The happiest of hump days

Hello all.

Guess what?

I LOST TWO POUNDS THIS WEEK.

Not 0.2. Not 0.5. Not any form of any fraction of a pound. TWO.

HEEEYYLLLLL YES.

Two pounds may not be an epic loss, I realize this. But it means that I can do this thing. That my weight loss really isn’t linear. That this is a long learning process, not an exact science. And that if I have one bad week, it doesn’t mean I’m destined to have bad weeks for the rest of my life.

Of course, despite my excitement, there’s a little voice in the back of my head that’s saying: “Yeah, you lost 2 pounds, but you’re still almost 10 pounds heavier than you were a year ago.”

But you know what I say to that voice right now?

I have to remember not to stumble over things that are behind me.
I’ve made mistakes in the past. But I’m working my ass off to make things right.

I may not be there yet, but I’m getting closer!

Autumn’s (kind of) in the air

I live in Southern California. I walked outside this morning wearing a knit sweater, and immediately turned back around to change. It was 80 degrees outside.

I’m originally from the east coast. I moved out here over the summer, and summer never really ended. It’s messing with my sense of time. When filling out my rent check this week, I dated it August 1st.

Nope, Kate. Not even close.

That being said, I went for a walk in my neighborhood this weekend and stumbled upon some fall!

These were the first colorful leaves I’ve seen since moving here. Maybe some chilly 60 degree weather will follow? Wishful thinking probably.

My meal choices are also reflecting my need for some colder weather. Last night I made the chicken pot pie soup from SkinnyTaste.com. Chicken pot pie is such a cozy favorite, usually loaded with calories and fat (and guilt).

This version is only 250 calories per serving and still acts as delicious comfort food! I walked to the grocery store to get the ingredients, and then cooked while watching Modern Family on my iPad. It was actually a nice and peaceful evening.

I used almost a cup more frozen veggies than it called for, so my version turned out pretty green. I’ll spare you the gross-looking photo of my finished product, but I swear it still tasted amazing! If you make it correctly, it ends up looking like this (photo linked to recipe):

And by the way, I’m back on track after my Saturday slip-up. I’m still at work right now, but I’m going to the gym right after, and I already have a healthy dinner planned tonight.

If any of you out there have piles of red and orange leaves in your front yard, please jump in them for me!

A little bit of emerson’s wisdom

I had a bad day yesterday.
Personal-life wise.

Which of course translated to a bad day food-wise.

And even though I exercised (a lot),
it was the first day over the past 3 weeks that I didn’t log my food.

And I ate a lot (a lot).

I don’t want to make excuses for my mistakes.
It is what it is.

But there’s a reason this is my favorite quote:

Today is a new day. Head’s up, looking forward.

Overnight oats are my new best thing

This morning I had my overnight oats that I made last night for the first time. The mixture looked MUCH better this morning, especially after I threw on a tablespoon of honey and 15 almonds (for a total of 360 calories).

It was more caloric than I normally like my breakfast, but it was SO worth it. It honestly tasted like an oatmeal cookie ice cream combo – two of my most favorite things in the world. I will definitely be making this again. And again. And again.

Today was my first “cheat day.” (I’m eating 1250 calories on weekdays, and 2000 on Friday and Saturday, for a weekly average of 1450.) I decided not to go out tonight, so there were no alcohol calories on the horizon. As a result, I splurged with my eating a little bit.

When I got home from work, I made the saddest single person dinner ever. Don’t judge me. It looked like this:

I call this a “single person” dinner because no self-respecting person would eat this meal in front of another human being. It’s the kind of dinner you eat alone on your couch while watching Law and Order SVU (which I did).

What you’re looking at is a Trader Joe’s brown rice tortilla, with some Daiya dairy-free cheddar shreds, and a handful of turkey pepperoni. All melted in the microwave. (No shame.) It was actually pretty delicious and I had 2 of them, for a total of 600 calories. This “pizza” may not have been hearty by any means, but it looked big and took awhile to eat, which helped me feel satisfied.

In other news, today I ran a mile for the first time since March!

This might not seem like a big deal, especially to all you runners out there, but it’s an accomplishment for me. I feel like I’m getting back in the swing of things. It definitely helped that a beautiful man was running on the treadmill next to me, which discouraged me from stopping after half a mile (which I’ve been doing). Turns out, I had it in me!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Crazies in the kitchen

I don’t like cooking.

I don’t mean that I’m not good at it (which I’m not), or that I’m intimidated by it (which I am), I just truly hate the process.

Not only am I a clumsy disaster (about half of the ingredients end up on the floor), but I’m also completely impatient. Once I spend a good chunk of time preparing something, I enjoy eating it immensely less than if I had said “I’m hungry!” and someone simply gave it to me (think: a restaurant).

Some would say this goes against all logic. Which it probably (definitely) does. But it’s just plain true. Me + the kitchen don’t go together.

That being said, I’m starting to be less stubborn about cooking. I’m spending a lot less time in restaurants, so this magical scenario where someone just gives me what I want to eat shortly after I ask for it is less likely. And I’m getting a little sick of my makeshift meals. There’s only so many times you can eat deli turkey on a low-cal wrap.

Plus, I’ve always wanted to make something from skinnytaste.com.

The creator shares AMAZING recipes, beautifully photographed, and gives the nutrition info for all of it. There’s everything from dessert, to crock-pot family meals, to vegan options. She makes it so easy for dieters, but I’ve been too lazy to try.

Tonight I had a few friends come over for dinner. They offered to cook, but knowing that I was calorie-counting, I wanted to be sure I knew what exactly I was eating…so I volunteered. I made the Turkey Chili Taco Soup. And it was DELICIOUS. Super easy, fairly quick, and totally spaz-friendly. I even have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

My version didn’t have cheese, obviously. And I had a small 90 calorie wheat roll instead of chips. (This picture above is from the website.) But it was delicious nonetheless. And for only 160 calories a cup, I will definitely be making it again soon.

I’m also trying to expand my breakfast horizons. I’ve been eating oatmeal more and more, and today I discovered recipes for “overnight oats.” For those who aren’t familiar, “overnight oats” are rolled oats put in the fridge overnight in some sort of liquid (usually milk or yogurt). The oats absorb the liquid by morning. Cold oatmeal sounds like it would taste like a dessert (with the right toppings of course), so I decided to try it.

Tonight I put 1/3 cup rolled oats with 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk and half a sliced banana into the fridge. Right now it looks like this (you’re staring down into the bowl):

Hopefully tomorrow it will be delicious-looking. I’m thinking I’ll add some almonds in the morning. Maybe honey. We’ll see.

Oh, and my new eating plan is going well so far. I’ve eaten 1250 calories for the past 2 days, and went to the gym yesterday. And I’m going again tomorrow.

I got this!

This ain’t twerkin for me

Half a pound.

I lost half a pound.

Weight loss isn’t linear.

Weight loss isn’t linear.

Weight loss isn’t linear.

Maybe if I repeat this over and over again, it will somehow make me feel better about my 0.5 lb loss this week.

And it does. A little. But in reality, I lost 0.2 lbs last week, and 0.5 lbs this week…and that’s not good enough for me. I need to lose almost 50 lbs, and if I keep up this snail-like pace, I’m looking at reaching my goal in late 2014.

Slow and steady may finish the race, but “normal, acceptable pace” beats “slow and steady” any day.

So I’m changin shit up.

I figured out that, in the last 6 days, I’ve eaten an average of 1650 calories every day, and I exercised for 90 minutes 3 separate times. That led to this 0.5 lb weight loss. Obviously this is not working for me.

The truth is, weekends are what trip me up. I hang out with my friends, go out to eat, and drink a little more than I probably need to. On Saturday I had 1850 calories (due to alcohol) and Friday I had 2500 (due to a slight meltdown where I consumed 3 carrot cupcakes in 20 minutes – let’s not talk about that). So while I ate under 1400 every weekday, my weekend calories increased my average significantly.

So what am I gonna do? I decided that every weekday for the next 7 days I’m going to eat 1250 calories. But then on Friday and Saturday I’m allowing myself 2000 calories per day, or 4000 total, however I want to split it up. And I’m going to exercise FIVE times. This will give me an average of apprx. 1450 calories consumed per day, with hundreds of calories burned in exercise on top of that.

I’m hoping this will give me the extra kick in the butt on I need to get that scale moving.

The good news is, I’m no longer as hungry as I was. I was literally waking up, starving during the first week of this diet. But now my body is adjusting, so hopefully 1250 will be doable.

I’m not sure what the scale will have in store for me next week, but I’m excited to give this new plan a try.

Warning: Do not read unless you hate cookies

LISTEN UP WORLD.

I wandered into Trader Joe’s today for some bananas, turkey, and low-cal tortillas. That was all I was going to get. And then I happened upon this:

It was just sitting on the shelf, staring at me. I suddenly remembered reading a rave review for it online, and I couldn’t resist. It practically jumped into my hand.

Now let me explain to you what this product is. The jar reads, “A deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits.” What that means is, is that this delectable devil-made treat has the consistency of peanut butter but tastes like crushed up gingerbread cookies. Yup.

Now you may be thinking, “Why would I want to eat crushed up cookies when I could just eat normal, solid cookies instead?” I hear you. But think about it – would you rather eat peanuts or peanut butter? Peanut butter, obviously. And this cookie butter has done for cookies what peanut butter did for peanuts: Made it 1000 times better.

I had to stop myself after 2 tablespoons (180 calories, similar to peanut butter). But I could have eaten the whole jar. Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to handle this being in my fridge. [Update: I discovered it has lactic acid in it, which may go against my dairy rule…maybe that will keep me away.]

I’m sorry, world, to have introduced you to this product. I want you to try it because I want you to experience the sheer ecstasy that comes with one bite. But it comes with a warning: you may end up knuckle-deep in the jar, scraping the bottom for more.

To make up for the cookie butter debacle, I decided to make a pretty healthy dinner. I bought a bag of pre-shredded fresh brussel sprouts from Trader Joe’s. I love brussel sprouts, but my favorite part is always the leaves that get really crunchy when you cook them.

So I decided to peel back the leaves on all the sprouts and separate them from the center, so all the pieces would be thin enough to get crispy.

The centers are on the left. I threw them away, but I’m sure if you’re crafty in the kitchen you could figure out what to do with them.

I then fried the shredded leaves in small batches, to ensure they’d get evenly [slightly] burnt. I used PAM olive oil spray to save calories.

Afterwards, I put a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, for a total of 115 calories. Not too bad!

I should mention, that even as I’m typing about vegetables, I’m still thinking about the cookie butter.

What have I done…