Monday, October 31, 2011

FitDay Recap (Grown Ups Only, Please) and SNOW

Surveying storm damage in a nearby Town. Photo: Bristol Press.

Thanks to the freak[ing] October Nor'easter that blew through Connecticut and other New England states this weekend, I and 800,000 other Connecticut residents are without power.  I also have no heat or hot water. 

This morning, the ambient temperature in my home was a balmy 45 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Needless to say, I got dressed under the blankets today. 

Thankfully, my office has power and a hot shower available to employees.  The cafeteria has hot food.  My wonderful, generous, fantastic, amazing and delightful father-in-law is carting a generator and space heater to our house this afternoon.  With any luck, our house will be toasty warm tonight.  Thank you, Jesus.

Notably, I did weigh myself this morning.  However, because the house was so chillled, I did it with all of my winter clothes on.  My weight was 205.5.  Considering that I had on my heavy snow boots and all of my other wintry gear, I am thinking that I have probably lost weight this week.  However, don't anticipate a weight and measurements update until I can comfortably manage to get on the scale au naturel

I am keeping up with FitDay.  It is my new thing, and I just love it.  Do you know that you can input just about any activity that you do, and FitDay will give you an extra caloric deduct?  (Now, that's not to say that I agree with the thermodynamic calories in - calories out principle.  I'm just saying that it's cool.)  Activities that you can choose from vary from working out on an elliptical machine, to going grocery shopping, to nookie.  Yep.  You heard me right (*snort*, *chortle*, *giggle*, *act like a preteen*).  And get this - you can choose whether your nookie is "vigorous", merely "moderate activity", or limited to kissing and necking.  LOfreakingL.  I needed something like this to brighten my day.

I note this about FitDay because it is a true and amusing fact about FitDay, and because if you use FitDay you may not be aware that FitDay has this interesting function.  Also, I just wanted to let you know because, if you look at my public profile, you will note what I've, uh, been up to over the weekend.  *Snort*

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fit Day

I just started a Fit Day account.  Check out my public profile.  I've gone back and inputted my weights since starting LCHF in January 2011.  So far, Fit Day seems pretty cool.  

There are definitely some positives, i.e., I like seeing my weight loss charted on a graph.  What can I say, I'm a visual type of girl ;)

I do have some reservations about their nutrition tracker.  I had chicken soup today for lunch. Fit Day's "chicken soup" recipe that they analyzed for nutrition contains about 10 grams of carbs per cup.  Considering that my soup was mostly broth, chicken, and some veggies (no rice, noodles or potatoes), I'm pretty positive that my carb intake from the soup was quite minimal. 

So, the nutrition tracking of homemade foods is probably going to be iffy.  Unless you are eating completely whole foods (1 cup of raw broccoli) or major brand food items (1 cup of Cheerios), the carb counts in your food are going to be off, maybe even way off. 

I will investigate how to get around this and report back... 

Numbers Don't Lie

Check out my updated weight and measurements.

I am pleased to report that, somehow, I have lost weight during this crazy, stressed-to-the-max week. 

Historically, I started measuring myself on February 13, 2011, after I had already lost 8 pounds on LCFH.  Compared to those original measurements, after being on LCFH for 38 weeks, I have lost just over 15 inches of girth, total, from my bust, weight and hips. 

As of today, I have lost 33 pounds since I started this WOE on January 23, 2011.  There have been a lot of stalls, and some ups and downs, but my average weight loss is just under 1 pound per week.  It adds up, even though it feels like it is taking forever.

Not only do I feel better, I look better.  I've gone from a size 20W to a size 14 (on a skinny day), and I am still chugging along.  I have accomplished something that I never thought I was capable of doing, and in the process, I have learned a lot about myself. 

Now, if I could just get rid of my stress related zits and back pain and get a good 12 hours of restful, uninterrupted sleep...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Crock Pot Cheesecake

Check out this recipe for Crock Pot Cheesecake by Wellness Mama.  It looks phenomenal.  Who would have thought...dessert in a crockpot??

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pity Party Pig Out - Reflections

Last week was a doosie.  My daughter is in the hospital recovering from a procedure (she’s okay), and I spent the whole weekend there with her.  I came home on Sunday night, leaving my husband there to stay, as I had to go to work on Monday morning and he did not. 

Sunday night, watching football by myself in my jammies, I wanted a snack.  I went to the fridge, and found a mountain of Chinese food leftovers, none of which I should be eating.  I seized on the stress of the weekend as an excuse to pig out on forbidden foods (yes, it was a conscious choice and I knew what I was doing). 

I wish that I could say that I stopped at the cold spareribs and chicken fingers.  I didn’t.  I went back to the fridge, looking for something sweet, thinking to myself, “well, I already blew it with Chinese, what’s a little more junk food going to hurt?” 

I found about 4 ounces of coconut chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer, and demolished that.  I looked down at my belly, which had already started to rumble at me disagreeably, and felt a bit ashamed.

I justified my bad eating choices, in those moments, by thinking that, with all that I had going on, I deserved a break, and no one would think poorly of me for cheating.

Making excuses for poor behavior to justify continuing down a path that I should not be on is just crazy talk!  Who am I making excuses to?  Me?  Sending excuses from myself to myself?  This is how I got into the rut that I was in – you know, the rut that had me ballooning to 236 pounds on my 5’6” frame, suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and PCOS. 

I am past this and I am better than this.  Taking personal responsibility for my health at all times means that when life hands me lemons, I do not drink lemonade.  I also do not eat lemon squares or lemon pie, or indulge in lemon chicken.  I calm down, take stock, and decide not to go forth into a feeding frenzy. 

The truth of the matter is that I have this one life, and this one body, and I believe that I can do better for myself and for my family.  No one benefits when I eat crap that can literally send me into a coronary. 

Gifting myself with junk food, sugar and starches is the old Kate, the one who numbed herself with food because she could not face sad things in her life.   

The new Kate is honest with herself, and is getting healthier day by day.  She doesn’t run from problems.  She faces them head-on, and sends them packing.   

Does this familiar to you?  Check out:

Pema Chodron, Getting Unstuck, This is a great CD from Pema Chodron, a buddhist nun.  She's been there.  This CD really helped me understand what I was doing to myself with food.  Its not a CD about food or dieting - its about being in a rut and identifying why you created the rut, and what its done for you lately. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Introducing The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation | Mark's Daily Apple

Introducing The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation Mark's Daily Apple

As you may know, I am a huge fan of the Primal Blueprint, and This is Mark Sisson's new book, which I just ordered. Check it out for yourself!

Recipe: LCHF Sausage and Bread Stuffing

I served this recipe last night with Roasted Chicken and Garlic Mashed Cauliflower.  Even my high-carb loving family members loved it.  This stuffing was a huge hit!  No one believed it was LCHF.

Note: my husband made the roasted chicken (not pictured).  It was his first-ever attempt, and he accidentally roasted the entire bird breast-side down. 

Guess what?  It was phenomenal: the skin was extra crispy and the breast meat was extra juicy.  

We will be roasting all of our poultry breast side down from now on!

Here's how to make the stuffing:

LCHF Sausage and Bread Stuffing

  • ½ package Jimmy Dean pork sausage
  • ¼ stick butter
  • 12 oz mix aromatic vegetables, diced (I used a package of soup mix veggies, which included 1 small onion; 1 carrot; 1 small leek; 1 very tiny turnip)
  • 6 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh parsley and fresh dill
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ stick butter, cut into pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large frying pan set to medium high heat, brown sausage and break apart into crumbles.
  3. Remove sausage from pan, leaving fat behind.
  4. Add butter to pan, and when melted, add the aromatic vegetables and cook until the onion is translucent.
  5. Add the mushrooms, and cook for approximately 5 more minutes, until they begin to soften.
  6. Add the herbs, biscuits and stock to the pan and stir to combine.
  7. Place the prepared stuffing into your baking pan of choice, and dot with butter. 
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the stuffing is well browned and crispy on top. 

Serve with roasted chicken and mashed cauliflower for a fabulous traditional dinner!

Recipe: LCHF Buttery Garlic and Sharp Cheddar Biscuits


I made garlic and cheese biscuits on Sunday, and they turned out buttery, delicious and all-around amazing!  The recipe made exactly nine good-sized biscuits (using my 2 oz scooper).  Best part of all, these biscuits weigh in at about 1 net carb per biscuit

I used one biscuit to make a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich (which was great), and the rest I crumbled and set aside to use in a stuffing for roasted chicken.  The coconut flour gave the recipe a true biscuit texture, with plenty of body and good crumble.  Thanks to the copious quantities of butter, garlic, and cheese, you couldn't taste the coconut flavor very much - even my husband liked them (and he is not a coconut fan). Quite simply, these were to die for, and I consider this recipe one of my top LCHF recipes to date.  I am now trying to think of several recipes that I miss where I can switch them in for traditional bread.  Here's the recipe:

Buttery Garlic and Cheddar Biscuits

  • ¼ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/3 cup sifted Coconut Flour
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil, and grease.
  3. Whisk together eggs, butter, salt, and garlic powder.
  4. Add coconut flour and baking powder and whisk until there are no lumps.
  5. Fold in cheese.
  6. Drop batter by the 2 oz scoop onto greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. 
  8. Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing and serving.  Make sure that biscuits are completely cool before storage or they won't stay crisp!

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's Thanksgiving Somewhere...

Just the other day, I was reading a post on a low carb blog, and learned that Canadians have Thanksgiving, too.  And it's earlier than ours.  Who knew?

I was immediately filled with the desire for juicy turkey legs, dripping with gravy, served with stuffing.  Then it hit me.  OMG.  How do you make low carb stuffing without bread??!! 

I googled and found a couple of recipes for low carb stuffing bread, which you can use to make low carb bread cubes, which you then incorporate into your stuffing recipe

I also noodled over this for a little while, and thought that Wellness Mama's banana muffins (which are made with coconut flour) could be de-bananaed and made into a cheddar-bay type biscuit (the link is to the carby original recipe, where 2.5 cups of bisquick makes 12 biscuits at about 17 grams of carb each), which could then be used in place of regular bread in the stuffing recipe that I make (with oodles of butter, sauteed veggies, and succulent sage pork sausage).  I found a coconut flour cheddar biscuit recipe here:  

Cheese Biscuits


¼ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sifted Coconut Flour
4 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Blend together eggs, butter, salt, and onion powder. Combine coconut flour with baking powder and whisk into batter until there are no lumps. Fold in cheese. Drop batter by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. For a cheesier biscuit increase cheese to ¾ cup.

You know how I love me some kitchen experimentation!! 
Biscuits tonight...turkey on Sunday.  I will report back!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Before and After Pics: 38 Lbs Lighter Than Last Year

One year ago (I am second from left).               
Last weekend (I am on the right).   

Under 200 Pounds!

Yay!  I hit a milestone that I have been dogging for a while. 

199.5 never felt so good! 

This weight represents me hitting 40% of my 80 pound weight loss goal!

Friday, October 7, 2011

LCHF Dining at Ruby Tuesday

Dinner at Ruby Tuesdays: TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS.  Learning that you can stick to your LCHF diet and avoid salmonella at a restaurant: PRICELESS.

I traveled for work yesterday, and had no choice but to grab dinner on the road.  I had some time, so I decided that I would hang out at this shopping plaza that I found.  I did a little window shopping, then ended up heading over to Ruby Tuesday to grab some dinner before a meeting. 

All I can say is – wow – somebody at RT got the message about low carb dining.  It was a revelation to see SO MANY low carb dinner options on the menu.  Variety!  I love it!

Here is what I liked about RT:

The salad bar was good, meticulously clean and air chilled to the point where it was actually a little uncomfortable to serve myself.  In this case, hypothermia is a good thing, as it means that the salad bar was inhospitable to me and to bacteria.  I LIKE that about a salad bar.  The items on the salad bar were fresh, the crumbled bacon was good quality bacon, and the blue cheese dressing was super creamy and dense, just the way that I like it – hey, we eat LCHF, let's revel in it already!
They had several low carb choices:  Main dishes included an assortment of steaks, seafood and chicken, cooked in a variety of ways, with several options waaay under 5 grams of net carbs per serving.  You can do what I usually do, and grab a plate of wings (the entire plate has 12 grams of net carbs, and you probably won't finish it) and a salad.  RT also has the option to add a la cart shrimp skewers to your order (each seasoned skewer clocks in at 0 net carbs), so consider ordering the salad bar and get a skewer or two on the side.   They have so many veggie side dishes, including zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, roasted squash, and tomato salad (skip the balsamic dressing though, it is sugary), that are super low carb.  Caution, though: mind the mashed cauliflower!  I ordered it and enjoyed it, only to later find that one serving carries a surprising 11 grams of net carbohydrates.

Personally, I ordered the rib eye, medium rare, with sides of mashed cauliflower and grilled zucchini.  It was ridiculously tasty, and came out looking very attractive on the plate.  The steak was cooked correctly, and glistened with the sheen of succulent herb butter.  I enjoyed the meal and was surprised by the quality of the food put before me.  I am a food snob.  I will say, unqualifiedly, that this was a good steak – not just a good steak "for a chain restaurant".  And, it was cheap: $25 with tax and tip, including salad bar and a gigantic meal that I couldn't even finish.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Weekly Measurements Are Important

Numbers don't lie.  It is sooo true!

However, it has to be said that I have some say in what those numbers look like, depending on when I take my measurements. 

I've stopped taking official weight and measurements on Sunday mornings, because that is just too depressing. 

Oftentimes, I weigh more on a Sunday than I will on the following Tuesday, because the effects of the debauchery I've engaged in on Friday and Saturday take a day or two to disappear.  This weekend - for example - I went out for dinner on both Friday and Saturday nights, alcohol included.  I totally overdid it on Friday, including my first REAL cheat since January, in the form of the full-sized Reese's Nightmare sundae at my local ice cream parlor.  Talk about a carb nightmare for yours truly!

Also, it has to be pointed out that my weight fluctuates daily (and if you are a woman, there's a good chance that yours does as well), and throughout a given day, as well.  Most of this has to do with water weight gain and loss, which can be significant

I am a little addicted to daily weighing, which is not advisable (too easy to be discouraged).  Don't follow my bad example in this regard.  ((Note: for some people, especially those prone to regular swelling and those with cardiac issues, daily weighing can be critical to knowing when you've packed on too much water.  We learned this the hard way with my dad and his several bouts with congestive heart failure.  I'm not a doctor, and in no way qualified to give medical advice, so talk to your doctor about this issue!!))

The best thing to do is pick the same day, each week, to do your weigh in and measurements.  Weigh and measure yourself in the morning, naked, after you've used the loo and before you've had anything to eat or drink (including meds, vitamins and the water you guzzle them with), preferably when your hair is dry!  If you have your period, feel free to skip weigh in that week, as that can be horrifying.

Just - whatever you do - don't forget to measure yourself regularly.  It can be the only thing that keeps you sane when your weight has plateaued.  Frankly, I think that measurements are more important than weighing, as a general rule.  Back in the Spring of this year, I was stuck at the same weight - up one pound, then down one pound - for weeks!!  At the time, I was hitting the gym a lot.  Measurements showed me that even though my weight wasn't changing, I was still getting slimmer and healthier as my size decreased. 


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