Alyssa’s Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week 1

Tuesday was a great day. Even though I had nervous anticipation all morning before I stepped on the scale on my lunch break, I felt confident with my choices from the week before. I drank a lot of water, I exercised nearly every day, I snacked on Persian cucumbers instead of chips, and I minded my portions. I knew even if for some reason the scale didn’t reflect my good work, possibly the next week would, because “you always get the week you deserve eventually.”

I kicked off my flip flops, climbed on the scale, sucked in my breath, and wished for good news. “You’re down this week!” the leader said, and when she showed me the number, I actually let out a little hoot of joy. Here’s what made me so happy:

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YAY! 4.4 pounds is a big, big loss. I was also on the tail-end of completing the Mamavation Two-Week Bootcamp, so being forced to do burpees and arm curls and cardio helped, too. I’m so relieved that the first week of “Simple Start” worked. Basically, it’s a plan focused on lean proteins and dairys, whole grains, vegetables and limited fats. It’s pretty much a “Don’t Eat Crap” manifesto, though you can choose one crap item (junk food) per night, with suggestions being things like a Weight Watchers ice cream, a glass of wine, etc. My crap items were Weight Watchers Dulce de Leche ice cream bars (they’re okay. Kinda fake. Not my fav), oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made, and one night, two squares of white Irish cheddar cheese. Deeeeeelish. This week, I need to be aggressive about staying “good” — sometimes when I have a strong success like this, I tend to think “Oh! I did so good last week that I can cheat a little bit and I’ll still lose weight!” Nope, not so much. Don’t wanna get over confident over here. However, I did realize this week this is the first time I’m trying a “real” weight-loss plan again now that I know what’s up my wacky body, and that’s exciting.
I was also thrilled this week to hear from three different people that it looked like I was losing weight. Those comments are so encouraging to me, because I see myself all day, every day. Hearing it from someone else is sometimes exactly what you need to remember why you’re choosing the salad over the pizza.

So that’s my awesome news for the week! Can’t wait to share with you next week about my next weigh in, and I can only hope it will be as good as this one, but I’ll be happy with any sort of loss. 🙂  I’ll be back soon to tell you about my newest fitness gadget, the Fitbit Force!

 

Big Bear Getaway Part 2

After we set up the tent and swam in the lake, it was time to EAT!!! We had originally planned on cooking dinner at the camp site, but once 4:00 creeped around, we knew it would take forever to get supplies, set up the stove and fire, and hunt and skin small woodland creatures. Ah, you WERE paying attention. Just kidding about that last part.

Happiness is a warm plate

We went to the Log Cabin restaurant, built in 1908. I had previously been here with Matt and fell in love with the friendly servers, family feel and amazing comfort food. Since all I had eaten all day was a small bag of Funyuns and a Greek yogurt, I had the calories to splurge a little bit, so I opted for a biscuit and gravy and pancakes. Carby, greasy, salty goodness. Mmmmm delicious. It was amazing. Every bite tantalized my taste buds and I thanked the breakfast gods and whatever southern granny decided to smother a biscuit with gravy. I imagine said Granny standing in the kitchen saying – “Nah, this biscuit smeared with butter just isn’t fattening enough. Let’s drench it in pork drippings, cream and sausage, too!”

Smores!

All was well and we proceeded to head back to the campsite, stuffed and happy, ready for roasting marshmallows, ghost stories, and a few adult beverages. After one pear cider, I had one s’more and a little bit of chimichurri – an amazing Argentinian concoction made by Virginia’s dad of parsley, red peppers, garlic and spices. I was full but not uncomfortable – and miraculously was somehow only over by 240 calories in MyFitnessPal. (Tip: S’mores are actually fairly low in calories if you use reduced fat graham crackers, one marshmallow, and one chocolate square. Average calories: 120)

My gnome pajamas rock my world.

We then went to sleep (I know you’re jealous of my gnome pajama pants) and I spent the night imagining raccoons circling around our tent and trying to pretend the cold, hard ground was really just my gigantic, plush cal-king bed – you know – just a harder version. Yeah, it didn’t work. This was all well and good until I woke up at 6:40 AM to the smell of campfire and the sound of chirping birds with an agonizing stomach ache. I don’t get stomach aches often, and when I do, sorry to be blunt, it’s usually because I’ve been like a rabbit and have been consuming lots n lots of veggies. But this stomach ache was something else. This stomach ache felt like a pack of wolves tearing through my large intestine. I rushed to the camp bathroom (thank you, Hanna Flat, for respecting the modern day innovations of toilets) and regretted every fattening bite I took the day before.

Sorry to be TMI, but that’s kind of what comes with the territory with this kind of blog. I have NO IDEA how all of a sudden my body is like “Yay, healthy food!” and then “OH DEAR GOD NO WHY DID YOU EAT THAT?! PAIN! SUFFERING! BLOATING!”. I really didn’t think I’d made that drastic of a change in my eating habits, but as I’ve discussed with my lovely RD, sometimes the little tickly nerve fibers in your tummy really can sensitize quickly, and react drastically to sudden changes in diet and nutrition. The stomach ache put a damper on the rest of my day, as I’d get nice little twinges of pain to remind me not to eat crap (didn’t work – I had some french fries at lunch). It lasted into Monday, and caused me to miss my nutrition appointment and get a late start to work. So now I know – just say no. Just say no, because while it feels awesome in the moment, like a kid getting his first buck from the tooth fairy, the joy and excitement wears off as soon as the moment is over (in tooth fairy kid’s case, when he spends it on a cheap toy that breaks 4 minutes after he gets it.).

The good news is, my newly acquired “aversion therapy” has kept me on track this week so far, and MyFitnessPal and I have been good friends. It wasn’t the perfect end to my Big Bear weekend, but this isn’t Hollywood, so, ya know, I’ll get over it. Are you like me in that you tend to need sweeping, grandiose physical reminders not to do something, or are you a little more tuned in to the mind/body connection? Discuss!

Low-Fat Blueberry Applesauce Muffins – 107 calories each

Enjoy with some reduced-fat butter spread or a drizzle of honey!

Hello Double Chinners! Today is my 200th post! Hard to believe I’ve been blogging in this dusty little corner of the internet for 200 posts – awesome! Thanks for reading my blog.

Today while picking up some cake decorating supplies for my classes, I stumbled upon adorable strawberry muffin liners at Michael’s in the $1 section. (Those sections get me into trouble.) I knew instantly I wanted to do some baking with fresh fruit – and lo and behold, I had about a cup left of delicious, sweet blueberries. However, I knew a traditional blueberry muffin recipe would break MyFitnessPal calorie bank, so I decided to do a recipe modification from the Betty Crocker book, and came up with these calories which come in at 107 calories and 1 gram of fat each.

Now, I’ll warn you. These aren’t super sweet muffins like you find at Starbucks, they’re on the milder, more simple side, which works for me. They’re also more dense. I substituted apple sauce for oil, but if you want a lighter, airier cupcake, simply swap the 1/4 cup apple sauce for 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil (puts them at 147 calories each instead of 107).

If you don’t have fresh blueberries, frozen will work just fine!

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
2 TSP baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 TBSP brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper lines and lightly mist each with Pam or other non-stick spray. Mix all ingredients except blueberries in a large bowl and whisk gently until the batter has no lumps. Once batter is smooth, gently fold in the cup of blueberries. Stir until blueberries are evenly dispersed in the batter. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter, sprinkle with brown sugar, and bake 17-18 minutes until spongy and a knife inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Enjoy!

 

A food filled weekend!

Hi Double Chinners, how ya doin’?

It’s Sunday evening and I had a productive weekend… packed with seeing the Hunger Games (highly recommend it), finishing a feature news story, putting together a podcast, writing a post for my thesis blog Heardio, working on a freelance project, painting my upcycled dresser, grocery shopping, cupcake decorating class… You get the picture. My weekends aren’t very restful lately but they sure are productive, haha!

Cinnamon Snails

This weekend was a fun weekend in terms of FOOD! Fun is sometimes dangerous for me, as evident by the three little “Cinnamon Snails” I consumed this morning…. (Total damage: 360 calories). I work for a company that makes toys, and one of the doll lines has an upcoming campaign with food related characters. I edit online content, and this weekend, I had to fact check a recipe for cinnamon buns. No problem – cooking and writing – two of my favorite things!

I also had my last cupcake decorating class, and we tie-dyed buttercream! Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in a tutorial on how to do it. I know this is technically a “healthy living” blog, so buttercream might not fit in that well… but I think part of “healthy living” means splurging every once in awhile. They came out pretty cool, I think – my coworkers will reap the benefits tomorrow!

Lastly, Matt and I needed tons of produce. Lately I’ve been really trying to up the ante on fruit and veggies, since they’re low cal, yummy and good for you. I’d been wanting to try a local ethnic produce market, so we went in and came out with this bounty. Don’t mind the tabby in the background… Lucia’s pretty vain and wanted to make sure she starred in the picture. (Bad kitty on the table!)

Lucia surveys the haul from a local ethnic market.

Guess how much all of this food cost? To help you tabulate, we have – a tub of Israeli olives, a sack of roasted peas, one bunch of celery, one bag of carrots, four huge russet potatoes, one pound of fresh green beans, three small spaghetti squash, a bag of mango “jubes” (I have no idea what they are – they just looked good!), a tub of baked pita chips, 5 Persian cucumbers, three limes, two mangos, and one green pepper.

Ok – ready for this? $21. Can you believe that? This would have easily cost us $35 or more at our local grocer. The celery was .33, and the bell pepper was .78. The olives were the most expensive thing we bought, at 3.99, still a steal considering how many you get (and pitted, at that!). I love food… but I also love saving money.

What did you do this weekend?

PS – We reached 100 “likes” on the Double Chin Diary on Facebook! Thank you to everybody for your support. In the next few weeks I’ll be setting up a giveaway of a few of my favorite things to celebrate! 🙂 And if you haven’t liked my page, what are ya waiting for?! http://www.facebook.com/doublechindiary