were amazing.  Very tender and the sauce was very good, I didn't find it too sweet or too vinegary once the sauce was caramelized.  It was really very good.  If you don't have an aversion to cooking with soda, I say go for it.  I'm going to try something else next time.  Ribs are pretty high in calories and fat so that's something to keep in mind but for a treat like Sunday dinner they are a great choice.

We split this one rack into 5 1/2 servings and my mom ate the last 1/2 serving.  I had some taste pieces (quality control is important) plus my serving, just to be safe.  I gotta say I was worried about calories with this one.  Even though I had 1/4 a rack and taste bits, just to be safe I counted mine as 1/2 rack, which is 400 calories but there's no way I ate 1/2 of a rack.  Even 1/4 rack only feeds 4 people so it was probably less than a 1/4 rack.  I would say 1/4 rack would feel a bunch of old people and 2 people trying to watch their weight, otherwise you'd want 1/2 per person.  I should have cooked both racks though everyone seemed full they probably went home and had a sandwich.  Usually I'm pretty good at cooking enough food for everyone, not sure what happened here.  1/2 rack per person for sure next time.  Everyone RAVED about the taste.  We did not tell them about the Dr Pepper.

I served this meal with green beans cooked to death like southern girls like them, a side salad with Olive Garden Italian dressing and my mom brought potato salad.

I counted my meal as 400 for the ribs (vast overestimate), 1/2 cup green beans, 20 calories, 1 tsp of butter, 33 calories, 2 tablespoons dressing, 80 calories, and I took a smallish bit of potato salad but I thought it should at least be 100 calories because of the abundance of mayonnaise, so I counted it as 120 calories.  Total 656 calories, probably more like 454 but better to overestimate than under.

Photos!  I totally flaked and forgot again.  When I host dinner or parties, my number 1 concern is serving dinner the moment it's done so it's hot and it doesn't sit there.  This doesn't work well with food staging or party staging so my photographs suffer.  I did tell Brian to remind me to take photos but he forgot too.

I grabbed one photo of the little piece that was left that I only remembered because my mom was going to eat it.


It's so pitiful.  It looks like a chicken wing.  Oh well, you'll have to take my word for it, they were really good and falling apart.