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Anna Blume (Suri)

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Week 1

T January 2, 2007

• 6 oz. OJ & coffee w milk

• Plain yogurt (2%; c. 10 oz.), w cranberry sauce & 1/3 c granola, all homemade

• 3 small apple-ricotta pancakes w butter and maple syrup; glass of 2% milk

• Small banana w 2 T of peanut butter; 4 oz. of 2% milk

• Fennel & blood orange salad, 2 chopped cured black olives w lime juice & EVOO

• 1 ½ small roasted beets dressed same way (minus olives)

• ½ oz. Prosciutto di Parma

• 4 oz. glass red wine

• 10 gnudi (spinach) w butter, tomato sauce and Parmesan

• Roasted Bosc pear w red wine (1/3 cup; ¼ c sugar), honey & a little Parmesan

W January 3, 2007

• OJ & coffee w milk

• Yogurt w honey and a small banana

• ¼ lb. hamburger on one large slice WW (home baked) w lettuce, mayo, garlic, Worchester sauce, mushrooms and T aged Gouda

• 3 Satsuma mandarins

• Raw red pepper strips & fennel

• 3 Lucques olives

• 16 gr Prosciutto di Parma

• 1 carrot

• Handful raw almonds

• A dozen tortelli filled w braised cabbage, pancetta, onion, garlic, Grana, EVOO & reduced broth, sauced w broth, butter and Parmesan

• 6 oz. of red wine

R January 4, 2007

• OJ, coffee w milk and a small banana

• Handful of pistachio nuts

• Pasticcio (baked penne, tomato-vegetable sauce, ricotta, ham) reheated in whole milk

• Anjou pear

• ½ c yogurt and ¼ cup newly baked granola

• Lentil minestrone w rice and chard, grated Grana

• Navel orange & chocolate truffle

• Another ½ c plain yogurt w the new granola

F January 5, 2007

Walked at least 3 miles (40 minutes plus shopping)

• OJ, coffee w milk & yogurt w cranberry sauce and granola

• Last hot dog in freezer w mustard and ½ slice toasted WW

• Glass of skim milk, handful of granola

• Fennel and red pepper slices & pear

• Raw fennel, red pepper & carrot

• Salmon (½ lb.) baked w yogurt and dill, smashed potatoes (butter & milk)

• Red leaf lettuce & parsley salad w grated Gruyere (1 t) & Dijon-shallot vinaigrette

• Glass white wine

• Blood orange and a dark chocolate truffle

S January 6, 2007

• OJ & coffee w milk

• Apple

• Thick slice of WW French toast w butter & maple syrup; glass skim milk

• Celery stalk, dried apricots & pistachios for movies

• Pasticcio reheated in milk

• 2 celery stalks & carrot

• Cappelletti en brodo w Parmesan

• 2 oz. red wine

• Small sweet potato w butter; 4 oz. skim milk

WEIGHT: down ½ pound of 4 needed for month

Week 2

N January 7, 2007

Walking: 40 mins. w about 4 hours on feet (outside vs. in kitchen)

• Orange juice & coffee w milk

• Thick slice of WW toast w peanut butter & drizzle of honey; 4 oz. skim milk. Apple

• Handful of pistachios; single taste of blah chocolate cherry bread (c. teaspoon)

• Lentil minestrone w rice & Pecorino. 2 oz. red wine. Thick slice buttered WW toast

• Anjou pear w Gorgonzola. Multivitamin

M January 8, 2007

• OJ & coffee w milk

• Raw carrot

• Basmati boiled in milk, mixed w sautéed mirepoix, topped w cheddar and baked

• Small apple w 1 T of peanut butter

• Soup of mirepoix, more carrots & onion, butternut squash, red lentils, red pepper puree, paprika, pimenton and stock Psych: puree only portion to seem more filling.

• WW toast, buttered ( ½ slice)

• Persimmon cake w persimmon-Meyer lemon puree

T January 9, 2007

• Navel orange & coffee w milk

• Oatmeal w dried cranberries and whole milk

• Open-faced sandwich on WW w Italian tuna, capers, red onion, celery & 1 T of mayo. Rest of celery stalk. Blood orange.

• 1 ½ in. square (honest) of persimmon cake w fruit puree. Tea w milk & squirt honey

• ¾ small escarole, red onion & sausage pizza made w WW & 3 oz. mozzarella

• Red pepper strips (the whole pepper) & apple

W January 10, 2007

• Half grapefruit & coffee w milk

• Oatmeal w whole milk and cinnamon

• Bowl of the red pepper soup

• 2 small slices of last night's pizza [Psych: cut wide piece in half to seem like more]

• Granny Smith apple

• Scalloped potatoes w ham: at least 1 ½ T butter, a little less than ½ c whole milk, ½ oz. of Cheddar Cheese, 1 ½ t AP flour & a little under ½ lb. of Yukon Gold potatoes, ¼ Vidalia onion & ¾ oz. ham.

• Broccoli rabe w 2 cloves garlic, ½ T EVOO, chili flakes & ½ lemon

• Blood orange

R January 11, 2007

Walked briskly > an hour in cold at dusk, feeling invigorated. Have to remember how great that feels, though, unfortunately getting warm again this weekend.

• Blood orange & coffee w milk

• Oatmeal w whole milk and dried cranberries

• Tuna salad (w vegetables & 1 T mayo)

• 1 T pistachio nuts

• 2/3 c new creamy, rich yogurt (whole milk) w 3 T cranberry sauce & 1 T granola

• 4 La Brea Tar Pit chicken wings

• Spaghetti squash gratin w mushrooms, butter, cream & Parmesan

• Broccoli rabe sautéed w garlic, chili flakes & EVOO. Lemon juice, half

• Granny Smith apple

F January 12, 2007

Walked approx 40-50 minutes.

• Half grapefruit w 1/8 t sugar & coffee w milk

• Yogurt w persimmon puree, cranberry sauce (1 T each) and granola ( ½ c)

• Escarole soup made w leftovers, including chicken fr 4 wings, brodo & 1 ½ nests of Angel Hair pasta. ½ T grated Romano. Delicious. Psych benefit: dense w variety of ingredients.

• Blood orange

• Scalloped potatoes w ham, reheated in milk and 2 steamed carrots w minimal glaze (1 t butter, 1 t honey, ginger & lime juice)

• 2 dried apricots

• Persimmon cake, 1 in by 2 in, reheated, yogurt dollop, 2 T & clementine

S January 13, 2007

Walked ca. 4.6 miles (Georgetown WF, round trip)

• Half grapefruit, coffee w milk

• Yogurt w granola and cranberry sauce

• Small bowl of the last of the red pepper soup

• Two dozen cappelletti w butter & sage

• 2 dried apricots and a clementine

• WF tastings adding hundreds of calories: 2 tortilla chips w dips, one spinach artichoke, other crab & artichoke; 1 pita chip; incredible NY Camembert on cracker; Canadian Cheddar (twice); 2 small cookies & piece of lacy cookie w dark chocolate; 2 Dutch cheeses; those great Spanish almonds, twice.

• 2 celery stalks

• Venetian roasted fresh sardines (4) & half glass of white wine

• Reheated spaghetti squash gratin

• Dried apricot

WEIGHT: Down 1½ pounds of 4 needed for month. Moral: Exercise makes a difference, even if it's just once a day, brisk walking!!!

Week 3

N January 14, 2007

Walking: 50 mins.

• Half grapefruit & coffee w milk

• Half celery stalk while preparing soup for oven

• 2nd cup of coffee w milk; 4 oz. glass of skim milk

• 6 small buttermilk (1%) pancakes w blueberries, topped w smidgen butter & less maple syrup than usual

• Clementine

• Handful of raw almonds

• Last 4 chicken wings & short-grain brown rice

• Broccoli rabe w garlic, red chili flakes, EVOO & lemon juice (2 c)

• Anjou pear

• Several tastings over course of day to adjust seasoning on black bean soup

M January 15, 2007

• Clementine; coffee w milk

• Yogurt w cranberry sauce & granola

• Scalloped potatoes and ham reheated in milk

• 2nd clementine

• 4 oz. water-packed tuna w lime juice

• Last of spaghetti squash and mushroom gratin (1/6 of 3 ½ lb. squash)

• Braised chard w onions, cilantro, paprika, garlic & EVOO

• 3rd clementine and multivitamin

T January 16, 2007

• Half grapefruit. Coffee w milk

• 3 blueberry pancakes w little butter & maple syrup (leftover batter) & 4 oz. skim milk

• Black bean soup w lemon and dab light sour cream

• Wedge of Peter Reinhart's buttermilk cornbread w corn (protein boost), no bacon or onions & ½ the sugar

• 2 clementines

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Okay, I'm the first person on the second page to blow my cover. Most of you really think my name is Anna Blume, anyway. While I felt posting my food diary would be obsessively self-indulgent, I figure you don't have to read it and it is, as Porcupine says, a way to be accountable.

I suppose that coming out of the food pantry is a way to acknowledge that as self-righteous as I wanna be about the fact that I eat lots of fruits of vegetables and rarely go for junk food, I'm fairly certain I spent my most recent past life as a dairy farmer known throughout the closest village for the fabulousness that is my butter and cream as well as my caustic tongue.

Aint gonna go vegan, but I could cut down the amount of dairy fats I consume.

About a year or so ago, I ordered a remaindered book on nutrition from the CIA which, it turned out, was designed for chefs to help their patrons lose weight. I was disappointed at that point that so much published on nutrition for the general population pertains to weight rather than healthful diets and what foods fulfill what needs, but I was also in self-denial. So, I'll start consulting it and maybe cook that amarenth (seeds used as a grain vs. leaves) that I picked up one day on a lark.

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I'm impressed with the detail. And I really do think that the obsessiveness in reporting allows you to really understand why your body responds the way it does.

I have that book from the CIA and have had mixed results with it. Some of the recipes are just good reminders of types of dishes that are naturally good, some are a decent light version of an old favorite and some are just bad. Be particularly wary of the recipes that call for arrowroot.

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Week 3, continued

T January 16, 2007, continued w evening meal only

• Scalloped potatoes w ham reheated in milk

• Braised chard w onions, etc.

• Tastings of carrot & fennel soup during prep

• Clementine & tastings of applesauce during prep

W January 17, 2007

Walking #2: 40 minutes

• Half grapefruit & coffee w milk

• Oatmeal w dried cranberries and combo whole & skim milks

• 2 spaghetti squash fritters, batter made w parsley, shallots, aged Gouda, buttermilk, egg & flour.

Dab of light sour cream on each

• Cup of carrot-fennel soup w dill (onions, turnip, red lentils, broth, white wine…)

• 2/3 cup of applesauce

• 7 gnudi w ¼ lb. sausage, diced fennel, mirepoix, tom sauce & Romano (Batali)

• Red leaf lettuce salad w red bell pepper & shallot vinaigrette

• Clementine

R January 18, 2007

• Half grapefruit & coffee w whole milk

• Oatmeal w a few dried cranberries & whole milk

• Half cup applesauce

• Black bean soup w light sour cream (??? finally!) & warm cornbread

• 3 clementines

• Ba Bao La Jiang (8-treasure tofu, adapted) w brown rice

3 oz. pork loin, 7 oz. tofu, chard stalks, carrot, scallions, ½ red bell pepper,

½ zucchini & roasted fresh peanuts w usual aromatics & sauce. Ate half. Probably 2 T of peanut oil involved.

• Navel orange & last chocolate truffle from Christmas (80 calories)

F January 19, 2007

Walking #3: Approx. 50 minutes

• Half grapefruit. Coffee w whole milk

• Thick slice of WW French toast w 1 T maple syrup and ½ t butter

• 2/3 cup yogurt w 1 t honey, ¼ c frozen blueberries & Meyer lemon zest

• Leftovers from last night (8 treasures & rest of M's rice) & clementine

• Second coffee w whole milk

• Clementine & 1 cube of mediocre cheese while shopping

• Carrot-fennel soup w extra broth & light sour cream

• Cornbread w corn

• Clementine

• Persimmon cake reheated (3 in. x 1 ¾ in.) w dab light sour cream & applesauce

S January 20, 2007

Walking #4: 65 minutes

• Half grapefruit. Coffee w whole milk

• 6 popovers w 1 ½ T raspberry preserves

(2 eggs, ½ c flour, ½ c whole milk & 1 ½ T butter)

• Apple, 1 dried apricot, 1 cube candied ginger & about 10 raw almonds

• 2 oz. water-packed tuna w lemon juice

• Tortelli (cabbage) sauced w reduced brodo, butter & sage; Parmesan

• Spaghetti squash w gouda

• Salad of red leaf lettuce, cucumber & red pepper w light sour cream dressing

WEIGHT: Zero change, again up & down all week.

Moral: Increased exercise makes no difference when you eat scalloped potatoes and ham. Good cooking fat (olive oil) has many calories as butter, so lighten up. Cf. breakfasts, especially. 4 out of 7 were "treats".

• More oatmeal breakfasts. Take advantage of the welcome drop in temperature.

• Start keeping track of amount of fat used daily. Look for alternatives in menu planning as well as cooking methods such as braising (oil plus liquid) or oven-roasting w EVOO preheated (thins coating of oil) vs. stir-frying

• Increase & intensify physical exercise. 3 ½ hours walking (plus incidental) is not sufficient. 4 days this week? 5 days next.

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Help? :lol:

Every week thus far I've been taking baby-steps down the hill, losing and gaining the same few pounds. At the moment, I am only 1 pound below baseline and tomorrow, after exercise this evening, I probably will lose half a pound if I continue to repeat my experience of the past three weeks.

Yesterday I started what I told myself I wouldn't do since it's one of those things I hate about dieting: calculating calories to determine where I can eliminate the amount I need to let go in order to lose weight.

I looked at one web site only, but after plugging in my height (short), weight, age & current level of activity, I was told that I needed 1871 calories to maintain my current weight and 500 calories less--in addition to greater amounts of exercise--to lose weight.

The same site cautions against dipping lower than 1200 calories per day without consulting a doctor.

So, 1300-1350 calories a day? Does this seem right?

Anyone else limiting themselves to a fairly low number who has good recommendations?

(The other strategy is to gradually increase the hours of brisk walking I do. Please don't recommend a gym since I prefer physical exertion in day-to-day activities or the outdoors.)

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Help? :lol:
I'm not a calorie counter (yet), so I don't have any KCAL advice. However, after scanning your food journal, I don't see any notation of your water intake. How much straight, non-fizzy water are you drinking per day?

Also, instead of counting calories, an easy thing to start on (just retrospectively on your journal entries to date) is the amount of protein you're consuming. There are web-calculators for daily protein intake guidelines based on your current demographics.

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Thanks, Lydia. The information about protein is most useful to me.

I'm a bit skeptical about the straight, non-fizzy water business, and thought the basis for 8-glasses a day is that the water helps to diminish over-eating; it's said that sometimes we confuse hunger with thirst. Some now say any non- or low-caloric beverages serve the same purpose, such as green or herbal tea. At any rate, I'm assuming I do okay on that measure. I feel ridiculous enough as it is documenting all food intake.

I'd be surprised to learn there isn't a new OC category in that large diagnostic book used by mental health professionals, one for people who record every single thing they eat on a daily basis, week after week. A sub-category is for the exhibitionists who show what they do to others. :lol:

FWIW, I did drop down to my lowest weight this morning. Modest, but still. Fluke?

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This morning, the second digit in my weight dropped B) for the first time since I don't know when.

I was going to indulge in that one special breakfast per week, pulling two slices of bread from the freezer and searching the pantry for the new bottle of maple syrup, figuring if I ate it late enough, all I'd need is an apple and maybe some yogurt in the middle of the afternoon to tide me over until it's time for soup.

Then I added up the number of calories in French toast with a teensy bit of syrup and butter :unsure: . It would have left me with about 445 calories for the rest of a day when I should be walking about 5 miles. :lol:

I ended up having oatmeal instead.

Treat? A second cup of coffee.

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This morning, the second digit in my weight dropped B) for the first time since I don't know when.

I was going to indulge in that one special breakfast per week, pulling two slices of bread from the freezer and searching the pantry for the new bottle of maple syrup, figuring if I ate it late enough, all I'd need is an apple and maybe some yogurt in the middle of the afternoon to tide me over until it's time for soup.

Then I added up the number of calories in French toast with a teensy bit of syrup and butter :unsure: . It would have left me with about 445 calories for the rest of a day when I should be walking about 5 miles. :lol:

I ended up having oatmeal instead.

Treat? A second cup of coffee.

Great job! Congratulations. Seems like you are getting the hang of it.
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Week 4

N January 21, 2007

• Half grapefruit. Coffee w whole milk

• Oatmeal w 6 dried sour cherries & milk

• Grilled cheese on oatmeal bread

• Half a red bell pepper

• Clementine

• 2nd coffee w whole milk

• 1 small square Aged gouda at WF

• 2/3 c black bean soup w dab light sour cream

• Tea w ½ t honey & milk though yearned for cocoa w marshmallow

• Carrot & celery heart

• ½ lb. Salmon, pan-roasted w ½ T EVOO, skinne, lime juice, ½ t soy sauce, ¼ t sesame oil on

• Braised chard, 2 garlic cloves, ½ onion, gingerroot, ½ T EVOO, ¼ t soy & sesame oil

• Small baked sweet potato w ½ t butter

• 2 Mugs herbal tea, straight

• Navel orange & 65-calorie square of bittersweet chocolate

N.B. Extra meal after 4 ½ mi. walk in snowy weather, half involved in lugging groceries.

M January 22, 2007

• 2 Clementines & coffee w whole milk

• Egg salad sandwich: 390 calories

• Carrot sticks (2 carrots)

• Anjou pear

• Turkey meat loaf w core of roasted red pepper & spinach; 1/6 (1.25 lbs. 7% fat; carrot, parsley, onion, garlic, celery, egg, buttermilk, baguette, grated Grana and Romano, too much sage, thyme, S & P; ketchup on top only)

• Steamed Brussels sprouts w lemon juice & 1 t butter

• Smashed Yukon Gold potatoes (6 ½ oz) w 1% buttermilk & 1 ½ t butter

• Apple

T January 23, 2007

• Clementine & coffee w milk

• 6 oz. plain yogurt, 1 ½ T cranberry sauce & 2 T granola

• Carrot-fennel soup w dill, bowl w new stock & dab of light sour cream added

• ½ sandwich: toasted slice oatmeal bread, sliver meat loaf, lettuce, t mayo & cornichons

• Green tea w ½ t honey & clementine

• Mushroom ragù on polenta ( ½ T butter, no cheese) w braised scallions (ckn stock)

• 3/8 orange & 6 raw almonds

W January 24, 2007

• 5/8 orange & coffee w milk: 70 calories

• Poached egg w green Tabasco, 1 slice buttered (3/4 t) oatmeal bread: 265 calories

• 8 Gnudi w tomato sauce & a little Grana: 350-400 calories

• 2 carrots

• Green tea & 7 raw almonds (66 calories)

• Turkey meat loaf, reheated (approx 200)

• Roasted sweet potato (200) & 1 t of butter (70 calories)

• Salad w red leaf lettuce, cucumber & roasted beets (60)

• Salad dressing made w light sour cream (40), lemon juice, garlic & Gorgonzola=100 calories. Fine, but skip the cheese—can't taste 5/8 oz., so not worth it.

• Quarter of an apple w herbal tea

Calories: about 1450 total. Too many at dinner: 630

R January 25, 2007

• Half grapefruit (70? 97 for cup) & coffee w milk (70+30=100)

• Oatmeal w tart sour cherries and skim milk (150+41+30=221) 331

• WW spaghettini w anchovy-tomato sauce & celery (3 oz; 3 salt-packed; 1 t EVOO & 2/3 c sauce 300+200?)

• Green tea & ¾ of an apple (45) 545 Leaving 475 for dinner

• Miso soup w soba, tofu, Shitake, gingerroot, scallions, asparagus & carrots Dashi, ½ c chicken stock, porcini soaking liquid, soy sauce & sesame oil

• Persimmon cake (3" x 1 ½ ") & homemade apple sauce. 6 oz. skim milk. Herbal tea.

F January 26, 2007

• Half grapefruit & coffee w milk 100

• Turkey meatloaf sandwich w 1/3 roasted red pepper, 2 cornichons, lettuce & ½ T mayo on oatmeal bread (200+45+240; can't find info on pepper-520?)

• 2 carrots at 68 grams (65) 585 Leaving 665 for snack & dinner

• Anjou pear

• Lots of tasting while making soup

• Ragout of mushrooms, onion & Brussels sprouts w small wedge cornbread

• Salad of cucumber, roasted beet & lettuce; dressing: 40 calories of light sour cream, lemon juice, minced garlic, green Tabasco sauce & cilantro (good)

• Decaf green tea & 2 small cubes crystallized ginger

S January 27, 2007

• Half grapefruit & coffee w whole milk

• Oatmeal w sour cherries 331

• Second cup of coffee 30

• Half a meatloaf sandwich w 2 thin slices, 1 t mayo, 2 cornichons (120+200+70)

• 1/3 of a cucumber & small carrot

• Apple

• Parsnip soup w leeks, cannellini & arugula; drizzle of EVOO. Wedge of cornbread

• Orange and 2 squares bittersweet chocolate (130)

WEIGHT: Lost 1 pound during week, 2 ½ total, a full 3 at the time of posting, so slowly but steadily dropping pounds during the second half of the month versus bobbing up and down during the first two weeks.

Ate nothing while shopping at Whole Foods this time. 3.58 hours of exercise, 3 days of dedicated walking w few minutes on a fourth day. So, even though exertion barely increased, progress. Goal next week: return to four days of brisk walking despite chilly weather. Making regular exercise routine is more important to me than the number of hours at the moment. Climb at least 8 flights of stairs on the other days.

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Week 5

N January 28, 2007

• Half grapefruit & coffee w milk

• Oatmeal w 2% milk and mixed dried fruit

(Henceforth: GCO)

• Half meatloaf sandwich & second cup coffee w milk

• Small portions egg pasta w ragù and Parmesan or filled w sweet potato, w butter

• Celery, cucumber, colored peppers

• Meyer lemon panna cotta

• Half glass red wine

• 3 oz. spinach linguine w ragù & Parmesan

• 2 carrots

• Applesauce

M January 29, 2007


• Parsnip soup w leeks, cannellini & arugula. Small wedge cornbread

• Navel orange

• Green tea w 2 cubes candied ginger

• Turkey meat loaf and Stampot* w Brussels sprouts

*2 Yukon Gold potatoes w skins, ¼ c 2% milk, 2 t butter & 2 T 1% buttermilk mashed w steamed, sliced Brussels sprouts

T January 30, 2007


• Mushroom ragù as stroganoff (150?+210+220) 580

• 1/3 c frozen blueberries, ½ c yogurt & 2 T granola 147 Balance: 392

• Lemongrass chicken soup w ginger, fish sauce, lemon, red chili, rice noodles (160 calories), cilantro, shallot, scallions, asparagus, garlic, kaffir leaves, carrot & shitake

• Orange & one square chocolate (65) w herbal tea

W January 31, 2007

• GC

• Jaffrey's Tofu in Spicy Sauce w matchstick zucchini & brown rice (¼ c raw rice, 3 oz. tofu, 2 scallions, 1/3 squash, gingerroot, garlic, t sesame oil, 2 t soy sauce, ¾ T peanut oil, 1/8 c brodo, chili paste, cornstarch, pinch each of S & Turbinado)

• 2 carrots

• Earl Grey w milk & honey and an apple

• Herbal tea

• Salad of arugula, golden & red beets, Parmesan curls & Meyer lemon vinaigrette

• 2 5/8 oz. spinach linguine w <half c ragù and Parmesan

• Orange

• Herbal tea

R February 1, 2007

• Half grapefruit & coffee w milk

• 6 oz. plain yogurt, ¼ c blueberries & 3 T granola

• Fried brown rice (egg, roasted peanuts, parboiled and chopped beet & kohlrabi greens, soy sauce, gingerroot, chili, garlic & shallot w ¾ T peanut oil)

• 2 carrots

• Orange

• Snert (split pea soup w onions, carrots, celery, kohlrabi, parsley, potatoes, a little pork loin & smoked meat from ham hock) w ½ t butter

• Cornbread

• Apple

• Herbal tea & 2 cubes of candied ginger

F February 2, 2007


• 2 ¾ oz. spinach & plain linguine w ragù & Parm

• 2 carrots

• Arugula salad w Dijon vinaigrette, golden & red beets, Meyer lemon juice & curls

• Snert & narrow wedge cornbread

• Gingered Pears Sarah w yogurt (crisp topping w butter, flour, lemon juice & lots of crystallized ginger).

S February 3, 2007


• Snert 325?

• ½ Grilled cheese on oatmeal bread (3/4 oz. cheddar; ½ t butter) 227

• Half apple & green tea

• Roasted red pepper w anchovies, capers & EVOO

• Genovese baked bluefish (1/3 #) w potatoes (2 YG) and parsley, garlic & oil

• Half golden beet on bed of boiled greens w lemon & oil

• Half apple, 1 square chocolate & herbal tea

WEIGHT: Gained 1 pound back, only to lose it again at the time of reporting (today). Back where I started: 3 pounds down, 15 to go.

Walking: 3.25 hours. Decrease, but stuck to pattern of alternate days. I would like to aim for 5 hours (ideally more) before the end of the month. Move up to 5 days a week as routine. During this week's frigid weather, not sure if or how I'll follow through with lesson, but the increased physical activity on weekends (housework included) matters.

Obviously, still too stubborn to deal with ascetic diet that small stature demands. Thus, giving in to desire for a "real dessert", the extra batch of ragù I made to keep at home and on Saturday, the return to the type of dinner I prefer (healthful, but probably too many calories). Articles in The NYT call 1200-calories-a-day a preposterously low figure, yet formulas dictate that I need to consume less than 200 more calories than that (a bowl of oatmeal or a slice of sparsely buttered toast) to see pounds drop.

I have found that instead of eating more small meals, it's easiest for me to skip a meal and allocate those calories to the two remaining. (Historically, 2 meals a day seems to have been the norm and Marion Nestle, the NYU nutrition prof, says breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day so skip it if you're not hungry.)

Finally, soup seems to be the best way to attone for indulgences or simply to lose weight. Many of us seem to be using this strategy.

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I started (in November) by following the Diet Center program, and am now just not eating much - yogurt & fruit for breakfast, usually Slimfast for lunch, fruit & almonds & carrots for snack, then a light dinner (lean protein & lots of veggies, maybe a little carb). At the beginning I cut out all alcohol and now allow myself some wine when we have company or go out. That's been hard, but I have saved a lot of money (as well as calories)! :lol:

You know, I figured I would have reached the Minus 5-Pounds mark by now and it's hard not to feel envy as well as good cheer and esteem of/for all those who have lost a higher percentage of weight on more rigorous diets.

On the other hand, after going up 1 pound again yesterday to the old, higher middle digit, and then down today (the narcissism of food bloggers is nothing compared to dieters) 1 1/2 pounds to the nice lower middle digit and my lowest weight in months, I have to recognize that I have lost 6 pounds since that week of intensive cooking baking in December.

The reason I am citing MMM is that I find that now that I am being more mindful of portion size and calories, I end up at the end of the week with an excess of fresh produce, milk, etc., virtually enough to make it through the week ahead were it not for the dwindling supply of grapefruit and depletion of frozen stock.

* * *

I still can't say enough about how great soup in this process especially since it's one of my favorite things to make and eat. Keeping a variety in the freezer and replenishing supplies of stock saves me from monotony.

Al Dente's notes about making beef broth and putting stuffed pasta in it for dinner contributes a different option, especially since you cut down the calories by eating fewer tortellini, say, without all the cream or butter in the sauce and usually with less cheese. Also recommended is cutting out the breasts from chicken when making stock and rolling out your own egg dough for chicken noodle soup. Then there's duck soup with wild rice.

The miso thread offers only the beginning of other ideas since I don't prepare many Asian soups. Pho might be a good idea for next week as the cold spell continues.

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Week 6

N February 4, 2007

• Half grapefruit & 2 cups coffee w milk

• 5 blueberry buttermilk pancakes (1% w 1/8 c maple syrup & 2 t butter, including batter)

• 4 oz. 1% milk

• ½ oz. prosciutto & 2 carrots

• Snert & cornbread

• Half an apple

M February 5, 2007

• Half grapefruit & coffee w milk 50

• Stone soup ( ½ c snert, water, rest of greens, rest of tomato puree) 200

• Grilled cheese on oatmeal (1 ¼ oz. cheese) 423

• Half apple 22 655 left for dinner, not bad!!!

• Green tea, 2 cubes of candied ginger & 4 raw almonds

• Huge salad of red butter leaf lettuce, kohlrabi sticks & roasted golden beet; Dijon vinaigrette stretched w light sour cream & 1% buttermilk—good strategy. Also filling enough to encourage smaller portion of stew when eaten slowly.

• Boeuf bourguignon, small roasted sweet potato, peas (no butter)

• 6 oz. cup of applesauce (made w cider & Turbinado sugar, so somewhat caloric)

• Herbal tea

T February 6, 2007

• Half large orange & coffee w milk

• 3 buttermilk pancakes w smidge of butter & 1-2 T maple syrup

• Half of orange

• 2 ¾ oz. dried chitarra w 1/3 cup ragù and Parm

• Half of raw kohlrabi

• Green tea, 4 almonds, 1 dried apricot & 1 cube crystallized ginger

• Apple-rutabaga soup (based on Patrick O'Conell's recipe minus cream, 1/3 butter & 1/12 maple syrup) w squeeze of Meyer lemon

• Slice of toast w ½ t butter

• Salad of herb-baked bluefish, shaved fennel, red onion, 3 cured olives & Meyer lemon

• 1/3 c plain yogurt w T applesauce and sprinkle granola

W February 7, 2007

• GCO 265

• Tuna salad on toasted oatmeal bread w lettuce 405

( 3 oz. water-packed, ½ T mayo, shaved fennel, red onion, scallion, capers & lemon)

• Carrot & Cara-Cara orange

• Half cup of plain yogurt w T of blueberries and 2 of granola 110?

• Large bowl beef and mushroom-barley soup (tomato, carrot, celery, scallion, parsley, porcini soaking liquid, brodo & leftover stew)

• Applesauce ( ½ c)

R February 8, 2007

• Half grapefruit & coffee w 1% milk 40

• Grilled cheese on oatmeal bread 423

• Mug of apple-rutabaga soup

• Apple

• Boeuf bourguignon

• Lucques green rice w peas (Terrific recipe, here.)

• Semi-glazed steamed carrots (dabs honey, butter w Meyer lemon juice & ginger)

• Half an awful Comice pear, so:

• A single toasted marshmallow, herbal tea and 2 cubes of crystallized ginger

F February 9, 2007

• GCO 270

• Tuna salad w fennel, red onion, etc. (no bread) 185

• Half mushy pear w ½ cup yogurt & 2 T granola

• Small roasted sweet potato (4 ½ oz.) without butter

• Green tea & 4 almonds

• Mug of week's soup

• Boeuf (2 ½ oz.) w remainder of green rice and peas

• ½ c apple cider

S February 10, 2007

• Half grapefruit & coffee w 1% milk 45

• Farina w ½ t maple syrup & ½ t butter and ½ c 1% milk 197

• Poached egg w green Tabasco sauce & slightly buttered slice of oatmeal toast

• 2 stalks celery

• Minneola & tea w ½ t honey & 1% milk

• Cracker w chevre & cranberry-pepper relish; cube Dutch cheese & tortilla chip w dip

• Boeuf (2 ½ oz.) & ragù over egg noodles (2 oz.), partially cooked in brodo; Parm

• Salad of red butter leaf, red beet, 3 toasted walnuts & gorgonzola w light sour cream-Meyer lemon vinaigrette

• 6 oz. cup of applesauce & herbal tea

WEIGHT: Loss of an additional pound, total of 4 with 14 to go. Gaining better sense of how to integrate indulgences (buttermilk pancakes, rich stew, Gorgonzola) into diet without undermining goals. Walking: 3.75 hours. Increase of ½ hour, 4 days.

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Week 7

N February 11, 2007

• G+ 2( C )

• 5 buttermilk pancakes w tiny bit butter, blueberry-maple syrup & dab light sour cream

• 6 oz. lowfat milk

• 6 oz. plain yogurt w applesauce & granola

• Celery stalk & half a carrot

• Stockpot pickings w fleur de sel: crispy turkey skin, lump of beef shank & crusty brown bits of onion

• Lentil minestrone w greens, stelle, lemon, Romano & Grana

• Apple

M February 12, 2007

• GC & 6 oz. low-fat milk

• 3 buttermilk pancakes w butter & maple syrup

• Lentil minestrone: no pasta, some shank, new broth & Romano

• Persimmon cake (2 in. square) w 1/3 c applesauce

• Cabbage tortelli, finished in broth, butter & sage. Parmesan

• Salad of butter leaf, orange, red onion, fennel, mint, cured olives & vinaigrette

• Herbal tea, 4 almonds, square of chocolate, date & 2 ginger cubes

T February 13, 2007


• Soupy black beans & rice w bacon, scallion, cilantro, lime, corn, red onion, chile, green Tabasco & light sour cream

• Celery & Apple

• Half shank, kale, carrot & onion simmered in broth, drained

• Cappelletti cooked in the broth (above) w Parmesan & parsley

• Banana, herbal tea & 1 square of chocolate

W February 14, 2007

• GC 45

• PBJ & ½ c skim milk (210+50+220+45) 525

• Carrot & apple 50—so balance of 730 calories for dinner & snacks

• Tea w milk & honey

• Thai pho: brodo w pho seasonings, Kaffir lime leaves & lemongrass. Rice noodles, 5 oz. beef, cilantro, mint, lime, scallions & red chili

• Persimmon cake w applesauce & T light sour cream (4 ¼ oz. cake, 4 sauce)

R February 15, 2007

• GCO 270

• Banana 100 & half PBJ 340

• Celery & carrot sticks

• Coffee w milk 20 Balance around 600

• Black rice (black beans, broth, tomato, pancetta, Arborio, onion, scallions, garlic, cilantro…) w dab light sour cream

• Half roasted acorn squash w 2 t butter & 1 t maple syrup

• Minneola, herbal tea, 2 cubes crystallized ginger & 1 square bittersweet chocolate

F February 16, 2007

• GCO 270

• Tomato-beet soup w Indian spices & swirl light sour cream

• Wedge of cornbread (2 ¾ oz.)

• Tea w milk & honey

• Apple

• Caldo verde w ½ a Mexican chorizo

• Cornbread ( 2 ¼ oz.)

• Herbal tea, 1 cube ginger & 1 square chocolate

S February 17, 2007

• GCO w increased calories of ½ t Turbinado sugar (not worth it) & extra milk 290

• Grilled cheese sandwich, 1 ½ oz. cheddar (165+220+50) 415

• Carrot & 3 swigs of apple cider

• Black rice, cf. Thursday [FYI one strip bacon for 4 servings]

• Half of acorn squash, roasted

• Celery salad w Romano, lemon & EVOO

• 4 slices dried (just) mango 120

Weight: Plateau. Still 4 pounds down, 14 to go, having gained back 2 pounds by the middle of the week (cf. indulgences on 1st 2 days), only to lose them by running out of pancake batter and frozen cake and getting more exercise. I find it's imperative either to incorporate physical activity into DAILY routine or increase level of physical exertion on days of discipline and virtue. Walking: 4 1/3 hours, 4 days. Increase of 35 minutes.

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Week 8

N February 18, 2007

• GC

• 2 slices French toast w maple syrup (240+80+40+200+60) 580, so 730 rest of day

• 2nd cup of coffee w 1 slice of Just Mango 50

• ¼ Mexican cocoa w (mostly) 1% milk & marshmallow (good recipe from WFM but too rich to finish)

• Raw carrot

• Huo Tui Dong Gu Zheng Yu (Steamed whole black bass)

• White rice & steamed broccoli w Meyer lemon

• 2 small blood oranges

M February 19, 2007

• GC only for breakfast

• Caldo verde 300?

• 2 thin ends of oatmeal bread, toasted w little butter 200

• 2 pieces of dried Just Mango from Trader Joe's 60

• 2nd cup coffee, 3 dried blueberries, 2 dried cranberries & same cherries 30?

• 2 pieces mango 60…so 660 left which isn't bad; just note caloric content of snack

• Celery heart

• Salad of butter leaf lettuce, minute steak, blood orange, red onion & avocado w cilantro-chive vinaigrette [completely unsatisfying without good bread]

• 1 c plain yogurt w honey, half an apple, 4 T granola

• Herbal tea

T February 20, 2007

• GCO w whole, then 1% milk, respectively

• Dirty rice w ½ small avocado, L sour cream, Tabasco, corn, cilantro & scallions

• 2 Tangerines (fabulous—honey—from Trader Joe's)

• Coffee w milk, 2 cubes ginger & 87.5 calories of Valrhona 85% (one square)

• ½ oz. Prosciutto & 1 raw carrot

• Penne w gorgonzola (3 oz., 1 3/8 oz., 1% milk, ½ t butter, Parm & Romano)

• Steamed broccoli & 2 carrots w lemon juice & ½ t butter on carrots

• Half apple & 2 slices dried mango

W February 21, 2007

• GC & 6 oz. plain yogurt w honey, Meyer lemon zest, thawed raspberries, 3 T granola

• Salad: 3 oz. water-packed tuna w red onion, lime, carrot, black radish, cucumber, 3 cured olives & drizzle EVOO

• Avocado open-sandwich (1/2 small mashed fruit, drizzle EVOO, lime, 1 slice toast)

• Small blood orange

• Orange salad w mint, red onion, red chili flakes & olives—drizzle of EVOO

• Pasta di sardi ( 2 ¾ oz. bucatoni, ½ fennel bulb, ½ onion, sardines, anchovies, pinenuts, currants, toasted breadcrumbs & EVOO, all caloric ingredients in reduced amounts)

• Applesauce

R February 22, 2007

• GC & 6 oz. yogurt w rhubarb-ginger-Meyer lemon-mango compote and 2 T granola

• Avocado open-faced sandwich w 3 oz. leftover tuna salad (minus cuke, olives, oil plus 1 T light mayo & chives) and half a small avocado

• 2 tangerines & ½ mug of tea w honey and milk

• 2 3/8 oz. cappelletti in brodo (1 ¾ c) w peas, parsley & Parmesan

• 2 small zucchini, slices broiled w EVOO & marinated w mint, salt, garlic & vinegar

• Half an apple

F February 23, 2007

• Half an apple, coffee w milk

• Oatmeal w dried fruit, ¼ t cinnamon (way too much—inspired by recommended dose for dieters concerned about levels of cholesterol & sugars) and 1% milk

• Leftover pasta di sardi (traditional; delicious at room temperature)

• Second cup of coffee (half) w blood orange

• 1/3 lb. of baked salmon, marinated in yogurt, light sour cream & fresh dill

• 1/3 c couscous w chicken broth, t butter, chives, roasted red pepper & zest

• Marinated zucchini [better as sides for grilled salmon]

• Temple orange

• Herbal tea & 1 coconut macaroon (50 calories)

S February 24, 2007

• GC & plain yogurt w rhubarb compote & granola

• Leftover salmon

• Cucumber salad w red onion, rice vinegar, Sichuan pepper & dash of sugar

• 2 small blood oranges & 1 square Valrhona bittersweet chocolate (87.5)

• Tea, milk & honey

• 1 cube aged Gouda (yum) & bites of lots of exotic dried fruits (all blah) while shopping

• 2 carrots while cooking (still famished)

• Ginger chicken soup w bok choy

• Apple

• Herbal tea & 2 coconut macaroons (100)


FIVE pounds lost!!!! 13 to go. Walking: 5 1/3 hours, 5 days. Increase of one day and nearly an hour.

Finally! At this rate, 30-36 pounds in a year which is not ideal, but current rate (vs. average) is potentially better since I really did not exercise very much during the first few weeks, nor did I change my eating habits significantly until Week 3 or 4. While I've discovered shortest routes in errand-related walks, I have also shortened time it takes to reach destination enough to think I'm picking up speed and gaining more benefits.

Even if a loss of five pounds every other month strikes me as less than ideal at this point, if I am able to maintain it rather than slide backwards, it is ten times better than the steady, annual rate of increasing weight I've experienced over the past decade.

New short-term goals: 1) Lose 4 additional pounds to become simply overweight vs. obese (BMI scale); 2) Exercise 5 times a week at least twice a month; 3) Continue to eat more fish, if mindful of environmental issues involved; 4) Maintain weekly loss of weight.

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Week 9

N February 25, 2007

• GCO w canned peaches & 1% milk

• 2 carrots wee

• Temple orange, handful of almonds

• 5 dried apricots & green tea

• 1 thin buttered end of strata roll

• Boiled Kale (Zuni Cookbook) in a bowl

w poached egg & garlic-rubbed bread toasted,


Half of liquid brodo vs. water, hard,

Pecorino. Garnish: pepper, roasted.

• Blackberry cobbler for dessert

M February 26, 2007

• GC but instead of O, yogurt

w 3 T granola and rhubarb compote

• Half a PBH sandwich, short glass 1% milk & a carrot

• Mug of apple-rutabaga soup w a little buttermilk & chives

• Tangerine of merit

• Vegetarian chili w tomato

(I know, I know),

Cheddar, scallions, cilantro,

lime & T light sour cream

• 2 wedges ( :o but so good) skillet-baked cornbread

• Eternal cucumbers—forget the erratic rhyming scheme

• Cara-Cara orange, pink instead of red

T February 27, 2007

• GCO, latter w canned peaches (pear juice vs. syrup; nursery food) and cinnamon

• Mug of soup (cf. lunch yesterday) & slice of toasted cornbread

• Apple

• Green gnocchi w caduta di formaggio (modified to decrease fat content, from Veneto X, Molto Mario), using 2 bulbs of red endive as additional ingredient & garnish; don't use ice bath & reheat.

• Braised chicken thigh w red onion, cherries & apricots (same source, only not bunny)

• A few dried cherries & walnut pieces while cooking

W February 28, 2007

• GCO, same as yesterday

• Last of the marinated zucchini & 3 carrots

• Half PBJ w half glass of milk

• Half cup of yogurt w last of rhubarb compote & 2 T granola

• Cube ginger, dried apricot

• Vegetarian chili & cornbread with all fixings

• Large salad w Romaine, red pepper, cucumber & buttermilk-chive dressing

• Dried apricot & one coconut macaroon

LOSS OF 3 LBS FOR MONTH, ½ TENUOUSLY. 1 lb. improvement from January, though 2-2 ½ to make up to meet Summer Challenge

R March 1, 2007

• GCO w dried fruit and 2% milk

• Leftover green gnocchi w Gorgonzola, chives, etc. (6 oz. potato, ½ egg, <1 oz. cheese, ½ c spinach & T butter)

• Carrot & red bell pepper strips

• Wedge cornbread while cooking

• 2 reheated chicken thighs w fruit-onion sauce (cf. Tuesday)

• ½ roasted cauliflower

• Leaves & stem of " (bitter roasted, though not always the case)

• Tangerine & 2 macaroons

F March 2, 2007

• GCO w peaches

• Chili w last of Cheddar, scallions, red onion, lemon juice & light sour cream

• Blood orange

• 5 almonds, 2 cubes ginger and ½ mug of tea w milk & honey

• Last slice oatmeal bread toasted w ½ mashed avocado, lime, fleur de sel & EVOO

• Last of cappelletti in small bowl of brodo w peas & Parmesan

• Last stalk of broccoli steamed w lime

• 2 Clementines from Spain

S March 3, 2007

• Toasted cornbread & coffee w milk

• Fruit salad: blueberries, blood orange & ½ temple orange, thawed raspberries, ½ grapefruit, banana, 1 t sugar & ½ apple

• Great turkey burger (3 ¾ oz.) w garlic, cumin & cayenne on ½ strata roll, charred red onion, avocado & lime juice

• Rest of now incredible fruit salad & more coffee

• Thawed parsnip & white bean soup w leeks doctored w scallions, bok choy & chives

• Freshly baked spongy demi-baguette purchased from WFM for meatballs but since ravenous, compelled to eat the thinly crusted ends with nigh a T butter. O Butter, how I cherish thee and ever faithful remain.

• Roasted pear in red wine sauce w drizzle honey & Parmesan curls (Batali; bad move)

WEIGHT: Still 5 down, 13 to go. Walking: 6 hours, 20 minutes. 4 days. Increase of one hour, motivated by the discipline and records of Jael. Thank you, Superman.

On Saturday, loss of half a pound from precisely a week ago though figure represents a plateau from day of last report. Weight shot up another pound and a half before falling again. Teetering continues.

Last week Bill asked if winter doldrums were to blame for wavering and sliding backwards in the group as a whole. That was the day I briefly got what I was waiting for all winter long: a chance to trudge along the snowy banks in Rock Creek Park, branches above weighted down with snow, entering woods since so many people were out making snow people, walking dogs, sledding. Glorious to walk for over two hours. Happy to sip a warm, brothy soup afterwards with prospect of a real dessert. With warm weather, the desire for soup dwindles, thereby raising interest in solids, fat and more caloric food in general. Really had to pull myself away from the skirt steak on sale at WFM and content myself with the lemongrass and kombu I hiked to the store to buy.

That discipline did not hold. I think I took last week's discouraging group pattern as license—or came up with whatever silly excuses to accommodate too many treats each day vs. once a day. I didn't count calories for some of the meals as I have been and consequently took too much for granted, especially when deciding to participate in the Italian regional cooking threads again.

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Week 10

While I continue to keep daily accounts of food consumption, I am not sure those of you who look at my weekly posts find much of value in the details. Since Don Rockwell has it in for people who triple-space after quotes, I figure 5 months of long weekly reports would be deserving of snips and snarls, so I won't continue unless something dramatic calls for documentation.

WEIGHT: 1 ½ pounds gained on Saturday, the end of the week, all dropped as of this morning due to soup dinners, hours walking and time spent outdoors. Back to where I started 2 weeks ago, minus the thrill. 5 down instead of 9 at the half-way mark of the Summer Challenge. 13 pounds to go.

Walking: 5 ¼ hours devoted to exercise. 5 days. Decrease of 1 hour, if increase of number of days. Unmotivated; self-discipline was not strong this week.

Weight gain and loss of 1 ½ pounds continues to be a pattern throughout the Summer Challenge, only this time, the typical loss did not occur at end of week nor was the wavering accompanied by the loss of any additional weight. Two principal factors: purchase of packaged sandwich bread and strong cravings for something different. Both led to munchies and either larger portions or more caloric dinners. Gave in and finally made half a recipe of Dutch cheese crepes w aged Gouda purchased months ago. They were so good, I just wanted more along those lines.

I've been more aware of hunger, even after a pretty normal lunch that doesn't seem exactly geared towards dieting, such as a peanut butter sandwich w low-fat milk and piece of fruit. The late afternoon desire for more than herbal tea returneth.

Really wished to go walking (as dedicated exercise) early in the week, but by postponing hour of walk on Tuesday and justifying avoidance altogether, slipped into lethargy and lost momentum. Therefore the inverse of usual pattern occurred w gain of ½ pound on Friday and another pound Saturday from calories that must have been building up gradually. Discouraged but not disheartened. Hoping to see further drop with more exercise this week, though I do plan to prepare one indulgent braised dish for dinner tonight.

With Daylight Savings Time, there is more time to put on walking shoes and enjoy daylight before dinner as long I can talk myself into being happy with tea, a few nuts or a piece of fruit or something not too caloric around 3:30-5 PM when I get peckish. Knowing that I can mostly reheat dinner once I'm through helps, too.

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I've been more aware of hunger, even after a pretty normal lunch that doesn't seem exactly geared towards dieting, such as a peanut butter sandwich w low-fat milk and piece of fruit. The late afternoon desire for more than herbal tea returneth.

It may not fit everybody's schedule, but for me the whole eating small but often thing has worked. I bring a multi-part "lunch" and eat something every 1-2 hours. It really helps that 3:00 hunger feeling knowing that I still have something in the fridge. Lots of green tea has helped, too. This type of grazing keeps the metabolism going all day which in turn burns more calories. It took me awhile to get used to not being full after "lunch" and I still have to be pretty disciplined to keep to a schedule, but I haven't had any late afternoon sugar-crash hunger issues. I'm not keeping a food diary, but I'll post a typical day in my thread.

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Thanks for the good advice, Ted. I have been doing that only with pieces of fruit or raw vegetables. However, today since I ate little in the morning I had a much more substantial snack of yogurt with lots of fruit and a little granola. It made a huge difference.

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The following charts the rise and fall and rise and fall and rise and fall and rise and fall of the unsinkable pounds of Anna Blume who lost 2 pounds in January and 3 in February. She hasn't given up, but recently, having seen a late-night commercial in which Cartoon Guy becomes automatically svelte by giving up bread, curbing appetite and exercising, while Cartoon Woman remains overly voluptuous—no, let's face it—pillowy while undergoing precisely the same forms of Behavior Modification, she is tempted to don dark glasses, pull up her hood and go to the corner where The Man is peddling Gender-Specific diet pills to Big Girls.

First number indicates the date in March followed by pounds lost during Challenge

Figure within parentheses indicates pounds lost or gained since the previous morning

Final number indicates the number of minutes spent walking briskly that day as form of exercise

1. - 4 (1 lb. gain) 0

2. - 3.5 (½ lb. gain) 95

3. - 5 (1 ½ lb. loss) 75

4. - 4 (1 lb. gain) 45

5. - 4 90

6. - 4 ½ (½ lb. loss) 0

7. - 5 (½ lb. loss) 65

8. - 5 0

9. - 4 ½ (½ lb. gain) 45

10. - 3 ½ (1 lb. gain) 70

11. - 3 ½ 125

12. - 4 ½ (1 lb. loss) 60

13. - 5 (½ lb. loss) 0

14. - 4 (1 lb. gain) 60

15. - 5 (1 lb. loss) 0

16. - 4 ½ ( ½ lb. gain) 50

17. - 4 ( ½ lb. gain) 100

18. - 4 ½ ( ½ lb. loss) 60

19. - 5 ( ½ lb. loss) (Plans for evening)

Eeyore reading: No progress since February with only 2 weeks remaining in March. Poo!

Dick's reading: It would be unpatriotic to ignore 2 successive days of the enemy's retreat. Stay the course!

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Week 12

N March 18, 2007

Weight: -4.5 pounds Exercise: 1 hour walk

• G + 2( C )

• Yogurt w organic wild blueberries, honey & 3T granola w flaxseed

• Dried mango slice

• Stir-fried beef & jicama (t cornstarch, mushroom soy, chili powder & ½ t brown sugar to velvet < ¼ lb.) w ½ red bell pepper, ½ onion, 2 scallions, Jalapeno, garlic, cilantro w sauce ( ¼ c stock, ½ t cornstarch, mushroom soy, chili-garlic paste & lime)

• Tea w milk & honey, 1 dried apricot & 2 cubes crystallized ginger

• Asparagus soup—small bowl w shaving of Parmesan

• Moosewood tofu burger on slice of multigrain bread w t light mayo, Dijon, 2 cornichons & lettuce

• Apple

M March 19, 2007

Weight: -5 Exercise: 0

• GC 50 Total for breakfast: 396

• 70 gr Shredded Wheat, ¼ c blueberries & ¾ c 1% milk 15 gr protein; 243+20+83

• 3 oz. of Saturday's tuna salad, small blood orange, 1 oz. avocado, ½ huge golden beet, 2-3 inches cucumber, ¼ red bell pepper, Romano core, dotted w dressing of light mayo w light sour cream, ½ t canola, 1% buttermilk, garlic, green Tabasco, lime & cilantro... Estimate: 175, 45, 47, 44, 12, 20, 50

• Matzo 20 gr 78 Total for lunch: 452 to 500 Balance of 575 for rest of day for 1450

• Romano beans 241 for one cup

• Brown rice 163 for ¾ cup

• Collard greens 26 cup cooked, drained, but w bacon (4 slices uncured/lowered fat for 2 lbs. greens), onion, likker at least 70 (474)

• Small pear 86

T March 20, 2007

Weight: -5 Exercise: walk for 1 hour, 15 minutes

• GC 50 Total for breakfast: 343

• 1 c Shredded Wheat, 1 T mixed dried fruit & ¾ c 1% milk 15 gr protein; 170+45+83

• 3 oz. tuna salad, cucumber & red pepper slices 175, 12, 20

• 14 gr. matzo 55

• Green tea and small pear 86 Total lunch + snack: 433

• ½ ounce dry-roasted cashews (10) 85 Subtotal: 776 Balance: 674 (1450)

• Last of the chicken fricassee (1 thigh) w additional mushrooms 300? & sauce 100

• ¾ c brown rice 163

• Collards 40

• Honey tangerine 73 676

W March 21, 2007

Weight: -6 pounds.

Three weeks to lose one additional pound while trying to do so. Not always measuring, weighing & counting calories (takes forever), but eating mindfully with no days of respite. No one else having the same experience?

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Congrats on the weight loss. I'm impressed that you have managed to keep such a detailed listing of what you eat. Has it helped you any in planning your meals or do you just "go with the flow"?

I am on a 1200 cal diet, eat 6 times a day which I'm not used to and drink at least 8 glasses of water, which is the hardest part for me. I don't think I'm as hungry, and I'm having success eating many smaller meals than trying to stick to 3 meals. I also find that having a glass of water before and after my meals takes some of the edge off.

I wish you success in your challenge!

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CT: You're very kind.

Since I keep a pretty well-stocked pantry and freeze chicken stock, individual portions of soups, braises and sauces, meal-planning comes from assessing how much I can eke out of supplies on hand, what staples need to be replenished and what looks good/is on sale wherever I shop. I still tend to buy too much for a given week while adjusting to smaller portions; I'm incredulous when it comes to how many calories are in foods that always seemed pretty innocuous.

I also try to purchase things I've never made before to avoid monotony. Upon occasion I will go in search of ingredients for a particular dish--for example, when participating in an Italian regional cooking thread or cooking for more than just myself. I am a big fan of the public library as a source of inspiration, too.

I haven't been going out of my way to buy "diet food". The opposite, in fact. However, I do rely on Daisy light sour cream even though I rarely used sour cream in the past. I also have been trying to incorporate more tofu, green tea, pears, etc. into my diet having read that certain foods are really good in staving off hunger or trying to lose weight. Seems like magical thinking, but there is no harm in closing your eyes and clicking the heels of your shoes together.

* * *

I am curious about your decision to limit calories to only 1200. How did you arrive at that amount? What do you eat?

Since I am short and chose a number that gives me 1750 more calories a week, I wonder if I need to adopt a more ascetic meal plan.

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WEIGHT: 8 pounds lost, 10 to go. Walking: 5 hours, 25 minutes so far; aiming for a full 7 this week.

After long stretch of see-sawing and hovering around what seemed to be an insurmountable plateau, this proved to be the first week in which I lost more than 1 ½ pounds. I also have avoided the typical climb of numbers on the scale immediately after the loss-- knock on wood--before I settle into my new weight. 3 pounds lighter than Monday! I've been looking to more successful participants for clues that were escaping me since "Mostly Plants" was not working as my mantra. However, with more rigorous measuring and calculating (sigh—I figure some of this will become routine), I discovered that "Eat Less" definitely applied to me. Gradually increasing exercise is paying off, too.

The scale at the start of the cheetah run at the National Zoo is back in operation and I am still a young wildebeest when it comes to dining options of a small pack of cats. If I maintain current resolve, I should transform back into a warthog before tomato season begins.

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To celebrate the happy loss, I decided to have a more or less regular meal, if modifying one of Fabio Trabocchi's recipes, tossing spaghetti with tomatoes, olive oil and mussels plied open by wine. Half a glass of wine, one hundred calories of macaroons to accompany berries, and the next morning, 1 1/2 pounds were back.

I was not excessive that day... I didn't quite get it, though I felt the break was worth it.

After even more walking and physical labor the following day, I had maybe 100 grams of little tiny organic potatoes, boiled and then split to place cut side down in a tiny splat of olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Topped a salad with them when they browned and were still warm enough to wilt the arugula. A real vinaigrette.

Another 1/2 a pound.

So I am going ascetic again and one of the pounds has gone missing. So it's 7 pounds down, 11 to go.

Tonight the filler is a jicama slaw with carrots and red bell peppers. I'll see if the thawed frozen peaches are worthy of a salsa with avocado to accompany a naked turkey burger later, after my walk.

I should be back on track pretty soon. I'll post a few recipes or links later in the week.

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I am, Heather, the former vs. the latter. I understand that weight fluctuates, but we're all different and rather than use this thread as a full confessional, I'll just say that it's more like a game for me to see how changes and new efforts affect what happens from day to day than a source of anxiety.

Were I to wait for a full week, I wouldn't have the satisfaction of seeing that half-pound loss that gives me momentum for the rest of the day; I also think I might go overboard with a series of rationalizations for eating larger portions or extra treats. I'd much rather know than cross fingers, be good and go about my business.

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Yes, it has been almost two weeks since I last contributed any new reports to this thread. If only it were because the wonderful progress made after weeks of stagnation was followed by a steady decline of pounds and the replacement of zaftigitude with skin that does not bear witness to the waistline of one's clothing at the end of the day! I wish I could say that I have been postponing even better news. But on Fortune's cap, I am not the very button.

Instead, tedious days of teetering follow the short, happy blast of pounds lost. I continue to jump back and forth across the BMI line of Overweight and Obesity, mostly 1/2 to 1 1/2 pounds higher. It really does not seem to be the fault of excessive calorie intake, though one of the reasons I replaced my supply of chicken stock this weekend was renewed faith in soup. The cold helped, of course. After bundling up on my hike to Whole Foods on P Street, it was before the bins of root vegetables that I felt most inspired. With back turned to the verdant mound of artichokes and clam shells filled with strawberries, I stocked up on sunchokes, sweet potatoes and rutabagas to purée for soups. A bunch of Tuscan kale to say good-bye to winter.

During my walk along the banks of Rock Creek Park I saw patches of violets and a mutation of robins flying in and out of twisted bundles of dusty gray-brown vines. Three young, fit runners passed me by. No Eureka moment there, but having just finished Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, and finally getting to Adam Gopnik's most recent essay in The New Yorker late last night, an observation about how much walking goes on in novels set in the 19th century made me think about what I was doing for exercise and what I was not. Getting a bit red-faced from time to time isn't enough. No long skirts to maneuver. Sensible shoes. Although I don't feel the urge to join a gym, I should vary my routine. I need to sweat.

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I have been keeping pretty thorough records, ultimately deciding to divide the full year into four stages. Here's what I used to begin a new document for Part II:

Part II: April through June

APRIL: Goals: 1) to slough off completely "obese" status shed at end of March by dropping once more to that figure and then 2) to diminish both intake of food & calories 3) so that loss per month continues progressive acceleration, and finally 4) to continue increasing exercise each week.

Part I

• Loss of 8 pounds. At one point, a loss of 9 full pounds.

• Increase of exercise from 1 day to 5 days a week

• Each month, total number of pounds lost rose one additional pound

Part II

• Loss of at least 12 pounds, 6 in April (originally 5, but overnight gain).

• 6 days of exercise per week

• Increase both hours and types of exercise including stations in Rock Creek Park that aren't in disrepair, stairs in building, aerobics, etc.

• Lose 10 pounds by May 26, the deadline for Summer Challenge.

This month has been harder since goals for April are a larger challenge than anticipated. I was hoping that the surprising positive change after a period of stagnation in March would prove cyclical, but that hasn't happened yet. I have lost 2 pounds, but only to return to the best weight achieved during the Summer Challenge: i.e., just below obesity level.

Since I haven't been dropping pounds quickly, I don't see how 4 more might be lost in the next 12 days or 8 more by May 26. The discouragement of not losing at least one pound a week (I'd be so close to target now at Week 15 were this to have happened!) is in concert with weather that hasn't motivated me to take longer walks in the early evening.

On the other hand, I should be able to push myself back to a 6-day exercise schedule before the end of June. I will still aim for increasing the number of pounds I lose this quarter from 8 to 12. One of the reasons diets don't work is the frustration of not meeting expectations, especially when a spurt or two of weight loss makes it seem as if they're attainable. I'll just need to make adjustments at the beginning of each month to accommodate what has or hasn't happened.

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Reader, I did not make my ambitious goal of a 6-pound loss for April.

I lost 4 pounds instead, basically echoing the results of March. 11 pounds lost, 7 to go.

If I continue at this rate, I will not meet the Summer Challenge. I'll fall 3-5 pounds short since the challenge ends before the final day of the month.

On the other hand, I should be able to meet personal goals of dropping 12 pounds during this quarter of the year (see Part II of objectives in post immediately preceding this one). Let's hope the change of season and return to lighter dishes increases the rate of loss even more, as long as I don't find ways to justify ice cream.

The factor that keeps me going is what undermines a more radical rate of loss: not eating diet food.

Here's what I had yesterday, instead:

• Grapefruit half & 2 coffees w milk

• 60 g Spoon-sized Shredded Wheat w strawberry, ½ banana and ¾ c low-fat milk

• Other half of banana

• Salad of leftover salmon, fennel, lemon & EVOO

• Asian-style cucumber salad w red onion, red bell pepper, rice vinegar & chili sauce

• Half a minneola

• Scrubbed carrot from Next Step Produce

• 2 ½ oz. spaghetti w nearly ¾ bunch of last week's ramps, light cream & 2 T ragù. EVOO, Grana & Dry Jack.

Definitely a new favorite: bulbs in tiny rounds, sautéed first, then leaves sliced across and sautéed for a while

(as pasta boils), low heat, adding ragù before cream (too little to reduce).

• Salad finishing frisée, remaining grated Jack, slivered dried white peach, toasted walnut & Dijon vinaigrette

• 3 t rhubarb compote

I am averaging 4 days of exercise a week now, if in longer segments. In March, I had pushed forward to more than 5. Since I said I would build towards a 6-day schedule by June, now's the time to start.

In addition to all the lovely wild flowers Porcupine observed during her walks, poison ivy flourishes along wooded paths, especially noticeable should you decide to climb up on some of the narrow arteries blazed between Dumbarton Oaks and the banks of Rock Creek Park. Thank g-d I learned something in Girl Scouts.

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Reader, I did not make my ambitious goal of a 6-pound loss for April.

I lost 4 pounds instead, basically echoing the results of March. 11 pounds lost, 7 to go.

Even if you didn't reach your exact goal, congratulations on your steady forward progress! A pound a week is nothing to sneeze at, and you're doing it through a great combination of healthy eating and exercise. I don't have the studies at my fingertips to support the assertion, but I believe that weight slowly and honestly lost stays off a lot better than weight dropped through deprivation and extreme behavior.

Thanks for sharing your success with us and keep up the good work.

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O happy day! :blink:

Number One, it is glorious. Breeze, sun, blue, green, spring. Strawberries from Heinz, bundles of asparagus and fresh fava beans and mint to make maro (post 20) to go with.

Number Two, progress.

The week before last, I lost 1 1/2 pounds after stagnation, last week 2, and this week is off to a fine start.

The second digit in my weight has just dropped for the second time during the Summer Challenge and that always feels good, even if I anticipate a bit of a teetering effect.

I really believe in the power of exercise. Because I had slacked off for a couple of weeks and gone out on fewer long walks, I took only one day off last week and put in nearly 8 1/2 hours on various routes. I would like to make a six-day schedule a norm, if for shorter stretches of time.

13 pounds lost, 5 to go.

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Well, it took me over a week to return to the weight I reported gleefully last time I posted.

Slowly my weight rose and fell two pounds, returning this morning to a 13-pound loss with 5 more to go. It's just the way these things happen.

Heather linked a book review in the main thread for the Summer Challenge that made a LOT of sense to me, especially in the attention paid to the role craving plays in sabotaging weight loss.

For dinner a few days ago, I decided to finish up a large head of frisée purchased at the farmer's market the week before. The washed, chilled torn greens filled a salad bowl. Fried up two strips of slab bacon as lardons and tossed the greens with plenty of shallot vinaigrette. Topped it with a runny cliché. Not exactly a light salad even if it was a little skimpy as dinner, but appropriate if you plan on dessert. While I was making the salad and even as I later mixed together the batter for the blackberry cobbler, I felt as if I couldn't wait another second to eat. More. How could I be starving after two strips of bacon, a poached egg and nearly an entire head of chicory?

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I can report an additional pound, with a total of 8.14% of original weight vs. the original goal of 10.47% with plans for slogging on.

14 pounds lost, 4 to go.

While this Summer Challenge provided the nudge that nothing else has, it's taught me that once you do give into temptation, it is possible:

  • to eat a Valrhona chocolate bar over the course of a month and a half
  • a pint of Haagen Dazs in the four servings that the carton specifies; and
  • lose a pound after eating six freshly baked oatmeal chcolate-chip cookies.

Perhaps we should all collaborate on the Don Rockwell Diet Book.

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Part II (April-June)

• Loss of 6.5 pounds, down from 8 pounds in Part I

• Days of exercise average 4.83 which exceeds Part I

• 6 hours of exercise on average per week

N.B. Fell short of goal of meeting Summer Challenge and increasing rate of loss by 25%. While I lost 4 pounds in April, loss dropped to 1 ½ in May when target weight seemed impossible to reach and only 1 pound in June after Challenge ended instead of reaching target by mid-June (attainable were I to have plodded on conscientiously). Also fell short of dedicated exercise 6 days a week if the increase in number of hours per day on average meets one of the principles of the goal.

On another positive note, loss of weight continues. Backsliding occurs only in terms of 1-2 ½ lb. fluctuations each week. In addition to being able to wear clothes that were too tight last spring and summer, I've managed to zip up something from Colorado though years have robbed baggy plaid Bermuda shorts of their irony.

Part III: July through September

• Loss of 9 pounds or at least 3 pounds per month

• Thereby dropping to lower classification on Cheetah Run scale at zoo

• 6 days of exercise per week

• 6 ½ hours of exercise per week

JULY Goals: 1) to drop to point where 2nd digit in bedtime weight no longer increases; 2) to find a better balance between asceticism at the end of Part I & increasing indulgences of Part II 3) so that loss per month returns to progressive acceleration and 4) I reach Summer Challenge's target weight before August 6; and 5) to exercise six days each week despite heat and humidity.

6) Given the number of fattening foods currently in the house (heavy cream, Montasio...), a return to restrictive shopping habits. Edy's Tangerine bars vs. black raspberry ice cream w bittersweet chocolate. Vegan salads of beans and grains. Prosciutto-wrapped melon vs. frico. Going overboard w local produce and cutting back supermarket purchases. However, the time-consuming practice of counting calories and weighing portions should be reinstated in August if not sooner should a 3-pound drop not seem imminent mid-month.

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Progress thus far:Part III: July through September

• Lost 2.5 vs. 3 pounds in July, so short of goal, but only slightly

• 6 days of exercise per week, sometimes 7

• 6 ½ hours of exercise per week, not always, but average was higher than 7

JULY Goals 1, 3 & 5 clearly accomplished. 2nd, sort of, but not quite given lackluster approach to 6th. Still, despite weather, I've resisted ice cream and only baked a single fruit pie. I've also started to count calories again, if not consistently. We'll see if I've managed to meet the Summer Challenge's target weight in a week. I doubt it, but there are only 2 more pounds to go.

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So, Don, if we meet our Summer Challenge goal on a summer-like day, do we get appetizers or a glass of wine?

* * *

Finally, finally. I can't believe it's taken this long. The latest source I read told me I'd meet my ultimate goal in two years (another 40 lbs.) by consuming 1681 (!!!!) calories a day given my level of exercise, short stature, weight as of last week, age and gender. I.e., slowly. 1.5 lbs. per week.

The same source also said that women, on average, require only 1200 calories per day. I have been averaging more, but definitely not as many as 1680. And were I steadily dropping 1.5 pounds per week and keeping them off, I'd be much closer to where I hope to be. One month, I gained 1/2 pound. Others have seen modest progress, if progress nonetheless.

I appreciate all the new and recent updates. They help. A bum knee ended my running within a decade of taking it up and it remains derelict to this day. Nonetheless, I've been inspired to incorporate more strenuous exercises into my weekly routine and am starting to see results.

* * *

Next goal is easy. I've stated it before. I now wish to be a different animal on the Cheetah Run scale at the National Zoo.

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So, I actually kept track of all my meals--and snacks--last year and put in 6 1/2 hours of dedicated walking every week. That is, I recorded the number of hours each week and made up deficits after cold, heat or laziness comprised my resolve.

Calculating calories and weighing food is another thing entirely. Too time-consuming, but dabbling in the practice helped me to gauge portions and monitor subsequent meals.

After reaching my goal for the Summer Challenge late (in October), I'm still at that same target weight as of this morning, after hovering 1-2 pounds above it for months, never below. Had I continued to lose 1/2-1 lb. a week, I would have met something pretty close to my ultimate goal by now. The hard part has been dealing what seems to be stasis. That, and increasing levels of physical effort in more strenuous forms of exercise.

So, here's the new plan for the year ahead:

1) Lose another 18 lbs.

The same number that was my goal last year. In 2007, I dropped from "Obese" to "Overweight" on the BMI. After dropping another 18 lbs., I will reach "Normal".

2) Continue to dedicate the same number of hours to exercise each week

3) Always keep dark chocolate and crystallized ginger in the house

4) Each quarter, add a new weekly exercise routine that replaces time spent walking

For January through March, it will be a 20-minute sequence of exercises to be performed once a week. I hate doing them, so it will be an accomplishment just to make this a habit. We'll see how this goes. Eventually, ideally, more exercise will supplement walking rather than replace it.

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Thanks, Ms. Pine! I found solidarity helped a lot, since even these modest efforts and results were a pretty important change after more than a decade of slow, but steady increase in weight.

Therefore, I look forward to more of your own reports of gardening, walks or relevant matters should you also chose to continue last year's efforts.

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I've been undisciplined when it comes to exercise in these past two weeks.

While I've made two rich dishes during the same time period (scalloped potatoes w Virginia Country ham; quiche tonight), I have otherwise been pretty good on this front.

Saving grace: Miso soup w dashi, soy sauce, soba noodles, slivers of carrot, scallion, snow pea pods, shitaki mushrooms & tiny cubes of tofu. Dashes of toasted sesame oil & dots of Louisiana hot sauce. It's the lack of sautéeing.

I've lost three pounds so far this year, though two were repeats. So, 1 down, I hope, with 17 to go.

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Modest back slide, though it's the realization that I have not continued the slow, steady weight loss that I began two years ago that also inspires me to post here.

After suspecting I might be gaining back some weight, I stepped onto a scale this morning for the first time in over a year. I am about three pounds lighter than I was New Year's Day in 2008, but that means I have been getting heavier.

While this weekend's enthusiastic grocery shopping* means I can't do anything truly ascetic at the moment, I am motivated to trim back on recent indulgences.

So, Alton Brown, thank you for the tip about adding an egg to baked macaroni and cheese and for helping me use up a bag of Trader Joe's Mexican cheese mix. No more white sauce for a while, though, and even if I did have leftovers, I would not dip cubes of them in egg, coat them in Panko, and fry em up!

I won't swear off chocolate, butter or cream completely and have been pretty good about cutting back on cheese. Pastry on Thursday, but I can't remember the last time I had pizza or ice cream.

Plan: resume food diary and incorporate more minimal-calorie, brothy soups. Poached vs. fried eggs. At least 7 hours walking each week w only one day off.

Sundays are always atypical, but in the spirit of full disclosure, this is what I ate yesterday:


2 cups of coffee w something like 2.75% milk

1 egg over easy w dash of green Tabasco on bed of

3/4 c arroz blanco (reheated)

Corn muffin* w scallions and cheddar, the size of a French melon, minus 6 bites

Plain lowfat yogurt

Rhubarb compote

2/3 c homemade granola (oats, pumpkin seeds, nuts, canola, honey, dried fruit...)

Cup of leftover split pea soup

Small wedge of cornbread w 2 t butter

Huge salad of mixed greens and lettuces*, 2 grated carrots

Tahini-yogurt dressing

Catfish fillet* (dipped in milk, coated in flour and cornmeal) fried in brown butter

Squirt of lemon

2/3 c dried apple rings* since I was too tired and (I thought) not hungry enough to accompany the protein at dinner time.

*Purchases at market that morning where I picked up 2 balls of mozzarella since there was a great special and I wanted to respond to a craving for pizza. Also got a beautiful slice of veal and some hot Italian sausage since last week was virtually vegetarian.

On the grocery list for next week: white miso; organic tofu; scallions; lemon grass

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^Thanks! How is your svelte self these days?

I started to review this topic yesterday and noticed how Ted E swore by small meals.

However, as I mentioned, Sundays are atypical since I am running around from a very early hour; loading up on protein and carbs in smaller increments works best for me, especially since I prefer to wait at least an hour before eating in the morning.

Usually, I eat three standard meals and if I am hungry in between, I grab a handful of almonds, a piece of fruit, herbal tea.

I also read what laniloa has to say for herself and had to laugh about her post about homemade pizza and ice cream.

I don't care what they say about the danger of seeking comfort in food: last night I picked up a pint of my favorite Haagen-Daz since I am battling household pests. It was great! Pizza is on the menu for tomorrow since I have all this mozzarella in the house.

At least I didn't buy the bottle of wine that tempted me, as much as it would have done more than caramelized pears and cream ever could. I am a firm believer in the rule about not drinking calories (Michael Pollan, got that one?).

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