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05 June 2009 @ 04:54 pm
I have been seriously lacking in the blogging department. I've been crazy busy (except at work, shh!), and so it has been tough to eke out time to blog.

I went to my College Choir Reunion and Reunion Weekend last weekend. Thurs we drove 7.5 hours to Erie and I brought along plenty of healthy snacks! We saw my inlaws for dinner and saw my SIL and my niece (she's sooo cute). On Friday, my DH dropped me at school to see old friends and sing a lot. Then on Sat, we sang some more and put on a concert, which was AWESOME! It is amazing what a choir can do in 2-3 days! On Sunday we went out to breakfast with family and then drove another 7.5 hours back home. The ride home was much more tiring (after three days of not much sleep) and I ended using sugar to stay awake and focused, but it hasn't hurt me much!

Then, my work week has been mostly typical, I put a lot of work into revising a manuscript that was sent in yesterday, and then we worked on planning summer field research. I also had to take the car in for a quick fix one morning and had a doctor's appointment (annual) one morning, so those things cut into my typical schedule.

My eating and workouts have been great this week though, and my weight is down, I'll do my official weigh-in tomorrow morning and then tomorrow is my cheat day. I expect good things out of my picture tomorrow as well. I've also started logging how much water I drink for a challenge, and found out that I am a maniac. I easily drink between 20-25 cups of water a day. That's about a gallon and a half a day! No wonder I dehydrate easily.

Tomorrow we are driving to Jersey to visit friends and family. Saturday is my serious cheat day, and we are going to my favorite soft-serve place: Jersey Freeze (this is its last season I think!). We'll also eat out this weekend. The family (cousins, Grandma, the works!) is going to a Chinese Buffet place on Sunday. That should be an easy place to eat healthy, because with no wheat, I can't eat half of what's there! Salads and veggies for me! Then drive home late Sunday. Whew! My life is too crazy.

Ok, gotta get back to working, although it is 4:50pm on Friday, and I pretty much just want to go home!

I have a new favorite low-carb food: fat-free hot dogs. Ball Park makes one and so does Oscar Mayer, for just 40-45calories per dog. They aren't the best tasting hot dogs, but they are highly versatile. I cut one up and sauteed it with veggies. I love to roll them in fried cheddar cheese! And if needed, it can be a cold snack somewhere since they are pre-cooked. My two low carb days have been great. I think I may have inadvertently found a good way to get through the low-energy problem I sometimes have with low carb: caffeine! This afternoon I shared a type of tea with an Argentinian friend of mine, the tea is quite bitter, awesome, and loaded with caffeine, and tonight my workout went like a breeze! I was doing 15lbs on reverse flies (that's a lot, try it!), and I pushed out 4 2 min intervals at 7 on the bike. I used to my 30 sec. intervals at 7 (I do those at 9 now). 2 minutes is a long time for intervals! I try to really push out the last 30 sec. Anyway, I think the caffeine gave me that push, but maybe I'll test that out later on sometime.

So my 8-Week Battle is off to a good start. Two full days of quickfiring, staying on track diet-wise, being chatty on the boards, I love it!

I need to plan my car ride on Thursday. We're leaving way early, so I think I won't have a real breakfast, start off with a slimfast and a peanut butter bar. I need make a new pan of peanut butter bars and actually work out the calories this time. I also want to bring trail mix, 1oz of nuts and 4 prunes in a snack bag, and probably an apple. If I have the first bits at 6am, then at 8am I can have fruit and another peanut butter bar, then at 10am trail mix, lunch around noon, trail mix again around 3, then dinner. That would work. I like a plan! Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and I cannot afford to fail. During choir rehearsals, I'll have peanut butter bars only if I need them. Saturday is my cheat day ... but no stuffing myself!

I also need to figure out my workouts, ack. Hotel room TT here I come! And hopefully lots of walking around my Alma Mater and Erie.


Today, I and Bill hiked up Mt. Sugarloaf, our local mountain. It was 652ft. elevation and took us about 20min up and 20min down. It was a tougher hike than I anticipated, hiking is apparently a slightly different beast than my other workouts, but we made it! The view was great. Maybe another time we can picnic up there.

I also finally solved the vision collage problem. Well, actually, there were two problems, and I solved both in one fell swoop. The problems were 1) cutting and pasting an actual collage is not my favorite thing to do, nor do I keep many pictures around and 2) Where could I really put it that I would notice it (the fridge doesn't work for me, I tend to open and shut it quicker than noticing what's on there). Anyway, I made a virtual collage using internet photos and photoshop, and I stuck it as the background on my computer, so I can't miss it. I don't want to post it publicly because using internet photos on my blog is not appropriate use without credits, and I have no credits. I will tell you it is all women in bikinis with awesome flat stomachs. I hope this counts ok for the 8-week battle, maybe I'll post the picture on the team board because the team is private.

I'm eating low carb today and tomorrow, and it is working out great for me. Tonight is stir fry, and I just won't have rice and have a salad on the side. Then I get to eat fruit again on Wed., and then travel again on Thurs! Whew!

Ok, off I go to finish dinner.

So, I'm starting a new challenge: the 8-week battle! There are lots of things to do and track during this battle.

Things I can track on twitter: Quickfire Challenge, glasses of water drank, minutes of exercise, steps (need to wear my pedometer!!)
Things I can track using spark: water, exercise, steps, sparkpoints earned, posts to support board, posts on people's sparkpages, huddle on team page

Other things I could do: buy new equipment, start a C25K-type program, sign up for a 5K or a swimming/biking event, start a virtual walking tour and track it here.

BTW - if you haven't been to catharticgrumblings.blogspot.com  to read all about Terminator Salvation, you should, I thought it was great! Unless you have a phobia of killer robots, then maybe not.

Ok, today was good, I stuck to my portions, and had some yummy food. I had some Food Should Taste Good chips to use up, and I had some with salsa and greek yogurt and cheese, and then I had some with chopped tomato, parmesan, basil, and garlic powder (like bruschetta!). I also made an Italian noodle kugel, more or less. It was a mix of potato noodles, zucchini, summer squash, green pepper, onion, and egg cooked on the stovetop and topped with mozzarella cheese like a fritatta. Then I topped it with bolognese. Yummy! More Italian than kugel, but gotta start out slow with my husband. I'll make a real kugel at some point. especially now that I know I can use potato noodles (kosher for passover = gluten-free!).

I also started this week's turbulence training. I figure I'll do tonight and Tuesday, and sometime between Thursday and Saturday I should be able get one more 30min workout in! However,  I may need to find the real bodyweight only ones, because the gym at Allegheny may be hard to get to.

Ok, onward with the transformation!!
So, Philly definitely hit me hard, whoops!

Weight: 159.6 -- 157.2
Should still come down though from bloat etc. in the next couple of days

smallest part of my waist just above belly button: 33.5 -- 32.5, barely any increase, whew!
hips at hip bone bump: 36.5 -- 38
widest part of my belly: 38 -- 36.5 hips and belly, so weird! Maybe I'm finally storing fat in the appropriate location, hehe!
bra strap location: 33 -- 33
widest part of my bust in a loose bra: 41.5 -- 41
center of bicep with arm outstretched: 12 -- 11
thigh, one span higher than my kneecap: 21.5 -- 22 -I measured this standing for the first time, I think that made a difference. Thighs are hard to get consistent
neck just above collar bones: 13.5 -- 12 - umm, I lost neck?

Body fat online 29.2% -- 31.64% it has to be the wierd hip thing! Maybe I just need to measure better, and first thing in the morning and today it is nearly dinner time, whoops!

I won't get to this stuff next Sat, maybe I'll update Wed. before my next trip and hop for better numbers. Oh well, at least I'm being accountable and posting right?

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I'm back!

I had a great time on my trip. I connected with people, saw some great Philly landmarks like the Liberty Bell, the Franklin Institute, and the Mutter Museum, and ate some good food.

On that last note. I may not have stuck as well to my plan as I wanted to. Here are the trip pros/cons.

I'll start with the bad: ate too much overall, grabbed chocolated from vendors without thinking, drank too much at dinner (every night), indulged in a few wheat containing items and high fat items, had ice cream three times
The good stuff: walked everywhere (at least 0.7 miles between hotel and conference center), worked out every morning plus Turbulence Training two afternoons, plus intervals one afternoon, many of my snacks were things I brought and the food was kept to meals, never stuffed myself, left food on my plate at dinner/lunch 3-4 times. Those last two are important for me. I tend to chow down on my whole plate until I feel stuffed, and completely miss the "just full" point. This time, I looked at the plates, determined there was too much, and left it. That is new, and I will take it as a major improvement!

As of this morning, the scale said I had gained 7 lbs to 159.8, I suspect that will drop dramatically between this morning and tomorrow. Especially since for most of today I ate vegetables with some protein bits thrown in, and I intend to continue that trend through Sunday. Low-carb plus tough workouts should bring me back to normal quickly.

However, we are leaving Thursday morning to drive 8 hours to PA for my reunion/seeing Bill's family. This trip won't have as many food-related events though. In Philly I had to eat chopped liver and a cheesesteak (in a bowl, but still whiz with!) and go to Morimoto's restaurant (which was AWESOME!). For the reunion, I just have to sing and have heart with Bill's family. I can have heart and a salad no problem I think. Not eating wheat should also keep me in the clear since I will be drastically limited at the reunion meals. Workouts might be tougher on this trip, but I'll just have to make a plan, and stick with it!

Ok, I am off to clip some coupons and get some sleep.
16 May 2009 @ 06:07 pm
Sat = weigh-in day!

Weight: 159.6 -- 153.2
No change from last week, but it happens.

smallest part of my waist just above belly button: 33.5 -- 32.0 - woohoo! Lost another inch!
hips at hip bone bump: 36.5 -- 36.5
widest part of my belly: 38 -- 37.5
bra strap location: 33 -- 32
widest part of my bust in a loose bra: 41.5 -- 40.5
center of bicep with arm outstretched: 12 -- 11
thigh, one span higher than my kneecap: 21.5 -- 20.5
neck just above collar bones: 13.5 -- 13.25

Body fat online 29.2% -- 27.6% --> totally realized I had been using the wrong inches for my hieght, whoops! Fixed both numbers

Okay, here we go, April 26th on the left, May 16th on the right

Hey, I'm starting to lok good! From the front anyway, I should take a side picture next week. 

Ok, gotta pack for the convention. Gonna be crazy busy with packing and prepping and stuff. Watch the twitter for updates, much more likely than blog entries this week.
I am a miracle worker -- tonight I had Green Bean Casserole -- gluten-free!!

Here's how:

step 1: make the crispy onions

Slice onions into thin strips (it mostly comes apart this way)
Batter with egg yolk and cornstarch (I used 1 egg yolk and 2 tbsp cornstarch for about 1/2 medium onion)
Bake at 450, moving often (I charred a few, watch carefully!)

step 2: make the "cream of something" soup

I went for onion/celery - processed them into tiny pieces, classic would call for mushrooms, but my husband hates mushrooms and I only slightly tolerate them
melt 2 tbsp butter/margarine/buttery spread, and add 2 tbsp flour (I used millet) to make a roux (thick paste)
add 1/3cup nonfat dry milk and 1 cup chicken/veggie stock (preferably homemade!) and processed veggies of choice
heat over medium until thickened, season (I use sea salt and Mrs. Dash)

Now: mix everything together, the soup, the crispy onions, and 2 cups of green beans (this recipe is for 2 people, double it for a family) and bake at 350 for about 15-20min.
It was perfect! I served it with mashed red potatoes and parmesan chicken (chicken baked with parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic salt on it)

Tonight it is raining, so we won't be walking outside, so I will do a Leslie video instead, perhaps Walk and Jog or Walk and Kick, I have some energy to burn off! today for some reason!

Keep following me on twitter for a minute by minute account of my fat loss journey! @Ivory1825

I can't believe it is onlyThursday, this week has been going so slowly. I think it is because I am excited to go to Philly on Sunday! I have a whole list of snacks I need to bring with me to survive without eating junk (or wheat!): Greek yogurt, cereal, low-carb shakes, peanut butter, fruit, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, soyjoys. I think i'll make it!

Ok, off to exercise and burn more fat ... yay!
Today I perfectly replicated the texture of a cream soup from a can! It was awesome. I still need to play with the spices and such to get a similar taste, but to be able to make the same meals without the cans is still progress. Here was my recipe for about 1 can of soup:

2 tbsp butter/margarine (I have smart balance)
2 tbsp millet flour

Make a roux (melt the butter and mix in the flour to make a paste

Add 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk and 1/2 cup water, mix really, really well
Add 1 tsp xantham gum, keep mixing over medium heat until sauce thickens to desired consistency
Add spices as desired, I suggest sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Anyway, I used this to make my mother's Chicken Supreme, with chicken, corn, green beans, carrots, celery, onion, and cauliflower (I use a lot more vegetables nowadays than the original recipe!), and it came out really good. Texture-wise you wouldn't have known the difference. It needed more salt than I added, but I can adjust that next time.

Today is day 8 of my transformation challenge, and so far I am completely on track, yay! ASM is coming soon though, so I have to be mentally prepared and prepared in general. I have to make good food choices while on the road and in restaurants. I need to pack good snacks, my resistance bands, and make sure my schedule includes exercise times.

What snacks can I bring? For the bus ride, I'll have a salad and chips for lunch. I should bring a packaged Greek yogurt of some kind and fruit like berries in a lunch box. In general, I should bring soyjoys, apples, cheese sticks, and almonds/nuts. Any other ideas for easy to travel, gluten-free, healthy snacks?

Oh, my twittering is going well! I'm already trying to just put everything I do there. The more people that read it, the more likely I am to stick with my plan! @Ivory1825
11 May 2009 @ 11:00 pm
Happy Monday evening! I am just finishing up my second day of lower carb post-cheat day, and tomorrow I am back on "normal" diet through Saturday, which means lots of fruit! I really love fruit, but I have to be careful and pair it with protein or my sugars get too high.

In other news, I think I may finally get into twitter. I can be found @Ivory1825. I figure I can post boring details like meals and workouts there, and maybe get into the nitty gritty of feeling the fat loss and working through my transformation here.

However, tonight, it is getting late, and I am tired, and I need to finish How I Met Your Mother and get some sleep. Watch for my on facebook and twitter!