Friday, July 27, 2012

Progress Report #5

Look they are now using Splenda!
Starting Point  6/21           7/13                      7/27 
Starting weight 215             205  -10                204 -11
Bust 40 inches                     40  - 0                     38 - 2
Stomach 41inches                37  - 4                    37 - 4
 Hips 46 inches                     42  - 4                   43 - 3
 Thigh 24 inches                   24 - 0                    22 -2
Calf 17 inches                      17 - 0                   16.5 -.5
Arm 15 inches                      15 - 0                   13.5 -1.5
                                       Total Losses          Total Losses               
                                             10 lbs                11 lbs  (1 this week) 
                                            8 inches             13 inches  (5 this week)

So slow and steady wins the race. Still not much of a change on the scale but 5 inches is nice.
I have stuck to plan and I am finding I am hitting that point of having too much energy in the afternoons and evenings. I need to try and get out on my bike and burn some of that off but its been pretty hot here lately.

I've added photos of some items that I did not realized were available made with Splenda. I am going to ask my grocery story if they can stock them.  Since I am not drinking soda its nice to have something besides water to drink.  The Arizona diet teas are available in most places. Which is nice when I'm out running errands or at work or just need a treat to be able to find these.  In general I am drinking water but it helps me to find suitable substitutes for things I have let go of.

I suppose if you wanted this fizzy you could make them with sparkling water.
Might have to try that some time.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tuna Balls

I have been wanting easy pop in your mouth foods. One idea that I came up with was Tuna Balls.
You could probably add chopped veggi as a variation.  These are simple but tasty and made about 20 balls.

I used:
2 Small Cans of Tuna - Drained
1 Package of Cream Cheese
1T of Brown Mustard
I creamed it all together by hand.
It seemed too gooey so I added 
3T of Almond Flour stir again.
I scooped up gooey balls of my desired sized and rolled them in Parm.Cheese 
I put the finished balls in the freezer to harden. 

I will keep them in a plastic container in the fridge as one on my grab and go options for this week.

These would also make nice party appetizers to take to assure there were things at the party you could eat.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Progress Report #4

 I saw this funny cartoon on Pentrest and pulled it to include in my blog post.
I'd love to tell you that I have seen significant losses this week. Its all pretty much the same as last week. I have stuck to my plan, I have not indulged in even much in the way of legal treat kind of foods this week. I have drank more water and very little of other drinks. Not all victories can be measured by a scale or a tape measure. It has been that time of the month and that is a good week to stay away from the scale.

Quite often this is the point where people throw in the towel and start to moan that this is not working and go back to the old ways which over years have proven themselves to not work. They are those familiar comfort foods that call to us when our self worth sags ever lower because we have tied our self worth to our performance and other opinions.  I just started reading the book The Search fro Significane. I expect it will kick my butt in some areas.

Here is another victory. I've had a lot of my support systems shift or change or vanish in to thin air in recent weeks. I have felt very emotionally unstable but I have not turned to food to fill those now empty places. I am working to get used to my new normal, it is uncomfortable and at times discouraging because I find myself outside my old comfort zone. I know it will get better as time progresses and I get more familiar with how to cope and even thrive as a result.

I was reading a post about some of the reasons we hit stalls along the way. Sometimes is is just our body adjusting to the changes.

Another thing much like the water issue last week. If you don't drink enough your body hords what it has. The same is true of not eating enough. I may have been guilty of that this week. Not that I have been trying to be restrictive,  its been hot and I just have not been hungry. I may have alos been taking too much vitamin D. Too much and you don't feel hungry or even slightly nauseous.  We have sun again and I probably don't need as much as I do when its grey and gloomy here. So I've adjusted that about mid week and actually started feeling hungry again.

So check out this quote. "3. Undereating - Most of us choose to follow a low carb WOE after unsuccessful attempts to reduce with the standard lowFAT, calorie-restricted mythologies. It's difficult to grasp the idea of a "diet" that instructs you to EAT when we are so used to restricting, cutting back and denying hunger. Avoid the tempatation to eat less, thinking that this will boost your efforts and speed up the process. In fact, undereating is one of the surest ways to stall your efforts and bring your weight loss to a grinding HALT. When you go for more than 4 or 5 hours without eating, your body interprets this as a fast, and will adapt very quickly by slowing down your metabolism and conserving your stored energy, ie. your fat. This is exactly what you DON'T want! 

So I probably need to set myself up for next week with grab and go foods that I can eat about every three hours even if I'm not really hungry.  

I'll try to post some of what I come up with. Anyway this was a good article that I read with a lot of good helpful tips

Remember your self worth is not defined by what the scale or the tape measure say your performance was. Nor is it based upon what others think or you think others think of you. 

Titus 3 "For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

I am approaching this journey from a Christian perspective. So that will come out in my writing here.  If you are wanting more spiritual support and encouragement I invite you to visit my devotional blog.

Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


Friday, July 13, 2012

Progress Report #3 Water Issues

So I am committed to sharing the journey
not just the victory weeks.

This week's results are not what I was hoping for but the only major change I see is that I've been out in the heat and did not drink nearly enough water. So it seems my body has gone in to water conservation mode. Grrrrr

On my to do list: More water

Starting Point  6/21          Week #1 6/28            Week #2 7/7    Week#2 7/13
Starting weight 215                    210                           202                  205
Bust 40 inches                           same                        same                 same
Stomach 41inches                        40                           39                     37
Hips 46 inches                             44                          same                  42
Thigh 24 inches                         same                        same                 same
Calf 17 inches                            same                          16                   17
Arm 15 inches                           same                           14                  same
                                               Total Losses           Total Losses       Total Losses                                   
                                                  5 lbs lost               13 lbs lost               10 lbs                                
                                                3 inches lost             6 inches                 8 inches
                                              Lost last week        Lost This Week         This week
                                                       5 lbs lost                8 lbs lost                Up 3 lbs                             
                                                    3 inches lost            3 inches lost           3 inch lost

So this week I have been out side in the heat everyday working at Vacation Bible School. I did drink water but probably not enough water. I have eaten clean all week the scale and the tape measure were not so kind today. This is not cause to give up, thankfully I already know this part.
I'm going to say that very likely this being the first really hot week that I've been out in that I am likely retaining water.

I did drink more water and less of the crystal lite stuff. I've not been hungry which is good. I've not been tempted to go cheat on high carb foods.  I can't say that I've gone over board in any area.
So this week we will remember it is a journey and there are weeks where the scale and the tape mesure don't move or don't go the direction we want. My self worth is not measured by a tape measure or scale.

Here's a good article on water retention tp://

This was also a nice pdf I found on the subject:

I thought this quote from the pdf article was interesting.
  • Dehydration. If not enough water is taken in, the body cells attract fluid into themselves and when replete build up an impermeable outer wall to protect themselves from further fluid loss. Where there is not enough water circulating in the system, hormonal reactions trigger the storage of even more fluid in the body tissues, particularly the fatty tissues, causing further water retention
In all likelihood I have not drank enough water. In this heat and knowing that I have been prone to retain water in the heat in the past - I'm going to just keep on, keepin on and we'll wait and see how next week goes. 

I'm off to drink some water. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My art got featured + I got paid as a writer

Today my mosaic art got featured in this lovely collection.

and..... I got my first check as a writer.  Small beginnings but I am thrilled.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Banana Bread - Medium Carb

2 Slices Per Serving
I don't do this kind of calculating on a daily basis but every now and then particularly on treats its a good idea to know how many carbs you are adding to your day by indulging.  This recipe is low in most respects, no flour, no sugar. Made with coconut and almond flours. But we added 2 bananas. You could use banana extract but that stuff makes me gag. I'd rather have a few more carbs and real banana taste.  

1 medium banana (7 inches to 7¾ inches long): 24 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 3 grams fiber and 105 calories. So this recipe makes 4 mini loafs of banana bread. If each loaf yields 4 thick servings. Subtract the 3 grams of fiber from the 24 grams = 21 + 21 (for using two bananas) = 42 divided between 16 servings = 2.625 per serving for just the bananas. A fourth of a loaf is actually two nice slices so you could just have 1/8th and it would still be a nice treat.
 Cream the following with a mixer
1 cup butter
1 package cream cheese 
2 Cup of Splenda Granular
10 Eggs
2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 bananas 
 Add to the creamy mixture beat till smooth
2 cups Almond flour 
1 cup Coconut Fine Grated (not the powder)
2 tsp Baking Powder
Fold in the nuts 
2/3 cup of Walnuts

4 Mini Loaf Pans
Cook at 350 for 20 - 30 min 

Here's the carb break down 
1 cup butter
1 package cream cheese  (16 carbs)
2 Cup of Splenda Granular 2 cup = 48 gm carb = 96 calories You might want to get the liquid splenda the carbs are in the maltodextrin that makes it measure like sugar. Sweetzfreeze or liquid splenda is available I've put the link on the product name. I have not bought any yet - its on my list.

10 Eggs (Each egg is 0.3 grams so 10 would be 3 carbs
2 bannas = 42 carbs
2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 cups Almond flour  1cup =(1 cup or 90g) = Carbs 22.0 grams -Fiber 13.0 =  9.0x 2 cups = 18 carbs
1 cup Coconut flour   1cup = 80 carbs -48 fiber = 32 carbs
2 tsp Baking Powder
2/3 cup of Walnuts  = 3.2 carbs

Total Recipe has 162.2 carbs divided by the 16 servings  = 10.13 carbs per 1/4th a mini loaf.
A little high places that we could save some carbs would be to only use one banana or no bannas an use banana extract. Use the Sweetzfreeze liquid splenda and save 48 carbs

Just as a sweet cake bread with out bananas this would be 42 less carbs for the whole recipe
I ate one serving and it was delicious but I probably now that I see the numbers would have been happy with a half serving.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nutty Cracker like Pizza Crust

Press and roll dough into shape to cover pan

Bake at 350 for 20 min til golden.
So I am in search of the perfect pizza crust. This one was very cracker like and you could pick up the pizza - which was nice.  So it was not a disaster but it was not a we can't wait till you make it again fabulous. Good if you like a thin crispy crust.

I might use it for crackers or as nachos.

Beat 4 eggs with 4 T of olive oil. 
Add 4 cups flour sub mix ( I use flax flour, almond flour, ground coconut, 
and fine power like coconut flour) 
1/4 cup of water if needed to make dough come together. 
 Once the dough was mixed I pressed and rolled it into the pans. 
I baked it at 350 for 20 min or till golden brown. 

Now the topping was a hit. I'm sure more traditional pizza toppings would be fine. This is just what sounded good to me tonight.
I mixed 1 cup of ricotta cheese with 
1 package of cream cheese.
I added salt, pepper, garlic powder and chopped cilantro to taste. ( a pinch of this and that)
Spread that mixture over your cooked dough. 
Top with chopped chicken or turkey. 
Cover with shredded cheese. 
Spread with ricotta cream cheese mix.

Cover with meat and cheese

Put back in the oven just till the cheese melts.

I then made a quick salad  - and dressed it with a olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing ours always has a spoon full of splenda, salt, garlic powder. Basic Italian dressings.

When the pizza came out it was brought to the table and topped with the tossed salad. I drizzled mine with a bit more dressing.

Salad topped Pizza 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Progress Report #2

One of Rachels recipe idea's to try
It has been an interesting week with the 4th of July Holiday in the middle of it. We spent the holiday at my moms and I stuck to my plan but ate way too much. I did not know we would be going till the last minute so I did not have any time to prepare snacks and treats. My mom is a wonderful cook and is always great about serving things that work for me.  So I probably ate too much protein and veggis. My thinking was that if I kept my self full I would not be tempted to cheat on the many high carb foods the rest of the family was indulging in. I spent some time looking through my moms Rachael Ray magazines, and through the food pages on Penterest.  You might want to check out my low carb Penterest board. I found lots of good ideas, some will need some modification. As I get a chance I will post my versions of some of those ideas.

We left my moms Thursday morning after breakfast and I did not feel like eating the rest of the day. Even today I am not at all hungry. The thing with protein is that it take much longer to digest.

So heres the  basics of my fresh food list. 

Protein Foods: Any meat or eggs. Fish, chicken, pork, beef, (deli meats - read the labels carefully often they have hidden sugars.) Beans - I stick to black or white soy beans.

Lower Carb Vegetables include: Mushrooms, celery, radishes, asparagus, broccoli, eggplant, bell pepper, artichokes, lettuce, cucumber, green beans, spinach, collard greens, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, yellow squash, spagetti squash, snap peas. Medium Carb that I am using very sparingly if at all at his point are:  sweet potatoes, pumpkins, sweet onions.

Lowest Carb Fruits: Raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, rhubarb, lemons, limes, tomatoes, coconut. Medium Carb: peaches, apples, nectarines, kiwis, figs.  From the rest of the high carb Fruits I did have a little bit of watermelon and some cherries.

Lowest Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamias, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts, lentils chickpeas, soybeans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds

There are whole grains that I will add back in but at this point I am using flax, coconut, and almond or soy for flour substitutes. I do have some quinoa that I will use

Dairy: heavy cream, half and half, cream cheese, cheeses, butter, ricotta cheese, sour cream, (cottage cheese sparingly)

My Pantry List includes: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, oregano, poultry seasoning, Italian seasoning, paprika, chili powder, fresh herbs,  ground cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, olive oil, vegetable oil, sesame oil, Pero, balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, cider vinegar, wine vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, yellow mustard, Splenda, unsweetened almond milk, baking soda, baking powder, unsweetened baking chocolate, unsweetened cocco

So as you can see its quite a large pallet to work from. Anyway for great recipes using low carb ingredients check out George has wonderful recipe books. I have them all except the newest one at this point. They are a tremendous resource. There are also wonderful recipes posted by site members. The best part is there is no membership fees, or special products that you need to buy to live this way. Just stick to the outside edges of your grocery store for most everything you will need.

Bad Stuff - Not on the list: White Sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, white flour, white or red potatoes, trans fats, partially hydrogenated oil. Pasta, bread, processed foods.

Optional Cuts: diet soda and coffee. I seem to do better when I get off the caffeine.

This is not everything for the rest I check my handy references books to check out the carbs per serving and I read labels and make the lowest choices.

So here are my stats for this week - I'm pretty excited about having lost 8 pounds this week even with a holiday.

Starting Point  6/21          Week #1 6/28            Week #2 7/7   
Starting weight 215                    210                           202
Bust 40 inches                           same                        same
Stomach 41inches                        40                           39
Hips 46 inches                             44                          same
Thigh 24 inches                         same                        same
Calf 17 inches                            same                          16
Arm 15 inches                           same                           14
                                               Total Losses           Total Losses                                                   
                                                  5 lbs lost               13 lbs lost                                                
                                                3 inches lost             6 inches
                                              Lost last week        Lost This Week
                                                       5 lbs lost                8 lbs lost                                                    
                                                    3 inches lost            3 inches lost

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Brined Chicken a Grill Success

For years I had the worst time making chicken on the grill. It always turned out half raw, or if it was all the way cooked it was dry and charred on the out side. I stumbled upon the secret to grilled chicken success. I thought I would share it today.
 The secret is you need to first brine the chicken. Brine is easy it is a simple salt water solution.
At its most basic it is just salt and water.

I start with a small amount of hot water and about a 1/4 cup of salt and I stir that till it dissolves. I then add the hot salt water to a big pan of cold water.
To that solution I add the chicken and I let it soak at least a half an hour.

On a side note you can add other seasonings to the brine. There are times that I have added pineapple juice or apple juice.  For this version
it is just salt and water.

When the chicken had finished its little bath in the brine. I drained it and patted it dry. I use old dish towels but paper towels would work fine also. 
It is then dipped in a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper, and lots of garlic power. (Any mix of your favorite seasonings will do) I kind of cook on the fly using recipes as just a guide not a rigid set of rules to follow. I make little variations depending what I happen to have on hand and what sounds good to me at the time I am cooking.
Add caption

On the grill cook till it is no longer pink and the juices run clear. We basted each time we turned the leges.
This is the finished chicken - it turned out  delicious. We had some cold for lunch the next day too.