Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Recipe: Taco Soup


The following recipe is from my wife and she has made this twice in the last week (once for the Sabbath Meal at church and once for home as there were no leftovers).  The comments are hers.

Taco Soup

  • 1 lb browned ground beef or turkey (I season meat with my favorite seasonings or salt/pepper)
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 3 cans rotel (we like spicy)
  • 2 cans corn
  • 1-2 cans hominy
  • 1 8oz bottle taco sauce (La Victoria Red Taco Sauce has no sugar)
  • Sliced jalapeƱos, optional for your spicy level
  • 1 c water (just enough to make it a little soupy, not chunky like stew)

Put in crockpot on low in morning to be ready for dinner, or high if you have 1/2 day cooking before its served.


(Editor's note:  Depending on the size of the crockpot, you might cut out one of the cans of hominy or Ro-tel.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 4, Days 1-2

Monday:
So I start off the week at almost where I was last week.  Two bad days of bad decisions let to the week cancelling itself out. So no more of that now.

Breakfast (6:00am):  two eggs, brown rice cake w/ peanut butter.


Lunch (12:30pm): beans, rice and two eggs, carrots w/ hummus.
I had actually cooked 4 eggs this morning and put half of them in a container with refried beans and rice.  Really good.

I went to the gym alone as Amy was sick and couldn't do a workout today.  I ended up doing 30 minutes on the elliptical, 15 min weight training and 10 min in the dry sauna.  Then I came home and mowed the lawn.

Dinner (6:30pm):  taco salad, refried beans, rice crackers


I cooked up some ground beef as taco meat (using this recipe, I put two tbsp with 1 pound beef).  I scooped up about 1/8 a pound onto a salad with a little refried beans on the side and salsa as dressing.  Awesome.

Tuesday:


My weigh-in this morning was better since I lost 1.2 pounds.  Still haven't wiped out last week's three gains, but getting closer to back on track.

Breakfast (6:00am): one plum
I wasn't very hungry, but the plum I had was super sweet and awesome.

2nd Breakfast (9:00am):  spicy chickpea snack, hot & spicy peanuts.


Lunch (11:30am):  Team Potluck at work.
The choices were very limited so I chose to eat outside of my usual diet, but still within limit.  I had beef bulgogi, chicken fried rice, corn salad, veggies w/ hummus and berries.  I had made a pan of brownies and didn't eat any of it beyond licking the knife after cutting up the pan.

After work was my first experience at the new spin class.  I got there at 4:15pm, did 30 minutes of elliptical, picked up the pass for spin class, 15 min of weight training, then went to the spin class, warmed up for 15 min and then enjoyed a full hour spin class.  This guy, Darrell, has a completely different method of leading the class and I loved it.  On the last song, he has the class members sing on the chorus.  It was really fun.

Dinner (7:45pm):  Indian dish from Sunday night w/ rice, two brown rice cakes w/ peanut butter.

BSS Journal - Week 3 Summary


Here is the summary of my weigh-ins for Week 3:

  • Week 1 Starting weight: 263.4 (-20.4)
  • Monday: 263.0 (-0.4; -20.8 total) [1 hour Aqua Aerobics class]
  • Tuesday: 261.4 (-1.6; -22.4 total) [30 min Elliptical; 15 min weights]
  • Wednesday: 262.4 (+1.0; -21.4 total) [1 hour Spin class]
  • Thursday: 264.4 (+2.0; -19.4 total)
  • Friday: 263.2 (-1.2; -20.6 total)
  • Saturday: 262.6 (-0.6; -21.2 total)
  • Sunday: 263.2 (+0.6; -20.6 total) [Completed 5K in 41min.]
  • Final weight: 263.2 (-20.6; -0.2 this week)




BSS Journal - Week 2 Summary


Here is the summary of my weigh-ins for Week 2:

  • Week 1 Starting weight: 266.2 (-17.6)
  • Monday: 266.4 (+0.2; -17.4 total) [1 hour Aqua Aerobics class]
  • Tuesday: 267.4 (+1.0; -16.4 total)
  • Wednesday: 267.0 (-0.4; -16.8 total) [1 hour Spin class]
  • Thursday: 265.0 (-2.0; -18.8 total)
  • Friday: 264.8 (-0.2; -19.0 total)
  • Saturday: 265.0 (+0.2; -18.8 total)
  • Sunday: 263.4 (-1.6; -20.4 total) [Completed 10K in 88min.]
  • Final weight: 263.4 (-20.4; -2.8 this week)



Sunday, June 17, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 3, Days 6-7

Friday:

Dinner: Chipotle salad w/o dressing
Amy and I met Gerald and Jessica Saul at Chipotle where I got a salad with chicken, a little rice, fajita veggies, corn salsa, and hot sauce.  Amy and I split some guacamole.

Saturday:

I weighed in and found I was finally losing again with 1.2 lost.  Finally get rid of the three pounds I gained in the prior two days.

Breakfast (9:30am):  Scrambled eggs w/ veggies, chicken sausage and grits.

Lunch (4:00pm):  smoked chicken, brisket, refried beans, brown rice, salad and fruit salad.

Evening Snack (7:00pm): two brown rice cakes w/ peanut butter and turkey pepperoni.

Sunday:

I weighed in this morning and found another loss of 0.6 pounds.  Only 1.2 pounds from wiping out my gain.

Breakfast (8:30am):  Scrambled eggs w/ veggies, chicken sausage and grits.

Morning snack (10:30am):  2 peaches

At 11am, I decided to go for a 5K run.  I walked the first mile to stretch and warm up my legs.  I then started running and was able to run most of the rest of the distance without any shin splints.  That area was sore during cooldown.  So I believe it will be easier to build up again if I continue to do these warmups before running.

Lunch (1:30pm):  turkey pepperoni, brown rice, refried beans and rice crackers.


Friday, June 15, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 3, Days 1-5

Yes, I have been slacking on my blog posts.  Partly out of being super busy this week and partly out of guilt (to be made clear below).

Monday:
I weighed in at 263.4, a loss of 1.6 from the day before.

Breakfast (7:30am):  turkey omelet (no cheese)

Lunch (11:30am):  leftover chicken biryani, half pickle, applesauce cup
I got to the 24 Hour Fitness spin class too late and it was full.  So I came back home and joined Amy in her Aqua Aerobics class.

Dinner (8:15pm):  Chicken taco salad w/ refried beans and sesame crackers.

Tuesday:

I weighed in this morning and found I’d lost another 0.4 pounds.  Now at 263.0 pounds.

Breakfast (7:45am): turkey omelet (no cheese)

Lunch (11:45am):  Red Lobster oven-broiled flounder, wild rice pilaf and salad w/o dressing.
Awesome meal, though I probably should have had the broccoli rather than the wild rice.

I went to the gym today and did 30 minutes on the elliptical attempting to maintain a heart rate of 135 (fat-burning zone) as I read in an article.  I followed it with my first weight-training in months starting with 20 pound free-weights and then dropping to 15 pound.  Gotta take it slow to build up.


Dinner (7:00pm): Last of the Chicken taco salad w/ refried beans and sesame crackers.


Wednesday:

I weighed in at 261.4, losing 1.6 pounds again.


Breakfast (6:00am): Three egg scramble with chicken sausage, tomatoes and grits.
Great meal and quite filling.

Followup with my Gout specialist.  Nurse commented that I had lost 18 pounds since my weigh-in 3 months ago.  Nice.  Also, blood pressure was down t 118/74 which was really good.


Lunch (11:45pm):  Thai restaurant - red curry chicken w/ brown rice.
I should have asked for steamed vegetables instead of the brown rice as I ate all of the rice (a full cup).

My last spin class at the NRH 24 Hour Fitness.  I found that the Irving location now offers two classes a week at 5:30pm (on Tuesdays and Thursdays).  This means I don't have to stress to get to the NRH location in time to (maybe) get a pass for the spin class.  I can now go to the Irving location just 10 minutes from work, get the pass, do a weight training session, maybe some elliptical and then attend the spin class finally returning home after most of the rush hour traffic on 183 has passed.  Not a bad deal.


Dinner (7:15pm): Leftover pasta dish, pan-roasted veggies, avocado, celery and hummus.


Thursday:
My weigh-in reflected the bad choice at lunch.  I gained 1.0 to be up to 262.4.


Breakfast (7:45am):  Fruit salad, chocolate muffin, half cinnamon raisin bagel w/ a small amount of cream cheese.
Yes, I broke my diet completely by having this meal.  The company had catered in Corner Bakery for breakfast.  I crumbled under and paid for it.

The irony is that the muffin wasn't all that good (before I would have eaten 2 or 3 of them and not blinked an eye).  It just didn't meet my expectations and really disappointed.  I could feel the sugar buzz start up.  However, I also didn't feel all that great afterwards either.  I crashed early and was rather apathetic the rest of the day.  As I write this post, I'm still feeling a serious craving more more.  Not doing that again, I'm sticking to this through the end.


Lunch (12:30pm):  leftover grilled chicken, celery, carrots and hummus.

Enjoyed a massage at 6pm that helped deal with all the muscle issues from the 10K (my upper thighs took a beating in this massage), the water aerobics class on Monday, the elliptical and weight training on Tuesday and the spin class on Wednesday.  It was very much needed.


Dinner (7:30pm):  grilled chicken, oven-roasted asparagus, hummus, rice crackers.


Friday:

My weigh-in now showed the horrible breakfast and the effects of water gain taking in that glucose.  I gained ANOTHER 2.0 pounds to put me at 264.4, back under 20 pounds lost.  I was unhappy with myself.  I know what I did wrong and won't do it again.


Breakfast (7:15am): leftover pasta, almonds.
I didn't pack a breakfast so I ate a portion of my lunch for breakfast.


Lunch (11:30am):  last of the leftover pasta, broccoli, hummus, apple.
I ate one floret of broccoli with hummus and felt so tired of that texture that an idea occurred to me.  I took the plastic container the broccoli was in, added a few tablespoons of water and microwaved it with the lid resting on it (not closed tight).  Perfectly steamed broccoli and it made it much more palatable.

Now I am caught up on this week's blogging.  I've pretty much wiped out all the good I did over the weekend and early week in just two days.  Time to make it another loss week and I still have the rest of today and all weekend to do it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 2, Days 6-7


Saturday:
Breakfast (10am):  Chicken sausages, scrambled eggs w/veggies, rice cakes w/ peanut butter
Amy made homemade chicken sausage from ground chicken and seasonings.  It was much better than the turkey sausage we had made before so we are getting closer to what we want.
Today at church was a Taco Bar potluck.  So we made our plans to ensure we would enjoy a meal with everyone by taking the following:  shredded chicken (recipe provided on another post), shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cantaloupe and watermelon.
My mother had brought ground beef taco meat (using a seasoning recipe online that did not use sugar).
Lunch (4pm):  Taco salad, guacamole, refried beans, veggies, hummus, cantaloupe.
The salad turned out great and I look forward to leftovers (we brought home plenty of shredded chicken, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes).  Everything was so good.  I made a celery dip from refried beans, guacamole and salsa mixed together.
I think I had a late afternoon snack of rice cakes w/ peanut butter.
It was necessary to get to bed early for the 5am wakeup time for the 10K on Sunday.
Sunday:
I've posted separately about the 10K here.  So I'll now proceed with what was critical to my weight-loss plan.
I weighed in this morning at 265.0 gaining 0.2 from yesterday.  No surprise, I've mapped out my losses and gains over the last three weeks and my worst days (least lost or most gained) are Tuesday and Saturday and my best days (most lost) are Monday and Friday.  Interestingly, Amy's worst days are Wednesday and Sunday and her best days are Monday and Thursday.
I guess Mondays are good because it is the start of a new week.  So it seems we start off the week renewed on sticking to the plan (both of us because we probably had a gain either Saturday or Sunday).  We are off a day on our worst days and almost in line with each other on our best days.  The averages will change over the next few weeks, but I'm curious to see what the final result will be.
Before my race, I had a bottle of water and a pear.  That was basically my breakfast.  I had picked up water at every station available so I didn't dehydrate too much (I still needed another bottle of water at the finish line).
Afterwards, I went to a booth by MyFitFoods.com.  While I'm not a proponent of purchasing a meal plan, they offered a post race meal consisting of a cup of ground turkey scramble with onion, peppers, potatoes and tortilla strips.  It was a great post race dish that was mostly on my plan (if you leave out the potatoes and tortilla strips, it would haev been perfect).
I weighed myself after getting home from the run and found that, despite all the water, the pear and the scramble, I had lost a full 2.0 pounds.  I could only hope I didn't put that back on with the rest of today's activities.
DJ and I reconvened with our respective spouses at Blue Mesa Grill in Southlake to have brunch and celebrate.
Brunch (11:15am):  scrambled eggs, sweet potatoes, chicken fajitas, quiche, guacamole, roasted veggies, cream corn.
Amy and I had allowed ourselves a little cheat today.  This was a small celebration and was not going to happen very often at all.  This permitted a little more leeway on what we could get at the buffet.  We both still avoided the pancakes, belgian waffles, brownies, cookies, pecan bars, etc.
We spent the afternoon shopping in Southlake.  It was a nice break and we got some good deals.
Finally, at home, we had a relaxing afternoon in which I tried to nap, but failed (my legs were still twitching too much from the run).
Dinner (7:30pm):  burger patty, half baked sweet potato, salad w/ salsa as dressing, half avocado, unsweet decaf tea.
Excellent meal prepared by Amy as I was worn out from the run and shopping.  I had already physically checked out for the evening.
Monday morning:
I finally weighed in to end Week 2.  I lost 1.6 pounds on Sunday.  That was 2.8 for Week 2 which is still respectable.

Recipe: Shredded Chicken for tacos


Recipe:  Shredded Chicken for tacos


  • 1 pound of Chicken breasts
  • 1 can of Green Enchilada sauce
  • 1 tbsp Fajita Seasoning
  • 1 cup of water



  1. Pour the can of sauce into a crockpot.
  2. Remove the fat from the chicken and place the breasts in the crockpot doing your best to make sure they're covered by the sauce.
  3. Sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken.
  4. Set the crockpot to low and leave overnight (or start in morning for evening meal)
  5. In the morning (or about an hour before the meal), use a potato masher to shred the chick in the crockpot.
  6. Add 1 cup of water and cover again.


This provides great tasting shredded chicken with much less mess and work for tacos or salads.  Try switching out the sauce and seasoning for different flavors.

Wounded Warrior 10K

This event warranted it's own separate post.
I got up on Sunday at 4:50am... 10 minutes before the alarm would go off.  I ended up surfing the net a little while until it was time to get ready so that DJ could pick me up.  First time I've ever carpooled to an event.  Amy and DJ's wife, Mary, enjoyed sleeping in while the two of us had to get up early.  He picked me up at 5:50am and we were off to Irving.  I ate a pear on the way to the event.
The traffic was not too bad when we got over there, but getting into and through the parking garage to a spot was a slow ordeal.  Seems that everyone is in a hurry to get to a spot, but once they get their spot, they have no qualms blocking other drivers while they slowly cross streets and such.  It was frustrating to see these runners have no consideration for other drivers, but that's society these days.
We got our numbers pinned on our shirts, had a bottle of water each and then left the garage to go to the starting line.  Neither of us had any of the pre-race snacks.  I planned on just having water, but making sure to get it at every water station.  I also intended to run as much of it as possible.
They were running late on the event so everything was about 15 minutes behind schedule.  We finally got to go at 7:30am and I kept up with DJ for about 0.7 miles until my shin splint kicked in.  I pushed myself to finish the first mile and then went to walking.  I walked as fast I as could.
I maintained a long stride fast walk for most of the course.  I was amazed at my splits (shown below).  I was moving far faster than I expected.
As this course was "out and back", it was basically two 3.1 (5K) runs with the same course in reverse.  DJ passed me as he was already heading back about 5 minutes ahead of my time (that's how long I timed myself from the point we passed each other to the point where I was at that same distance heading back).
Not long after at the 4.1 mile mark, I decided to give running another try.  I can't say why, but the shin splint pain never returned.  In fact I felt perfectly fine.  My co-worker, Sam, commented that I may have stretched out the muscles enough (or I was on adrenalin by then).  Either way, I enjoyed running as much as I could after that (but was already pretty worn as I had not been running in weeks).
Of course, with all this, I ended up crossing the finish line basically having two 5Ks completed back-to-back with almost the same finish time on both.  I've NEVER done that before (I have a training loop near the house that I used for training for half and full marathons and I've always done the second and third laps slower).
I got a finisher's medal and enjoyed a small meal of ground turkey scramble (with onions, peppers, potatoes and tortilla strips) and another bottle of water.
After a while, DJ and I returned home to our respective wives to get showered and dressed for a brunch together to celebrate.
The Splits:
Mile 1.0 = ~13:00
Mile 2.0 = 27:40 (14:40 for that mile)
Mile 3.1 = 44:40 (17:00 for 1.1 miles)
Mile 4.1 = 1:00:00 (15:60 for that mile)
Mile 5.1 = 1:13:00 (13:00 for that mile)
Mile 6.2 (Finish) = 1:28:15 (15:15 for the last 1.1 miles)
Results (link):
Charles Martin #2948
Age Group 40-44 Men: 66 out of 74
Overall:  414 out of 462
Chip Time:  1:28:15.3
Pace: 14m14s per mile
D.J. Peters #3109
Age Group 40-44 Men: 59 out of 74
Overall:  350 out of 462
Chip Time:  1:16:53.8
Pace: 12m24s per mile

Saturday, June 9, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 2, Days 4-5

After spin class, I was too worn out for mowing the lawn (regretted that later when it rained Thursday and Friday morning).  For dinner we had leftover pasta and stuff.  I don't recall as I've waited too long to write this blog post.

I woke up Thursday morning to find the scale said 267, which was a loss of 0.4.  I also had a horrible sore throat and nasal passage so I called in sick, took some Nyquil capsules and didn't get out of bed until 12:30pm.

Lunch (2:00pm): scrambled eggs w/ brown rice and turkey pastrami, and some other stuff.
Again, I don't recall much due to how long I waited.

Dinner was something.  I don't remember what, but I think I just snacked on some veggies with hummus and possibly some fruit.

Needless to say, I didn't eat as much this day though the throat was much better in the afternoon (it's hanging around as I write this so I may need to take some Dayquil capsules before heading to church).

Friday morning, I awoke to a number that hardly surprised me due to the lower consumption on Thursday.  I was at 265!

265!  That has more meaning that just losing 2.0 pounds.  I finally crossed another milestone.  The BMI range I was previously in was called "Severely Obese" which is between 35 and 40 BMI.  As of this morning, I was below 35 BMI meaning I'm now in the "Moderately Obese" category.  The next BMI goal is to go below 30 BMI into "Overweight", which is 37.6 pounds away from this point.

My total loss is now 18.8 pounds.

Breakfast (7:45am): omelet w/ turkey (no cheese).
I am getting bored of this but there is very little variety in what is offered downstairs in the cafe.

Lunch (12:00pm):  sashimi salad w/ miso soup and one vegetable eggroll
I didn't have much since this sushi restaurant does not offer brown rice (thus negating ordering any sushi roll or sushi).  The eggroll was the one "off-plan" item I had as a co-worker had bought the appetizer for the three of us.  I'll pass next time.  The main offender here was the sweet sauce on the eggroll (but it was OH so good).

Dinner (6:00pm):  Chipotle burrito salad.
Amy and I treated ourselves to dinner out by going to Chipotle.  I ordered a burrito salad (which means no tortilla and more lettuce) with a small amount of black beans (no rice since I was having beans), fajita veggies, chicken, corn salsa and the hot sauce.  That was it.  Amy ordered a side of guacamole which we split.  Quite filling and so good.

I'll post an update again tonight or tomorrow.  I have the 10K run tomorrow morning so I plan on getting to bed early.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 2, Day 3

Yesterday, I got home a little earlier than usual thanks to good traffic and I got lazy.  I didn't mow the lawn or go to the gym this evening.  I did decide to work on part of our dinner.

Dinner (5:30pm): Grilled Chicken, baked eggplant, roasted garlic and Spanish fried rice; unsweet decaf iced tea.
The grilled chicken was Amy's part of the dinner.  She used a seasoning mix for chicken from Sam's Club.  I sliced the eggplant, sprinkled on olive oil, cajun seasoning, cilantro and some sea salt and baked it in the oven with a split open garlic bunch (also drizzled with oil and salt).  The Spanish fried rice was the same recipe I used last week with the addition of three scrambled eggs.  The eggplant was NOT a hit and will probably not make it onto our menu again.  Everything else was really good.

After dinner, we caught a showing of "The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr Mark Hyman" on the local PBS channel at 7pm.  It was a good overview of the whole program Amy and I are doing.  It reminded Amy that she's not been doing her vitamins.  So we went to Target where she got a new 7-day vitamin holder (each day has AM and PM compartments and separates from the holder so that she can carry a single day in her purse instead of the entire week's worth).

This morning, I weighed in and found I'd gained another pound.  Disappointing really, but most likely due to the rice I had with my lunch at the Korean restaurant.  Today I'm working harder to avoid those pitfalls.

Breakfast (6:15am): two scrambled eggs w/ two slices of turkey and crushed red peppers; brown rice cake w/ crunchy peanut butter.
It felt good to fix my own breakfast this morning and it be nice and hot and not reheated in a microwave.  This may be the best way to go as it will force me to get up earlier.  I need to make it a regular thing.

2nd Breakfast (9:30am): apple.


Lunch (11:30am):  Turkey Tom Unwich from Jimmy John's (minus the mayo); half a pickle; handful of Chipotle Lime Cashews (from World Market).
I needed something different for lunch and the Unwich really grabbed my taste buds as they replace the bun with a huge lettuce leaf so it's a sandwich lettuce wrap.

Now tonight I plan on doing the spin class (not my preferred instructor, but since I missed Monday, I'm seriously craving spin class).  Then I'll mow the lawn afterwards and then shower and dinner.  Probably leftovers tonight.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 2, Day 2

So Amy and I went to Aqua Class together at 6pm (my plans for 5pm spin class were nixed by an accident on the drive home that caused me to get home 30 minutes later than usual meaning the class would already be full). It was a very good workout and I spent some time in the dry sauna afterwards.

We got home and showered and had dinner. It was leftovers from our previous night's dinner (pasta) with a salad in place of the baked sweet potato. However, the key factor, in my opinion, was that we were eating at 8pm which is an hour later than usual.

I weighed in this morning and found I'd gained 0.2 pounds. Disappointing after working out the previous day, but consistent with the last week's pattern of big loss, small loss (or small gain), big loss, etc.

Breakfast (7:45am): handful of chili-lime peanuts.
I wasn't very hungry this morning. I also had no time to fix breakfast and just threw together a lunch (the remaining chicken biryani leftover and a cup of applesauce).

Lunch (12:00pm): Korean chicken bulgogi w/ purple rice, assorted side veggies; miso soup.
My boss took me out to lunch today so it was a challenge to stick to the plan. The purple rice was questionable (the book only mentions brown and black and doesn't mention yay or nay on purple), but I enjoyed it anyway. I avoided the potatoes and the dessert drink afterwards. Quite filling.

I'll try to get spin class on Wednesday afternoon.

Monday, June 4, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 2, Day 1

As noted in my previous entry, I weighed in this morning with a loss of 1.4 putting my weight at 266.4. My next goal is to reach 'Apprentice' level, which is 245 or under. So I have lost 3.6 pounds toward that goal and have 21.4 left to go.
I also have 39.4 pounds left to lose to reach 227, which means I cross the BMI chart from "obese" to "overweight". I started with a BMI of 37, which is Obese Class II - Severely Obese. From my starting point of 283.8, that means I'll be 1/3 of the way there when I lose 20 pounds (263.8, only 2.6 pounds away) and 1/2 way there when I lose 30 pounds (253.8). At that point, I will also be at my lowest weight since high school, I think.
Another way of looking at it is that every 14.2 pounds I lose is 5% of my original starting weight. I crossed that line on Friday and lost my first 5%. When I reach the BMI of "overweight" and am no longer "obese", I will have lost 20% of my weight. If I reach my "normal" BMI at 188 pounds, I will have lost 33% or one third of my starting body weight.
For now, I stick to small goals knowing each one leads to the big goal. So here are the upcoming milestones:

  1. Lost 10 pounds

  2. Lost 5% (14.2 pounds)

  3. Lost 18.6 pounds (BMI=35 Obese Class I - Moderately obese)

  4. Lost 20 pounds

  5. Lost 10% (28.4 pounds)

  6. Lost 30 pounds

  7. Reached Apprentice level (lost 38.8 pounds)

  8. Lost 39.4 pounds (BMI=30 Overweight)

  9. Lost 40 pounds

  10. Lost 15% (42.6 pounds)

  11. Lost 50 pounds

  12. Lost 20% (56.8 pounds)

  13. Lost 60 pounds

  14. Reached Jedi level (lost 63.8 pounds)

  15. Lost 70 pounds

  16. Lost 25% (71.0 pounds)

  17. Lost 80 pounds

  18. Lost 30% (85.2 pounds)

  19. Reached Jedi Master level (lost 93.8 pounds)

  20. Lost 33% (95.8 pounds; BMI=25 Normal)


Some groups of these could be crossed in one weigh-in. Others have a range up to 9 pounds between each milestone. However, as you can see, this breaks up my journey into smaller chunks so that each one is achievable. I know I could reach "Lost 20 pounds" this week. In the next two weeks, I may knock out the next two. By the end of the 6 weeks, I may have reached BMI=Overweight. Right know, at the end of two weeks, I've lost 17.6 pounds, if that loss was maintained consistently (it won't be), I would lose 61 pounds. Not realistic, but it does make my hopes of reaching BMI=Overweight (39.4 pounds lost) conceivable before the end of this program. I would also be almost halfway to BMI=Normal.
Enough of that...
Breakfast (7:15am): Baked scrambled eggs
I decided to avoid the nuts for breakfast knowing the salt would only cause some water retention. I'll save them for snacking later.
2nd Breakfast (10:30am): handful of nuts (almonds and chili-lime peanuts)
I was going out to Half Price books with a co-worker for lunch and would not be eating what I brought until after we got back around 12:30pm so I needed something to hold me over.
Lunch (12:30pm): Leftover Chicken Biryani from last week; celery and carrot sticks; three alarm hummus.
This filled me up rather well. I forgot how little rice came with the chicken, but that's the balance I need.
I plan on doing my spin class this afternoon. We haven't decided what to do for dinner, but I need to watch my red meat intake. I stopped my gout medication this weekend as I believe I've had a low-level attack in my left ankle for a few weeks now and just now realized it. Taking a week off the meds to see how the ankle does. If it gets better, I drop the gout medications altogether and hope that this also resolves my limping and shin splints.

BSS Journal - Week 1, Days 6-7

So Amy and I survived the Italian Bistro on Friday Evening. We both had the grilled chicken with steamed veggies and ordered a small bowl of marinara sauce on the side (not knowing the dish would come with a bowl of spaghetti w/ marinara). We also enjoyed a small appetizer of mozarella, tomatoes and mushrooms in a sauce (we avoided the mozarella). We skipped the wine, homemade garlic rolls, cheese bread, pasta and mashed potatoes (the menu didn't mention them but they came on our plate).

Saturday morning, I weigh in and, believe it or not, I lost 2 pounds on Friday.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, rice cakes w/ crunchy peanut butter.

We packed a snack bag with two apples and two containers of nuts (almonds and pistachios). This was in case nothing was available at the meal after church service that we could eat.

Turns out, we were pleasantly surprised to find roast chicken, a pot of beans, and a pot of steamed veggies. The dessert table had many good items, but we could only touch the watermelon. I ended up having a cup of applesauce.

We then spent the evening at my brother's in-laws in their swimming pool. I later snacked on the rest of the pistachios and the apple. I'm still sore in my neck and shoulders as I type this Monday morning.

Sunday, I weigh in and find I lost only 0.2. I'm okay with that. Probably because I had that late evening snack.

I go for a 4mile walk while my running partner does his 55 min workout. We end up at Roots Coffeehouse afterwards where I try a red ginger tea (caffeine-free). It was the weirdest thing to take a sip and the after effect is that of a sweetness in my mouth. It had no sweeteners added to it. It felt a little like cheating, but it was still okay.

I went to Market Street to do some shopping for items to add to our menu for the week and to add to our pantry items that we can use for a while.

Lunch (12:00pm): 3 scrambled eggs with turkey pastrami, jalapeno and brown rice; fresh peach
Notice no mention of breakfast. This was my first meal of the day. Not my usual plan of eating every 3-4 hours.

I shaved the dog as much as I could (he's getting old and feisty) and then we gave him a much needed bath. He seemed to be a much happier dog after that.

Finally showering off, we sit down to watch a few movies and snacking involved some nuts, flaxseed crackers, and fruit.

Dinner (8:00pm): Ground Beef mixed with Napolitano pasta sauce and brown rice pasta; baked sweet potato w/ cinnamon.
This was a much later dinner than we normally do. We had snacked so late that we weren't hungry until then. Overall, a very good meal. The brown rice pasta was better than expected, but it does stick together easier too.

Since this is the last day of Week 1, I'll go ahead and include this morning's weigh-in. I hopped on the scale and it showed 266.2 That is a loss of 1.4 pounds for Sunday, a total of 6.4 pounds for Week 1 and a total of 17.6 pounds for the entirety of the program.

Oh, yeah!

BSS Journal - Week 1 Summary

Here is the summary of my weigh-ins for Week 1:

  • Week 1 Starting weight: 272.6 (-11.2)

  • Monday: 270.8 (-1.8; -13.0 total) [20min each on Treadmill, Elliptical and Bike]

  • Tuesday: 271.6 (+0.8; -12.2 total)

  • Wednesday: 270.0 (-1.6; -13.8 total) [30min each on Treadmill and Elliptical]

  • Thursday: 269.8 (-0.2; -14.0 total)

  • Friday: 267.8 (-2.0; -16.0 total)

  • Saturday: 267.6 (-0.2; -16.2 total)

  • Sunday: 266.2 (-1.4; -17.6 total) [walked 4 miles in 81 minutes; shaved and bathed the dog]

  • Final weight: 266.2 (-17.6; 6.4 this week)


While I did workout twice, it seems to me that there is a pattern here of one day of big loss and another day of small loss or gain.  Friday's big loss had no associated workout and involved going to Freebird's for lunch and Italian Bistro for dinner.  I can't explain it except I made some really good choices that day.

Friday, June 1, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 1, Day 5

Yesterday evening was a new challenge: our first trip to a Tex-Mex restaurant on the plan. Even though we were not paying, we did our best to keep the costs down. It would have been great to have a margarita, chips and queso, and enchiladas. However, we stayed on program to the best of our ability.

I ordered chicken fajitas, replacing the rice and beans with sauteed veggies (couldn't get the waiter to understand we didn't want them cooked in butter, so that ended up being our one cheat), no cheese, sour cream or tortillas. Amy ordered the house salad with no cheese or tortilla strips and the vinaigrette dressing on the side (it probably had sugar in it, but it was the healthiest choice and we only ate it by dipping our forks in the dressing and then into the salad). We didn't have any of the chips, or tortillas brought to us. All this and water and we split both dishes. It was very filling and we weren't hungry later. Thirst was a different matter as it probably still had quite a bit of salt.

This morning, I weighed myself and the scale said 269.8, a loss of 0.2 pounds. I'm no longer in the 280s or 270s. Yes! And all in spite of having Tex Mex.

Breakfast (7:15am): Baked scrambled eggs, turkey pastrami, handful of chili-lime peanuts.
The pastrami helped change up what was becoming a boring breakfast.

Lunch (11:00am): Freebird's Freedom Salad
My Freedom Salad included some pinto beans, ground beef, roasted veggies, pico de gallo, roasted poblanos, toasted garlic, cilantro and habanero sauce. Quite filling and oh so good with the seasoned ground beef. Now that I think about it as I type this, Amy had trouble finding taco seasoning that didn't have sugar... so that may have contributed to the enjoyment.

The scale does not lie. I'll know more tomorrow morning. Of course, I can't be sure since we're also attending a graduation dinner tonight for Amy's niece, Victoria, at an Italian restaurant. Another challenge like yesterday. And so if I gain in tomorrow's weigh-in, I can't be certain which meal did it (unless I KNOW the Italian dinner tonight included no hidden diet taxes).

Thursday, May 31, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 1, Days 3-4

So I prepared a new dish, Chicken Biryani, for dinner on Tuesday night with a salad. It went over very well, but was not quite what I remember a biryani being like. So I'll have to play with this recipe.
Wednesday morning, I weighed in and had my second gain. I believe I ate too many chili lime peanuts on Tuesday and was retaining water due to the salt. I gained 0.8 pounds for a current weight of 271.6.
Breakfast (7:15am): Turkey Omelet w/o cheese
I got an omelet from downstairs at the Cafe in our building. I had to keep a close eye because, as usual, you ask for something special order, they invariably forget and the cook almost put cheese into the omelet. I was very good and the turkey helped.
I had no second breakfast as the omelet filled me up.
Lunch (12:15pm): Greek Buffet
I met a high school friend I had not seen in 20 years, Mark Lewis. He has lived for several years up in Vancouver, but has returned as the game industry kinda dried up in Canada. The Greek buffet (Cafe Greek at Preston & 635) was a good choice as I could have roast chicken, gyro lamb, cooked veggies, hummus and salad (no dressing). It was a good visit and I had my fill going to the buffet twice.
Snack (2:30pm): Chili Lime Peanuts
This was a small handful so that I don't overdo it.
I decided to do a workout this evening because Thursday and Friday evenings we have graduation dinners to attend. Amy decided to join me so we go to the gym at 5pm. I end up doing 30 min on the treadmill and 30 min on the elliptical burning about 800 calories total. Then I hit the dry sauna.
We came home and showered and I proceeded to fix dinner. I broiled the remainder of the brisket that was not cooked for potluck this past Sunday. I prepared some Spanish rice from a recipe I just made up as it sounded good (and it was very good; I've posted the recipe in a separate post).
Dinner (7:00pm): Leftover Brisket (reheated), Spanish Rice, salad w/ dressing, unsweet decaf tea.
So I fixed the uncooked brisket, but discovered that not all cuts of meat are equal. We gave it to the dog and I reheated leftovers from the Sunday brisket. The Spanish rice was a hit and it was all quite filling.
After washing up the dishes and taking care of the trash, I called it a night and crashed (not hearing any of the storms that came through).
This morning, I awoke to thunder and rain... it was awesome and I wanted to sleep in, but couldn't. I felt good about my day yesterday and was eager to see results. I weighed myself and it was an even 270 pounds. I had lost 1.6 pounds yesterday wiping out my previous 0.8 pound gain.
PADAWAN!
Yeah, it's geeky, but it feels good to be "leveling up".
Breakfast (7:15am): Baked scrambled eggs, chili lime peanuts
As before, the chili lime peanuts make up for the fact I didn't salt the eggs before baking them.
Lunch (11:30am): Leftover Stir-Fry, veggies and hummus.
This was the leftovers from my second stir fry on Friday that wasn't such a hit as the first one. That's what I get for trying something different. Still, another filling meal.
Tonight is a different challenge as we attend a graduation dinner for Amy's nephew, Andrew, at the Rio Mambo restaurant in Colleyville. We have already looked at the menu and chosen to get an order of fajitas (no tortillas, rice, beans, cheese, or sour cream) and a salad and split them both. Only water to drink and we should be good.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Recipe: Spanish Rice

I made this just throwing stuff together and it went over extremely well. Here is a simple recipe that is pretty healthy too.

1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1 cup cooked brown basmati rice
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp mexican seasoning mix (or a mix of cumin and onion salt)

In a small frying pan, place all of the ingredients and bring up to medium heat and cook down the liquid. Bring to low when most of the water is gone.

2-3 servings


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 1, Day 2

I weighed in this morning and showed a loss of 1.8 bringing my total to 13.0 pounds lost. Not bad for the first day of Week 1.

Breakfast (7:15am): Baked scrambled eggs, dozen salted almonds.
This was really more of the texture/appearance of a souffle, but since I had baked it too long most likely (it still looked wet and shiny while complete done), it was rather dry. So I'll have to play with this recipe a little more. Also forgot to add salt to the eggs so the almonds were necessary.

Lunch (11:30am): Leftover Chicken Stir-Fry w/ black rice, carrots, jalapeno hummus.
I finally got around to using the leftovers from Thursday. Still good even cold. Glad I had put some hummus in the container with the carrots as my tub of hummus I left in the fridge at work got thrown out (they had sent an email to let us know that the 10th floor fridge would be cleaned out, but I'm on the 8th floor and we were not told our fridge would be emptied).

Snack (1:30pm): Chili Lime Peanuts
I finally bought a new bag of snacking peanuts for work. I had run out last week and was eating almonds (not a huge fan).

Monday, May 28, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 1, Day 1

So this morning began with the weigh-ins to finalize Week 0 and I still felt pretty good that I went to a church potluck and lost 0.2 pounds.

Yeah...

Now the part we were dreading.  No more dairy or glutens.  No milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, etc.  No wheat, barley, oats, etc.

So we got up kinda late and went about preparing breakfast for the new week's requirements.  No butter for the eggs or grits.  No cheese for the eggs or grits.  No cow's milk to drink with the meal.

This meant the following:  turkey kielbasa (half of the 12 oz horseshoe shaped link divided between us for a 3oz serving each), scrambled eggs (5 split between us, 2.5 eggs each) with sunflower oil instead of butter, grits (with Mrs Dash seasoning and some salt.... not enough salt, but I hate oversalting food... sue me), unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I had a small taste, but it wasn't bad; I just settled for water and thought the almond milk would be better in a smoothie).


Overall, a successful first breakfast on the new plan.  The kielbasa was nice and spicy and the grits needed some salt, but it filled us up quite well (I think I had a small peach afterwards).

The rest of the morning was spent watching a couple of movies (snacking only on veggies, hummus, rice crackers and nuts).

Finally, late afternoon, I went to 24 Hour Fitness to put in an hour workout (remembering what it did for me twice last week in terms of weight-loss).  I did 20 min treadmill (fast walking to not awaken the shin splint), 20 min elliptical (the highest calorie burner of the three exercises I did) and 20 min bike (not spin bike).  I finished out with about 12 minutes in the dry sauna to sweat out more and relax my leg muscles.

Dinner was a quarter pound of grass-fed beef with steak rub seasoning mixed in, one baked sweet potato and a salad with sugarless tomato basil dressing from Whole Foods.  It tasted like the house dressing used at many Italian restaurants.  I also had a small side of roasted red pepper hummus mixed with Guinness soaked mustard seeds.  This became my dipping sauce for the beef and it was awesome. All this washed down with unsweet decaf tea.

After dinner, I made some brown basmati rice (to use in a chicken biryani recipe tomorrow that my mother had sent by email) and baked four servings of eggs for the week.  This time I did two scrambled eggs in each ramekin with a little Mrs. Dash.  They baked up rather fluffy, but started to collapse as they cooled:

Everything is ready for this week's breakfast meals.

So now I finish typing up this day's entry before heading to bed (as the rain and thunder pour and rumble outside my office window).   Amy and I are just excited about how this is going to go.  She's also using Excel to track her weight and chart it so that she learns more about using Excel.  So many benefits from this one mutual decision.

BSS Journal - Week 0 Summary

Here is the summary of my weigh-ins for Week 0:

  • Starting weight: 283.8
  • Monday: 279.0 (-4.8) [60min Spin Class]
  • Tuesday: 277.4 (-1.6; -6.4 total)
  • Wednesday: 275.8 (-1.6; -8.0 total)
  • Thursday: 274.8 (-1.0; -9.0 total)
  • Friday: 272.6 (-2.2; -11.2 total) [45min Spin Session]
  • Saturday: 272.8 (+0.2; -11.0 total)
  • Sunday: 272.6 (-0.2; -11.2 total)
  • Final weight: 272.8 (-11.2)
Overall, what should be noted is that the days that I worked out were the days I had the biggest losses.

This week was strictly about cutting out refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, flours, caffeine and alcohol (the book also says nicotine, but neither of us have/use nicotine products).  Next week, we remove dairy and glutens in addition to what we were already excluding.  This will continue for six weeks.

BSS Journal - Week 0, Days 6-7

So I'm merging these together because it was a busy weekend.  Let's start off with Saturday breakfast (the Saturday morning weigh-in was mentioned in the previous post).

For breakfast, I cooked up half the turkey sausage Amy had mixed up the previous night.  We may be posting that recipe at a later date.  Amy prepared an omelet with onions, bell peppers and butter (our last few days of dairy in this post).  So we split the omelet and sausage and enjoyed it with a glass of milk.
This was the penultimate breakfast with dairy so it had milk, cheese and butter (remember this later, there will be a quiz).

We planned ahead of time and took a veggie tray, hummus, rice crackers and half a watermelon so we could have something to "snack" on after Sabbath services today (it used to be just snacks, but it ballooned to a weekly meal).  We fully intended to come home afterwards and have some cottage cheese or chicken.

At the break, Amy had her apple and some pistachios.  I did fine.

So for the meal afterwards, we discovered someone had brought a salad and roast chicken.  So we ended up with a full meal after all.

That evening we snacked a little on veggies and hummus and nuts.

Sunday Morning, I weighed myself to discover my first gain on the program.  0.2 pounds.  Remember that dairy?  Combine that with probably one too many rice crackers and salty nuts and I was up on my weight.

So today I'd have to work a little harder to not gain.

We repeated the previous day's breakfast only we cut back on the omelet (it was 3 eggs for each of our servings) to two eggs and added yellow grits (with butter and cheese... a recurring theme, but only as this was our LAST day with dairy).

I know we ate more than the recommended serving amount and will have to work on that.

I had prepared a fruit salad the previous night (peaches, blueberries, strawberries, half-and-half (yeah), cinnamon and nutmeg).  No added sugar (the peaches would end up being a bit more tart than I would normally like, but I loved my concoction).  Amy prepared a brisket to cook in the crockpot overnight.  Since we no longer have potatoes in our plan, she only put in carrots and onions:


This morning, Amy made a greek salad while I finished up dividing up the watermelon (we'd only taken half on Saturday).  We also remembered we had planned to make a chocolate pie to use up the last graham cracker crust.  So Amy mixed it up and we were short on milk... so we added half-and-half (this time it didn't matter since we were not eating it; one of the church members, Gail, commented that it had tasted like liqueur).  Since it was still pretty think, it started to tear up the crust some and just overall not look too pleasant.  So I decided to cut up some strawberries into eighths and decorate the top:

Yes, it was rather good looking, but we didn't get to have any of it... it was no on our plan.

So we managed to have a great meal along with some dishes prepared by my mother (chuckwagon casserole) and Gail (brown rice casserole w/ spinach) which also met our plan (both had emailed questions about what we were no longer eating so that they could prepare the dish according to our needs).

The pie looked SO good, but I stuck with the fruit salad I had made.  Gail had happened to cut up a cantaloupe and, of all possible choices, added cinnamon and nutmeg copying my fruit salad without ever having known.

The remains of the fruit salad and cantaloupe would be my last meal Sunday evening.  Very little brisket left, plenty greek salad (but the veggies didn't survive long in the dressing used so we threw it away) and very little watermelon left.

We survived the Sabbath meal and the Sunday potluck and it came out well.  Tomorrow will be the final weigh-in for Week 0 and a summary for the program progress.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 0 Day 5

I made good on my promise and prepared dinner thursday night.  Seeing as most normal sauces anyone would buy in the store contain sugar (and I couldn't find any at the time that were Asian or Indian), I was pretty much left to my own devices.  Rather than recount here the full recipe, I'm making that a separate post and will be useful for reference later.

So I settled on doing a chicken Stir Fry (in an iron skillet) with a side of black rice (Lotus Brand) and a portion of raw carrots.  The final results:

Amy really enjoyed the meal and it was quite filling.  We kept ourselves to the basic plan and only had a 1/2 cup of the rice.  Finished this off with decaf iced tea.  There was still a serving of the stir fry leftover that I put that with another serving of the rice in my lunch container for tomorrow.

I am loving the new program.  It does what Weight Watchers core program didn't do.  The core program had you pretty much eating what we are now for no points counted.  However, we had a small amount of points that could be used on non-core items.  Our problem was sticking to only that set of points.

As we both know now, we can't control ourselves with sweets.  That's why the core program only worked for a short time.  Now with this program, we are forbidden to eat sugars, flours, alcohol and caffeine the first week (then restrict dairy and gluten on top of that for the next six weeks).  Because it is forbidden, we can't just tell ourselves to have a little and hope we don't gorge ourselves.  Now we can say that is not allowed at all and there is no going over our limit.

What we eat now fills us up without making us too hungry for later.  We stick to having 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day and don't stay hungry.  Amy even had a snack of apple slices with peanut butter and she believes that's the first time she's had the combination and loved it.  No more caramel dips for the apple slices.  No more crackers or cookies for the peanut butter.

This is healthy living.

Friday morning, I weighed myself and had lost another pound for a total of NINE.

Breakfast (7:00am):  two baked eggs with a slice of cheese and a few dozen spicy peanuts
I didn't have breakfast until I got to work as I was running late and couldn't eat before I left.  The eggs had to be microwaved this time so I cut them up into small chunks and covered with the cheese slice before microwaving.  They did much better and didn't explode all over the oven.

2nd Breakfast (9:45am): handful of spicy peanuts
I need to find another option... not a huge fan of almonds, but will eat them when that's my only choice.  However, I am a little bit tired of these spicy peanuts.  I need to hit an Indian market to see what options they may have.

Lunch (11:30am):  Korean Chicken Bulgogi tacos (minus tortillas) and kimchee
I went out with my coworker, Rob, to Goghee-To-Go and had the Korean tacos with kimchee.  They normally come in corn tortillas which I removed and put to the side and enjoyed the meat and veggies.  Tasted so good.  Only thing I was not sure about was if the sauce used had sugar (I tasted like it, but it was so minute that I wasn't going to worry).

I had no afternoon snack as we were let out of work at 2pm and I went to meet a friend at Starbuck's (had an iced Passion Tea with no sweetener).  After that, I went home, changed clothes and went up to 24hr Fitness at about 4:30pm.  I went to the spin class room and began a self-led regimen in an attempt to work on my cadence.

Having bike shoes with clips, the rider has the ability to not only push down on a pedal, but also pull up.  So while the left foot is pushing down, the right can pull up and vice-versa.  However, this is not so easy to do as it goes against all previous biking habits.  I had to crank up the tension high so I could push and pull the pedals slowly to build up a cadence (and eventually, a muscle memory).  Once I mastered it at a slower speed, I'd back off some of the tension so I could pedal faster.  I also got where I could do it standing up.

I am, by all means, not fully there yet as it will take some time to get the cadence to be natural and not require the concentration.  Once I am there, that means my legs are working the entire time, but I'm getting almost double the power and speed.

Dinner was a modified version of the stir fry.  I marinated the chicken in red wine vinegar and Mrs Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning overnight.  This I stir fried as before with just 1 and 1/2 green bell peppers, some salsa, and the leftover black rice (saving myself from using another dish to heat it up or put it in the microwave).  This was accompanied on my plate by carrots, rice crackers and jalapeno hummus.

It is now Saturday morning.  I'm late on this post because of my schedule yesterday getting turned upside-down by leaving early.  I just weighed myself again.

My current weight is now 272.6, a loss yesterday of 2.2 pounds.  For the first 5 days of this program, I've lost 11.2 pounds total.  The two highest days were when I worked out at the gym.  So I'm going to try to make that a more common occurrence.

This weekend has two big challenges for Amy and I.  On Saturdays, there is usually a meal after the Sabbath service (it used to be called snacks, but its now just a meal).  We resolved to get through it by taking a veggie tray and watermelon.  We are taking it back as just "snacks" for ourselves.  Rather than take a dinner for ourselves, we'll make do with the situation.

The second challenge is on Sunday when we observe Pentecost.  There is a full potluck after the service.  Amy and I will be taking a dish we can eat and my mother has volunteered to fix something as well that we can enjoy.  She asked me by email what we can't have and is adjusting accordingly.  Perhaps we can start a trend of healthier choices at these meals and during "snacks" on weekly Sabbaths.

This is our first Sabbath morning breakfast with no biscuits, pancakes, waffles, toast, chocolate milk, syrup, honey, jelly, etc.  Amy prepped some ground turkey as turkey sausage adding in several seasonings.  We'll find out how those turned out and enjoy cheese and milk as Monday we have to give up dairy as well.

I am not certain at this time when I'll be posting to the blog again.  Perhaps tonight and Sunday night and then get back to my schedule of weekday afternoons.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Recipe: Stir Fry Chicken

The following is the recipe I prepared tonight for Amy and myself and we were both surprised at how well it turned out without using some fancy stir fry sauce (since they almost all have sugar in them).

Stir Fry Chicken:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
  • 2-3 tbsp safflower oil (or sunflower... just any healthy oil for high heat)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium preferable)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 whole bell pepper, cut into small pieces
  • 1 whole jalapeno, chopped fine
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp chives



  1. In a skillet, heat the oil, cayenne and crushed red pepper on medium.  Be careful as it may start to smoke.  If so, turn down the heat a little bit.
  2. Add the chicken to the skillet and stir occasionally until the chicken is mostly done (no signs of raw spots).
  3. Add in all of the remaining ingredients.  Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking.
  4. Once the vegetables have softened slightly, remove from skillet and serve with a 1/2 cup side of brown or black rice (I prepared mine using a can of chicken broth).
  5. Enjoy.  Note that the only fat comes from the chicken and the oil.  The only salt from the soy sauce and jalapeno (if pickled).

Prep time is about 10-15 minutes.  Cook time also 10-15 minutes.  Serves 2-3.

BSS Journal - Week 0, Day 4

I got home and dinner was not quite ready so I snacked on two brown rice cakes with crunchy peanut butter. It was like having a dessert. So good.

Dinner was a grilled chicken breast w/ Mrs. Dash (awesome and juicy since Amy found a better technique for cooking it), roasted asparagus (done the same as the zucchini and squash), baked sweet potato (this time without butter and I didn't miss it) and unsweet decaf tea.

This was also an unusual night when neither of us had dessert for the second night in a row. I can't recall when we've done that (and that's a sad commentary in itself).

Weigh-in this morning: 1.6 pounds lost, 8.0 pounds total. WOOT!

Breakfast (6:00am): 2 baked eggs w/ 1 slice cheese, bowl of Shredded Wheat n Bran with ½ cup milk.
Today I decided to have two eggs and split one slice of cheese between them. The cheese made them even better.

2nd Breakfast (9:00am): handful of spicy peanuts
I really wish I'd brought my peanut butter to work so I could have a brown rice cake slathered in crunchy peanut butter.

Lunch (11:30am): remaining chicken breast (from Monday night), celery, pistachios (roasted/salted) and two very small peaches.

I forgot my hummus for lunch (as I ate in the Cafe downstairs with my coworkers) so it was a rather dry meal, but the peaches were PERFECT.

Looking forward to preparing dinner tonight (Amy has been doing a smashing job, but I don't want her to feel like she always has to fix dinner). So I plan on having a chicken stir-fry with black rice (heavy on the veggies, light on the rice). I need to find some recipes for Asian sauces that don't use sugar (most of them do... as well as Indian dishes).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 0, Day 3

Yesterday evening after running a few errands, Amy and I sat down to the meal she had prepared. We had quarter pound of grass fed beef, roasted squash and zucchini, fresh sliced tomatoes, whole pepper and unsweet decaf tea.

She had prepared the beef as burger patties and cooked them in an iron skillet. The roasted veggies were cut up, spread out on a baking sheet, seasoned and drizzled with safflower oil and then baked. It was all very good and filling. We had no dessert last night as we needed to get to Whole Foods to do an item return and pick up more food stuffs we can eat. This included more hummus, rice crackers, black rice (two varieties), brown rice cakes, tahini (to start making our own hummus) and so on. We also did price some items to compare with other stores.

We stopped at Target and picked up the last of their grass-fed beef, one package of chicken, and some ingredients needed to make our own salad dressings. We also picked up a copy of the book (I have a digital copy on my Kindle and wanted one Amy could read and we could both reference as we work through this program).

Amy pointed out that we missed a candy jar full of dark chocolate Hershey kisses yesterday. I was putting away the black rice and discovered two other bags of candy unopened (milk chocolate Hershey kisses and Jolly Ranchers). All of these went to work along with some caffeinated teas. The hot chocolate mixes have been set aside to take to church.

I weighed in this morning and found I had lost another 1.6 pounds... that's 6.4 pounds total in just two days. Looks like it'll be 10 pounds by the end of this Week 0.

Breakfast (6:00am): 1 baked egg, bowl of Shredded Wheat n Bran with ½ cup milk.
This morning I heated up the baked egg in the toaster oven just hitting the toast button. I'll have to try different settings to see what works best, but at least I didn't have exploding egg. I'm enjoying the cereal until next week when I have to give up gluten and dairy.

2nd Breakfast (9:00am): handful of spicy peanuts
I wasn't feeling very hungry so I opted for something small. At some point I will have to bring my jar of peanut butter to work to eat with one of the packages of rice cakes. Or I may try hummus on them.

Lunch (11:30am): one grass-fed beef burger patty, several spears of asparagus (raw), one tomato, jalapeno hummus.
This was what I ate during a "Lunch n Learn" where everyone brings their lunch and learns some new technology or how processes work within the company. My lunch filled me up fast and was quite good. I need some time to get used to eating raw veggies all the time (I need to fix some up cooked and store them in the fridge for lunches as well).

So far this day is going well. Amy has lost a good bit this week and I'm really proud of all that she's accomplished. Bring on the weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 0, Day 2

After work, I went to spin class and was rewarded with a rather brutal workout, but I know it did a lot of good (see below).

Afterwards, my friend, Bill, asked me to join him in the sauna and I finally saw the purpose of this. It helps with the muscles recovering from the workout and you continue the sweating (again, see below). Plus I learned more about some of the other guys in the spin class. The instructor and three other spin mates had each lost over 100 pounds. So I’m surrounded by a lot of positive role models. I could only last about 10-15 minutes, but it was worth it.

Last night went well with Amy preparing grilled chicken, baked sweet potatoes, raw veggies and unsweet decaf tea. With no other snacking or desserts last night, it was quite a different evening. I really didn’t feel all that hungry to snack and the dinner had quite filled us up.

Amy also went to Tom Thumb and a farmer’s market to get more veggies for home along with other ingredients (such as a few flavors of hummus).

After dinner, I prepared breakfast for the rest of my work week. I took out six ramekins (a muffin pan would work as well). I sprayed the bottom with cooking spray, put in a slice of turkey deli meat, then cracked an egg over that. After breaking the yolk, I sprinkled on Herbes de Provence and sea salt. Baked in the oven for 15 minutes at 350F. Once cooled, these could be stacked in the fridge and then reheated in the morning (warning, don’t reheat in microwave as the egg could pop or explode unless using completely scrambled eggs).

I weighed myself this morning. With no sugar yesterday and spin class and sauna time, I clocked in at 279.0, a loss of 4.8 pounds over yesterday’s weigh in. I can’t wait to see the week’s final total.

Breakfast (6:00am): 1 baked egg, bowl of Shredded Wheat n Bran with ½ cup milk.
The baked egg was really good and I already have a few ideas for variations. The bowl of cereal tasted a little sweet which surprised me as there was no sugar in the cereal (the milk was the culprit here). Overall, breakfast was good and I look forward to mixing it up a bit.

I finally brought to work what we had gathered together on Sunday to get out of the house (a bunch of individual chip bags, ramen noodles, some workout bars and meal replacement bars and so on). I asked Amy last night what she was going to do with her candy jar and she promptly emptied it out and I brought that candy to work as well. Gonna so miss those M&Ms and Reese’s PB cups.

2nd Breakfast (10:30am): handful of spicy hot peanuts
I was feeling a bit hungry and since it is only an hour until lunch, I just downed a small handful of the peanuts to tide me over.

Lunch (11:30am): two baked chicken strips w/ madras curry, 1 cup of celery, ½ cup of carrots, two tablespoons of roasted red pepper hummus
Note that if I do not mention a drink, then I am usually having water. The two strips of chicken were good and I’ll need to do another batch soon so I have something to quickly put in my lunch. The hummus was AWESOME and worked well with both veggies.

I have a metal bento box that I use for carrying this stuff and keeping it all together. You can find the exact one I use here at this link http://www.worldmarket.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3597564

I feel better that I didn’t have to buy an omelet this morning and a salad at lunch. This is going to be a good week.

Monday, May 21, 2012

BSS Journal - Week 0, Day 1

Today is start of the 2nd week of Prep Weeks before the official start of the Blood Sugar Solution program (bloodsugarsolution.com). I am calling this Week 0 (zero) as Amy and I are required to cut out sugars, flours, alcohol and caffeine. No more processed foods. The following is my journal entry for today.

Breakfast (6:50am): 13 almonds and an apple
Slightly filled, but the apple wasn’t the best. Need to have something other than apples with me… most likely a cucumber or celery stalk. I should have made time to fix something at home instead of waiting until this late to eat since I woke up at 5:10am.

2nd Breakfast (8:15am): veggie omelet with cheese
Quite satisfied. Really miss having toast or English muffin with breakfast, but this did pretty good still. I’ll have to switch to no cheese next week (or just make my own). I needed this so soon after the first breakfast so my choice should be more substantial than fruit and nuts for first meal. These should be switched so that my main breakfast protein is first and the fruit/nuts serve to tide me over until lunch.

Lunch (11:30am): Grilled chicken salad w/ egg, no cheese, no dressing, Louisiana Hot Sauce, 16oz whole milk
Very full after this meal. The hot sauce was great as a dressing (actually could have used more on it). Not a fan of boiled eggs, but I managed through it okay. The milk was a luxury that I’ll have to drop next week as well.

Afternoon snack (1:50pm): handful of hot spicy peanuts.
While my stomach felt a little full, the nuts are to curb my craving for something sweet right now. My spin class is tonight at 5pm and this will have to do until I’m done with spin class and get home for dinner.

Notes:
Tonight I will be planning out my week for meals. I should have done this last night, but we ran out of time. I need to prep foods to take for 2nd breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack.

Starting Weight: 283.8

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Star Wars Diet

So I was chatting with a coworker about my current plans to lose weight and my ultimate goal and he suggested breaking up the goals into a few "Jedi levels" of mastery. So below is that journey outlined in Star Wars terminology:

Path of the Weight-Loss Jedi
Starting Weight: 284
Padawan: 270
Apprentice: 245
Jedi: 220
Master: <190

My personal goal is to be Jedi, but I will reassess my goal depending on when and how I reach Jedi.

So here goes another journey. May the force be with us all. ;)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Time for Change

This week was a swift kick in the keister to get my health situation in order.  My dad ended up in the emergency room due to having a VERY high glucose reading.  He joins my mom and my youngest brother in having Type 2 Diabetes.  Ironic really in that I am the really obese one.

I discovered upon reading up on the metformin medication that my youngest brother and, now, my dad take that it may cause gout attacks, that I had to do something to ensure that I never have to be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  I would have to go directly on insulin due to my gout history.

So, this week, I began by first removing the high sugar snacks in my drawer at work.  I've put myself on a low/no sugar diet in that I will occasionally have sugar, but it will not be more than once a day if it can be helped.  I will also no longer consume cookies and candy at home except the occasional dark chocolate Hershey's kiss.

No more sodas.  Unsweet tea or water in most restaurants.  Very little alcohol (though due to recent gout attacks, I've cut back on that drastically and I didn't drink much to begin with).

The half of this is exercise.  I will be getting back to doing spin class.  I will be taking up running again.  My running partner and I have a goal to do a 10K by this summer.  We will have to lose some weight to do so, but I am sure it is doable.  I have a personal goal to do the Fort Worth Cowtown HALF-marathon next year (it ran today and we saw a guy at our coffeehouse who had completed the half and it got me motivated to get back into running).

I will also get my bike in running order and start doing some bike rides as well.  I want to get this weight off me.  It will help prevent diabetes and it will make me a better, happier person.

I post all of this because, if you are reading this, I want you to hold me accountable to this.  Chew me out if you see me eating bad foods.  Ask me how the training is going for the 10K (and ultimately half-marathon and full marathon).  Keep me on target, because it is you who have the biggest impact on my change.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Facebook and Friends

It is my current opinion that Facebook does as much to destroy friendships as it does to build them.  Today I unfriended 18 people on Facebook that I did not field really were friends any more.  Friendship should be two-way.  Many friends I've had over the years left me feeling that the whole relationship was one-sided.  I would do my best to encourage getting together and stuff, but I was doing all the work.  There was no give and take.  I gave and they took, probably begrudgingly.

Now I know that there has always been the possibility of this regardless of the medium for maintaining the friendship,  either in person, over the phone, snail-mail, email, chat, twitter, blogging, forums, and social networks such as Facebook.  In all of these examples, the relationship can become one-sided and merely by ignoring the other's communications, the friendship becomes stale until it ends altogether.

My concern is that Facebook contributes to this almost without us realizing it.  One of the latest introductions was the concept of "subscribing" to friend's feeds.  In other words, almost without us knowing, they took all of our friends (except the ones that THEY thought we wanted to be most in contact with) out of our news feeds and forced us to then subscribe to them.

They didn't give us a mechanism by which we could just subscribe to all of our friends and fix the problem (and also allow us to check a box when we get new friends to automatically subscribe).  This causes a problem.  If you do not choose to subscribe to all of your friends, unless they actually directly reply to posts or leave you messages on Facebook, it's as if they dropped off the earth.

I've seen a few where I had not heard from them and look at their wall only to find that they've been posting for a while, but I never saw them because I was not subscribed to their feed.  So frustrating.

However, I then have to wonder if they see my posts.  Am I being subscribed to by all of my friends?  Probably not.  In fact, they can easily ignore me and I am never the wiser (but then again, that's always a danger when friendships sour or go stale).

In the end, I have to assume that their lack of response to messages from me must be solid proof that the friendship is no longer alive.  However, was it because of something I did, or was it because Facebook killed the friendship by the changes it has made.

I consider the possibility that I must do my best to include and engage each and every one of my friends on a regular basis in order to more accurately ascertain the expiration date of the friendship.  However, who has time to contact over 100 friends (or more depending on your list) regularly?  Wasn't that what the news feed was supposed to allow us to do?

Ah well, I've cleaned up my list... now it's time to go in and make sure I've subscribed to everyone.  Perhaps you better do the same.

However, if you wish to no longer see my stuff, don't just hide it in your news feed.  PLEASE unfriend me.  At least I'll know where we stand again.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Temporary Freedom

I was born in Dallas, TX in 1969.  That officially makes me a United States Citizen... a.k.a. American.  I have been blessed to be raised in a country that does not make the search for scriptural truth a crime.  My Creator knew the best environment available for me to grow and mature and come to know and understand Him (even just a little bit).

Some time in my late 20's, I applied for citizenship in another country.  A future one.  I am now working on learning what it means to be a citizen of that new country currently authored in heaven to be implemented on this earth.

Part of the application involves my behavior as a tentative citizen of that future country living in this current one.  Much of what I learn involves giving up that which most Americans cling.  In some ways, I give up the freedoms that many Americans believe I should not.  They claim the Savior gave them the freedom to do as they please for they say they are guaranteed citizenship.

I, and scripture, say otherwise.  The papers have been filed, but the seal of approval will not be applied until our Savior returns to this earth to setup His Kingdom on THIS earth.  I have the freedom to choose which country I wish to maintain citizenship.  I choose the one coming.  Thus, I give up certain freedoms granted to me in the United States to gain freedom from this physical body in the coming Kingdom.  For me, the answer is obvious when the question is "Bacon or Spirit?" or "Christmas or Passover?".

I hope to be reborn when my Savior returns.   If successful, I will be a citizen of the only true Kingdom from Heaven.  I will have no need of any claim to being an American as it will mean nothing then.  I will have no need of anything physical for I will have become one of His children.

Enjoy your freedoms as Americans, for a Kingdom is coming in which they will be taken away.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Of Books, Audiobooks and eBooks

I have a personal preference for physical books. I have not had much interest in reading eBooks or listening to audiobooks despite a few pitiful attempts at both.

However, in the last few weeks, that opinion has been somewhat modified. I had a very good friend loan me Catching Fire (sequel to The Hunger Games) through his Kindle which I could access through my iPhone app. I had no intention of buying the hardcover books to finish reading the trilogy (I have a softcover copy of the first book). I discovered quickly in waiting rooms and during work breaks, anywhere where I had a good 10 minute window or more, that I could quickly open up the Kindle eBook and take up where I left off. I read that eBook in just a few days and, in a few more days, I finished the third book, Mockingjay, which he also loaned to me. I am hooked on the ability to read whenever and wherever I want. The Nook app takes much longer to load and I have not yet started on one of the eBooks I already have on my Nook iPhone app.

As for audiobooks, the situation was changed by my change in transportation and job location. I now have a straight 30 min highway drive to and from work and my Jeep Patriot has a six disc CD player. So I just loaded up a copy of Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway that was loaned to me by a coworker (it just happened to be 6 CDs) and in just one week I finished the audiobook (finished this afternoon on the way home). This method was also enjoyable in that I found my drives to be less stressful and actually seem to be too short.

I still miss having the physical books as I cannot now loan them to friends and family I know who might enjoy them as well. While I will not be buying the rest of The Hunger Games trilogy, I may look for Hemingway's book to add to my personal collection.

Who knows? Maybe one day I will give in and get an eBook reader, but, for now, my iPhone and Mac apps will do.