Progress Report, Week 20

No progress to report!

Weight last week: 217.4 lbs
Weight this week: 217.6 lbs.
Net change: +0.2 lbs
Weight lost so far: 39.2 lbs.

I sure hope the lack of loss is accounted for by the pumpkin pie I ate last night!
But probably not.

On a positive note: I started wearing make-up on Sunday and wore it every day this week except Thursday. This is a good thing.
Oh, and I’ve upped my time on the bike from 20 minutes to 30. My legs just weren’t feeling like Jello when I finished anymore: gotta keep them feeling like we cannot walk when we’re done, don’t we?
I’ve been all hung up this week on whether I ought to start the weight lifting program detailed in New Rules of Lifting for Women, by Lou Schuler. I don’t know why it’s such a Big Decision. I’m scared and anxious, though. I don’t know why.

Week 19 Progress Report.

No progress to report!

Weight last week: 217.4 lbs
Weight this week: 217.4 lbs.
Net change: 0
Weight lost so far: 39.4 lbs.

Time to give up the Apple Crisps. Boy, were they yummy. Especially mixed with nice ripe pears.

And I will get down on that floor and not get up until I’ve done a few exercises. I promise.

Progress Report, Week 18

Who would have thought I could do this for 18 weeks?

weight last week: 219.6
weight this week: 217.4
net change: -2.2
net change so far: -39.4

I’m not sure anyone is reading this, so I’ll keep is sweet and short.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about other things which need changing.  I feel somewhat trapped–like my life will never be different than what it is–but I aired those feelings at 3FC and got some wonderful suggestions. So, I’m going to do what I can to resume my responsibilities here at home and manage my temper. Maybe that will help me clear my way to seeing what I can do about the big picture.

I’ve recently got back on track with the dishwashing. I’m really pleased about that. We’re s-l-o-w-l-y painting the trim on the house, changing it from blah barely there tan to crisp, soft white. I love the change.

And we took a family walk in Rainbow Valley yesterday. You know, it is really a beautiful place. I really ought to get out more!

Tasty Tuesday: Pork Chops and Squash

Pork Chops and Squash

This is from one of my favourite cookbooks: Saving Dinner the Low-Carbohydrate Way, by Leanne Ely. It is a beautiful dish, too.

Pork Chops and Squash
serves 4

2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
4 boneless pork chops, about 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 yellow squash, sliced
2 zucchini, sliced
1 tomato diced (I use 1/2 of a 14 oz can)
1 teaspoon basil
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter

On a dinner plate, mix together the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dredge the chops both sides in this mixture.

In a skillet, heat half the olive oil over medium high heat. Add in the pork and cook five minutes a side or until cooked through. Remove from skillet and keep warm.

Add the remaining oil to skillet, and then add the onion, squashes, tomatoe, basil, salt and pepper. Saute until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add the chicken broth to the skillet and, with a wire whisk, whisk up the brown bits. Turn up the heat and allow the broth to reduce by half. Add the butter and whisk to blend. (I skip this step).

Add the veggies and the pork chops back to the skillet and warm. When everything is nice and hot, place chop first on a plate, then some veggies, and finally spoon a little sauce over the top. Serve.

Per serving: 304 calories; 17g fat; 26g protein; 13g carbohydrate; 4g dietary fiber; 74mg cholesterol; 280mg sodium.

Exchanges: 0 grain (Starch), 3 Lean meat, 1 1/2 Vegetables, 2 Fat.

Thoughts on Thursday: Vegetarian Exchange Plans

Yes, Virginia, there are Vegan and vegetarian exchange plans! Thanks to google, I didn’t have to look terribly far.

It’s a tremendous challenge to eat a vegetarian meal on my food exchange plan. Though it is 1600 calories, the Protein and Starches (or Breads) [1] aren’t set up for eating lots of beans and rice and….rice and beans. For example, I love a good vegetable soup like the one I posted on Tuesday. I put 1/2 cup of uncooked macaroni into it as well as, oh, say two cups of beans. I’m afraid I had no idea what this would mean in terms of Proteins and Starches when I prepared and ate it. I was a bit afraid to find out!

But I have since looked things up as I ought to have done. One half cup of macaroni (cooked) equals 1 Bread exchange. One half cup of the beans, on the other hand, equals 1/2 a Protein and 1 Bread. Assuming the soup fed four: I would have had to count the pasta as a 1/2 serving of Bread and the beans as 1/2 a Protein and 1 Bread. I am allowed five breads a day on my plan–and zwoop, there’s two gone without even counting my accompanying lovely piece of rye toast!

But more than that, it doesn’t *feel* right. For one thing, I go to bed with the little protein boxes on my chart unchecked. As the pasta and beans are supposed to replace the hunk of protein I would have otherwise eaten, it doesn’t seem fair that I use up *all* my Starches and very few of my proteins. So, it’s an obstacle to eating the way I want: and that’s the last thing my eating plan should be!

I’ve always thought that one should combine certain foods in order to make the eight essential amino acids which make up a “complete” protein available to my digestive system if not at every meal, then at least over a 24 hour period. I wondered–just how many cups of rice and how many cups of beans would give me say, the equivalent of an ounce of the protein I would get from a chicken or a bit of beef?

If I knew that, I figured I could just convert those 1 1/2 breads and 1/2 protein into the equivalent exchanges of proteins. I had a feeling that the amount of grains I would have to eat to equal a protein would be all out of proportion to the calories in a protein exchange. That is, the caloric densities of the food would not match up. I didn’t pursue it, I really don’t know how I would figure that out (I’m not a dietitian) but I went with my hunch that I’m pretty sure it can’t really be done that way.

Not only that, but asit turns out, my thinking is behind the times.

You may have heard that vegetable sources of protein are ‘incomplete’ and become ‘complete’ only when correctly combined. Research has discredited that notion so you don’t have to worry that you won’t get enough usable protein if you don’t put together some magical combination of foods at each meal.[2]

So, that’s probably not a bad thing. And it makes me doubly glad google found the vegetarian/vegan exchange food plans for me.

They are from the April 1989 issue of Vegetarian Times. Here’s the link.

The author offers the Exchange plans at three different calorie levels: 1200, 1500 and 1800. The 1500 plan is the closest to my own. The breakdown is as follows:

(Octo-Lacto, includes eggs and dairy)
55% carbohydrate, 20% protein and 25% fat.
9 Starch
3 High Protein [3]
2 Milk
2 Fruit
3 Vegetables
7 Fat

(No eggs, no dairy)
(60% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 20% fat)
12 Starch
3 High Protein
0 Milk
2 Fruit
4 Vegetables
4 Fat

But, even armed with this information (and the valuable exchange lists provided in the article) it is still going to be next to impossible to squeeze a vegetarian meal in to my very hostile meat-based plan. But, that’s OK.

I think that if instead of planning on having two vegetarian dinners a week, I plan of having two completely vegetarian days, that I’ll be able to slot these exchanges is quite easily. Instead of trading a protein for a starch and a fat–or whatever the calculation would be, I will simply make life a whole lot easier for myself if I simply follow the Vegetarian Exchange Plan for two days out of the week.

Simple. And that’s what this should be all about!

[1] I use “Bread” and “Starch” interchangeably. One Bread or Starch is equivalent to 80 calories or 20 grams of carbohydrates which is standard for exchange plans. I have chosen to capitalise the names for the exchange categories, because as names, they are proper nouns. A Protein exchange represents 65 calories and 15 grams of protein.

[2] from Wikipedia. ^ “Vegetarians: Pondering Protein?”. 2005-03-21. Retrieved 2009-08-09.

[3] A High Protein exchange consists of 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat and 55 calories.

Tasty Tuesday: Vegetarian Vegetable Soup

This is what I made based on Mark Bittman’s Fast Mixed Vegetable Soup in his book, Food Matters. (I highly recommend it.)

3 Tablespoons olive oil, or more.
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped. (I love that! Smashed and chopped. It’s what I do!)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6 cups vegetable stock (or water)
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped. (Canned tomatoes are fine…) or 1/4 cup tomato paste
4 to 6 cups quick cooking vegetables, like green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, corn, cooked or canned beans, radishes, zucchini, or summer squash, or dark leafy greens like kale or collards, roughly chopped.
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves.

1. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil into a large, deep pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.

2. 2. Add stock, tomato, remaining vegetables; bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles enthusiastically.

3. Cook, stirring every now and then, until all the vegetables are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil (oops, didn’t see that!) and serve.

My version: all of the above, except, I used 1 teaspoon of cumin instead of the parsley (couldn’t find the parsely!) and I used a can of tomatoes. At step 3, I put in 1/2 cup of corn, 1 can of mixed beans and 1/2 cup uncooked whole wheat macaroni. As well, I only used 4 cups of broth–but it was homemade.

Sorry, I don’t have caloric break downs: as you can see the specifics would really depend upon what you had in your fridge and added to the pot. But I love the versatility of these recipes in Bittman’s book. It is so freeing!

Progress Report, Week 16

Yes, I’m still here, still at it! It’s been slow and rather rough going these past few weeks, but I’m more than ready to see this weight roll right off.

weight last week: 221.4
weight this week: 221.2
net change: -0.2
net change so far: -35.6

It may just be 0.2 pounds lost: but it is a gift. Hubby was on strike last week–and, fortunately, there haven’t been too many weeks in my life when I have been so anxious and scared. Fortunately, it’s all over, now, and I can go back to concentrating on daily life. How wonderful that is!

I’ve also learned that I cannot keep soda crackers in the house. I bought them a while ago because my daughter had an upset tummy. Ginger ale and soda crackers: the way to settle a nasty tummy, right? Well, yes. But next time I’ll just buy the box with four sleeves instead of the “economy” package–which is no bargain when it just ends up on my belly!

I also indulged in chocolate bars this week. (Yes, bars. Plural). So, you see, the loss truly was a gift. And I didn’t exercise!

This weight really would drop off a whole lot faster if I just behaved myself, wouldn’t it?

New goals for this week:

1) Find out how I can incorporate more vegetarian meals into my exchange plan. This won’t be difficult: I just have to do it.

2) Get out there and start moving again. It is getting darker, sooner, again. No more going for a leisurely walk at 9pm anymore! Crikey–the leaves are turning out there already. Time has flown.

3) One hour on the stationary bicycle. That’s only three 20 minute sessions.

And so that’s that. I’m impatient to be at the “forty pound loss” mark: I’m planning to take my measurements and do photos again–and I really want to “see” those results.

I think it’s doable in a couple of weeks! At most. Please.

Progress Report, Week 7

weight last week: 234.4
weight this week: 235
net change: +.6 lbs.
net change so far: -22lbs

It’s not a mystery.

1) I ate almost an entire bag of Dare Fudge cookies earlier this week. I think it was Friday.  I really can’t remember, now. Everyone was angry, and raging, I do remember that. I got out of the house for a while, by myself, to “calm down” and bought and ate the cookies. I felt stupid and horribly full when I was done. I figured I ate 1400 calories.

2) I have been up to my old tricks of sleeping in until late and staying up much too late. This has thrown my eating routine into a tizzy. When I get up at noon, I’m not sure whether to have breakfast or lunch. Yesterday, at supper, I noticed I hadn’t eaten much–and I was ravenous. I wolfed my hamburger–and that’s just not good. If I feel too hungry when I eat, my body will cling to every single calorie and put it right on my tummy. Who knows when it will get food again? I’ve also been misplacing my eating chart and filling it out several hours after I eat instead of right away. Who knows if I’m remembering entirely correctly?

2a) I just realised–I haven’t been taking my vitamin supplements. I wonder if that’s made a difference?

3) Two walks. That’s all I did for excercise. I’ve been getting interested in redecorating my living room–so I’ve been spending a lot of time on my butt at the computer. I really need to committ to getting on the bicycle in the basement. Then three days of rain–or being angry with my husband (we walk together in the evenings) won’t derail me again.

So, my goals for next week:

1) Get up and go to bed at a decent hour. The kids are at 1/2 day VBS this week. They have to be at the Church by 9am, so this one should keep itself.

2) Plan my suppers this week. I didn’t last week. I hate feeling the panic of trying to decide what’s for dinner at 4pm and I’m just starting to feel horribly hungry.

3) Exercise. 4x for 20 minutes each on the bicycle, and at least 3-30 minute walks. I really should take a stab at that core strengthening/flexibility routine, too.

That should do it–put me back on track.

So, here’s to a new week towards a healthier me!

Progress Report, Week 5

My sincere apologies. I thought this post had been fully written and posted last week. (June 29th) I went to write up this week’s post–and found it in the queue as “unpublished”. So this post is commemorating the week of June 22 to 28, 2009. My husband and son were involved in an accident on Thursday, June 25th and while no one was hurt, (thank the Lord) the ten month old Jeep flipped over onto its roof and was a total loss. I kind of forgot about this post, I guess!

Weight last week: 240.6
Weight this morning: 237
Net: -3.6

Total Lost so far: 20 lbs

I’m not sure how this happened.

I had a horrible week. I was depressed and upset most of the time. I stayed up all night once this week to avoid the family and get some quiet time (which I spent watching past episodes of Project Runway on You-Tube.) I even “cheated” and ate a small bowl of ice cream (with chocolate sauce.) Admittedly I gave up a grain, two dairies and a fat for it. (About 325 calories.) On a happier note, I took photos marking the first month of weight loss.

Here they are:

and from the side:

257lbs on the left, 237lbs (or so) on the right.

I made no goals for the coming week.

Progress Report, Week 4

Weight last week: 243.
Weight this morning: 240.6
Net: -2.4

Total Lost so far: 16.4 lbs

Not bad, not bad.

Goals for last week:

1) Exercise:
# 200 minutes
# 3 core strengthening sessions.

I managed the cardio exercise. I am beginning to be concerned that I haven’t managed the core strengthening exercises, yet. Is it because I am still uncomfortable getting on and off the floor? That shouldn’t be as difficult as it used to be. I wonder if it’s because the routine I’m following is 1/2 in a magazine and 1/2 in a book. I think I may need to consolidate that and put it one one sheet of paper so it is easier to follow. Maybe I should look into some music and make it enjoyable. I love stretching–so perhaps I need to incorporate them into a bigger routine.

2) Dishes.
Keep the counter top cleared and the dishes done every night before bed.

Still can’t do it. I took pictures for a while, but it was extremely embarrassing. I hate the sense of failure and discouragement I’m getting from this. I’m not sure what to do.

3) Laundry.
A-hem. This too. I am just a complete failure, it seems, as a housekeeper. I feel so frustrated: why on Earth should these simple things be a challenge! I may need to back up and put different goals in place before I can accomplish these, I don’t know.

There used to be a wonderful forum for all things housekeeping run by Cynthia Townley. She decided to give them up a few years ago and I have been bereft. I have tried Flylady and had some success: but I couldn’t stick with it for whatever reason.

I hate housekeeping. That’s all there is too it. There’s no reward, ever. Nothing stays clean. I have decluttered numerous times: and junk just comes back in to fill the empty spaces.

Oh well, this blog is not about that.
I’m feeling really down this morning. I’m not sure why.


1) Clean the house! I am depressed and frazzled by the untidy state of everything. Time to do my Spring cleaning–even if it is a little late.

2) Exercise:

  • 180 minutes cardio per week.
  • Develop a Core/flexibility routine. Perform at least once.
  • And that’s all she wrote for now, kids. I’m really down.