A day in the life…

by Christine on August 10th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

Yesterday and this morning I thought I would post some pictures of food and what I’m eating and whatnot.

It all started with a trip to the grocery store. After yoga (yes, I’ve managed to hit every day of my XN 2-Week Exercise Challenge, except for one! 6 days and going strong!) I was pondering what to do about dinner. Now, I live in a godforsaken part of the world that has no Trader Joe’s or Wholefoods. In fact, the nearest Co-op is about 40 minutes away and completely inconvenient to get to. However, there’s a new grocery store in town called the Fresh Market that I think is like a Trader Joe’s. I hadn’t been there before (it’s not really convenient for me…about 10 minutes out of the way) but I decided to hit it up last night.

What a wonderful store! The vegetables look great. Their cheeses went on for miles. Their heat-and-serve foods looked great, and I would have gotten some salmon except the line was too long. Oh, and my favorite part of the store…a long section will make-your-own-trail-mix! They had tons of kinds to choose from! It was terrific!

Have you ever noticed that you rarely see overweight people shopping at organic food stores? Not like you see overweight people shopping at the Walmart Supercenter. I wonder why that is. I mean, the foods that you get at stores like the Fresh Market, Trader Joes, Wholefoods, etc….they might have “Organic” on the box, but they have plenty of crappy foods littering their shelves. You can still get potato chips and boxed/frozen meals…things loaded with salt and preservatives and fat and sugar. Similarly, you can always shop healthfully at other grocery stores like Walmart. There are plenty of fresh veggies, fresh meat, and good natural produce you can buy there. So why the weight discrepancy? And what makes “Fresh Market” a draw over regular grocery chains? Is it the appearance of the products and the store? Or is the food really healthier and more savory? Hmmm. I wonder….

In the end I grabbed some fixings to make a cheese quesadilla and a few snackies for work.

I whipped up a quesadilla. (I ate 3/4 of it.)  It’s always important to measure! I took out the measuring cup to make sure I had exactly the right amount of countable cheese.

I wanted to indulge in a teeny tiny bit of sour cream, but not enough to break my calorie budget. So I took out a measuring spoon and gave myself just a little dab!

Homemade Quesadilla:

2 slices of whole wheat tortilla/low carb: 100 calories
Cheddar Cheese: 23 calories
Sour cream: 40 calories
Salsa: 10 calories
Total: 233; I ate 3/4 of the meal (but all of the sour cream and salsa), giving me 187 calories for the meal.

nom nom nom!

This morning I thought I would try some of this new granola cereal I bought at the store last night. Granola is yummy but it really high in calories (200 per 1 cup) and is high in sugar and carbs. Yikes! I better make this a once-a-week treat. I bet this stuff leaves me feeling hungry mid-morning, too. I would have been better off with an egg! Still, I measured out just a little bit and had my 150 calories worth. 150 calories is my goal for each meal….my lucky number!

Before I left for work I got the measuring spoon back out and measured out a small serving of nuts. You guessed it…about 150 calories worth!  Now the orange stuff is weird. I’ve never seen it before! It’s some kind of dried + pressed peach thing. It tastes like a fruit roll-up. There’s probably a lot of added sugar in the thing, but I can’t seem to find any calorie stats about it online. Still, it is at least kind of natural, and I was wondering if that would help control my mid-afternoon sugar cravings. We’ll see! I forgot to picture a handful of baby carrots as well.

So my total calories for the day yesterday clocked out at:

7:30 a.m.: Cheerios (110 calories) + skim milk (23)
8:30 a.m.: Dunkin donuts coffee (168 calories)
Noon: Out to Chilis with a colleague: 1 bowl of chili with no toppings (310 calories), diet coke
7 p.m.: Quesadilla (187)
8 p.m.: 1 glass of skim milk, on ice (136)
Total calories: 934 calories

Right on target! My goal is between 800-1000 calories. I should have had a lower-calorie lunch so I could have had some snackies in the afternoon, but I had to work with what I had ordered.

This morning I weighed in at 131.0 pounds.  Coming back down, but still up overall. I think the exercise is helping (duh!).

Good morning to you!


Gastric Banding: Mushy Foods Phase

by Christine on June 16th, 2011

filed under Diet, Food, Nutrition, Gastric Banding Surgery

Here is a list of foods that you can consider eating during the mushy foods phase, following your gastric banding surgery. Keep two things in mind here:

(1) One of the main reasons why you are on “mushy foods” is because the band is placed very loosely around your stomach. That means that if you rush into solid foods and you get into a barfing fit, the heaving of your stomach may cause the band to slip. Furthermore, your stomach is still swollen from surgery so we want to make sure you don’t stuff yourself with big, chunky food and further cause the band to slip out of place.

(2) The band affects everyone differently. Different foods affect different patients differently. For instance, ice-cold drinks, while indeed “mushy” are apt to leave my stomach constricted, so I have a tendency to barf when I drink too much ice-cold milk or milkshakes. Others would have no problem with that. So just go easy on yourself.

Okay! With that said, here are a few ideas:

  • Soup! My favorite! Any soup without chunks should be fine. I swear I lived on Paneras Tomato Soup for months following surgery. Egg drop soup, broth,
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Tunafish (mixed either with mayo or spicy brown mustard)
  • Pureed beans
  • Applesauce
  • Mashed bananas
  • Hummus
  • Guacamole (no chunks!)
  • Very soft cheese, like Brie
  • Ricotta cheese with pasta sauce on it
  • Protein shakes
  • Yogurt
  • Jello
  • Pudding
  • Ground beef or turkey in VERY SMALL chunks
  • Tofu
  • Puree some Italian meatballs and add pasta sauce to it

Foods to avoid during this stage:

  • Potatoes (even mashed potatoes, until you learn if you can eat it safely)
  • Bread
  • Rice and rice-like products (like polenta, etc)
  • Carbonated beverages (it distends your stomach)
  • Oatmeal (unless you make it reaaaaaaaly watery)
  • Pineapples
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus foods (the acid may hurt & the membrane may get stuck)
  • Tough meats (steak, pork, etc)

Other items of note:

  • If you haven’t already purchased Gummy Vitamins at your local store, do so now! You need a multi-vitamin since your food choices are so limited, and DO NOT attempt to swallow a bit horse-pill ever again.  Gummy Vitamins will be your new best friend!

If you have other suggestions for recipes or mushy foods that work, add them in the comments below! I will link to this post from my Gastric Banding info resource (link at the top of the page).


Running victory & delicious food!

by Christine on November 3rd, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Happy Wednesday Revolutionists!

I am writing this from Starbucks. I’m enjoying a small Gingerbread Latte, a treat for myself! I love going to a coffee shop, listening in on the conversations around me, the accoustic blends on the radio (currently jazz, at this Starbucks), watching the people come and go. I like asking myself, “Where are they going? Are they having a good day? What’s their story?” People watching is great fun!

If Sal & his wife are reading this…HELLO!!!  Sal’s wife is having the gastric banding surgery in a week or so. I wish you TONS of luck, and if you need anything please let me know!

Congrats to my blogger-friend SHANE who won his local election yesterday! He’s the newest Justice of the Peace for Crawford County! Congrats Shane, I’m very proud of you! This is going to be a fantastic opportunity for growth as you go through law school. Next step: Oklahoma Attorney General!  I love Shane’s positive outlook on life. He is constantly reminding me that anything is possible. It’s exciting to see his weight-loss transformation go further than just his weight: he’s tackling physical challenges, challenges at the law firm where he works, going to law school…he’s now a public servant, and he does it all while being a fantastic father and husband. Thank you Shane for inspiring me every day!

This morning the alarm went off at 8 a.m. and I really wanted to turn it off and sleep in. But no! I forced myself to wake up, throw some workout clothes on, and go to the gym. The fact that I had to let me car run for 10 minutes to warm up and eliminate the frost didn’t help my motivation.  I wanted to push myself further on the treadmill, further than I’ve ever gone before. To date, the furthest I’ve gone is 4 miles. Today I did six miles total, five of those miles jogging. Despite the fact that my back is hurting like a crazyperson and I may have really wrecked my back good….I felt amazing! I busted my distance-record! I feel fierce, like I can conquor anything! It reminded me of the time I climbed Mount Fuji as a 200+ pound person….real exhileration! (If you haven’t read that story, read it here!)

I am “training” (I use that term loosely, since I really haven’t got the foggiest idea what the hell I’m doing) for a half marathon, which I will run/walk/crawl at the gym, on my own, on December 5th. I’m still looking for participants to push themselves on that day! If you’re game, let me know!!! I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to go from 6 miles run today to 13.1 miles run in a moth’s time, but it’s going to happen one way or the other. Because I want it to. Because I can do anything if I set my mind to it!

When I got back from the gym, I had a mini-victory: the scale flickered at 127.8 (but finally rested on 128). Considering I had a bottle and a half of water inside me at that point, I consider that nearly a one-pound loss! I can’t believe I have only TWO POUNDS TO GO TO MY GOAL WEIGHT!  That knowledge is blowing my mind.  100 pounds lost is so close I can touch it!

I met a friend for lunch today at a new Thai restaurant called Blue Spice. Oh, the food was absolutely delicious! The soup that comes with the meal was a light miso-broth soup with some tofu, clear noodles, garlic and ginger was mind-blowingly good. I wanted to savor every single bite. Light, clear brothy soup like that is very low in calories too, which is an added bonus. For my meal I ordered the salmon in some kind of coconut curry sauce, with a few mushrooms and peas on it. (I did not eat the rice because I already had carbs–with the clear noodles in the soup and peas on the salmon). Holy smokes was this dish delicious! I ate about half of the salmon and absolutely cannot wait to eat the rest for dinner tonight.

I’m having another loose skin “problem.” I think I’ve lost weight slowly enough that my skin has bounced back pretty well from 100 pounds weight loss. I DO have some loose skin on my arms (near my armpit), my legs, boobs, and my abdomen.  This last week I’ve notice another pocket of loose skin: my belly, just above the belly button. The loose skin literally droops and drips, and resembles a shriveled up sundried tomato. It’s quite gross and nasty, but I’m viewing this as a victory: it’s lose skin, but it is NOT FAT.  Overall, I think I’m pretty lucky to have a little loose skin as I do, so I just need to keep this bigger perspective in mind. I would take the loose skin any day over being overweight, with taught skin. This is a consequence of weight loss that I’m wholly willing to accept.  Does that count as a Non-Scale Victory (NSV)?


137.0 pounds (88 pounds lost): Hefty workout!

by Christine on August 18th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

Good morning Revolutionists!

I admire all of you that do your weigh-ins once per week. I admire the restraint needed to do this! I am not one of those people, however. I weigh twice a day typically — once in the morning for a “real” weight, and once in the evening only because I’m neurotic.  I’d love to tuck the scale away in the closet and weigh once every 2 weeks or once a month, but that’s just not going to happen. My willpower is not capable of that.

This morning I stepped on the scale, and oh! It flickered at 136.8, but ended up at 137.0. I’ll take it! Every single pound is an utter victory and should be celebrated! I jumped off the scale and did a happy dance, twirling around my bathroom like a maniac.

The numbers are due no doubt to the butt-kicking workout I gave myself yesterday. I did 4.2 miles on the treadmill (I’m working on amping up for the 10K in December, courtesy of a Miz Fit challenge).  This workout wasn’t about time; I did it in just under 50 minutes…I’m not winning any awards with that time. No, it was about messing with my incline and speed to really mess with my heart rate. I ranged from an incline of 1.0 to 5.0, and I ranged in jogging speed from 5.5 (my comfort jogging speed) to 7.0 (sprinting). I’m only 5’2, so my legs only go so fast, ya know?  At mile 3.75 I felt like I was going to barf all over the machinery, but I had Biggest Loser’s Bob in my ear going, push past it! You can do it! I forced myself to continue.

The workout maybe went something like this:

  • Walked 0.2 miles to warm up (3.6 mph, 1.0 incline)
  • Jogged 1.4 miles (5.5 mph, 2.0 incline)
  • Walked 0.2 miles (3.6 mph, 3.0 incline)
  • Jogged 1.0 miles (5.5 mph, 4.0 incline)
  • Walked 0.2 miles (3.6 mph, 5.0 incline)
  • Jogged 0.5 miles (6.0 mph, 2.5 incline)
  • Walked 0.2 miles (3.6 mph, 2.0 incline)
  • Ran 0.5 miles (7.0 mph, 1.0 incline)

I followed the jog up with 100 situps. More barf-a-dilly-iciousness.

Pics of my sweaty beasty self!

My eating yesterday was right on target, again. I treated myself to a small can of SunnyD. I hadn’t had it in ages, and it sounded so good! I know it’s pure sugar and very little real fruit, so I consider it a treat, rather than a health drink.At 60 calories, it’s not breaking my calorie budget but still allows me to have a treat! I always have nuts for a snack at work. Yesterday I had a handful of pistachios.

Does it help anyone out there to see what foods I’m eating? I have no idea. Here was yesterday:

8 a.m.: Cheerios (100) and some skim milk (25)
10 a.m.: Pistachios (75)
Noon: Leftover ravioli (120??)
3 p.m.:  SunnyD (60) and some almonds (60)
5:30: More almonds (pre-workout food) (40)
8 p.m.: 3 oz pork loin chop (100), some asparagus sauted in butter and garlic (30), a little cous cous (70), 1 beer (100?)
Total Calories:  780, right on target!

Yesterday afternoon I took another walk around town. It was a beautiful day, and it was so nice to get out of the office for a little stroll. I think I’ll do the same today.

Tonight I’m going out on a date with my hubby! I’m so excited! I honestly don’t remember the two of us went on a date together — it’s been months! We have both been very busy lately and haven’t seen much of each other. Our plan is to go to a restaurant that hubby has been raving about for weeks now (just a pub, but with awesome hamburgers apparently) followed by a movie. I want to see The Expendables. Anyone seen that? Is it any good?

I would like to do something sweet for my hubby. You know…like guys bring girls flowers on a date? What can I do for my hubby to make him go “awe!” and make his heart go pitter-pat? Hmmm. Suggestions needed! (Patrick? Allan? Shane? Clyde? C’mon my guy-friends…help a sistah out!)

I can’t wait!


Tuesday Morning Mashup

by Christine on August 3rd, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

Good morning Revolutionists!

It’s another busy week chez moi.  It never slows down, but I hope it does soon because I’m starting to get really zapped on energy.  Tonight I’m meeting a girlfriend for a drink/appetizer and gabbing.  We are meeting at Ruby Tuesdays, which is great because they have their menu online and I can pre-plan what I want to order.  I’m always a sucker for guacamole, but the chips are a poor choice.  The Asian Dumplings would be low in calories, since they are steamed.  The avocado quesadilla sounds good, too, but only if I can share it with my friend. Hmm, the options!

random act of kindnessTomorrow my hubby and I are planning a random act of kindness for one of our neighbors and friends! The other day when we were hanging out, they said, “Ha ha, honey, do you remember what we used to eat all the time before we had kids?” They giggled like little kids themselves and reminisced about eating chicken patties with hot sauce and jalapeño peppers.  Well, we’ve latched onto this idea! We’re going to cook them their pre-kids meal, and set it up all romantic-like, with candles and sexy music! Then we’re going to order pizza for their kids, and we are going to babysit the kids for a while, while they get a little time to have a nice dinner together. I wonder when the last time they had dinner together, just the two of them? It had to have been a long time ago; they have three kids (10-15 year old, I think) so their scheduled keep them busy! I hope they like our surprise for them!  I need to go shopping for the ingredients tonight after work.

I need to do a little research about food/supplements/vitamins this morning. You see, I have this problem currently with bruises. I have no less than 12 bruises on my legs, and I have no idea where they came from. I have one bruise, on the back of my right calf, which is easily the size of a softball. It’s huge!  I’ve gotten four comments from people about the bruises, so I know they are noticeable. I have no idea why I’m bruising so easily, and I have no idea why I have so many of them. I suspect that because I am not eating a lot, perhaps I’m experiencing an iron deficiency? Does anyone else have any idea why I might be bruising?

I did a good job making healthy food choices yesterday. My day started off like normal: almonds for breakfast, a small can of Red Bull, some cucumber slices with ranch dressing for a snack. Lunch was just a tiny bit of leftover Chinese (nearly no rice; I got the chicken almond ding), and in the afternoon I had two crackers with a little peanut butter. When I got home, I got the urge to cook! I’ve been wanting to try a recipe by Shelly from The World According to Eggface.  Here is her recipe, although I made a few modifications:

Shelly’s Cheesy Onion Bites

1 Yellow Maui Onion, diced
3 Green Onions, diced
5 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Italian Blend Cheese, shredded (Parmesan, Mozzarella, Romano blend)
1/4 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Saute onions till golden, set aside to cool. Mix all ingredients together. Spoon into a lightly greased (Pam non-stick spray works great for this) mini muffin tin.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Let them cool a few moments they pull away and pop right out. Makes 24.

My version made 18 servings. I added more veggies to the mix (1/2 a yellow onion, ½ a green bell pepper, and about 7 mushrooms, all diced up) and I replaced the Italian blend cheese with some leftover cheddar cheese I had in my fridge. I calculated the calories this morning, and each little “mini-muffin” had 47 calories. What a great bargain! With the veggies and egg, it’s a great, healthy dish as well! I put the leftovers in the freezer and will pop them in the toaster oven in the mornings to reheat.

For dinner, I got creative again. I decided to use some of the onion and pepper that I had out and make shrimp skewers. I just bought these awesome jumbo shrimp at the market on Sunday.  I added just a little bit of pesto sauce on the top, then we grilled them (my hubby had a grilled chicken breast). I made four skewers, but I only ate two. Very yummy and light and very healthy!

Today I need to send an emailing apologizing to Jack for my very terrible behavior at the party on Saturday.  Although it was all in fun, and we were horsing around anyway, there was absolutely no excuse for my rotten behavior, and he certainly didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of it. It’s been bothering me so much I hardly slept a wink last night, I kept dwelling on it and feeling quite awful about my behavior. I hope he knows that I feel sincerely, genuinely bad.  I hope I can make it up to him, maybe by taking them out to dinner sometime.

And speaking of bad feelings….I have written a very hard, deep blog post, that I think I will post tomorrow. I’ve been going back and forth about whether I really want to post it or not. It’s extremely personal, extremely hurtful to me, but if I’m being honest about my weight, and underlying issues, then it’s something that needs to come out. The problem is that the story I want to share is not flattering some a certain person, and I don’t want to hurt that person by posting the story. On the other hand, I want to be honest, with myself, and stop hiding from the things that have hurt me. I need to stop internalizing my inner pain. Now, I that person doesn’t read this blog, so it’s probably no big deal, but I’m still not sure if it’s right to post or not. Hmmm.  What do you think is appropriate?

Oh yeah, I ordered a new camera! It should be here on Thursday, so you only need to suffer through my bad Iphone photos for two or three days! The camera was nearly $250 cheaper than when we bought it in December!

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