Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday weight explosion

Ugh... too many holiday commitments that I can't get out of, and too many holiday cookies around to tempt me... I am hoping to get out of December at the weight I entered into it!

How are you coping with all the eating out and sweets around you? I have so little willpower and I'm always hungry, too - despite eating my usual protein- and fiber-heavy foods.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

EA Active 2 - Calories burned dramatically less than More Workouts

Has anyone else encountered this yet? (I'm using the Wii without the Balance Board turned on - and yes, the BB is not enabled in the settings)

I was religious about doing the step aerobics on More Workouts - and I'd burn at least 150 calories per 10 minute segment. In particular, doing any step repeater would burn almost one full calorie per step (3 kicks = almost 1 calorie).

On Active 2, I'm lucky if I burn 100 calories in a 10 minute segment. The step repeaters burn about .2 calories instead of .8-1.0. It's dramatic. Today I got frustrated and stopped moving, and the calorie counter kept on moving (slowly but still went up). I took off the heart rate monitor in case it was based on that, and the calorie counter still moved as though I was doing the exercise.

I'm so frustrated - this was my favorite component of More Workouts and it's so inaccurate in Active 2... I was elated to not be smacking myself with the cord from the nunchuk, but I am unhappy about the calorie burned issues!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Luna Bar Lemon Zest

I needed a bar today since I knew I would need to eat while on the go. I picked up this Luna Bar yesterday to give it a try. If you're not familiar with Luna, it's "the whole nutrition bar for women", and also 70% organic.

I wanted something that wasn't chocolate (I know, a shocker!) so I went with this flavor. Unfortunately... and this is coming from someone who loves lemons... this is an 11 on the lemon-o-meter. It truly is like eating a ton of lemon zest wrapped around a bunch of soy crisps. Even after finishing it and then chugging a bunch of water, I still sit here with lemon zest flavor permeating my mouth. Fooey.

I'm also not thrilled about the 2 grams of saturated fat - why?! I should've spotted that before I bought this :(

Nutrition Facts
Calories 180
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 115 mg
Carb 27 g
Fiber 3 g
Sugars 18g
Protein 9g

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bodybugg or Gruve or some other gadget to track activity?

Hi there internets!

I really want to track my activity levels better - I would LOVE a way to track my actual calories burned throughout the day and when I'm working out.

I bought a fitbit last year - and I returned it :( It was completely unreliable on the one thing I could measure for certain - my sleep - so I didn't trust it at all on its other readings. I was heartbroken.

I like the idea of the Bodybugg, but I don't want to wear a big bulky strap around my upper arm and call attention to myself like that. (And it's really expensive!) The Gruve sounds interesting too, but also pricey - but no armband!

I also generally fear the idea of a chest-strap heart-rate monitor, as I don't even like the pressure of my bra on my chest. ;)

Any ideas? What do you use (or what would use if money was no object)?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

EA Sports Active 2 day 2

So.... today did not go so well with the new EA Sports Active 2. I wasn't allowed to do the next day of the 9 week challenge - you can't do the next workout on a previously-designated rest day. Suck. My schedule is so unpredictable, and on the previous games, I was always allowed to skip a rest day to keep on going. Not cool at all.

I did a trainer-generated full-body workout instead, and I got very frustrated. It felt like the leg sensor just wasn't working. I was doing "foot fires" and it didn't register a SINGLE move. It's like doing a squat and then running super-fast in place. Not one bleepin' motion registered. I yelled many obscenities at the tv today, I must admit. I had to skip a bunch of exercises and felt so frustrated by the end.

So I decided to try a 10 minute step aerobics workout. I love the step on the More Workouts game - been doing it a bunch - and usually I burn 160 calories in the 10 minutes on that previous game. The new game has a bunch more moves in the step workout, which is great! Also some boxing moves in there. Aaaaand... I burned only 105 calories in the 10 minutes. Why did I burn 1/3 less calories even though I was moving SO much more? I was watching the calorie count and it just crawled so slowly, it was ridiculous.

We'll see how tomorrow goes. I was definitely reminded today how much I hate the trainer's nagging when a motion doesn't register correctly - and also why I was just doing step and boxing at the end with the previous game. ;)

Total with the 2 workouts today:
33 minutes
254 calories
0.8 km
121 average heart rate
157 max heart rate

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

EA Sports Active 2 - New game!

SO EXCITED!! Thanks to the wonderful folks at EA, I received a copy of the new EA Sports Active 2 game yesterday! I've posted a lot in the past about their two previous games and have been very anxious to get into this new game.

Big changes with this one - first of all, it's available for all three platforms, not just the Wii. Each version has some differences, but for me, the Wii is still very convenient (and I liked that I could import my stats from the previous two games into here).

The biggest change of all - NO MORE NUNCHUK NEEDED!!! Seriously, I cannot express how much this improves the whole experience here. I was constantly smacking myself during many of the exercises on the previous games, because you needed to have motion sensors in each hand and the only option was to use the nunchuk. This time around, they've added a separate leg sensor (replacing the old nunchuk holder) and also a heart-rate monitor (replacing the need to hold a second sensor - the nunchuk - in your left hand). I'm excited about the heart rate monitor feature of course, but simply delighted to never need that darned nunchuk again for this game. ;)

I'll be posting about this more as I get into the game more, of course. Today I started the three week "Cardio Kick Start" but frankly, it was too beginner for me (even on medium intensity). It was only 15 minutes long, and I want to do more than that. So... time to switch challenges!

I started "The 9 Week Program" on medium intensity. Since I had just finished the other workout, I skipped the stretches and jumped right in. Tons of new exercises (and much prettier backgrounds too!), and overall much quicker loading. No longer do you need to press the "A" key twice between exercises, it just starts loading the next one when you finish the current one. Nice. Unfortunately, since you can go some time without touching the remote, you can get interrupted mid-exercise because the remote shuts off. DOH. So I try to remember to just grab the remote and press "A" between each exercise anyway. ;)

I'll try to review more of the individual exercises as I get a chance. Another big improvement here is the integration with the web - I can view a lot of my stats and goals and other details on their web site! Sweet! Nice graphs show me my calorie burn and heart rate from each individual exercise, too. Very nice.

Total with the 2 workouts today:
37 minutes
280 calories
4 km
111 average heart rate
162 max heart rate

I created a workout group on their community site if you'd like to join: group name "loseit" and password "weight"

Let me know what you think!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hungry Girl pumpkin brownies

I remember reading this recipe aaaaages ago on Hungry Girl's web site - pumpkin brownies. Basically, you take a can of pumpkin and dump it into a box of cake mix, bake and eat. You don't add anything else to the batter, so it's ridiculously thick. I had a ton of pumpkin from my garden this year, so I used pureed pumpkin instead of a can. I used a triple chocolate cake mix, and made the brownies in muffin cups. When I tasted the raw batter, I was bummed that I could pick out the pumpkin flavor. After baking though... no pumpkin! Sweet!

These aren't as brownie-like as I had hoped - definitely cakey. Fresh out of the oven, they're really good, but it is hard to limit yourself to one (or two...). Curious how they'll taste tomorrow!

Each cupcake is roughly 180 calories, so 2 of them is way more than I should have for a snack. Maybe if I had made them as mini-muffins... no, I'd still want to eat a dozen of 'em. ;)

Still doing the EA workouts several mornings a week - hoping the weight will eventually come down.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Soup giveaway winner!

Congrats to Amy on winning the Progresso soup giveaway! Enjoy your prizes :)

Hope everyone out there is doing well - I'm feeling lonely here in blogland so comment to let me know someone is reading here! :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

EA Sports Active More Workouts - trophies?

Do you play the EA Sports Active More Workouts game? If so, how are you doing on the trophies? I'm so excited that I've earned all but two of them - working out with a buddy and running all the trails. I can't figure out how to get that running all the trails though - I've done two of the six week challenges (on medium and then high intensity), but still this trophy eludes me.

Got back into the swing of things with a ~38 minute workout on it this morning - 10 minutes step A, cardio boxing, 10 minutes step B, cardio boxing again, then 10 minutes step C. Lovely start to my day. ;)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Progresso giveaway!

Progresso contacted me to do a giveaway in honor of their new "Reduced Sodium" soups - sign me up! ;)

I really like one of these soups - bought it often before they contacted me for this giveaway. ;) Their Chicken Gumbo is quite tasty. It's not too spicy and the flavors are darned good for a canned soup. I like to doctor it up a little - add a dash or two of cayenne and also throw in some shrimp. It's a very tasty dinner for me.

This prize pack includes two cans of Progresso Reduced Sodium soup, a Progresso soup mug, and a fitness ball. The fitness ball kicks butt - I've wanted one for so long, and this was easy to inflate with the included hand pump. And the mug is awesome - fits a whole can of soup and has a nice thumb rest for when you sip your soup (or hot tea like I do at work).

To enter this contest, simply reply to this post with your favorite soup for the cool fall evenings. (I'd also love to hear if you have any tips for using a fitness ball!) I'll randomly pick a winner on or around November 4.

Progresso provided me with the product, information, and prize packs through MyBlogSpark.

Friday, October 15, 2010

EA Sports Active Six Week Challenge - High intensity complete

Fun times - just finished my second EA Sports Active "More Workouts" six week challenge - this time on the high intensity setting! Whew. Each day I worked up quite a sweat doing this workout - but man, I also kept smacking myself repeatedly with the cord while doing the paddle surfing and some of the other activities. I cannot wait for the new version coming out later this year that won't require the nunchuk, so I will not hit myself.

I'm not planning on starting up another challenge right now - going to just do my own workouts with it for awhile. I like the step activity as well as the punching, so I'll stick with those. Also need to get into some other workouts too - time to throw in some DVDs every now and again.

Keep an eye out for a contest coming soon...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another EA Sports Active Challenge underway

Howdy. Not much to post these days - still on this plateau, trying to eat more protein and fewer carbs, but then I slip up one day and my weight jumps and it takes another week to come back to where it was. Fun! ;)

I found a handy little widget for calculating calories burned for walking, so I've added that to the bottom of this blog - always interesting to learn more about how your body works! :)

The day after I finished my last EA Sports Active challenge, I started a new one - this time on the high intensity setting. It ain't kidding. ;) I am working up a sweat every weekday morning before work. Hopefully someday all of this will kick in and some weight will finally come off...

Hope you're doing well!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

EA Sports Active Six Week Challenge complete

This morning I finished my "EA Sports Active More Workouts" Six Week Challenge on my Wii! I did it on the medium intensity and finished it in the six weeks.

Overall, I like this game but it definitely annoys me each day as well. ;) My enjoyment of the game has increased since turning off the trainer's prompts. ;)

I still get irritated when my moves don't register properly - the Squash game, for example, involves lunging to the left and right, and sometimes it just doesn't register my lunge - even though I'm totally lunging!

I wonder if EA has any "bigger" folks testing their games. Frankly, my thighs move and jiggle more than a skinny person's, and I think that throws things off for me with this game. The Squash game annoys me the most with this, because you have to start back at the slow speed when you miss a shot - and I'm doing the darn lunge, I didn't miss anything! - but it didn't register because my big ol' thigh is still moving.

For those of you who are not familiar with this game, it uses a strap around your thigh where you insert the Wii's nunchuk controller. The strap is neoprene and adjustable, which is handy. But the nunchuk is not wireless, so I am CONSTANTLY smacking myself with the cord when I'm using the regular controller and the nunchuk in my hands. There's a squat-then-reach-above-your-head exercise which should be renamed "smack-yourself-in-the-face-repeatedly".

There's a new version of this game coming out in the fall - "EA Sports Active 2" - which will be on the Wii and I think also the XBOX and PS3, but I'm a Wii girl all the way. This new game is going to be expensive - $100 - but will be wireless (yay!) and include a heart-rate monitor (which I'm pretty sure will only work in this game and not when doing other non-Wii things sadly). Should be interesting to see what the feedback is on this new one.

I'm also very curious about the new "Gold’s Gym Dance Workout" game for the Wii - I do love to dance, but I hated the "Just Dance" game - it was such a letdown and I didn't feel like I was doing much that was fun. Feh. I am so apprehensive of buying exercise video games because I *hated* that stupid Jillian Michaels game (bought it the day it came out - big mistake there!) and also didn't care for Your Shape or that Just Dance either.

Any video games getting you to move more these days?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The seesaw continues

Thankfully right now I'm on the downswing on the scale - finally (!) seeing a beloved green "down" arrow on ;)

Still chugging along on the EA Sports Active More Workouts six week challenge - I think I have three workouts to go. I'm debating if I'm going to start another challenge (on hard this time instead of medium), or give the Wii Fit (plus?) another try. I am *really* intrigued by the upcoming EA Sports Active 2 coming out in mid-November - NO CORDS!! I cannot tell you how many times I smack myself in the head or belly or other places with the damn cord from the nunchuck while playing the current EA Sports Active games. It's unbelievably annoying. Also very curious to see how the heart rate monitor feature works. The price is way high though - $100. (Hey EA, I'd love to review the game for this blog!) ;)

Hope the week is treating all of you well.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Yesterday's 10k

I participated in a 10k yesterday morning - "Race to the End of Summer". It was the first time event from these folks, and man, it was a let down for a 10k walker like me. There were about 600 participants total (5k and 10k), and I think maybe 10 folks walked the 10k total (I assume more folks walked the 5k, based on the timing results).

The route was poorly planned - it was an out-and-back route. It's a little hard to describe, but shortly beyond the turn-around point for the 5k, you passed right by the finish line area (a weird loop). Anyway, when I was on my way back and passed that area, all of the runners were done of course, and I heard some guy on the speakers going on about "there's an emergency - we're down to the last bottle of..." and I couldn't tell what. I don't know what that was all about, but it made for a big amount of willpower to continue to finish the rest of the course instead of cutting through and finishing early.

Sadly, by sticking to the course and finishing it out, there was almost nothing left at the post-race area. I couldn't even find water. There was some coffeecake (though I love the local restaurant chain Hobee's and their coffeecake - and love them for supporting these races - I just really didn't want coffeecake!), and some cut bananas that were left over from before the race. Apparently there had been smoothies (from the "Smoothie King") but those were all gone. I saw a little cup of granola from the Bare Naked granola folks, but there was a swarm of people around there so I skipped it.

All of the racing events out here always have a ton of kids volunteering (high schoolers, perhaps?). I only see them on the route, in clusters at various points to "cheer" you along. There were a couple of water stops along the way and these kids were only looking in one direction so I had to weave through 'em to get past. It was weird. Anyway, these kids who volunteer ended up with nicer gift bags than the participants who paid to do the event! I saw them with lululemon bags - and there wasn't even anything from lululemon in the participant bags! Very weird.

(Am I old-fashioned or simply bitter for these kids getting gifts for volunteering? I know community service is a requirement for them, but when I was in school and did community service, we got nothing besides a warm thank you! Certainly never got a gift nicer than the people who paid to attend!)

Anyway, I was really frustrated when the event was over because I couldn't find water and the only food options that were left were those gross bananas and some coffeecake (again, tasty coffeecake but not what I wanted right then!). I came home and chugged a liter of water and then a protein shake. Feh.

At least I got my steps for the day finished before 10am. ;)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Red Mango Frozen Yogurt

I am totally addicted to frozen yogurt. I love this tart froyo trend, and the self-serve places are terribly addictive too. However, my favorite place for quality tart froyo is Red Mango. It's all-natural with probiotics and all kinds of other good things in it. They've got a number of flavors, but I always just stick with the original (tart) flavor. No artificial sweeteners in there, which I appreciate.

You could be all healthy and get it with no toppings - or just fruit toppings like this photo. But I cannot resist two of their toppings. Mochi is a Japanese rice-based chewy candy of sorts, and it is tasty (and available at most froyo places). Red Mango's unique topping is their Ghiradelli dark chocolate mini chips. I LOVE these things. They are tiny - which is perfect for froyo so you're not getting a mouth full of chocolate with no room for the frozen treat. And they're dark, which is very tasty. Highly recommended.

Just watch out for the portions - their nutritional info on their web site shows a serving size at 1/2 cup, but the small size is 1.4 servings, regular is 2.3 and large is 3.5.

Nutrition Facts per 1/2 cup
Calories 90
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat 0
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 125 mg
Carb 20 g
Fiber 0 g
Sugars 18g
Protein 3g

Friday, September 3, 2010

Met with a dietician

I finally met with a dietician today to discuss my weight and diet. She thinks I should be eating more, and also that I should go for a low-carb high-protein diet for awhile. I don't have the paperwork in front of me, but my BMR is 1750 or so, and she said I shouldn't be eating less than that - which surprises me. I thought I just was supposed to stay above 1200 calories, net after subtracting calories burned with exercise.

She wants me to eat 200 grams of protein and 135 grams of carbs a day (and 1800-2000 calories total). Sparkpeople says 1,240 - 1,590 calories, including 60 - 130 grams of protein and 168 - 242 grams of carbs. So... that's a bit different.

It's going to be challenge to get in that much protein, that's for sure. Lots of egg whites, chicken breasts, Greek yogurt and protein powder. She suggested 2 protein shakes to help max out my protein - the powder I bought is 25g each serving, so two of 'em hits 25% of my protein for the day.

I figure I'll give it a try. I've read so much about the low-carb diets and how they're not sustainable, but they do help people drop some weight to start. I feel like my body needs a kick in the pants, so to speak, so maybe this will help. Or maybe I'll just gain all the weight back and be obese forever. Oy.

DiGiorno Deep Dish Pepperoni pizza

I don't remember how I got it, but I had a coupon for a free DiGiorno Deep Dish pizza that was expiring, so we decided to pick it up for dinner. The coupon was max value of $3.30, but one store had it for $4.79 and the other store had it for $3.79, so we bought it at the second store. Crazy that the base price at our local groceries is always higher than the max value of coupons for a free product, but that's another rant for another day...

Anyway, yes, this is a healthy living blog, so why am I talking about pizza? Well, this pizza claims it is two servings, and one serving is a mere 300 calories so it would work into a healthy-ish diet for a rare occasion.

Side rant: this pizza's total weight is 7.5 ounces. I didn't measure the pizza before we ate it, but the box is only six inches along the side. This is not two servings.

Additional rant: the nutrition facts don't add up. One serving - 1/2 the pizza - is 300 calories, but the whole pizza is 590 calories. C'mon. We're not stupid.

OK, so - did it taste good? NO! I'm from Chicago, I know deep dish pizza. This never even met a deep dish pizza. It never saw a photo of a pizza. It was pathetic. I get more satisfaction from the pepperoni pizza Lean Pocket. What a ridiculous waste of money and fat. The crust was butterlicious, but I had to go find something else to eat and felt ripped off for those 300 calories.

Nutrition Facts for 1/2 pizza : whole pizza
Calories 300 : 590
Total Fat 17g : 33g
Saturated Fat 8g : 16 g
Trans Fat 0g : 1g
Cholesterol 25mg : 45mg
Sodium 470mg : 950mg
Total Carbohydrate 26g : 52g
Dietary Fiber 2g : 4g
Sugars 2g : 4g
Protein 12g : 24g

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Nabisco 100 Calorie Fudge Petites Mint Fudge Chocolate Shortbread

New! A new 100 calorie pack from Nabisco!

Notice the fine print... there are only 5 packs in this box. The "regular" 100 calorie boxes come with 6 packs. This new product is the same price as the others. I am *not* pleased with the ol' grocery-shrink-ray action here.

But I am a chocolate addict, and I love nothing more than chocolate and mint. So I had to buy a box to give it a try. And... I won't be buying another box. These are okay. They've got this white chocolatey coating on the bottom which is a little odd. The flavor is okay, but frankly, these are not as good as the Keebler 100 Calorie Grasshopper cookies. And the loss of one pack from the box is the nail in the coffin on this one. Lame move, Nabisco.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 100
Total Fat 4.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 95 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 7 g
Protein 1 g

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nabisco 100 Calorie Chips Ahoy Double Chocolate Chip cookies

Enough of my whining about my weight. ;)

Back to more tasty reviews!

I like the 100 calorie pack concept - especially when the company comes up with an unique product that you can't get otherwise. These little Nabisco Chips Ahoy "Fudge-Drizzled" double-chocolate chip cookies are a good example.

Like most 100 calorie packs, you don't get a ton of cookies, so you definitely need to slow down and savor. ;) These have a nice chocolate flavor base, and then you get the bonus of chocolate chips and that fudge drizzle. They hit the chocolate spot for me. I would (and have!) buy them again.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 100
Total Fat 4.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 95 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 7 g
Protein 1 g

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Well... crap.

My step total for the month is 359400 - 115.94% of the 10k-a-day-pace!

My highest month before this one was 67.77% of pace, so you can probably guess why I've gained weight this year.

So you'd think this month I'd lose some, right? Well, you'd be wrong. 4.6 pounds up for the month. FEH! I am so completely and utterly frustrated by this. I'm 19 pounds higher than I was a year ago today - and even then, I was so frustrated by the plateau I'd been on for months. Well, no plateau these days - the scale just keeps inching up. Ugh.

Trying to not give up hope though. As always, if I can average just a little over 2.0 pounds lost each week, I could hit my goal by my birthday. I feel like I've been saying some variation of this for the past two years, so I'm feeling like a broken record. Gotta break this trend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Couldn't say it better myself

Go read this post on the "Eat Nothing Diet" over at Big Fat Deal - they're highlighting why I hate most mainstream media. Thanks for making everyone think they can achieve the impossible.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Still walking & moving

and of course, still 2.4 pounds back over that goal #1. Ugh! Gaining 4.6 pounds in THREE days sucks! This week, I'll be out of town Friday-Monday, so who knows what will happen to my weight then. I'll be trying to get in some activity, but I'll be doing a lot of driving and then staying with friends and won't have access to a gym or my Wii. ;)

Sidenote: my experiences with the EA Sports Active More Workouts is improving as I have turned off the trainer prompts - much less irritating. ;)

I am determined to get in my 310,000 steps for August! I'm at 260,000 right now - three days ahead of pace (which is good with that mini-vacation coming up...)

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Though my weight is continuing to trouble me, I am at least moving more. Every weekday morning this past week I've worked out with the EA Sports Active More Workouts, and then done some walking in the evenings. Tonight I did a long walk and have a longer one planned for tomorrow. I've completely failed on that 10,000 steps a day thing I did in 2008 & 2009 - but I'm trying to average that 10k a day for each day the rest of the year. Hopefully moving more will naturally draw my weight down...

Goal #1 not met!

Doh. So four days of work lunches and dinners, shockingly I gained weight and that goal #1 weight is long gone. DOH! I *will* see that weight again in a few days - it simply must happen!

Still trucking along with that EA Sports Active More Workouts 6 week challenge. Sweating my butt off every morning before work. ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Goal #1 met!

as previously posted:
Goal #1: 2 more pounds to go to get back to where I was before disastrous weekend a few days ago.
Goal #2: 11 more pounds to get back to where I was a year ago this month.
Goal #3: 5 pounds to the "overweight", also the weight I was before our big vacation last summer.
Goal #4: only 8 pounds to hit that magical 100 pounds weight lost.
(then it's only 24 pounds to go after that for the big goal!)

Today I met goal #1! Hooray! It's super-frustrating that it took me two weeks to undo what I did in a mere two days though... ouch! And I've got four dinners out this week, and then a mini-vacation next weekend... I have a feeling goal #2 is going to be awhile, but I'm trying to keep on keepin' on. ;) If I weigh less or the same as the day before, I'll take it. ;)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Still chugging along

The scale is slowly (very slowly!) inching down - I'll take any progress in the right direction! ;)

I'm trying to get through the EA Sports Active 6 week challenge, but boy, that game can sure annoy me at times. I'm really hoping the new version coming out this fall is a lot more accurate - it really irritates me when the "trainer" is scolding me for not doing something right, but I AM doing it right and yelling back at the TV. ;)

and for the first time this year, I am on pace for my 10,000 steps a day for the month! Hopefully I can get some quality walks in this month.

How is life treating you these days? ;)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Still not to goal #1

...and instead exactly where I was on Wednesday. Doh! Had lost almost a pound, but then sushi dinner, birthday party, and then a different birthday cake over the weekend, and that pound is back. Doh!

I got swamped with chores and social gatherings and didn't work out this weekend, but did take a quick walk at the office today and then a 45 minute walk after dinner. (The problem with walking after dinner - it makes me hungry!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

EA Sports Active More Workouts revisited

Whew, I hadn't touched the EA Sports Active More Workouts Wii game in months (it politely did not tell me *exactly* how long though). Tonight I started a new 6 week challenge, so we'll see if I can actually finish it. ;) (I'll be out of town for four nights later this month, but that's no excuse to not finish this time.)

Anyway, I was quickly reminded of some things that annoy me about this game - the FIRST exercise (after the stretching) didn't work as expected. Squats with a knee raise, and it didn't register that I was doing the squat. After re-squatting a few times, it finally registered (and all the remaining squats were without incident). Doing the "Squash" mini-game left-handed was *completely* backwards for me - literally, lunging left when it said to lunge right. When I did was it said, it didn't register - but when I did the opposite, it registered. Blargh. I can't do this game when anyone is home, because I express my discontent with the game's recognition of my movements sometime.

I did work up a nice sweat though, so that's more than I did last week on an off night. ;) I do like the stretches at the end as well. Good (sweaty) times.

Small goals

So right now, I have 50 pounds to lose to get to the "normal" weight range according to my BMI.
18 pounds to get back to "overweight" (instead of obese, where I am now - and morbidly obese, where I started).

I'm looking at even smaller goals.
Goal #1: 2 more pounds to go to get back to where I was before disastrous weekend a few days ago.
Goal #2: 11 more pounds to get back to where I was a year ago this month.
Goal #3: 5 pounds to the "overweight", also the weight I was before our big vacation last summer.
Goal #4: only 8 pounds to hit that magical 100 pounds weight lost.
(then it's only 24 pounds to go after that for the big goal!)

I'd really, really like to get that 100 pounds goal by the end of the year. Of course, I've been saying that for two years now. It's crazy. I lost so much weight in 2007, and then 2008 everything stalled... and stalled in 2009... and then reversed in 2010! Yikes!

To help reach my goals:
- physical activity every single day (Monday short walk with husband, Tuesday long walk by myself, Wednesday pilates, Thursday...)
- tracking everything in SparkPeople again

Let's do eeeeeeeet!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Getting back on the wagon

I need a better cliche here. ;)

So, 2010 has not been a good year for weight loss for me. I've basically gained 20 pounds this year - ugh! A combination of eating not-as-well and not exercising nearly as much will do that to you. I'm way off my 10,000 steps a day pace that I maintained in 2008 & 2009. Just got very busy with work and house and my exercise fell off.

As of tonight, I am 50.8 pounds away from my goal. My birthday is just over 6 months away. Would be amazing to hit my goal by my birthday. It would only be 1.79 pounds a week. That's all. TOTALLY DOABLE! Now to actually *do* it. ;)

First goal is to hit 310,000 steps for the month of August (4 days in and I'm already behind, but not by too much - 38400).

(and only 2.42 pounds a week would get me to goal by the end of the year...)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Still here

Still gaining weight. :( Will be posting more soon, and getting back into the walking & working out side of things too.

Hope y'all are doing well! :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Elimination diet aftermath

So kids, what did we learn over the last four weeks?

Not too much, sadly. I think I've got some issues with some dairy (cow and sheep but not goat), coffee, duck eggs and maybe some wheat. Too much rice gets to me as well.

My weight did drop, but then it's gone up dramatically over the past two weeks (still a couple pounds down from where I started a month ago though). Very frustrating, of course.

Wish I could figure out my body, and what the "key" is to unlock some weight loss...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Elimination diet, day twenty-eight

Last day! WOOHOO!

For my last day, cow's milk was on the agenda. I eagerly went to my beloved Red Mango for frozen yogurt for lunch. Tart frozen yogurt with mochi, dark chocolate chips and mango. SO TASTY. Oh frozen yogurt, how I have missed you. However, my body... I did have some big time stomach gurgling shortly after eating the froyo. Nothing awful, but definitely uncomfortable. Hrm.

I am still having that weird burning in my esophagus, but let's see what the next day or two brings as I come back to eating "normally". (A friend suggested yogurt to help the heartburn, actually!)

Overall... no huge epiphanies during this elimination diet, but definitely need to keep an eye on the dairy and the wheat and the rice.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Elimination diet, day twenty-seven

I am so glad there's only one more day of this. ;) And tomorrow I can finally go get my beloved frozen yogurt - tomorrow's item is cow's milk. ;)

Today is coffee. I had about a half-cup of really dark and really nasty coffee this morning, and lo, my belly started rumbling shortly thereafter (and the rest of the day). Uncool. I never drink coffee, and clearly now have less of a desire to do so again.

Still have that super-annoying esophagus-burn going on, but doesn't seem to improve without wheat or get worse with wheat (had some shredded wheat this afternoon), so not sure what's going on there. I *really* want something cold and creamy to soothe it, so it should be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.

Red Mango, I am coming to you tomorrow - original tart frozen yogurt with mochi, please! :D

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Elimination diet, day twenty-six

Despite my not-eating-most-of-the-BBQ-things yesterday, I still gained weight. I'm thinking the pork was salty and I know it was fatty, so hopefully the weight will settle down soon. But jeez, I am back up four pounds from my lowest weight two weeks ago. Thanks, body!

Still have the wacky heartburn - burning esophagus, actually. Very lame.

But today was chocolate, and I was not to be deterred. I had some fantastic dark-chocolate covered roasted cacao nibs from the wonderful TCHO folks. (I won them in a post-Easter contest so they were in small carrot-shaped bags, very cute.) I've had cacao nibs before and never much cared for them, but enrobed in some darned tasty dark chocolate, they work for me. ;) Portion control, as always, is the issue...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Elimination diet, day twenty-five

Today was peanuts - no reactions there, thankfully. I do love some peanut butter though - so bad for my thighs, but so freakin' tasty.

Memorial Day, so of course we went to a BBQ at a friend's house. Again, very difficult to eat out while doing this elimination diet. I brought two turkey burgers and a big fruit salad. Unfortunately, one of the turkey burgers was sacrificed to the grill gods, but thankfully the host's BBQ'd pork shoulder was okay for me to eat (no sauce, just paprika and salt). The fruit salad was a huge hit, which sadly meant no leftovers for me. ;) But everything else was off-limits - a blueberry coffee cake, flour tortillas, cheese, sour cream, carne asada (don't know what it was marinated in at the store), potato salad, macaroni salad (with bacon *and* cheese), and then an insane chocolate/cream cheese cake. And chips and cheetos and such as well. Sigh.

When I'm done with this elimination diet, I still will have to watch what I eat like a hawk. I will have a bite or two of that cake, but I can't go overboard like everyone else did - I was kinda surprised to see how much food everyone ate! And the fruit salad was the only moderately healthy option! Aie!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Elimination diet, day twenty-four

Goat's milk was up today - yay GOAT CHEESE! Love love love goat cheese, so that was nice to have again today.

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I got some unpleasant esophagus-burning on Friday afternoon, and it hasn't gone away still as I write this. WTF. Not sure if that was a reaction to the wheat - but I haven't had any wheat since Friday, yet the pain remains. I could technically try wheat again tomorrow, but I'm going to wait until this throat-burning goes away first.

Glad to see the finish line ahead (Thursday!) but I need to get sharply focused on losing weight once this is done.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Elimination diet, day twenty-three

Today, chicken and chicken eggs. Very exciting. Had scrambled eggs for breakfast and it was fine. I've been having some wacky heartburn the past two days though, not sure what that's all about. And a headache. Annoying. Perhaps a reaction to the wheat? Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.

The other annoying thing is of course, my weight and my insatiable appetite. I'm hungry all the time these days and rarely ever feel satisfied. Very lame.

but tomorrow, goat's milk! Yay chevre! :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Elimination diet, day twenty-two

Today - WHEAT! Oh man, the excitement. I enjoyed a whole-wheat bagel this afternoon (thanks to Whole Foods for posting the ingredients so clearly, I knew it was safe for my diet), and then I made some awesome lemon cookies with whole-wheat flour tonight that had no dairy. I don't know if these would be so tasty if I hadn't gone three weeks without wheat... but hey, I enjoyed 'em. But the odd part is that I can't have wheat again for the next three days, so I had to eat all the cookies I made. It's a hard life... (and yes, I'm sure I'll see a huge weight gain in the morning).

I have overall felt pretty bleh today - had a headache when I woke up and haven't shaken it yet. Fooey. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Elimination diet, day twenty-one

Hey sugah, how you doin?

Today, cane sugar was my big item. So I just made some rice pudding with the last bit of my plain unflavored soy milk. Y'know... sugar makes a big difference! Nice stuff.

I am sad that my weight keeps creeping up though. One more week of this "diet" and then I need to get focused on actually losing weight again.

Tomorrow is the big test - wheat!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Elimination diet, day twenty

Woo, day 20! Getting closer! ;)

Today is sheep's milk products. I looked a lot, but couldn't find any sheep's milk yogurt or even milk. I was so excited to get cheese though!

I sliced some sheep's milk gouda onto my millet bread and put it into the toaster oven. Awesomeness. I love love love melty cheese. Not having any sort of any dairy for three weeks... I miss it! However, I was surprised at how oily the cheese was. 

Today's the only day I get the sheep's milk though. No new dairy for 4 days to see how things go (but then it's goat's milk, and I *adore* goat cheese!)

Unfortunately, I did have a problem with it - some, uhm, intestinal issues three hours later.  Ugh.  Wonder if I really do have some sort of a lactose intolerance, or if it was just my body going "whoa, what's this that I haven't had for three weeks?".  We'll find out on Sunday I guess when I try the next one.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Elimination diet, day nineteen

This sucks when you're not feeling well, because I can't eat any of my comfort foods. Blargh. At least the all-fruit smoothies at Jamba Juice are good to go, or I'd eat my arm. Tomorrow I get sheep's milk products, so CHEESE! Finally, cheese! Awesomeness. ;)

No new discoveries on the food intolerance side of things. Less than 10 days to go!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Elimination diet, day eighteen

Today was rye and shrimp. Had rye crisp crackers with breakfast (meh) and shrimp with dinner (yum). No reactions going on right now. My weight has flatlined - up two pounds from my lowest a week ago, but overall still down from where I started so that's good.

The rest of the diet is just one or two things a day, since it's up to the higher-likelihood items. Overall so far it seems like I don't really have many issues, which is great news! Glad that it seems like no major issues with barley or rye or rice or oats! Wheat will be the big one, and various milks too. Seems like no glaring answers as to why I'm not losing weight though... hrm.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Elimination diet, day seventeen

Today I totally failed on what I was supposed to try - yeast. I couldn't figure out how the hell to do this one without flour. I bought "nutritional yeast" at the grocery, but it's actually processed with sugarcane - and I don't touch cane sugar until day 21. So I guess it will wait until then!

I did find simple plain boring corn flakes that were not sweetened with extra things, so I thoroughly enjoyed nibbling on that, and then having a bowl of it with soy milk later on. The unsweetened soy milk is really dull, but it did the trick.

I also found a wheat-free bread that works! No added forbidden sugars. So exciting. So very expensive, too. I'm glad that so far it doesn't seem like I have a gluten issue - no problem with barley or oats yet. Going gluten-free seems like an expensive endeavor, and my heart goes out to those who have to deal with all of that.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Elimination diet, day sixteen

Today is the day of corn. I like corn, so this is good. Also: popcorn. ;) Relatively boring day today with the food. Tomorrow is a challenge that I still haven't figured out - yeast. But no flour. Hrm.

Had a big weight gain this morning - too much salt yesterday I think? It's frustrating.

This sore throat is still kicking my butt, too. Sucks.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Elimination diet, day fifteen

More of the same around here - sore throat is still kicking my butt, and I had some sort of a late-night reaction to something yesterday. Maybe the soy? I don't know - I'll have to try to sort that out.

I'm getting dragged down by this, that's for sure - I'm having dreams about food and breaking this diet, and that's not healthy! Less than two weeks to go - I should be able to do this!!

I got my first food from "outside" today - went to Jamba Juice for an all-fruit smoothie. I got the "five fruits" one, which is just fruit and juice, no added sugars or anything, and all the fruits are on my diet. It was nice to have that cold smooth texture for my throat.

Not eating out has been one of the big challenges - I've most certainly never cooked this much in my life! ;)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Elimination diet, day fourteen - HALFWAY DONE! ;)

Woo, halfway there!

However, this sore throat thing is terribly annoying. I'm also really tired and blah. I called my doctor's office this morning and they had me come in since it sounded like strep - but the rapid strep test came back negative, so that's good. They also did a throat culture but probably won't hear back until Monday on that, and hopefully I'll be feeling fantastic by then. ;)

Back to the elimination diet! Today I was supposed to tackle salmon, ginger and oats. I made steel-cut oats for breakfast (tasty but not sure if it's worth the effort), and did salmon sashimi for lunch. But I bailed on the ginger - I know I have issues with it, so I couldn't do it for breakfast or lunch due to meetings at work this afternoon. So perhaps I will get the guts to do it tomorrow morning (and then perhaps the rest of the day in the bathroom, blargh).

I've hit the majority of the quantity in this elimination diet, and now the focus turns to just an item or two each day, since these are higher-allergenic foods. My weight, surprisingly, has gone back up - I had been down 10 pounds from the start, but I've gained almost two pounds back. I think it's all the brown rice that I've been eating the past few days. Need to get more variety in my carbs!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Elimination diet, day thirteen

Have I mentioned this sore throat problem? It's really annoying me. Blargh.

Today was soy - and after some struggle, I finally found a brand of soy milk that's just soy and water - nothing else added. Crazy how almost all soy milks have added sweeteners and other things (and don't get me started on almond and rice milks...). Anyway, I used some leftover brown rice today to make RICE PUDDING! Alas, rice pudding usually has an egg and also sugar, but mine wasn't too bad - added some maple syrup to get some sweetness. Cinnamon, too.

Also, today was barley - never cooked it before, and it's a hassle - soaking overnight and then an hour on the stove (and even on my lowest heat, it boiled over like mad). But it was relatively tasty, and something I hope to incorporate into my diet going forward.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Elimination diet, day twelve

Hrm, seemed like I had some sort of reaction to the dried garlic and dried onion yesterday - will have to try them individually to narrow it down. Also, I had to put so much salt on the venison to make it palatable, I am blaming that for the nearly 1 pound weight gain overnight. Feh.

Today was beef! Woo! Also, potato. And sesame seeds/tahini. So combined with the citrus, garlic and chickpeas from the past few days, I enjoyed some hummus today! I wussed out and didn't make it from scratch, but it was a challenge to find a pre-made hummus that didn't contain added oils! Odd. I really like this new-to-me brand that I bought - Oasis Mediterranean Cuisine.

Anyway. Woke up with a massively sore throat, so that was odd. And I'm really tired. I think I've finally caught a cold or something - made it through winter without anything like that, but this might finally have caught up with me. I'm also struggling with a lot of hunger - I have a lot of trouble trying to get to a "satiated" place. I just want to constantly eat. This is annoying.

I also want something creamy and cold, which I don't really have right now. I made a smoothie with banana, blueberries and strawberries tonight, and put half of it in the freezer for tomorrow. I get soy tomorrow - so I could try some soy milk perhaps, but I want my froyo. ;)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Elimination diet, day eleven

Oh onion and garlic, how I've missed you. I cooked lentils with dried onion and dehydrated garlic for lunch, and oh my goodness, I can't tell you how delighted I was by the aromas in my house. Onion and garlic are amongst my favorites - I probably should've only used one of them in this first dish, but I couldn't resist.

I failed to incorporate new proteins today though - I had leftover duck breast that I cooked yesterday, and then a portion of ground venison left to cook as well. I was supposed to try cod/sole yesterday, but didn't get to it (because I finally found the duck a few days too late, I did it yesterday while ie was still fresh). So I'll push the cod to the weekend when I have two days with no new proteins (it's frozen anyway)

The venison, even with onion and oregano and cumin and black beans... still not a meat for me.

Tomorrow is exciting - beef! potatoes! coconuts!

Elimination diet, day ten aftermath

So yesterday kinda sucked. Went for a hike with friends, and that was good - a bit strenuous at times, which is definitely good (not that I didn't whine at the time!). But afterwards it was really difficult with the barbecue. My friends were curious about the elimination diet, and we made a fruit salad (with mango in another bowl, since I can't eat that yet), which was good. But I didn't bring enough variety for me. I had my venison burgers (which were meh - needed some flavoring in there but I forgot to add anything ahead of time), and the fruit salad. Oh, and some baby carrots. And there were so many incredible smells at the table - I think four or five different meats and sauces and stuff, and then of course, dessert later was insane. And I had fruit salad.

So yeah, that sucked. Trying to think of how I would've handled it if I wasn't on the elimination diet - there was chicken breast, so I probably would've had mostly that, with very little extra sauce. I would've had a rib, because I can't resist 'em. And I would need to try to resist on the desserts - split one of each of the two things maybe? Would I have been strong enough to only split one of them?

It was especially tough when everyone was eating dessert. I kinda hung out in the hallway outside the kitchen so I didn't have to watch everyone. One of the desserts was a chocolate cupcake topped with sea salt - and one of the guys cracked a joke that I could have the salt from the top. Kinda sucked even more. I *really* wanted a bite, you have no clue how good everything smelled! But I knew if I did that, I'd have to start over on this, and I don't want to throw away the ten days I've done. (Honestly, I'd probably just re-do the first four days with lamb/pears/rice/lentils and then jump back into day 10, but STILL, that would suck!) I just am really, really not used to completely depriving myself of something like that. I would've loved one bite, and I need to try to have that mentality going forward - just a small bite of a treat, not two whole desserts like some others had. Social eating is difficult!

There was a good thing from this though, and I'm really trying to focus on the good things here because that was pretty rough last night - normally I've noticed that when I exercise more, I tend to not actually lose weight. I think I tend to overcompensate on calories and such afterward as a "treat", and then get frustrated the next day when the scale goes up instead of down. But I did actually lose a little weight yesterday, which feels good. Although oddly this morning I feel a bit nauseated again, which happened a couple days ago, and is very annoying.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Elimination diet, day ten

Awwww, just in time for me to eat strawberries on my diet, my garden produces its first strawberry of the season. Awww! ;)

This afternoon I'm going to a barbecue at a friend's house, which should be interesting - I'm bringing my own food (venison burgers to grill, baby spinach & carrots, and strawberries & pineapple) which *should* satiate me... but I know there is going to a ton of food that I just can't have at all, and I'm sure it's going to smell fantastic and look great too. ;)

It's interesting that as I've been "dieting" over the previous 4938 years, I've never been this strict about anything food-related. I'll always have a "bite" of something that tempts me. I think this elimination diet is showing me that I can be strict if I need to - but I should of course also allow for treats when possible. Unfortunately, except for some fruits, right now treats aren't possible - but I'm over 25% through this diet and I don't want to blow it.

I'm 13 pounds from my short-term goal (which I'd like to hit by the end of July), 37 pounds from my long-term goal (which I'd like to hit by the end of the year). I CAN DO IT! ;)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Elimination diet, day nine

The hardest thing about this so far has been the pressure to find the right protein for each day. It can be insane! Luckily, I've got my protein for today and the next two days squared away, so that's good.

The thing I learned today is that it's hard to go out without planning about food - I ended up delaying lunch by three (!!) hours because I was out and running errands (looking for these silly proteins actually) and got trapped without something appropriate to eat. I ended up inhaling a banana while walking to another store at one point.

No major food reactions today, yay! Today was testing the rice/lamb/pears, and I had brown rice twice but no reaction (the first day I had some serious stomach and intestinal grumblings which I thought were because of the brown rice, but perhaps was just my body settling into things?)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Elimination diet, day eight

Ugh, I think the duck eggs did not agree with me. I didn't care for the taste - they were extra thick and just an odd texture overall. I woke up at 3:30am this morning very nauseated, which sucks! Couldn't completely shake that feeling all day. Feh.

Today I tried buckwheat groats for breakfast (not bad), along with honey and peaches. Almonds and sunflower seeds were also tried. Bison for my dinner, with some cherries for dessert.

Tomorrow I go back to the lamb/rice/pears to see if any of those things trigger a response. Also add in a few other items, which is always good.

Though I'm trying to not focus on this entirely as a weight loss thing, I am happy to note that I did lose a little yesterday. ;)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Elimination diet, day seven

Big lesson learned - buy the food you need (especially proteins) the day BEFORE you need to eat it. I spent over two hours tonight trying to find some duck, my protein for today. I found a place with frozen duck breasts but I'd have to buy the package (3 of 'em) for almost $30, and that wasn't going to happen. Another place had a whole frozen duck, also about $30, and I'm no butcher. WTF with me not being able to find a simple single duck breast? I should've gone to a French restaurant and just asked if I could buy one off them.

Finally, I found duck eggs at an Asian grocery (sold out of grown ducks). However, if you need pork uterus, I know where to send you now. Blargh.

One thing to note is that my stomach ends up hurting when I get stressed out, and I definitely got stressed during this shopping madness this evening - so my belly is hurting and I have to hope it's because of that and not because of something I ate. Feh!

Anyway, yesterday was the first day I didn't lose weight on this - gained 0.2 pounds, which is negligible but still, every other day I've lost at least a half pound. I think I overdid it with the sweet potatoes, so perhaps that caused something to change.

Today was millet with banana for breakfast, tuna sashimi for lunch, banana and walnuts for a snack and some baby carrots later, and the duck eggs (scrambled) for dinner along with pineapple. I am now slipping on some of the things I'm supposed to have tried - yesterday was peppermint/oregano/basil (just didn't sound good on yesterday's fish and today's scrambled eggs), maple syrup (meant to try it with the millet) and rhubarb (it's in the fridge, just too tired to try to figure it out right now). I'll try to catch up one those in the next day or two, though tomorrow I get honey so I'd probably push the maple syrup to another day.

Tomorrow's protein is rabbit, but I don't really eat rabbit, and I didn't see any in all of my shopping tonight, so my plan is to try a different protein that's not on my list for any of the other days: bison. I enjoyed some tasty frozen bison burgers from Trader Joe's a couple weeks ago, so should be good to make sure it's a good fit for my intestines! ;)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Elimination diet, day six

A new day, new things! Woo!

This morning, I had red quinoa for breakfast with some dried currants. Loved loved loved the currants - tasted like candy after so little sugar for the past few days. The quinoa was okay - I could see making this again with a recipe of things to add to it.

Lunch was halibut and sweet potato - sauteed the fish and sliced the sweet potato into fries and baked those off. Halibut was good but would've been better with lemon. ;) Enjoyed the sweet potato fries so much that I bought another sweet potato and made more of the fries for dinner. ;) Dinner was fresh tuna and the sweet potato fries. I also had some watermelon earlier.

Interestingly, my pilates class tonight kicked my butt more than usual - I think the incomplete diet isn't ideal when working out hard. Eep! Muscle cramps and twitches are not ideal. I'm off my multivitamin while doing this elimination diet, but by the time I have my next class in a week, I'll have a more balanced diet.

Didn't see much intolerance today, which is good. Had an odd half-hour of intestinal cramping but it went away when I ate the halibut. I'm used to having more protein with my breakfast and I think that might be messing with my body a bit.

Yet more things to try tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Elimination diet, day five

Woo, new things! I am excited to be moving along in this diet and getting to add new things. Today: the mustard family, kiwi fruit and flaxseed. I'm trying to hit two items in each "family" when I add one, so today it's kale and cauliflower. Had kiwi with breakfast and it was very tasty as usual - tasted extra sweet to me.

Tried kale with lunch - lamb and lentils in kale cups (like lettuce cups). Can't say that I like kale raw. Maybe it's better in a chicken-broth application, but this was just ick. Lunch today was definitely my least favorite meal so far.

Dinner was yet more lamb and brown rice pasta, with roasted cauliflower. I really don't like the smell of cauliflower - and I kept burping it up for an hour or two afterwards. Ew. Maybe it would've been better with some garlic or something, but just plain roasted (with a touch of olive oil) was meh. Roasted the rest of my pears for dessert - not bad, but would've been miles better with a touch of brown sugar or maple syrup. ;)

Tomorrow, I'm off the lamb/rice/pear/lentils for a few days to later test them to see if I react to them. But new proteins and my life goes wild! ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Elimination diet, day four

My last day with just pear, rice, lamb and lentils! Woohoo! Tonight I tried some ground lamb with the brown rice pasta and it was almost tasty. ;) With any sort of seasoning, I'm sure it would be good. Tried baking some pears tonight but didn't bake them long enough. ;) Also would've been improved with some cinnamon and perhaps a smidge of sugar or butter.

I did have more brown rice today and I'm having a little intestinal grumbling but not as bad as day one. Odd!

Anyway... tomorrow I get to introduce kiwi, cauliflower, kale and flaxseed. Exciting! And things only look up from there - new proteins on Wednesday! Whee!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Elimination diet, day three

Today hasn't been too bad. I started off with a rice porridge recipe from the elimination diet - essentially long-grain white rice cooked in quadruple the amount of water for an hour. It definitely was pudding-like - actually reminded me of mochi (which is pounded rice and I love it on my froyo!). Anyway, I had some with diced pear for breakfast. More of the same for lunch with a few ounces of lamb on the side. Dinner was brown rice pasta with diced lamb. I'd never cooked brown rice pasta before, and it definitely was al dente to the core. Worked out well after I cooked it for an extra two minutes, and then tossed that with the diced lamb. Would've been better with some seasonings, but hey... ;)

I've been a bit more grouchy than normal today - especially when my husband microwaved a Lean Cuisine French bread pizza and it smelled up the house with fabulousness. Blargh. My cravings are high, that's for sure. Spices! Tomatoes! Bread! CHOCOLATE! ;)

I'm really hoping that this will help me stay on the straight and narrow once I'm finished with the elimination diet - I've learned these past few days that I can handle sacrificing many things in order to lose the darned weight. With the weight I've gained in the past few months, I now need to lose 40 pounds to get to "normal" weight (according to my BMI). If I can average 1.25 pounds a week, I can hit my goal by the end of the year. I so very, very much want to do that.

One more day of lamb/pear/lentils/rice, and then I get to add in kiwi and kale and cauliflower! Woo! And new proteins on the next day! What a wild life! ;)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Elimination diet, day two (evening)

I am so sick of lentils. ;) Three meals with lentils will do that to you. I think I like the green lentils more, but either the green or red are probably actually tasty when you use some herbs, which I'm not allowed for awhile. Doh. ;)

I forced myself to avoid the rice all day, and my intestines thanked me. I've had a little bit of stomach pain today but nothing as bad as last night. So tomorrow, I think I'll try some rice again but carefully. Perhaps brown rice pasta for breakfast, as I need a change of textures. I'll try to find some ground lamb tomorrow too. I miss seasonings and textures! Oh yeah, and sweets too.

I'm still really tired, but so far that's about it - tired and some stomach pain. Yesterday, tired and lots of stomach/intestine pain. It'll be interesting to see how things go when I start adding in other items on Tuesday.

Elimination diet, day two (morning)

Interesting! I had some serious stomach and intestinal cramping and bloating yesterday afternoon/evening, and I'm wondering if I really do have some sort of rice issue - since all I had eaten that day was pears, lamb and brown rice. I did not have rice with dinner and the cramping calmed down a bit. Still feel bloated in the belly today though.

Oddly, I lost 3.2 pounds yesterday. I had gained two pounds the day before though, but seriously, I don't think I've ever lost 3 pounds in a day. Not realistic, but hey, I can't lie and say I wouldn't be delighted to lose a ton of weight in this thing. :D

So today, for breakfast I had red lentils and a pear. Red lentils with no seasoning is not exactly the tastiest breakfast food. ;) Or any food for that matter. Blargh. Red lentils are super-mushy, which is why they're not often served on their own but more in soups and stews. I think my exciting lunch will be... wait for it... lamb and perhaps GREEN lentils! Woo! I might have some brown rice pasta for dinner though, but trying to hold off on the rice and see how things go.

I miss sweets. ;) I'm just trying to keep looking forward to day 5 when I get a couple new foods, but day 6 is all kinds of good things - like basil and tuna and cucumber and melon! Woo!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Elimination diet, day one

Did someone say this was going to be easy? Not me... aie.

First lesson, if you're going to have rice for breakfast, cook it the night before. ;)

The first four days are super-basic: pears, rice, lamb and lentils. Had a pear while cooking the brown rice for breakfast. The lamb took a long time to cook, but I eventually had some with more brown rice. A pear for a snack later. And of course, I'm hungry and really want something sweet. ;) I don't want to overdo on the pears, but I'll probably have another one after dinner (perhaps lamb?). I'll try cooking some lentils with dinner too.

I'm missing spices a lot too - would be nice to add some flavor to these rather bland foods. And really missing sweets. I love sweets, but I know I need to scale back, so this is ultimately a good thing but it's annoying. ;)

My stomach and intestines have been making all kinds of grumbly sounds this afternoon, but I went too long without eating (the lamb took almost two hours!). Hopefully this evening will go okay, and tomorrow will go even better.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Elimination diet prep

I'm getting very frustrated with my body - the overnight two pound weight gains that take a week to reverse... it's insane. I think I have some food intolerances, so I'm going to take the plunge and do an elimination diet to figure this all out. It's not going to be easy, but I found a 28 day plan that looks do-able. Easier said than done, of course. The first four days are essentially a fast but with some food. ;) Four foods, to be exact - pears, rice, lamb and lentils. They're the four least-likely-intolerant foods, and I do go off of them completely a few days later to test them later as well, which is good (I sense I might have an issue with white rice).

I really hope to figure out some of my food issues - and boy, I would love to have some weight loss with this. I don't have any sugar at all for the first six days, and on the 7th I can test maple syrup. No cane sugar until day 21. The hardest for me - no cocoa until day 26.

I'll try to update this as I'm going through it, because I'll be curious to go back and look at my opinions later. ;)

Hope you all are well!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Progress update

Sooooo... progress. Well, I'm really demonstrating that maintenance is very difficult thing. I hit my lowest weight in December, and then bought a house and moved in, and stopped moving. My diet went out the window as well, and unfortunately I've put on about 15 pounds from that low point. This sucks!

I've still been battling with some lingering issues from my surgery in late November, which has kept me from exercising as much as I have in the past. Lame excuse. That certainly doesn't mean I need to eat more calories than a year ago. I have no good excuse here, and I need to lose this weight for good now. Hopefully I can get back on track now - I *can* do this, technically but hopefully in reality as well. :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Safeway & Betty Crocker winner!

Lucky #8!
Congrats to


for winning the Safeway & Betty Crocker giveaway! Your prize will be sent out shortly!

Thanks for entering, folks - hope to see you again soon! :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Safeway & Betty Crocker Giveaway!

My friends over at MyBlogSpark have another giveaway for us! Safeway is doing this crazy deal right now where all their Betty Crocker cake mixes and brownie mixes are on sale for 69 cents each if you buy four through April 6.

There's an old dieter's trick of taking a box of cake mix and adding a can of diet soda - nothing else - and baking the cake like this. No added eggs or oil or butter. I'm not a huge fan of diet sodas, but this works well with soda water! I've heard folks like a chocolate cake mix with Diet Dr. Pepper, or yellow cake with Diet 7-UP. So many things to try! :)

Now for the giveaway! I've got a "Spring Sweet Treats" prize pack that includes a silicon baking pan, stainless steel mixing bowl, oven mitt, Betty Crocker mixing spoon, and a $25 Safeway gift card. Comment on this post with your favorite variety of cake and I'll pick a random winner on March 31st.

Good luck!

Safeway and Betty Crocker provided my gift card and the prize pack through MyBlogSpark.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Progresso Traditional Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

It's surprisingly cold out these days, so soup was on the menu today. I cracked into a can of Progresso from the cupboard - Chicken & Wild Rice today. In January, Progresso provided me with some free cans of soup but I don't remember if this was one of them.

The wild rice was too crunchy for my taste. I don't usually eat much wild rice, so maybe it's not the rice but it's me. I just prefer the long-grained rice that's in the other soups. I was also surprised by the slightly odd tomato chunks in the soup - they were kinda stringy (like sun-dried tomatoes that were re-constituted).

Anyway, the soup was better with the addition of lemon juice. Overall though, I'd go with a regular chicken & rice (not wild rice) soup and kick in that lemon juice. Though I'm tagging this as "not-recommended", it's not a strong not-recommendation - I just would prefer a different soup but wouldn't scream if I was served this one. ;)

Nutrition Facts (per cup, about two cups per can)
Calories 100
Total Fat 1.5g
Saturated Fat 0.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 650mg
Total Carbohydrate 15g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 6g

Friday, February 26, 2010

La Tortilla Smart & Delicious high fiber tortillas

I love burritos. So tasty. You can, in theory, do them on a healthier side - but the tortillas are the downfall here. Your typical flour tortilla is all kinds of fat and little to no fiber. Tasty, yes, but not too healthy. ;)

I found these at my local Costco in a huge pack (24!) for a great price, and these are the huge burrito-sized tortillas. I learned to cut them in half because otherwise you have too much tortilla for the fillings. Too much of the tortilla is a bad thing - they're a little dry, but honestly, as long as you're not eating a ton of the tortilla plain (or having it wrapped completely around your filling twice), you're good to go. Make sure to eat them at room temperature or they'll crack when you try to roll them.

The nutrition stats are incredible here. SO MUCH FIBER! Ahem.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 80
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 300mg
Total Carb. 18g
Fiber 12g
Sugars 1g
Protein 8g

More on the Godiva Chocolate Cupcakes

I posted last week when I received the Godiva Chocolate Cupcakes as a gift from my family for my birthday. Since they arrived frozen, I just put them directly into my freezer and then thawed them last night. Finally just tried one, and... absolutely totally not worth the $28 cost, and then you add the absurd shipping charges - over $50 for the 6 cupcakes, and they are *not* worth it.

Godiva's web site describes them as:
"These sublime little cakes conceal an irresistible surprise inside – a luscious center of Godiva chocolate ganache. Our rich, moist, chocolate cupcakes are offered by the half dozen, all iced in pink vanilla buttercream especially for Valentine’s Day, or three each in chocolate and vanilla buttercream for a romantic weekend’s worth of indulgent nibbling."

Uh, that surprise was so well-hidden that we didn't see any sign of it. Even cut a cupcake in half, and no ganache in there. Seriously, what the heck? Completely and ridiculously overpriced, and not at all sublime or indulgent - or moist even. Sad.

and I'm still irritated by their web site description:
"We take as much care in shipping your Godiva order as we do in making our delicious confections. This product requires the overnight delivery method to ensure freshness."

Yes, so very fresh that they are *frozen*. Shame on you, Godiva.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Godiva Chocolate Cupcakes

Today is my birthday. Anyone who knows me knows that I love cake. Despite this blog being mostly about weight loss, I am a huge fan of cake. ;)

My family lives 2000 miles away, so my stepmom so generously ordered cupcakes for me from Godiva!

She sent the "Limited Edition Chocolate Cupcakes" pictured here. From Godiva's web site:
"These sublime little cakes conceal an irresistible surprise inside – a luscious center of Godiva chocolate ganache. Our rich, moist, chocolate cupcakes are offered by the half dozen, all iced in pink vanilla buttercream especially for Valentine’s Day, or three each in chocolate and vanilla buttercream for a romantic weekend’s worth of indulgent nibbling."

For the six cupcakes, Godiva charges $28. Ouch, but c'mon, they're adorable. However, they also require overnight shipping ($23) - "This product requires the overnight delivery method to ensure freshness." So, over $50 for 6 cupcakes. But if they're tasty and fresh, perhaps worth it?

Well... they arrived today, and they're completely frozen. The card inside the box says "For best thawing results, place the Godiva Cupcakes in the refrigerator overnight." Are you kidding me? They spent over $50 on cupcakes, and they're frozen and I can't even enjoy one on my birthday today?!

*Nothing* on the Godiva web site indicates that they're shipping a frozen product. I called Godiva to express my disappointment, and the gentleman tells me "they're fresh-frozen", as though that's going to make a difference here. I am certain no one would spend $50 to send frozen cupcakes to a loved one.

The box was wrapped with a card that has the pretty picture on the front and the ingredients & nutritional info on the back (I'll post the nutritional info at the bottom here like my regular food posts). It also includes a lot number (34891), which I would give anything to be able to translate into an actual production date. Many companies start with the day of the year in their lot codes, and "348" would translate to December 14 - over two months ago.

Extremely disappointed by Godiva here. Disclose that you're shipping a frozen product baked who knows when and don't force the customer to pay a $15 overnight shipping surcharge for a product that won't even arrive fresh-baked.

Nutrition Facts (per cupcake)
Calories 430
Total Fat 23g (35% daily value)
Saturated Fat 11g (55% daily value)
Cholesterol 70mg (23% daily value)
Sodium 150mg (6% daily value)
Total Carbohydrates 52g (17% daily value)
Dietary Fiber 2g (8% daily value)
Sugars 43g
Protein 3g

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sweethearts disappointment

I love February 15 - the day after Valentine's day, when all the candy goes on sale. ;) Yesterday I was delighted to pick up a bag of NECCO's Sweetheart candies - the cute little conversation hearts. My favorites are the white (mint) and yellow (banana).

Well... I forgot that I had heard that they changed their formulas. From their web site:
"All new flavors for 2010 Sweethearts® include Strawberry, Green Apple, Lemon, Grape, Orange and Blue Raspberry. The new Sweethearts® have been re-formulated to be softer and more fun to eat."

No more white mint hearts.
No more yellow banana hearts.

My heart... it is breaking.

The new flavors, quite honestly, suck. I love lemon candies, and this lemon is awful - way too tart and... just tart. Blecgh. No lemon flavor at all. The grape was decent, and the strawberry was tolerable, but overall, it was a bag filled of disappointment.

Bring back the old flavors, please! :)

Safeway / Fiber One giveaway winner!

Congrats to


for winning the Safeway/Fiber One giveaway! Your prize will be sent out shortly!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fiber One Yogurt giveaway

Howdy folks!

I posted last year about the Fiber One 50 Calorie Yogurts and I wasn't really impressed with the strawberry flavor I tried. However, the folks over at MyBlogSpark sent me a coupon to go try it again, along with a Safeway gift card for $50, so I'm going to give it another shot. Through Tuesday, February 9th, you can take advantage of a special Safeway deal where you can purchase two 4-packs of Fiber One yogurt for only $4, so I just picked up the Peach flavor and will see how it goes.

The good news for you is that Safeway and Fiber One are going to give another $50 Safeway gift card to one of my lucky readers! (Safeway also owns Dominick’s, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Vons, and Genuardi’s, if one of those stores is local to you.) Just comment on this post before February 14 and let me know your favorite yogurt flavor. I'll pick a lucky winner on February 15. Safeway and Fiber One provided my gift card and the giveaway card through MyBlogSpark.

Soup giveaway winner!

Congrats to


for winning the Progresso soup giveaway! Your prize will be sent out shortly!

Keep an eye out for another giveaway this afternoon! :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Last day before soup giveaway!

Last chance to enter the Progresso soup giveaway! Just comment on this post or the original post, and you're entered.

Check out my previous reviews of their Light Beef Pot Roast Soup and Light Santa Fe Chicken Soup (although I just had the Santa Fed Chicken again and it was extremely salty - so I might need to amend that review sometime...)

Another giveaway is coming soon! :D

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

fitbit - not recommended

I remember hearing about the fitbit back in September 2008 - a tiny little device that monitors your activity - and your sleep, too! And it was only $99! I didn't pre-order it though - I thought it was too good to be true. But a couple of my friends jumped on the pre-order. ;) They started receiving their units in September 2009 (yes, a year later...) and the overall vibe was positive. So I went ahead and ordered. It arrived three months later.

It's a cute idea, but it completely failed for me.

Y'all might remember that I walk a lot. ;) I have used several pedometers, and I have full confidence in my current pedometer - I've counted thousands of steps with it and it's always spot-on. The fitbit was off, every single day, by 30-60%. That's completely and utterly unacceptable. It counted hundreds of steps while I was driving - and I'd even wake up with steps counted! Are you serious? I'm supposed to trust this device?

I was very curious about the sleep monitoring - you wear it on a wristband, and push a button before you go to bed (and push it again when you get up). For example, one night I went to bed at 11:30pm, and I was awake until at least 1am, but fitbit says:
You went to bed at: 11:24PM
Time to fall asleep: 15min
Times awakened: 18
You were in bed for: 10hrs 23min
Actual sleep time: 9hrs 35min

So I declare shenanigans on that! The rest of the nights were similarly off as well. It was ridiculous. :( I have big problems falling asleep, and I was immensely curious about my sleep patterns - but this device didn't help clear up anything for me since I know it was inaccurate about my falling asleep data.

I posted on their user forums, but never received any reply (even though a "staff" person was replying to other posts in the same thread after mine). So with a heavy heart, I returned it. They did pay for the return shipping, but it took a long time to get the refund (had to send them a nagging email and then it finally got refunded).

I think this is an interesting idea, but unfortunately the implementation is awful. It's a cute little device - and I'm glad it's getting people moving more - but the data is totally unreliable.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Soup giveaway!

Hallo folks. It's cold, and that means it's soup weather. I moved recently and was surprised at how many cans of soup I had in the cupboard - and then Progresso sent me a bunch of new soups to try. Progresso provided me with the free product, information, and gift pack through MyBlogSpark. I'll be posting reviews as I try the soups - but honestly, I'm not sure which were the ones they sent me because I just put all of my soups in the same cupboard! Aaaaaanyway...

The cool thing about this is that Progresso and MyBlogSpark gave me a package to give away to one of my readers! The gift pack contains a huge soup mug, a digital jump rope and two cans of Progresso Soup. Just comment on this post with your favorite flavor of soup and you'll be entered to win! A winner will be chosen via and announced here on February 7. The lucky winner will have three days to respond with mailing information before another winner will be chosen.

Yay soup!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

still on hiatus

No end-of-the-year recap from me right now - I lost about 15 pounds over the year, so that's not bad. Not as much as I would've hoped, but at least it's a loss. ;)  I am still recovering from my surgery - and then we moved so I'm swamped in boxes and trying to get settled in.  Exercise has fallen to the side - and I haven't been for a walk in weeks.  Hopefully things will calm down in a week or two.

Hope 2010 is a happy and healthy year for us all!