Weekend Wrap-Up in Double Chin Land

Hello everyone! Wow, what an awesome weekend. On Friday night, I got to see tickets to Bill Maher, that I won from my friend Anne’s blog. Bill Maher isn’t for everyone as he’s super liberal, super atheist, and super opinionated, but he’s pretty damn funny. Kicking off my weekend with a bunch of belly laughs was awesome. Then, on Saturday, I went to Weight Watchers where I weighed in and…

Lost 1.5 pounds

israeli cous cous grilled pork chop roasted beets

Yummy simple spring dinner!

I’m on a nice downward trend as I’ve lost at least a pound every week for the past three weeks. WOOHOO!!!! It’s kind of weird that I’m paying for Weight Watchers but not following Weight Watchers, but I knew with my specific health conditions I needed to do sensible eating (like weight watchers) minus most carbs. The weight loss is slower than I’m used to with a low carb plan, considering I’m only eating about 70-100 grams of carbs per day (the average person eats upwards of 200), BUT, it’s weight loss, and I’d like to think that weight that comes off nice and slow is weight that will never come back! I also have noticed it’s much easier for me to stay on plan, and I think a lot of that comes from the regulation of my insulin (a PCOS symptom) with the aid of Metformin, a drug typically used for diabetics. I’m not craving things as much anymore, and it’s simpler for me to stop when I’m full. It feels good to be on the right track. A large part of this success is really limiting “white food” in my life. No sugar, no bread, no rice, no pasta. (Occasionally I’ll take a bite of something Matt is having — because let’s face it, carbs are delicious and sometimes you want a taste.) My carbs mostly come from fruit, like Strawberries or Blueberries, the occasional small red skinned potato or whole grain like Israeli couscous. The picture on the left was tonight’s dinner: a grilled pork chop, 1/4 cup cous cous, and roasted vegetables. Eating a ton of vegetables is a big part of my new plan, and to help with

hen of the woods CSA Farm fresh agriculture box

Farm Fresh to You CSA Box. The funky thing on the left is called a Hen of the Woods mushroom.

that, I signed up for Farm Fresh to You, an all organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box that comes to my house once per month. I was previously a CSA member, but ultimately had to give it up when I was doing some budgeting. However, Los Angeles Groupon has a deal going right now that you can get your first box for $15 (normally $31.50), so I decided to give it a try again. My first box didn’t disappoint, with a bunch of beets, carrots, spring onions, mandarin oranges, tangerines, sweet potatoes, strawberries, fennel, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, a lemon, and an avocado. I roasted the carrots, onions, beets, fennel and mushrooms with some of my garden grown peas, kale and chard at 450 for 30 minutes.Roasting vegetables is such an awesome way to bring out the natural sweetness in so many veggies. Yum, yum!

 

 

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Matt and I at H&D’s wedding

In addition to laughing and cooking and weighing in, I got to see two of my dear friends get married. Congratulations to Hilda and Daniel! Matt and I enjoyed attending our first Armenian wedding, where, I kid you not, there must have been 15 courses of food served all through the night. We had hummus, salmon, lavash, cheeses, olives, kebabs, rice, salad, fresh fruit, and then wedding cake. I got a little over zealous in the beginning on some cheese and olives but learned to pace myself as the rest of the feast trickled out. After we ate, we danced our butts off, which was a nice way to burn some calories.

Then today, I slept in until 11 a.m., cleaned the bathroom, walked to the grocery store, and pulled weeds in my garden. A successful Sunday, if you ask me. In 15 minutes, Mad Men and Silicon Valley will be on, and then I’ll head to bed. It was so nice to have a weekend at home as the last two weekends I’ve been traveling, and next weekend will be on the road again.

Tell me what you were up to this weekend! This week will be busy, but I’m looking forward to it. The weather is gorgeous here, and even though the pollen is out in full force, I’m loving the sun shining as I take lunch break walks and train on my way t0 60 miles. PS: how cool is it that April and Monique are part of team Double Chin Divas with Aubrey and I?! We’d love to have you join us, if you’re interested in fundraising, walking, and glamping in San Diego November 21-23. All are welcome; together we can kick cancer’s butt! Let me know if you’re interested in joining so I can provide you a special discount code and team password.

Have a wonderful start to your week!

The Double Chin Diary Siggy

 

 

Getting in a pickle: quick pickled beets!

I've been caught red handed! With pickled beets!

I’ve been caught red handed!

Beets were one of those foods growing up that I avoided like the plague. Their bloody red color threw me off, reminding me of scary horror movies and for some reason, like something only old people would eat. It wasn’t until very, very recently that I ventured into trying beets and I was surprised to find I didn’t just LIKE them, I LOVED them. They’re a great sweet, earthy touch to a salad, and I actually had them on their own as a snack a few days ago. My new love of beets is another thing living in the grand old state of California has given me; I had never tried an artichoke until I was 21 years old and my then boyfriend (now husband)’s mother made one for me. I had also never tried mango, another passionate produce love affair of mine.

beets on a cutting board

Because I love flexing my green thumb, I decided to grow beets this year and ended up with a surplus of candy cane beets and the most GIGANTIC red beets I have ever seen in my life. This thing could easily take out a window or a small child. I mean, HOLY BEETS! How did it get that big? Beets me! (Oh, I’ve been dying to say that one!) Anyhoo, while beets are amazing on their own, if you want to amp up the flavor, it’s super easy, cheap and you probably have all the ingredients on hand. If you feel like being ever lazier and avoiding the parboil/peel/boil process of cooking the beets, buy them pre-steamed and packaged at Trader Joes and follow only the pickling instructions.

All you need is..
– one jar or resealable tupperware container
– a bunch of beets,
– 1 cup vinegar (I recommend red wine or white)
– 1 tbsp sugar
-1 tbsp diced/minced or crushed garlic (less if you’re a vampire or still have tastebuds)
– some fresh cracked pepper and some sea salt.

1) The first thing you’re going to do is boil the beets, skin and all, for about 2 minutes. Don’t stress about it, this isn’t the important part. You just want to get them nice and hot so the skin peels off easily.
2) Once they’ve boiled for a few minutes, take them out of the pot and LET THEM COOL. Do not touch them now because I promise, your hands will burn like marshmallows and you’ll never read my blog again because I’ll be known as the girl that burned you with beets. I speak from experience.
3) Did you wait a few minutes to cool? Good. Now start peeling. This process is messy. If you’re using red beets, you’re going to have murder hands. Just accept it now.
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4) Once everything is peeled, hack ’em into whatever size slice you like. These were bigger than I usually like but again, that beet was the size of an asteroid. What was I supposed to do?
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5) Throw ’em back into a pot of boiling water. Cook them until fork tender. A little bit al dente is fine if you like more crunch. Do not overcook or you’ll have some nasty looking beets to eat (they turn gray). I’d say these, though quite thick, needed 5-7 minutes.
6) Drain the beets.
7) Put all of the ingredients except the beets into the jar or container. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Crack in pepper to taste and a few shakes of salt.
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8) Start layering in the beet slices. Seal the jar and let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes they’re ready to eat! If you want them to be really strong, let marinate over night. These beets will last in your fridge for up to one week and are amazing with some vine ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzerella over a bed of greens.
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This recipe is awesome because it’s super customizable. Maybe you could try using a sweet onion instead of garlic, or adding some rosemary sprigs. I bet rice wine vinegar would make an interesting base, or imagine it with mint leaves. Beets really are in their prime in salads. Try beets with a crumble of feta, or chopped Cobb style. Did you know people ever use beet syrup as a natural sweetener? Beets have one of the highest sugar contents of any vegetable, but their glycemic index is lower so they don’t cause the same insulin spikes in the body as table sugar. So, what do you think? Are you a ‘beet’nik like I am or are you anti-beets?

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What I Ate Wednesday!

Hey everybody! Today I’m participating in a link up called #WIAW – What I Ate Wednesday!

I started the day with some Special K Red Berries with milk and a sliced banana. I’m not a huge cereal person, but this was on sale at the store and I’ve been getting sick of my Greek yogurt/English muffin combination. This was tasty and light enough not to weigh me down.

Breakfast

I have a couple days off before I start my new job, so I cleaned ALL DAY. Whew. If you ever want to work your booty off, bust out the shop vac and start sucking up the corners of your house. I never knew that much cat hair/spider webs/dust was possible. (Yeah, yeah, I know – who has a day off and cleans? This girl.) When I was sweaty and gross from cleaning, I had some lunch… a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with a side salad with fat free ranch.

Lunch

Then I did some errands and some more chores before having a mid-afternoon snack of rainier cherries and a Hansen’s soda. Rainier cherries may be prettier than Bing, but I don’t think they’re any tastier. I’ll stick with my blood-red cherries, thank you very much.

Cherries and Soda

Dinner was a little bit of a treat – something way heavier than I usually eat. Matt and I picked up some sourdough bread from Boudin on our way home from Lake Tahoe, and we paired it with Italian beef with sweet peppers. I grew up eating this Chicago classic – a pot roast cooked all day in a crock pot with onions, green peppers, garlic and Italian seasonings. Spoon it over some toasted bread with melted cheese and you’re in Heaven. This sandwich came in at about 475 calories… high, but worth every bite.

Knife N' Fork Italian Beef Sandwich

Then, Matt and I watched the first episode of this season’s Breaking Bad… (OMG! Anyone else watch?! CRAZZZZZY!) and then I needed some dessert. I settled on this mini Cadbury Caramello ice cream bar at 160 calories.

Image used from Goodhousekeeping.com

I ended the day with 97 calories leftover, and I’m pleasantly full. Today was a good example of how eating for weight loss doesn’t always have to be a drag – I got to eat plenty of food that was delicious and yummy and stayed within my calorie count. I’ll now be weighing in Fridays at my awesome RD’s suggestion (my weekend bloat can screw up my whole “healthy eating” mindset if I weigh in on a Monday). I’ve also gotten some good workouts in this week, so I’m excited to see what next week’s weigh in looks like!

So, now it’s your turn – what did you eat on Wednesday? If you want to blog it, visit Peas and Crayons and don’t forget to link up!

Weekly Weigh In #6

*Sigh* Let’s get right to it. This week I

gained .8 of a pound

Sometimes, I feel like I’m living my life in Groundhog’s day, because for the past six weeks of Weight Watchers, I have consistently been losing one week, and then gaining the next. It’s a scene all too familiar and one I’m getting sick of repeating. Remember last week’s monumental weight loss? 2.8 pounds? Yeah, not so much today.

I really anticipated a small loss, at least. Nothing huge, but a little reward for the night I turned down a bowl of ice cream, or when I spent an hour and a half of my Sunday morning speed walking around the park. I was bitter today after my weigh in. I wondered aloud why I was doomed to a life of fatness. (Yes, I have a flair for the dramatic) It’s hard not to be frustrated when the third time I’ve tried Weight Watchers, I’m having similar results, a perpetual YoYo, constantly not constant. Is it me? Is it the program? Is it the sugary Peeps I ate (and tracked)? Is it bloating? Is it too little exercise?

I really want to say, “F you, Weight Watchers,” and go stuff my face with garlic bread, but I’m not going to. I’m paying for this damn plan, so I’m gonna make it work even if that means I can’t use my extra points or I have to cut out my liquid crack, my beloved Diet Pepsi. (C’mon – one can a day? How bad can it be?!)

So what do I need to do? Eat less. Move more. Use less extra points. Cut out the crap. Crap is crap even if I count it. Peeps aren’t good for the junk in my trunk, and neither are FiberOne Brownies. Crap is crap. But I give a crap. So next week, I’m losing weight, even if I have to strip naked on the scale to make it. I’m sick of having to write the same post every other week. It makes me not want to write to you. But I do, because I need to. It needs to change. It will change. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Send me some weight loss vibes, will ya?

My 13-point dinner tonight. Salad with beets and light ranch, turkey breast sandwich with sprouts, avocado and cheese on whole wheat with light cranberry juice.

 

Low Cost Bounty

  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale
  • 2 leeks
  • 8 turnips
  • 2 beets (my new obsession – for some reason i thought i didn’t like them. They’re so tasty!)
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 pounds of apples (for juicing)
  • 5 pounds of satsumas (these are like candy!)
  • 2 pounds brussel sprouts (roasted with lemon and evoo -yum)
  • 1/4 pound dried peaches (a delicious snack)
  • 2 pounds broccoli
  • 1 cluster of ginger

That’s a lot of food, right? For $25, Matt and I strolled out of the Farmer’s Market with stuffed bags and hungry bellies. Did I mention it’s all organic? One of my favorite community activities is going to the farmer’s market. I think it’s an amazing way to support local businesses and operations, and you really score awesome savings on produce. (And we saw Gwyneth Paltrow and her mom there this week!)

This food would have easily cost me double what it had if I had gotten it at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Tonight I was in Trader Joes and their trimmed leeks were $2.89 for two of them. I paid $1.50 at the farmer’s market. TJ’s beets were $2.50 for two. I paid $2 for two. Their ginger was $1.89 for a tiny little cluster – we paid $1.

When I first started eating healthy, I used to complain that it cost way more money to eat healthy. Today I realize I’m wrong. It only costs more money in that when you buy healthy things, like fruit and vegetables, you eat more of it because it goes bad faster. In that regards, yes, healthy food can add up because you’re buying more of it. But when I think about how much better I feel after eating a clementine compared to a candy bar? So worth the tiny bump in price.

To save on things like lettuce that last a little bit longer, I buy the jumbo pack of romaine hearts from Costco. It’s $2.89 for six romaine hearts. I chop them up and spin and dry them and then I have tons of salad ready to go for the week. I buy some perishables at the 99c store, because often times, they’ve got overstocked organic mushrooms or bell peppers waiting for someone to take them home. Sure, they might be lopsided or have a little ding in them, but who cares? It all ends up in my belly anyways.

How do you save money when you’re eating healthy? Do you think it’s more expensive to eat healthy? Why or why not?