Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Had Real Food for Dinner

Most of the day was decaf coffee with half and half and black bean chocolate-orange cake, but I had one protein shake and one real meal today. Here's the real meal:

It's just a simple, lovely Farmers' Market salad. All but two of the components are from the White House Farmers' Market.

From the Market, there are delicious dijon-tasting mustard lettuce leaves, sweet purple bell peppers, mildly peppery French breakfast radishes, tart green tomatoes - all veggies but the lettuce lightly sauteed - and medium rare bison ranch steak ("ranch steak" is from the shoulder, so it's a lean and less expensive cut that you must be careful not to overcook.)

From my home kitchen/leftovers, there are blanched/sauteed brussels sprouts and South Carolina mustard bbq-based vinaigrette. Yum.

The Angel and the Devil

The Angel: No sugar added, flourless, low-carb chocolate-orange cake with chocolate ganache

You know the drill. Pretty much every chocolate cake I make these days is a spin on the black bean chocolate cake. This is that recipe with the zest of two oranges mixed in. I had to go to the regular supermarket instead of Whole Foods this week, so the ganache is made with Hershey's sugar-free chocolates (usually I'd prefer CarbRite or one of the Belgian versions. But with such a thin layer, it's nice this way too.)

The Devil: Full sugar almond sour cream pound cake with plum-balsamic glaze and almond brown sugar crunch topping

The pound cake base is a twist on Paula Deen's Almond Sour Cream Pound Cake recipe. It's a little too sweet for my liking, but the plum-balsamic glaze (just plums, both granulated and powdered sugar, water, and balsamic vinegar) does a lot to counteract that. I would never make this cake without an acidic component.
Fortunately, I'm not really a sour cream pound cake fan, so the Devil is not so tempting. The Angel looks kinda devilish, with the whole black and orange motif, while the Devil looks pure, sprinkled with white sliced almonds. Yeah. And it's Halloween. That's where that title came from . . .

Friday, October 22, 2010

What I Ate: October 21, 2010

I baked this last night (Thursday):

It's a riff off Ina Garten's plum cake tatin (aka plum upside down cake) recipe: Plum-lemon cake tatin with cinnamon and sage-infused simple syrup and candied sage.

It's not low-sugar. It's not low-carb. It's not low-fat. It's not low in anything except . . . protein. But it's not for me or any other WLS folks (that I know of.) It's for the skinny carb-lovers at work. I have a longstanding disdain for fruit mixed with bread, so I haven't felt too tempted by it. I did taste the batter though, and the lemon cake base was delish. It was nothing like the terrible chocolate cake episode, however.

Gorgeous, huh? Maybe I'll try a low-carb, low-sugar version to get rid of the rest of my plums.

  • Chocolate-ginger protein frosty with 1 tsp. flax meal
  • About 3 T half and half in Sbux coffee
  • More half and half in Le Pain Quotidien coffee
  • About 4-4.5 oz. chicken salad and the last of the Moist Apple Cake (which seemed to get more delicious with age!)
  • More decaf coffee with half and half
  • Tastes of my Smoky Pecan pimento cheese (this one is wls-friendly) and beater licks from the Plum Cake Tatin.
  • 2 small organic eggs with 2 slices Hormel Natural Choice turkey, 5 chopped grape tomatoes, a little onion, and a little Cracker Barrel 2% cheddar cheese
  • Neapolitan protein frosty

I didn't work out :-( Not good.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What I Ate: October 20, 2010

  • Chocolate-ginger protein frosty with about 1 tsp. flax meal
  • A couple T half and half in Sbux decaf
  • 3 oz. chicken salad and a small (1.5 oz.?) sliver of the leftover Moist Apple Cake with vanilla buttercream
  • A couple more T half and half in Sbux decaf
  • 1 100-calorie pack natural almonds and 1 Babybel Light cheese round
  • More half & half in Sbux decaf
  • Massive amounts of roasted unsalted cashews. Massive. Emotional eating. :-(

I went to the gym in the middle of the day today. I just did 35 minutes on the elliptical.

I was doing well on keeping my calories low - almost too well - until I went to the grocery store and had a really jarring and terrible altercation with this very impatient man in the self-checkout line. We'd all been waiting a long time. But I guess he felt like he shouldn't have to wait, and he starts yelling about how everyone currently checking out was "selfish" because we were taking too long (keep in mind, I had 2 items and had been checking out all of 3 minutes.) I was annoyed and yelled back at him (mistake.) I said something to the effect that he was going to have to wait like everyone else, and that I guess I was just going to stand there and hold up the line even further. THEN he called me an "ignorant-ass whore" and I LOST it. I brought up my profession, my school, a bunch of other stuff - yeah. (Nevermind that the job stuff was completely irrelevant because what he said would have been inappropriate even if I were an unemployed high school dropout.) It went on from there, and I was so flustered by the whole thing that I accidentally left my beloved water bottle at the store.

I was mad at myself for (1) being so flustered I couldn't think of more clever and appropriate retorts; (2) letting him get under my skin. I'm not sorry I responded to him; I just wish I'd done so in a more classy way. I let him get to me. Then I went home and, over the course of several hours, ate an extremely large amount of cashews. I'm glad I didn't force down a protein shake on top of it, but it was still a lot - probably double the number of calories I had during the rest of the day.

Of course, I get up Thursday morning and the scale was actually down a couple pounds. For now, my body usually loses weight when I binge on nuts. Nonetheless, emotional eating is never productive, and I am still annoyed by that whole scenario.

By the way: The "ignorant-ass whore" dude wound up taking even longer in the line than I did. He had some kind of problem with the cash register for which he needed customer assistance. Oh, the irony.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What I Ate: October 19, 2010 - and New Vitamins!

As you may know, I am a big fan of Celebrate bariatric vitamins for my multivitamins and iron. (I prefer Bariatric Advantage's calcium options.) I recently tried some of Celebrate's new flavors: I tried the 60 mg iron + C in Berry, and the multivitamin in Pineapple-Strawberry.

I'm not sure the Pineapple-Strawberry is as good as my old standby, the Mandarin Orange, but it's tasty. I'll definitely be adding it to the rotation.

The Berry iron has a tad more iron flavor than my beloved 30 mg Grape chewables, but they are still tasty and have none of the truly horrendous aftertaste of the Bariatric Advantage iron chewables. It's not surprising that the 60 mg pills would have a stronger iron flavor than the 30 mg. Also, my ferritin was a little lower than preferred in my March labs, so I want to take larger iron doses. I'd been taking 2 grape irons, but that's costly. You can get twice the amount of iron in the Berry vitamins for the same price.

Enough vitamin talk. Here is today's food & exercise report:

  • Chocolate-ginger protein frosty with 2 tsp. ground flaxseed: 1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese, 1/2 scoop chocolate Matrix, 1.5 T Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder, 2 tsp. ground flax, a few slivers of ginger, allspice, cinnamon, and 5-6 ice cubes
  • A couple T half and half in Sbux decaf
  • Too many pistachios and peanuts - probably 2 or 2.5 oz.
  • A couple more T half and half in decaf coffee
  • 3 oz. of my whole chicken salad, a tiny slice of the "Moist Apple Cake" with vanilla buttercream. I forgot to mention that I got the apple cake recipe from Bariatric Eating!
  • The last of the caprese from Sunday - 4 bocconcini and 4 grape tomatoes
  • Omelet made with 2 small eggs, 3 slices Hormel Natural Choice smoked turkey, 5 grape tomatoes, and 3 small mushrooms
  • Yummy strawberry protein frosty
  • Late night: 3-4 leftover banana chunks with the NSA chocolate ganache, leftover from Sunday :-(

Today's exercise was 50 minutes on the elliptical at the 14th & F Washington Sports Club. I detest that location. It's full of people that are even stodgier than the average DC set.

I listen to music when I work out, and occasionally I hum along with a bar or two. I'm way too out of breath to sing full voice, or to sing continuously. Most people are wearing their own headphones and are thus blissfully unaware that I'm not always completely silent when I exercise. But this morning, apparently a few haters complained about me to the WSC staff, and one of them came over and told me I was disturbing the other guests. I raised an eyebrow, rebuked Satan, and went right back to what I was doing. I don't complain to the management when the other guests disturb me by constantly passing gas et al., so they should just tolerate it when I let a few inadvertent words from a song pass through my lips. They can get over themselves. This would never happen at Columbia Heights or even the Gallery Place location.

Tonight was my second DC RNY support group meeting, and the first that was led by the bariatric psychologist. It was a good meeting, but I have never felt more C-R-A-Z-Y. I mentioned that I was getting adjusted to being in DC with a bunch of people who never knew me at 300 pounds, and that I didn't know how to react when my roommate gave me a few pieces of her old "fat" clothes (Size 12.) I also mentioned that I wanted to lose some more weight and/or have plastic surgery. The group members seemed aghast. I mean, I'm happy with where I am. But I really do want to shed the excess skin and feel more normal. And also, yeah, I'm a little sad that I'm the kind of person normal-sized people give their old fat clothes to. Maybe that's a little crazy in the grand scheme of things.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What I Ate: October 16-18, 2010

On Monday the 18th, I had:

  • Chocolate-ginger protein frosty - no pudding mix!
  • Leftover dilled pimento cheese and mustard-bbq pork meatballs from a gathering I had at my house on Sunday. I use Fage 0% instead of mayo in my pimento cheese, and the mustard bbq sauce is quite low-calorie with a mustard base, Splenda, vinegar, and seasonings.
  • Ditto - more meatballs and pimento cheese.
  • Leftover whole chicken salad with apples and roasted grapes (instead of using mayo, I roast the whole chicken and puree the dark meat chicken and chop the breast and wing meat. This way, the creaminess of the chicken salad primarily comes from the meat itself. But there's a smidge of olive oil and vinegar too.)
  • A handful of roasted and salted peanuts and a handful of roasted pistachios
  • Chocolate-maple protein frosty, again nixing the pudding mix.
  • Another handful of peanuts.

I have not worked out for THREE DAYS! This weekend left me exhausted. I literally spent all day - from 6 AM to past midnight - cooking/cleaning on both Saturday and Sunday for an event I hosted on Sunday evening. I even missed church on Sunday, which made me really sad. Planning for the Sunday event was difficult because I had to serve heavy hors d'oeuvres to people I don't know. I have very little experience with heavy hors d'oeuvres, but here's what I came up with:

  • Whole chicken salad (as mentioned above)
  • Dilled pimento cheese (as mentioned above)
  • Garlicky beet & winter squash dip - not the most popular item, even though it's delicious! People are funny about beets.
  • Crackers (carbs!) and chips (more carbs!) for non-ops to eat with the first three items
  • Crudite of jicama, zucchini, and red bell pepper for the health conscious to eat with the first three items -- of course this was barely touched
  • Herbed brussels sprouts and candied turkey bacon on skewers - people really liked this, even though I don't like brussels sprouts at room temperature
  • Caprese salad (with grape tomatoes, bocconcini, basil, and balsamic reduction) on skewers
  • Curry-roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes - the vegan dish, and it got rave reviews from both the black folks at my house on Sunday and the white folks at work on Monday.
  • Pork meatballs with homemade South Carolina mustard bbq sauce
  • Apple spice cake with vanilla buttercream and pomegranate molasses. I made the cake from a Bariatric Eating recipe, but added vanilla, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and more cinnamon. I also used some coconut flour instead of all almond flour (coconut flour is cheaper and has better stats.) The pomegranate molasses is just Pom reduced to a thick, tart syrup - and it's full sugar and extremely flavorful, so just a slight drizzle over the cake is enough.
  • The good ol' black bean chocolate cupcakes, this time with a peanut butter-cream cheese filling, no sugar added chocolate ganache and salted peanut topping
  • Bananas coated with no-sugar-added chocolate ganache
  • White chocolate bark with dried cranberries, pistachios, and orange zest. This was not very popular at the party but was EXTREMELY popular at work the next day. Maybe white folks like white chocolate more. ;-)

Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th were pretty much just tastes of these foods. On Saturday, I did have one protein frosty in the morning. But, for the most part, it was all this stuff. Sunday, in particular, was a very carby day unfortunately. At least Monday was a big step toward getting back on track foodwise, and tomorrow morning I'll add the gym back into the mix.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What I Ate: October 14, 2010

  • Maple chocolate protein frosty: 1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese, 1/2 scoop Matrix chocolate protein, about 1 tbsp. Hershey's unsweetened cocoa, about 1 tbsp. SF/FF Jello chocolate pudding
  • Half and half in Sbux decaf coffee
  • 1 100-cal pack natural almonds and 1 Babybel Light cheese round
  • A little less than 1/2 bottle of Oh Yeah! vanilla creme protein divided between 2 decaf coffees with a little half and half
  • Another 100-cal pack natural almonds and 1 Babybel Light cheese round
  • Dinner/breakfast wrap: 2 medium organic farm-fresh eggs scrambled with 2 baby bella mushrooms, 2 sage leaves, and roughly 1.5 oz. leftover roasted chicken breast, all wrapped into 1/2 Flatout Light wrap. Yum!
  • Another maple chocolate protein frosty.

Exercise was 45 minutes on the elliptical at the Gallery Place Washington Sports Club.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Update - What I Ate: October 3-4 & 9-11, 2010

You'd think I was off doing something interesting, which would explain my lack of posting.

Nope, I've been doing the 9-5 every day. I've been eating the same old boring foods for the most part, with a few WLS-friendly exceptions. I just haven't posted because, well, I haven't. Also, once you get so behind, it's hard to get back to it because it takes more effort to go back and add all the previous days. Fortunately, because there wasn't a ton of variation and because I jotted my food down on Post-Its most days anyway, this shouldn't be too difficult.

Weight is stable, in my safe zone of the upper 170s. Yes, I wish I were losing weight. But more and more I realize I need to just embrace where I am.

Life has been fun. It's great being young and living in the city as a non-morbidly obese person. I had coffee with someone from law school the other day who wasn't a good friend of mine, and I felt comfortable around her in a way that I hadn't before. I think a lot of my previous discomfort with meeting and/or befriending certain people was weight-related (though I hate to admit that.) Also, we had "Columbus Day" (which I like to re-envision as Indigenous People's Day) off work, and I spent almost the entire day walking and standing, mostly at the National Zoo. It was super-fun. While I actually used to enjoy long walks as a morbidly obese person, I still think it was at least a little more fun now that I'm not quite so heavy.

So, food. I don't have exercise because I forgot to write it down every day, but I have been exercising regularly. I'm writing it where I remember, but definitely omitting some too.

Sunday, October 3:
  • Lots of half and half in decaf coffee
  • Lamb kidneys & eggplant

Monday, October 4

  • Chocolate and lavender protein frosty
  • Homemade Lunchables: 1/2 sundried tomato Flatout Light, toasted; 2 slices FF cheese; 2 slices Hormel Natural Choice deli turkey
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs with Splenda-sweetened mustard
  • 1 serving of my homemade creamy chicken and broccoli soup. I made this on the weekend and froze 8 individual servings. I figured that a cup would be just about right, but given the density of the chicken breast, I will make the servings a touch smaller next time. Of course, I try to follow the RNY rules for soup which, for me, means sipping all the liquid and saving the solids for the end.
  • Roasted chicken, 1/2 delicata squash, and a few chunks of roasted beets
  • 1 6-oz. cup of Fage 0% with SF/FF Jello cheesecake pudding mix and Believe cinnamon cappuccino protein
  • Did not exercise.

Saturday, October 9:

  • Chocolate-ginger protein frosty
  • Nibbled on homemade cinnamon-orange sugar-free angel food cake (base for bread pudding)
  • Another chocolate-ginger protein frosty
  • Robusto, gruyere, gouda, and another kind of cheese that I don't remember

  • Sunday, October 10:
    • Had friends over for brunch. I nibbled on each part of the meal, which included four courses: (1) Borscht w/egg, roasted grapes, and dill; (2) Seared scallops over mashed winter squash, mushrooms, sage, and roasted peas w/ shaved Robusto cheese; (3) Roasted citrus chicken breast w/ braised beet greens, sultanas, hazelnuts & balsamic vinegar; and (4) Apple-orange bread pudding w/ frozen pecan nougat & smoky vanilla creme anglaise. I was scrambling so much that I didn't take photos :(
    • Chocolate-covered strawberry protein frosty
    • Half and half in morning and late-night coffees
    Monday, October 11:

    • Chocolate-orange-ginger protein shake
    • Tub of roasted cashews
    • 1/3 Flatout Light with roasted chicken breast, fresh dill, and mustard
    • Chocolate orange protein shake. This tasted like one of those chocolate oranges you see in the grocery stores during the holidays
    • Tuna
    • Half and half

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    What I Ate: September 30 - October 2, 2010

    Weird last three days. I might have to go back to measurement. My weight is creeping up!

    Basically, I've been making two big mistakes. (1) I've been eating the right foods, but probably too much of them. Even the nuts aren't rescuing me. (2) I've been eating very little through the day, but eating a lot at night. (1) is a much bigger issue than (2), but (2) makes me feel gross so I consider that a problem as well.

    On Thursday, I had a protein frosty in the morning and at night. Through the day, I ate soynuts, raw cashews, and a few almonds, plus half and half in my decaf coffee. I also had a pouch of Starkist tuna before bed.

    On Friday, I had a protein frosty in the morning and at night. I had half and half in my coffee, and a few ounces of almonds. I also ate some of the okra, corn, and tomatoes my grandmother canned for me with 1 Light Flatout.

    On Saturday, I had a protein frosty in the morning and half and half in decaf coffees. But then I didn't actually eat anything else until about 4 pm, and I definitely had gotten the shaky cold sweats. :( I was walking to Whole Foods which is pretty far from my house, and I guess my body couldn't take the activity with the lack of food. I decided I would eat a few raw cashews once I got to the store. But in my shakiness and slight disorientation/panic, I bought WAY too many, like a half pound! Of course I ate them all by the time the day was over. I also ate too much roasted chicken (I roasted it for the week, and my taste test turned into a full on meal) and had a couple spoonfuls of a creamy chicken and broccoli soup I also made for the week. I also had more roasted chicken breast with 1 sundried tomato light Flatout. So again, the problem was not what I ate, it was apparently how much I was eating.

    I will admit I didn't get to work out on Thursday or Friday. Work was very hectic on Thursday, and I went in early both days to finish an assignment. I planned to go to yoga after work on Friday, but I was 5 minutes late. (I love the bus, but it was very aggravating that day.)

    On Saturday, however, in addition to walking a ton, I tried Ashtanga yoga for the first time. The class was taught by Antonella at Quiet Mind Yoga. I could tell she was a little taken aback by the number of new faces, and she warned us that it was an advanced class and that she wouldn't slow down. (I had no idea this class was "advanced" before I arrived; the class title is simply "Ashtanga" and there's no mention of "advanced" in the description, so I assumed it was all levels.) At any rate, I loved this class. It wasn't so fast that I couldn't keep up. Plus, I usually enjoy a bit of a challenge in yoga. There were several poses I couldn't do, but that was true for lots of people in the class, even some of the obvious old-timers. We did a few poses that I love, including Wheel, Plow, and Shoulderstand. I had an awesome time and plan to dabble in a little more Ashtanga.

    This is an aside, but even with my stupid weight issues, I'm still feeling pretty awesome. It is simply amazing to be able to do all the physical things I can do now. I am still ultra-thankful for my RNY.