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Like most people who have been on Weight Watchers I have had my best success when I "journal" or write down everything I eat. The nutritionist that I am working with has me provide her with a three day journal each week so she can do a nutritional analysis. It has become apparent to me that I stick with the plan when I am journaling and tend to either cheat a little or a lot when I'm not. Of course, I'm only fooling myself when I do this.

I was a little disappointed that I only lost 2.4 last week. I normally drop pretty quickly the first few weeks I am "on" the diet.

So, inspired by Porcupine, I'm going to journal here EVERY DAY, along with some stream of consciousness thoughts about what I eat, some pictures and some recipes. It will probably be boring, but it might help me and if anyone bothers to read it, you might get some ideas of what to do and what not to do.

Sunday, January 14th

  • 1.5 cups All Bran cereal, .5 cup 1% milk, 1/3 cup craisins
  • 2 roast beef sandwiches (5 ozs deli roast beef, 4 slices "double fiber" bread, pickles, 2 tbs horseradish sauce)
  • 2 smoked chicken sandwiches with mustard bbq sauce and slaw made with low fat mayo, light buns.
  • 2 100 calorie pacakges of cookies

I really don't mind some of the low fat and light things (although some of them are pretty revolting) The low fat mayo, especially for things like this slaw is one that I find pretty easy to swap out. And the giant light buns are actaully pretty good, Not nearly as arid as some of the other brands out there.

I smoked two chickens. More of the meat is going to show up in a salad in a few days. Despite its association with fatty pulled pork, smoking is a light-friendly technique that brings a lot of flavor to the food.

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So, inspired by Porcupine, I'm going to journal here EVERY DAY, along with some stream of consciousness thoughts about what I eat, some pictures and some recipes. It will probably be boring, but it might help me and if anyone bothers to read it, you might get some ideas of what to do and what not to do.

Bring it on! I know I'll swing by the thread frequently to check out your gorgeous food photos, at the very least. Mmm, smoked chicken.

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So, inspired by Porcupine, I'm going to journal here EVERY DAY, along with some stream of consciousness thoughts about what I eat, some pictures and some recipes. It will probably be boring, but it might help me and if anyone bothers to read it, you might get some ideas of what to do and what not to do.
Not boring at all. I tried a lot of delicious new dishes based on the photos and recipes you posted on egullet. You had some lovely platings as well. And 2.4 is nothing to sneeze at.
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I'm going to journal here EVERY DAY, along with some stream of consciousness thoughts about what I eat, some pictures and some recipes. It will probably be boring, but it might help me and if anyone bothers to read it, you might get some ideas of what to do and what not to do.

I'll read it, and I'll be cheering for you. Go, bilrus, go! whoo-hoo!

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Thanks to the "fan club".

Yesterday was a strange day. Due to some errands I needed to run and things I was working on at home, I ended up not eating a bite of food until 5pm, so although I didn't eat that much, my system was a bit off. So here's what I did yesterday:

Monday, January 15th

  • Large Pho with eye of round
  • summer roll with a little dipping sauce
  • 1.5 cups All Bran cereal, .5 cup 1% milk, 1/3 cup craisins
  • 2 100 calorie pacakges of cookies
  • 1 Yoplait no-fat yogurt

This is the first day that I have felt like my pants fit a little bit better. This is a good sign, since although pho is a pretty good light meal, the sodium tends to be pretty high, so I am doing OK despite some possible water retention.

One of my challenges in losing weight is that I always want to know how I am progressing. But as you probably know, most bathroom and even doctor's scales only weigh up to a certain point, lower than where I am. So for the time being, I can only weigh myself every other week at my nutritionist. That makes signposts like holes on my belt or how my jeans feel or how my ring feels on my finger even more important.

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Interesting that you could forget about eating for almost an entire day.

How do you feel about fruits and vegetables, Bill?

I noticed that you regretted the fact that RW falls during the Challenge rather than right before.

Are there any memorable salads, vegetable soups, roasts, purees, sauces or other sources of inspiration you've had while dining out that you might incorporate into your weekly diet?

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Interesting that you could forget about eating for almost an entire day.

How do you feel about fruits and vegetables, Bill?

I noticed that you regretted the fact that RW falls during the Challenge rather than right before.

Are there any memorable salads, vegetable soups, roasts, purees, sauces or other sources of inspiration you've had while dining out that you might incorporate into your weekly diet?

I actually didn't forget, I just wasn't hungry and kept thinking to myself - Eh, I'll just eat something when I am done with this. And this would lead to that. And by then it was early evening. Just a different routine because of the holiday yesterday. It does show that that eating sometimes comes more from habit than hunger. I always need something to eat on a regular weekday in the morning, but weekends and holidays I can take or leave breakfast and even early lunch.

I've been remiss lately in buying fruit. It seems that lately it has been going to waste, especially since I haven't been eating it in the morning, having replaced it with more protein-based stuff. I need to get back at it though because it would fit into my need for a post-dinner, watching TV snack instead of small bags of cookies or a bowl of cereal.

I've never cooked the types of meals that have a vegetable as a side dish. My vegs normally come as part of the main course or in a salad or soup.

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So today was more normal - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack. One habit that I have gotten myself into over the years is that I absolutely HAVE to have lunch out of my office. On all but the busiest days I get out for 45 minutes to an hour, eat lunch and read the paper, most of the time at a restaurant. This poses me two challenges - 1) when I go to a restaurant, I need to choose wisely - not always easy in the chain world of the suburbs. 2) Make a lunch that I can eat in the car (or in a park, if the weather is particualry nice) - so that means nothing that needs re-heating. (I've already made my lunch for tomorrow to eat in the car.)

Today was a restaurnat day. I try to go with Salads at the chain places as they are the least hard to do and in fact are sometimes pretty good. But they can also be huge fat and calorie wastes. Today I had a fajita salad at On the Border, hold the sour cream and salsa for the dressing. Probably a little more oil than I'd be looking for, but other than that, not too bad. And I gave back the chips that I asked them not to bring, but they did anyway (big step here).

I will post this in the main thread too, but if you are looking for nutrition (and WW points) info for almost any chain restaurant, you can get it at Dotti's Weight Loss Zone - a pretty good resource. Much better than the WW books.

Tuesday, January 16th

  • 1 mini bagel with 1 slice canadian bacon
  • 1 Stonyfield Farms no-fat smoothie
  • Fajita Salad w/ 4 ozs chicken, 1 oz cheese, sauteed onions
  • 4 cups Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup from Cooking Light (I add some chicken broth to make this recipe into a hearty soup). See below for a slightly blurry pic.
  • Slice of toasted bread
  • Romaine with mostly vinegar vinagrette
  • 1.5 cups All Bran cereal, .5 cup 1% milk, 1/3 cup craisins
  • 1 Yoplait no-fat yogurt

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Nothing special to report today - made my lunch finally, which really eases the pressure in terms of calorie and fat intake. So much more control.

Dinner wasn't light, but lighter than it could have been. I made a Fettucini Alfredo from Cooking Light. Not everyone likes this type of recipe where you substitute and cut back on the original to make it lower in fat. But this one works for me. Every once in a while I need something rich and creamy and at least this way I'm not going way "off program".

Biggest food news for me is that I had a new JennAire range installed this morning - very nice 16,000 BTU burner and the grill module. I think this will get me cooking even more - hopefully a good thing.

Wednesday January 17th

  • 1 Stonyfield Farms no-fat smoothie
  • 1/2 oz deli ham
  • 2 ham sandwiches (4 oz ham, 4 slices double fiber bread, honey mustard)
  • 15 Kaashi TLC crackers
  • 20 cornichons
  • 1 100 calorie package of cookies
  • 2 cups of fettucini alfredo
  • 1 slice grilled bread
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple

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Bill,

Looking over your blog, you may want to try to encorporate more veggies and fruit. maybe bring some carrots and some fruit with you to work. I stop every monday at the fruit stand and pick up what ever looks good for my desk for the week. I also stock cut, clean veggies at home so i can grab and go.

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Bill,

Looking over your blog, you may want to try to encorporate more veggies and fruit. maybe bring some carrots and some fruit with you to work. I stop every monday at the fruit stand and pick up what ever looks good for my desk for the week. I also stock cut, clean veggies at home so i can grab and go.

This is definitely jumping out at me too. I did buy several different fruits to eat at night instead of more carb-y things. I'm not much of a snacker during the day though. I need to work things into meals.

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This is definitely jumping out at me too. I did buy several different fruits to eat at night instead of more carb-y things. I'm not much of a snacker during the day though. I need to work things into meals.

Having those between-meal healthy snacks can really help with portion control at mealtime. It's actually really good for your metabolism, too.

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I work in a small office - only five people right now. But three have birthdays in January. And tradition holds that we go out to lunch as a group for birthdays. Right as I am always starting a diet. Just like Restaurant Week.

Today was birthday number three and the birthday girl chose On the Border. Again. And I had the fajita salad. Again. And I refused to eat the chips that sat in front of me for an hour and a half. Again.

And then I had salad for dinner. Again.

Thursday January 18th

  • 1 Stonyfield Farms no-fat smoothie
  • 1/2 oz deli ham
  • Fajita Salad w/ 4 ozs chicken, 1 oz cheese, sauteed onions
  • 1 100 calorie package of cookies (I know - I've got to not buy any more of these)
  • Salad with 4 oz smoked chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, 1 oz shredded Cabot 75% light cheddar (pretty good), 3 tbs french fried onions, 2 tbs bbq sauce, 3 tbs light ranch dressing
  • 1.5 cups All Bran cereal, .5 cup 1% milk, 1/3 cup craisins

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Today was birthday number three and the birthday girl chose On the Border. Again. And I had the fajita salad. Again. And I refused to eat the chips that sat in front of me for an hour and a half. Again.

And then I had salad for dinner. Again.

All these "Agains" are indications of bulk frustration and caloric need. Amp up the quantity for a day - tomorrow night eat two 8-ounce patties of ground beef with salt and mustard (yes, a pound of hamburger), and a big double-sized baked potato with nothing but lowfat cottage cheese. No bread. One Mary Jane or Hershey's Kiss for dessert to finish with a sweet.

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And I refused to eat the chips that sat in front of me for an hour and a half. Again.

Wow. Chips are a serious weakness for me. They're salty, crunchy, fatty...what's not to love? If I'm not around them I don't want them but if you put them in front of me I'd have a really hard time.

I have my brother's wedding this weekend and it seems as if we are going from one food gathering to another. I'll be thinking of you passing up the chips as I try and muster the willpower to do the same.

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I work in a small office - only five people right now. But three have birthdays in January. And tradition holds that we go out to lunch as a group for birthdays. Right as I am always starting a diet. Just like Restaurant Week.

Today was birthday number three and the birthday girl chose On the Border. Again. And I had the fajita salad. Again. And I refused to eat the chips that sat in front of me for an hour and a half. Again.

And then I had salad for dinner. Again.

Thursday January 18th

  • 1 Stonyfield Farms no-fat smoothie
  • 1/2 oz deli ham
  • Fajita Salad w/ 4 ozs chicken, 1 oz cheese, sauteed onions
  • 1 100 calorie package of cookies (I know - I've got to not buy any more of these)
  • Salad with 4 oz smoked chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, 1 oz shredded Cabot 75% light cheddar (pretty good), 3 tbs french fried onions, 2 tbs bbq sauce, 3 tbs light ranch dressing
  • 1.5 cups All Bran cereal, .5 cup 1% milk, 1/3 cup craisins

Always ask yourself: Is this worth the calories? I avoid a whole lotta stuff because it just isn't wonderful enough to bother with, much less to have to worry about trying to get rid of it. (I'd say this works for me except that I need to lose weight, too. :lol: . Still, I haven't eaten a Twinkie in more years than I can count.)
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Today was birthday number three and the birthday girl chose On the Border. Again. And I had the fajita salad. Again. And I refused to eat the chips that sat in front of me for an hour and a half. Again.

And then I had salad for dinner. Again.

Deconstructing Signs and Signifiers Sited in the Repetitious Usage of the Word "Again" While a Crew from WJLA Channel 7 ABC Sets Up a Shot, Idling 5-6 Yards Away from Bedroom Windows at 5:30 AM to Do a Story on Tolling Cars

Weariness and boredom come across in addition to frustration.

I wonder if your standard fare has gotten monotonous and when it includes salads, they're less than inspired.

I know that one thing I dislike about diet plans or cookbooks on healthful eating is that there is an utter lack of creativity when it comes to promoting produce.

Since you're spending time at eGullet looking at the WW thread, why not make a habit of looking at the Dinner thread regularly, too? That is, if you enjoy cooking or grocery shopping. The photographs often feature beautifully fatty, rare meat, oozing cheese and the like. Nonetheless, there are some very talented home cooks whose plated, tossed, stuffed or steaming colorful vegetables might give you some new ideas.

I know your principal goal is to lose weight, yet everyone seems to be stressing the importance of changing one's approach to food. It seems equally beneficial to try incorporating new dishes into your repertoire, ones based on produce you don't normally buy. I would recommend purchasing Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone which has lots of simple, unfussy recipes that might inspire you to try new things.

Since you said you prefer vegetables incorporated into your main dish as opposed to side dishes, you'd discover lots of alternatives to a meal centered around a piece of meat. Novelty, color and variety quell boredom and might help you develop different appetites.

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I think everyone misinterpreted my repeated use of the word "again". It was mainly that I was disappointed that I had to go back to On the Border having been there two days later, on the same day I had planned on having my BBQ chicken salad.

Big salads are actually a favorite meal of mine, whether I am dieting or not. A lot of times I would choose that over what most would consider a "regular" dinner. Jenrus likes tham a little less than I do, so I try to work them into my weekly dinner plan one time a week.

Aside from the admitted need to work in more fruits and vegetables and give up on the 100 calorie packs of cookies, I couldn't be happier and more confident about how things are going.

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Aside from the admitted need to work in more fruits and vegetables and give up on the 100 calorie packs of cookies, I couldn't be happier and more confident about how things are going.

Adding in the fruits and vegetables is a good goal, but I don't think you SHOULD give up the cookies. As long as you aren't knocking back 4 packs at a time, or having them twice a day.

We've all discussed elsewhere how completely removing things you enjoy is a path to failure, as the cravings may eventually force you to binge, drop the diet, or add them back in later and see the weight come back. I think the 100-calorie packs are brilliant - you get a taste of the food you love, and it's an easily measurable, small indulgence.

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And I had the fajita salad. Again. And I refused to eat the chips that sat in front of me for an hour and a half. Again.

And then I had salad for dinner. Again.

Couple of ideas

1) Send the chips back or mash them up into a unsightly mess.

2) Order some tortillas or better yet corn tortillas and a plate of refried beads and salsa ask for no cheese. This is a great low fat apt. Most refried beans have no added oil in them (the days of lard are long gone)

3) Order vegetarian fajitas. Skip the sour cream, limit the cheese and avocado.

4) Make like Tony Soprano and just eat the salsa like soup with a spoon!

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I think I mentioned somewhere that I have actually been more successful at losing when I allow myself one day a week of not journaling and not really following "the plan", whatever plan that is. This day is typically Saturday, as that is the day I used to weigh in when I was on Weight Watchers. But I also use it at times when I know I am going to be having a meal out that doesn't fit neatly into the diet. Of course then I will stick to it on that Saturday.

That's why I didn't post anything here on Saturday. I allowed myself to be "bad" - Eamonn's bad. Of course, since I had it planned, it didn't constitute "falling off the wagon". And since I have been working hard at things for the last two weeks, 1 piece of fish and a handful of fries and two dough balls was enough. A light dinner of some Thai grilled beef and an order of dumplings made for a good day of eating.

Like most of you, I don't want to have to completely give up ALL the things I like. If I can't give myself a few indulgences I'll ultimately give up and fail. If that one day a week will keep me "on" for the other six, then it is worth it.

Sundays are typically my days to cook, especially during the winter. I try to make a little more elaborate dinner and at least one soup to have for an easy dinner during the week. Yesterday it was two soups that you will see pop up here in the next few days and a beef curry with onions recipe from Mangoes and Curry Leaves - the Indian (and Bangladeshi and Pakistani, etc) book from the writers of Hot Sour Salty and Sweet. These are both beautiful cookbooks with interesting recipes. Unfortunately, they can be hit or miss. This one had great flavor and yielded some of the toughest beef I've ever eaten. And it was nasty looking enough that I will spare you all from having to look at a picture of it.

Sunday, January 20th

  • 3 fat free hot dogs on light buns with various sauces
  • 1 100 calorie package of cookies
  • 1 100 calorie pack of crackers
  • 2 slices of ham
  • 8 ozs of beef curry
  • Yoplait fat free yogurt

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I applaude all the DRers efforts...but fat free hot dogs :lol:

I was waiting for someone to finally comment on my use of various fat-free or low fat items. Not everyone will like this stuff, and I can't say that I wouldn't rather have three kick-ass artisan sausages, but three of those kick-ass artisan sausages would probably be about 900 calories and 60 grams of fat or even 540 calories and 48 grams of fat for three regular Ball Park Franks, as opposed to 165 calories and 0 grams of fat for the dogs I had.

They really serve as a condiment delivery device. And the Ball Park Fat Free Beef Franks aren't bad if cooked on the grill long enough to get a little char.

I couldn't live on the fat-free stuff full time, and some of it is truly nasty to me. But some of it is OK and if it allows me to eat a little more of something "real" that I really do like, then it is worth the tradeoff. I'd rather splurge on Eamonn's than a hot dog.

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Any thoughts on value-added (but not calorie-added) condiments?

Mustards are your friend here. It is tough to avoid any calories with your condiments, but there are lower cal and fat options.

My Frankfuters Three Ways yesterday included a Ramp Mustard I bought at a farmers market this summer, some of my leftover homemade BBQ sauce from last weekend and Woeber's Sandwich Pal Horseradish Sauce, which has 15 calies and 1.5 grams of fat per tsp (a little goes a pretty long way).

I also like doing this with Tony Packo's Mustard Relish. And making Chicago Dogs with all the fixins really hides the fact that you are eating a fat free dog.

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Monday, January 21st

  • 1 Stonyfield Farms no-fat smoothie
  • Ham Sandwiches - 3 oz Kurabota Ham (trimmed of excess fat), 4 slices double fiber bread, 1 tsp honey mustard, 2 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 15 cornichons
  • 1 100 calorie pack of crackers
  • 1 cup of grapes
  • 3 egg omelette w/ 1 tbs butter, muhrooms and 1 oz goat cheese
  • Baby Romaine with dijon vinagrette (light on the oil)
  • 1 100 calorie pack of cookies
  • 2 cups grapes

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Bill, I'm totally with you on the lower fat hot dog as condiment delivery device. I've got some great French mustard that tastes divine and really livens up an otherwise (at best) so-so product.

On a related note, have you considered cutting down on the yolks in your omelette as another means of reducing calories? I know everybody feels differently about where they cut things, and what is fine to one is anathema to another (e.g. skim milk). But I've found an omelette made with one whole egg plus three whites is really pretty good (particularly when spinach, garlic, and a bit of parmesan are added!). But there are a lot of veggies you can add that are zero point (to put it in WW terms), so keep the omelette reasonably bulky and filling, but still delivering the pleasure of eggs.

Sounds like you're doing a great job--congratulations!

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On a related note, have you considered cutting down on the yolks in your omelette as another means of reducing calories?

I never have done this, but I should try. It isn't like the yolks in an omelette put it over the top for me. Now poached or fried, you better leave my yolks alone.

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Tuesday, Janurary 23

  • 1 Stonyfield Farms no-fat smoothie
  • 6 garlic shrimp
  • 1 cup sauteed mushrooms
  • 3 slices bread w/ 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 order Chicken Tikka
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 round garlic naan
  • 1 100 calorie granola bar
  • 1 cup grapes

Not exactly a good day, but it could have been worse considering both lunch and dinner were from restuarants. Too much olive oil at lunch. At least I had the regular chicken tikka and not chicken tikka masala like I really wanted. And I held back from eating that last half of naan.

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At least I had the regular chicken tikka and not chicken tikka masala like I really wanted. And I held back from eating that last half of naan.

This is exactly how I started several years ago, when I lost a lot of weight: eat only half of something on the plate, choose a lower fat (but still tasty!) option... Eventually my appetite grew smaller and I was able to feel satisfied on less food. It took a long time to lose the weight, but it was sustainable (well, until joining this group :lol: ). So keep up the good work. Little changes are easier to make and lead to bigger changes.

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Wednesday January 24th

  • 1 Stonyfield Farms no-fat smoothie
  • 1 slice Canadian Bacon
  • Salad with 2 oz chicken, 2 oz ham, 2 oz feta, 1 oz bacon, 2 tbs regular dressing
  • 4 cups vegetable chili w 1oz low fat cheese, 2 tbs low fat sour cream
  • 1 100 calorie pack cookies
  • 1 no- fat Yoplai Yogurt

My big achievement yesterday was not getting popcorn at the movie theater. I looked up the nutritional info for even a kids size serving - almost 400 calories and 40 grams of fat. Yikes.

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My big achievement yesterday was not getting popcorn at the movie theater. I looked up the nutritional info for even a kids size serving - almost 400 calories and 40 grams of fat. Yikes.
Good for you!

I confess to sneaking in fresh fruit or other low-calorie snacks such as a very small number of raw almonds. Peel or slice the fruit before you go to avoid disturbing others. It's a good way to get in more fiber, Vitamin C or...

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Thursday January 25th

  • 1 Stonyfield Farms no-fat smoothie
  • 1 slice Canadian Bacon
  • bowl of crab vegetable soup
  • 6 ozs blackened catfish
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • 2 slices bread
  • 3 cups Tuscan chickpea soup
  • small salad with vinagrette (light on the oil) and grating of parmeggiano
  • 1 100 calorie granola bar
  • 1 Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich

I finally got a chance to weigh in this morning at my nutritionist's office. It had been driving me crazy because I felt that I was doing well but that intitial 2.4 loss from the first week was all I had to show for it. But this was a shot in the arm - down 10 over the last 2 weeks for a total of 12.4. I actually though it was going to be a little more than that, but I can't complain.

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Day-um. Good job! BTW I am intrigued by these no-fat smoothies. Are they tasty?

They actually are very good. My nutritionist encouraged me to try yougurt and smoothies as a way of either replacing ice cream as a snack in the evening or to get more protein in in the morning. I have tried several varieties of both the yogurts and the smoothies. Stonyfield Farms has a policy about no artificial sweeteners, so it uses sugar. 130 calories and 3 grams of fiber for a 10 ounce bottle. I like their smoothies better than any of the others - I dare anyone to say they miss the fat in these. And the extra 30 calories over the yoplait version is more than worth it.

Interestingly though, I prefer the Yoplait fat-free yogurts to any of the other brands.

The nutritionist is always amazed that I can tell such differences in foods (one brand vs. another, fat-free vs. full fat, etc.). I look at her and think "that is probably why I look the way I do and she looks the way she does". :lol:

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At least I had the regular chicken tikka and not chicken tikka masala like I really wanted.
Good choice. Chicken tikka masala used to be a favorite of mine, but it's one of those dishes that I can't bring myself to order anymore after I found out what goes into it. I'd been trying to make it at home, but it wasn't really coming out like you get at a restaurant. Then I got a recipe from an Indian chef. He was using nearly equal parts butter and tomato puree! I tried it, and copious butter (and some cream) is definitely the key to restaurant style chicken tikka masala. A serving must have a billion calories.
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Good choice. Chicken tikka masala used to be a favorite of mine, but it's one of those dishes that I can't bring myself to order anymore after I found out what goes into it. I'd been trying to make it at home, but it wasn't really coming out like you get at a restaurant. Then I got a recipe from an Indian chef. He was using nearly equal parts butter and tomato puree! I tried it, and copious butter (and some cream) is definitely the key to restaurant style chicken tikka masala. A serving must have a billion calories.

I can certainly still bring myself to ordering it. :lol: It is way up there on my "favorite foods" list. But that is certainly a splurge that I can't take right now.

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I can certainly still bring myself to ordering it. :lol: It is way up there on my "favorite foods" list. But that is certainly a splurge that I can't take right now.

Though it's frozen food, I actually eat the Lean Cuisine Chicken Tikka Masala quite often and I like it. Quick and tasty lunch. There's another one I get from Giant (I think it has "Ethnic" in the brand name; red box near the Amy's brand). The tough thing about Lean Cuisine's, though, is that their serving sizes are TOO small (Consumer Reports even confirmed this about a year or two ago) and you need to have something else in order to ward off hunger.

I hope you all don't feel as though I'm "snooping," but I have to say how impressed I am with everyone's positivity, progress and supportive nature!

Pax,

Brian

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Though it's frozen food, I actually eat the Lean Cuisine Chicken Tikka Masala quite often and I like it. ... I hope you all don't feel as though I'm "snooping," but I have to say how impressed I am with everyone's positivity, progress and supportive nature!

Snoopers are welcome, as long as they bring along encouragement and don't brag about the fact that they can eat 8,000 calories a day and not gain a pound.

I've never seen the Lean Cuisine CTM, but I'll need to search it out.

CTM IS jenrus's favorite food and she does eat those frozen dinners from time to time when I'm not around to cook for her. If not, her diet would be mostly cereal and air-popped popcorn.

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Way to go, bilrus! I'm so psyched for you.

I agree, I definitely have preferences among the non-fat plain yogurts that I eat. I recently tried butterworths (or some such) farm for the first time. Dang, that's tart. I like it to taste yogurt-y, but this is a bit much. Note to self, return to one of my other nonfat plain yogurts before buying butterworks again.

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Wow.

Wow.

Yes, that does seem to explain, in part, why so many recipes written by medical and nutritional experts are less than appealing.

Nonetheless, I think it's great you're consulting a professional during this process and it seems as if you're getting encouragement as well as sound advice.

* * *

Not practical for carting or hurried mornings, but there's a way to make really good smoothies without any added sweetners.

I never use sugar, honey, etc., but rely on bananas. I buy a large bag of over-ripe ones when I can, slice them and divide them into portions before freezing.

Take what you need out of the freezer and blend with favorite plain yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit that you wish to provide the flavor, and fresh mint, lemon zest or gingerroot if complementary.

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