Weight Ticker

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stats Weekend - Saturday, July 30 & Sunday, July 31

I'm holding at 186. No loss, no gain. Just the same. Of course, I haven't been walking on a regular basis and I've been eating whatever I want. And I'm tired of it! Can you believe it? I don't want to eat just anything. I get heartburn. I get a rumbly tummy. Ugh. I'd rather eat smaller healthy meals than the "stuff your face" variety. That's a huge change for me!

It's nice to have company - literally and figuratively. My sister spent a week here and we are like two peas in a pod with our health and eating issues. Luckily, we're in it together and can encourage each other to stick to the healthier route. It's fun to share ideas, past failures, past successes, and goals for the future. I'm looking forward to keeping up with her and having her keep up with me!

Randy returned from his Walgreens Vegas trip, so we walked our two miles yesterday. Today I awoke with a cough that eventually strangled my vocal chords, so I took benadryl and went comatose on the couch and he went for a short run. I hope I'll be able to walk with him tomorrow.

Rebecca headed down to LSU today for a four day program and Kelsey is heading home on Thursday (Rebecca's return day) so we'll have both girls in the house for two weeks before Rebecca goes to LSU for the fall semester. Those will be glory days! Two of my three children under the same roof at the same time. And they both cook healthy things! That means I'll come home from work to healthy meals, and that's a good thing!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Excuses, Excuses but So Much Fun!

My sister, Pat, has been visiting for the past week and we've had a great time together. We've done a lot of fun things and eaten a lot of good food. I didn't even think about "watching" what I ate, unless watching the butter melt all over my freshly baked biscuit counts. lol!

view of Carriage House Restaurant from Stanton Hall antebellum home Natchez, MS is just two hours away and has a large number of antibellum homes to tour, so that was our girls getaway destination. We started out having Sunday brunch at The Carriage House at Stanton House. They have an amazing buffet with fried chicken, shrimp and grits, crawfish tartlets, cornbread, salads, crab and brie bisque, silver dollar biscuits, and blueberry creme brulee. Delicious. We rolled out of there and took our first house tour of Stanton. The house was amazingly grand with 15 ft (or so) ceilings and 12 inch thick walls inside and out. The furniture was opulent and the smell was delightfully musty! We headed over to Longwood next and took the tour there, walked the grounds just a bit, and wilted like true Southern belles. Since we didn't eat until 1 and begin tours until 2, we never did manage to make it to dinner. We were still quite satisfied when we settled down to sleep around eleven.

Monday served up a breakfast buffet at The Natchez Grand Hotel...biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, sausage, jelly and coffee. I stuffed myself with four biscuits (with an array of gravy, butter, jelly) and some eggs so I'd have enough energy to take more house tours. We started with Dunleith, a bed and breakfast, and got a personal tour since we were the only ones there. Next we went to Rosalee, the headquarters of the Union army while they occupied Natchez. I needed a bit of refreshment after that so we went to The Natchez Coffee Company and had a raspberry iced tea and a scone. The atmosphere reminded me a lot of Pinky's in South Tampa but it had more baker items and a larger dining room. Next, we headed out to Melrose, our last stop. Once again, we got a lot of personal attention because we were the only ones who ventured out in the rain to take the tour. Afterwards, we decided we had room for lunch at The Pig Out Inn. It's been in Southern Living magazine twice for good reason. It's great pork barbeque at a very reasonable price. We both ate pulled pork sanwiches topped with cole slaw and had a mini pie for dessert. Stuffed to the gills, we rolled out of Natchez and headed back home to West Monroe, where once again, we were too stuffed to eat dinner.

Pulled Pork at The Pig Out Inn

Tuesday brought a day of clothes shopping around town with chicken salad at Daily Harvest and chicken and dumplings and cornbread at Cracker Barrel. Today, we're rather done with eating. We're stuffed and paying the price. Simple is the key, especially since my disposal is broken and we're awaiting a service call. Who wants to cook and clean with only half a sink and the uckiness of disposal woes. It's a no cooking day of sandwiches, bagels, bananas, and whatever else we can manage without having to wash more than we'd like. Thank goodness. I can't imagine putting anything heavy into my body just now. I'm going to have to go float in the pool to get some relief from the weight I'm sure I put on.

I'm not expecting a loss and will be surprised if I don't see a gain at my Saturday/Sunday weigh in. And that's okay. I keep reminding myself of my goal to change my lifestyle and lose weight slowly. I'm not looking for rapid, temporary loss, but long term overall better health and weight. So a week of indulgence isn't going to set me back a bit. It was a pleasure and I'm glad to move on and away from it back to normal routines and normal foods.

I'm hoping to go back to Natchez for the balloon festival or the Fall Pilgrimage and pig out again. There's more to see and more to eat. I can't wait!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vietnamese Noodle Bowls, Splenda, and Saturday Stats Day 7/22/11

Randy and I developed a love for Vietnamese noodle bowls (rice vermicelli) back when Don Phuang was open on Henderson. When they closed, we started shopping at Dobond Asian market on South Dale Marbry Hwy and learned to make them. They are cheap, easy, and versatile (use shrimp, chicken, or pork), but the best part is they are very low cal. Now that we're in West Monroe, LA we haven't had to give up a thing! We have an Asian market called Bao Bao that has everything we need for noodle bowls, spring rolls, sushi, Pho and more. Other than sodium issues in some of the sauces and soup bases, it's a very healthy cuisine and it's helping me lose weight. I thought I'd include the recipe in this post in case anyone is feeling like a light, fresh change of pace.

Vietnamese Noodle Bowls (Serves 4)

Rice vermicelli (you can use rice sticks) - you want about 1/2 cup per bowl
1 cucumber cut into matchsticks
1 carrot shredded
1/2 cup of diakon radish (if you can find it)
1 to 2 cups of salad greens - any kind that you like
a few sprigs of Thai basil, mint, and cilantro
1 lb of boneless chicken breasts or thighs, pork loin, or shrimp
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
sweet rice wine vinegar, Siracha (Asian chili sauce), hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce for toppings

1. Boil water for noodles and put diakon radish matchsticks and diced carrots in rice wine vinegar to marinate.
2.  Prepared meat using your favorite method and brush on hoison sauce the last few minutes as you would BBQ sauce. I bake boneless chicken for 20 - 30 minutes, cook a small pork loin for approx. 30 minutes, or saute shrimp with a tsp or two of canola oil.
3. Boil vermicelli for 4 - 6 minutes, then rinse thoroughly - it's very starchy!
4. Place rice noodles in bowls. Top with salad greens, drained carrots and daikon, cukes, and herbs. Place 1/4 of the meat atop each bowl and sprinkle peanuts on top.
5. Garnish with sauces as you desire. Randy prefers heavy Siracha and hoison. I prefer hoison and sweet chili sauce. Some of our kids eat it with peanuts, others don't.  Pour approx. 1/4 cup of sweet rice wine vinegar over all to mix and mingle the flavors.

I'm no cookbook writer so you'll have to play with the measurements and ingredients. We can't get daikon up here all the time, so we skip it a lot. We couldn't find Thai basil in the store so we grow it now. You get the idea. Play and make it your own.

For a fun twist, take the same ingredients (on a much smaller scale) and wrap them up in spring roll wrappers. You just dip the wrappers into warm water to soften then wrap everything up like an eggroll. They aren't friend. You just each them as they are dipped in peanut sauce and Siracha. Delicious and very healthy!!


Stats for Today:

Still at 184. Must say, I haven't walked or gotten in the pool for a week, but I haven't been pigging out either. My sister is visiting and she brought her walking shoes, so we're going to walk together while she's here for the next week. I think that'll help budge the scale. We'll be walking all over Natchez on Sunday and Monday, too, so we'll get some exercise, but we'll also eat some local meals so I'm thinking I won't see weight loss. Ha!

I'm still thinking about that protein powder. I was going to do it to push me on, but my sister reminded me that once I go off the expensive powder, I'll go back to being hungrier at dinner again, so I'm better off doing it slowly and learning new habits. Good advice.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Good Health News!

I almost forgot! The next blood pressure  meds are working great - 117/72! I haven't been that low in two years! Ahhh...

Sunday Stats Day on Wednesday - LOL! 7/19ish

After spending Friday morning in the ER getting my leg sonogramed, I was supposed to sit around with it propped up for the weekend. Of course, that didn't happen. We ran errands all day Saturday and then we drove over to dinner in Jackson with Mama Jeanie and her sister Billie Lynn. Two hours over and two hours back. At least I didn't go over my two hour travel limit without stretching my legs - ha!  Sunday, we swam and ran even more errands, I napped hard, and fixed a lengthy dinner. Why? No idea. I planned on sitting but other people's plans kept getting me up. So here I am on Wednesday with a sore leg that hurts to walk on. It's just a painful tug but it wears on me. Of course, the sit down/prop up thing is a thing of the past. I'm supposed to be walking around plenty to get my circulation going. Bummer. I really don't feel like doing anything but sitting here typing up recipes and creating my family recipe album. Not much movement in that. Things have seriously got to change! Thankfully, my sister is coming to visit from Friday until Wednesday (lol- two hours to the airport and two hours back twice in a week - but it's not over my two hour limit!!) and we'll do plenty of walking around. We're going to the vineyard to listen to the music and meander around, we're going to Antique Alley on Trenton Street, we're going to swim plenty, and we're going to Natchez to see the antibellum homes and shop. Plenty of walking and activity will come over the next week. Yea!

So on to the weigh in.  I'm 174 pounds. No change in inches for two or three weeks now. I'm happy with that 6 pounds I'm down (10 pounds sinced the beginning of May!!) but I would't mind stepping it up a bit. Why? Not sure. I really thought a pound a week would be fine, but I keep traveling and eating and traveling and eating and I feel like I'm going to lose ground once the holidays get here. So...I'm thinking of adding protein powder into my diet (Almased) to keep my appetite down. Almased is a soy, yogurt, and honey powder that you mix in the blender like a smoothie. It's filled with fiber and good things for you. The down side is that it has a gritty texture that you can't make go away. I put cocoa powder, ground flax seed (soooo good for my heart!), and splenda in it, but it's still hard to put down early in the morning. I could just do it at dinner to curb my evening appetite. In fact, I think that's exactly what I'll do. I won't be doing the 3 stage diet plan because I'm not looking for a bikini body.  I'll let you know if it works for me. I hope I'll have some lower cholesterol numbers from it, too!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another Minor Setback

Maybe I spoke too soon yesterday. My train is temporarily off the track again. I have a superficial blood clot (phlebitis) in my leg due to our travels to Pensacola Beach and back. I don't know what to say, but I know what to do. I'll prop my leg up for the weekend and baby it with warm compresses. I'll start slow walking on Monday per doctor's instructions. I'll take the anti-inflammatory for the next month. I'll keep looking forward.

After spending the morning in the emergency room (had to go to make sure it wasn't DVT) I was shaky with hunger. I called my daughter (the one that's going to major in dietetics) and asked if she'd go to lunch with me. We picked Roly Poly because it's one of the healthiest fast food options around. I got a 6 inch turkey applejack wrap with apple butter. It comes in at 340 calories and is delicious!   
Roly Poly

For dinner I wanted some more comfort, so I made baked potato soup. Determined to keep it low fat, I used chicken broth and fat free milk, light sour cream as a topper, and 2% sharp cheddar cheese. It was delicious. I also fried up some of Randy's homemade bacon made with a pork butt rather than a pork belly. It's lean and tasty! Just half a piece made a powerful impact. Randy didn't mind the lower fat version, so it's the recipe I'll use from now on. It'll really be great on a cold winter night.

Tomorrow night we're taking Randy's grandmother and his great aunt to dinner over in Jackson. I think we'll go to Outback. I already know I'll be ordering the salmon, broccoli, and rice. I can't wait!

With my blood pressure issues on my mind, I'm thinking of looking into the DASH diet again. I know I don't want to "diet", but DASH is tailored for peeps like me and has the perfect balance of nutrients and is always low sodium. I think what I'll do is find some recipes to slip into our repertoire rather than trying to follow a complete diet. Maybe they'll have a recipe that uses okra since we have so much okra in our garden right now!

The angioedema and phlebitis are unrelated flukes, I know, but they are both related to my overall health. I wouldn't have had the swelling if I weren't on the Lisinopril for my blood pressure. I probably wouldn't have had the blood clot if I weighed less than I do. All in all, it's just another reminder that I need to get down to a proper weight. Rather than being setbacks, they are motivators. I'm declaring myself a healthy person right now and I'm going to live my life that way from now on. I can't wait to see what health benefits I've gained by June 11th of 2012!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Getting Back on Track - Thursday 7/14/11

My train derailed this week and now I'm trying to get back on track. Between being out-of-town for nearly two weeks and being sick and/or having an allergic reaction to meds, I totally lost my way. Top that off with new meds that cause stomach upset and swelling and, well, it's tempting to throw up my hands and call the whole thing off. Tempting, but not likely. I mean, isn't this the very reason I want to lose weight and get in shape? High blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, and the list goes on. Aging is difficult enough without walking into it with such heavy baggage. It's cliche, but I really do want to play with my future grandkids and have the ability to travel the world or ride four wheelers into the sunset with my sweet husband. I have to get a hold of my health. If not now, when? So, setbacks will come but so will success if I keep getting back on track.

In spite of the wicked heat, Randy and I walked our two miles both Tuesday and tonight, but we're not rushing out to swim, play volleyball, or bocce. Swimming isn't fun right now with the water temp up to 94. It's more like a hot tub than a swimming pool, and bocce in the sun just isn't a bright idea. So walking it is until the temps turn kinder.

The next few weeks will be busy and fun with my sister and Kelsey coming up. We're also hoping to get my inlaws up here the week before I start back to school, but that's still in the works. We have a trip to NOLA lined up and a trip to Natchez, too, so there's a lot to look forward to and plan for. I'll be sure to plan on using wise eating strategies along the way. Maybe my meds will be worked out by then and the swelling issues will be a thing of the past. It would be nice to be carefree for a bit.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Oddities - Saturday 7/9/11

I'm back at the Courtyard in Baton Rouge where we were two weeks ago. We're doing back-to-school shopping at Perkins Row and Mall of America for Rebecca and Marisa. I love this hotel because it has a cafe with calories posted on the menu. They serve Starbucks products, parfaits, cereals, frest fruit, egg white sandwiches, and more so choosing to stay healthy is as easy as pie. I'll try to post a picture of their menu when I get home and get to my email.

So, I'm doing my stats day today since I can't do it tomorrow and I'm 184 pounds now. That's partially due to what I thought was a tummy virus, however, when you put it together with the length of time it lasted and the angioedema episodes I've been having more frequently (especially over the past two weeks) and you have an allergy connection. It turns out I'm allergic to my blood pressure medicine, which hasn't been as effective as it should have been anyway. I'm off the old meds and will get new meds on Monday. If this theory is correct, I can be bothered with more angioedema episodes for a few more months, but they should fade away and I can lead a normal life. I've been dealing with these issues since before we moved to Louisiana three years ago - same amount of time I've been on Lisinopril. Hmmm...could be. Keep your fingers crossed.  My sinus surgery, scheduled for next week, has been indefinitely postponed. He won't put me under until this is totally resolved and was miffed that none of my previous doctors ever put the pieces together before. If he's right, he's right... and I hope he's right.

With the pain and swelling over the past two weeks, I haven't exercised at all, so I'm looking forward to getting back into walking and swimming this coming week. I'm already feeling much, much better and have very little lingering pain, so I think a good walk on Monday night will be a go. We'll see how it goes.

So, food hasn't been an issue over the past two weeks. Bland, mild, small portions made another 3 pounds drop by the wayside. We are enjoying our food this weekend, however, in small portions. Yesterday, we had healthy subway for lunch, then had a delicious dinner at California Pizza Kitchen on Perkins Row. I had half a serving of their four cheese ravioli and half a serving of their bang bang shrimp. Both were good, but if we go back, I'm having a Crunchy Thai Salad. Marisa ordered it last night and it looked and smelled fantastic! I'll try and add some photos when I get home. The hotel computer won't let me use multi-tabs on the internet.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Stats Day 7/3/11

We're back from LSU's freshman orientation and Pensacola Beach and I just weighed in. I'm 187 lbs. (186.9 to be exact.)  Considering we ate at Acme Oyster House, Starbucks, The Courtyard's cafe, and the student union fast food court, I think that's great. I suppose it helped that I got a stomach bug on Tuesday and didn't eat anything for a day-and-a-half. I'm still eating gently. Still, to not gain weight while eating out was a challenge and I rose to it. I tried some of my strategies for eating out. For example, I ate 1/2 an asiago cheese bagel at starbucks with my skinny latte. At Acme, I ate 6 raw oysters, 3 crawpuppies, and a cup of gumbo. At Courtyard, their entire menu had calories beside each choice so choosing a turkey reuben (toasted, not grilled) was perfectly safe. I think I would have been fine even if I hadn't been sick. :o) It's turned into a game now, and I'm having fun!