Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Looking back, moving forward

Yes, yes, it's been awhile since I posted. This is the bad part of a weight loss plan - when things go off track and you can't get back on. Well, I'm bound & determined this time to just keep getting back on track no matter how many times I fall off. Last week's detour was my birthday. That involved eating fried foods, drinking alcohol, having sweets - all that good stuff! And I thoroughly enjoyed myself as the scale showed when I got on it Monday morning - I was up 2.6 pounds from the last weigh-in. Now granted, in addition to all the good times, I had also started my period. That always equals major weight gain and bloating for me, so maybe it wasn't too bad.

Thursday I did ok except I had frozen yogurt for lunch instead of my plan. But other than that I stuck to it. Friday was when I caved. It started with a yummy birthday lunch at Il Fornaio. I stayed on the "better" side and ordered a turkey version of a Cobb salad, but I also had artichoke soup and lots of bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was great to hang with my girlfriends, but I was also in a SUPER crabby mood - shades of things to come. So in the afternoon I relaxed on the couch reading People magazine and having a beer instead of cooking dinner. Hey - it was almost my birthday, and I was craving a burger and fries. So I had a burger and fries. I did split my burger with my husband, so I had less of that. But I sure did enjoy the french fries and homemade chips that I dipped in buffalo wing sauce (I love Original Buffalo Wings!). I ate to my heart's content, but I think I wasn't as sickeningly full at the end because I didn't eat a whole burger. My new plan.

Saturday I ran errands with my daughter and grabbed a light smoothie at Jamba Juice and a chicken and veggies taco from Chipotle for lunch. I kept it light since I knew friends were coming over that night to help celebrate my birthday and who knows what food and drinks would be consumed (I wasn't involved in the planning at all). I drank margaritas and Silver Oak wine that night - with 1 jello shot in the mix. Food-wise we had homemade lasagna, Sean's delicious Caesar Salad, garlic bread, lots of yummy appetizers and Karen's cake - at least what was left of it. Earlier in the afternoon, Zoe my golden retriever had decided that she wanted the cake! She sure loves desserts. We had a really fun night and I didn't worry about what I was eating at all. I did notice, though, that I didn't eat as much as I would have in the past. Which is a good thing.

Sunday I woke up with my period, tired, and with a slight headache. This was my actual birthday so I had total permission to do whatever I wanted. The girls had to be at a birthday party at 8am so Sean took them to that. I just lay around with the heating pad for most of the morning. Then dragged myself up to do some meal planning to get back on track this coming week. Family kept bugging me about what I wanted to do, where I wanted to eat dinner, etc., but I just wasn't feeling up to much. I read in bed in the afternoon and ate the leftover buttercream frosting that Karen had left for me. Yum! One of my favorite things in the whole world! And one of the worst for you! We ended up just going to Red Brick Pizza for dinner and Nubi for dessert. I LOVE Nubi frozen yogurt, so that was my choice versus another cake or something. Delicious. I know, I know - not much of a birthday celebration, but I just wasn't up for much.

Monday was still having super bad cramps, so laid low all day - no exercising or anything. Thought I would eat healthily that day, but my period took over. Had more of the chips and wing sauce for lunch along with Claire's Pesto Turkey Ciabatta school lunch that I had mistakenly ordered for her forgetting that it was early day at school. They still gave her the lunch, but she was off to a swimming birthday party, so I got her sandwich. I didn't want it to go to waste, after all. :-) And I have to say it was pretty darn good. Our school switched lunch programs this year, and the company they use tries to do pretty healthy and yummy stuff. I did cook dinner - Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry in a Peanut Sauce (recipe below) - so that was good, but then did have chips and dip while sitting in front of the tv at night. Sometimes I swear my period is like an animal living inside me that takes over with it's cravings and actions. There are times I really feel like I can't control it!

Tuesday was a run-around all over day. I went to the gym in the morning - finally - it had been a week since I last worked out. Bad, bad, bad. Did spinning for 50 minutes, and then 10-15 minutes of abs. I had to run to Nordies to pick up bday stuff for the girls, so I ate my "lunch" early before I left - leftovers from the night before. That way I made sure that I didn't pick up something while I was out. Took the girls to Baskin Robbins to get an ice cream cake for Rachel for her bday and the girls got scoops but I resisted. Was STARVING by the time I got home - something I try to avoid at all costs because it sets me up for disaster. I quickly at my "morning snack" at 4pm, but it didn't help. All of a sudden I felt absolutely weak and exhausted. Took a power nap and felt better when I woke up but still not great. I had to go through donations for my booth at our school's Fun Faire this weekend, and while the girls & I were doing this, Sean came home. We were so tempted to just do some sort of takeout (burritos? Yum!), but instead Sean grabbed the recipe for the meal I had planned for the night and got cooking. Yes, I was saved by my husband! We ate a healthy Chopped Barbecued Salad (recipe below) instead - and it was tasty. I did indulge in a piece of birthday cake afterwards, but I resisted the call of those darn potato chips & wing sauce that are still lurking around! I should be strong and just throw the chips & the bday cake in the trash. It always feels so wasteful though!

So today is Wednesday - the week is cruising along - time to look forward. I'm facing another tough weekend due to Fun Faire and my girls' birthday. Friday night Sean & I get to go to dinner together alone for a couple hours while R&C are at a bday party. I'm thinking we'll do Japanese so I can have salmon and steamed veggies - healthy and good. Saturday my parents come into town - let the eating and drinking begin! :-) We will hit FF in the afternoon, go to a quick dinner to celebrate the girls bday at an Italian restaurant at night, and then Sean & I have to go back to working FF until 11pm. That will involve lots of margaritas and beers. Sunday the girls have asked to go to the Melting Pot for their bday - great. Fondue heaven. Nothing healthy there! :-) Monday we will probably hit our favorite burger place (Jack's Prime) with my foks for lunch, and at night we'll have cheese & crackers (R&C love Brie, smoked Gouda, blue cheese), I am cooking the girls' favorites for dinner (nothing too bad - meatloaf muffins, "Shrek" coins, broccoli-corn casserole) and we will be having cake (for Rachel) and pie (for Claire). My parents leave Tuesday morning, and we will get back on track!

Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry in a Peanut Sauce
2 cups cooked whole wheat angel hair pasta, reserving 2 tablespoons pasta cooking water
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry
12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons grated gingerroot
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sesame oil or canola oil, divided
1 1/2 cups carrots, julienned
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper, sliced
1 1/2 cups snow peas, halved
1 1/2 cups onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, optional
6 lime wedges, optional

Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sherry and chicken strips; toss well to coat. In a small bowl, combine remaining soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, gingerroot, garlic, red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons reserved pasta water.

In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast strips and sauté 5 to 8 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan. Add remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Add carrots, red bell pepper, snow peas and onion; sauté vegetables 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cooked pasta to the vegetable mixture; gently toss. Top mixture with the peanut butter sauce and gently stir to combine. Sprinkle with salt; stir to combine. If desired, top each serving with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Serves 6
WW pts=5, 274 calories (26% from fat), 8 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat, 0 grams trans fat), 32 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams protein, 364 mg sodium, 36 mg cholesterol, 51 mg calcium, 4 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 1 starch, 3 vegetable, 2 lean meat.

Huevos Rancheros Wraps (Monday & Tuesday breakfast)
4 high fiber low carb tortillas
1 cup mild or medium salsa
1 cup liquid egg substitute
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Jack cheese

Warm tortillas according to directions on package. In a small saucepan, heat salsa on low until heated through.

Meanwhile, whisk egg substitute and milk in a small bowl. Cook in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, gently lifting the setting egg substitute mixture to allow the rest of the liquid to cook.

When eggs are cooked through, though still moist, remove from heat and divide into four.

Spread heated salsa on warmed tortillas, followed by one-fourth of the egg substitute. Sprinkle with cheese, then roll burrito style.
Serves 4
WW pts=2, Per Burrito: Calories 140, Total Fat 4.5g (sat 1.8g), Cholesterol 8.1mg, Sodium 640.4mg, Carbohydrate 15.6g, Fiber 7.5g, Protein 16g, Sugar 4.0g, Calcium 137mg

Chopped Barbecued Chicken Salad
1/4 cup prepared barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cans (15 oz. each ) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup cooked fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup broken tortilla chips
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 tomato (about 8 oz.), rinsed, cored, seeded, and diced
8 ounces mixed baby greens
Salt and pepper

1. In a large bowl, mix barbecue sauce, olive oil, lime juice, and vinegar.

2. Add beans, chicken, corn, bell pepper, chips, radishes, onion, tomato, and greens. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4-6
CALORIES 352(28% from fat); FAT 11g (sat 1.9g); PROTEIN 25g; CHOLESTEROL 40mg; SODIUM 387mg; FIBER 9.1g; CARBOHYDRATE 39g, WW pts=7, main-dish
Source: Sunset Magazine

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