Planning: More Non-Meat Meals

Met with my nutritionist yesterday. She’s pleased with my long-term progress and thinks I should keep doing what I’m doing for the most part. We recalculated my BMR and protein requirements based on my new weight.

With a weight of 179, my BMR is 1517.

If I apply the Harris Benedict equation (I just love writing that – it sounds so scientific!) for a moderate activity level, I see that I need to eat 2351 calories a day to maintain my current weight.  That assumes I am working out 3-5 times a week at a moderate pace. (I do more than that, but I’ve gotten a little resistant to weight loss after 3 years of losing, so I use the lower formula to be sure I hit my goals.) So I should be losing 2 pounds a week if I keep my calories to under 1400 calories per day.

While that is not very different from what I have been eating, we are going to try changing the balance of carbs to protein to fat. Instead of doing 40% Protein and 35% Fat and 25% Carbs, I’m going to begin increasing my carbs and shift to a 40% Carbs, 30% Protein and 30% Fat ratio. I’ll do this by using more non-meat sources of protein, such as beans and quinoa. That should give me a lot more energy for the increased workouts that I’m doing and help me reduce some of the belly fat that I still have hanging around.

So I need to revisit my meal planning and come up with some sample meals that fit the new criteria. is a great tool for that. I just go to an unused day and start adding different foods/amounts and looking at the resulting numbers for the day, including the percentages. Here is a one day menu plan that would work on my new plan:

Meals Item Name Calories Sugars Carbs Fats Protein Sodium Dietary Fiber
breakfast Applesauce  (unsweetened) 6.5 1.4 1.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1
Oatmeal 40.0 0.3 6.8 0.8 1.8 0.0 1.0
Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter 52.5 0.3 1.5 4.0 2.0 30.0 0.5
Whey Matrix Vanilla Protein Powder 65.0 1.5 3.0 1.0 11.0 30.0 0.0
lunch Avocados 58.8 0.3 2.7 5.5 0.8 3.5 1.8
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast 60.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 13.0 20.0 0.0
Ezekeil Whole Grain 80.0 0.0 15.0 0.5 4.0 75.0 3.0
Peach, Small 31.0 6.6 7.5 0.2 0.7 0.0 1.2
afternoon snack Fage 0% Yogurt 60.0 4.5 4.5 0.0 10.0 42.5 0.0
Blueberries, Raw 42.0 7.5 10.5 0.0 0.5 0.5 2.0
Honey 18.0 4.8 5.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Smokehouse Almonds 85.0 0.5 2.5 8.0 3.0 75.0 1.5
dinner Dove Dark Chocolate Hearts 37.0 3.0 4.0 2.0 0.5 0.0 0.5
Goya Black Beans 90.0 1.0 19.0 0.5 7.0 460.0 6.0
Organic Free Range Chicken Broth 2.5 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.3 142.5 0.0
Quinoa Cooked 127.0 0.0 23.4 2.0 4.5 10.0 2.0
Shredded Cheddar Cheese 57.0 0.0 0.2 4.7 3.5 88.0 0.0
post-workout Banana – Small 19.8 4.8 5.0 0.1 0.4 0.4 1.0
Ice 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Natural Peanut Butter, Creamy 100.0 0.5 3.0 8.0 3.5 45.0 1.0
Organic Cocoa Powder 10.0 0.0 0.6 0.5 1.0 0.0 1.0
Peanut Butter Cookie Protein Powder 132.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 25.0 94.0 0.0
Skim Milk 55.0 6.0 6.5 1.3 4.0 62.5 0.0
Totals: 1229.1 42.9 123.5 40.5 96.4 1178.9 22.7

Backup Plans

This morning is all about backup plans and how important they are. The holiday weekend was great – bike rides, swimming, picnic and my first yoga class. I did have to work a few hours because we’ve got a software release coming up, but I live close to work and it wasn’t a big deal – going in now, as a matter of fact, even though it is a holiday. I’ll take my break on the 15th when the boys and I go up to Vermont/New York and spend a few days on Lake Champlain with my friend Meredith and her family.

But because this weekend was a holiday weekend, I didn’t stick to my usual rut, I mean routine! Not a lot of cooking because we just weren’t home that much. So I don’t have a menu plan for this week and there are no leftovers for my lunch at work. Plus, I haven’t packed up my vitamins for the week. Here’s where the backup plan comes in!

We save all our menu plans and shopping lists on our family Wiki page. So I can open up a few and copy/paste some selections and voila! A menu plan in about five minutes, complete with shopping list for the items we need. I have backup vitamins at work and will pack up the week’s supply tonight when I have more time.

For lunch, instead of leftovers, I have frozen soup, stew and other weight loss surgery friendly meals stored in the freezer in 1/2 cup portions. I can grab one of those for my lunch for today and throw it into the bag with my protein powder and still race out the door in the next 30 minutes. To do this yourself, you don’t have to cook a special meal that you freeze, just start carving out a cup or half cup of your leftovers – whatever your portions sizes are – for each person who may need a backup meal. Label it and put it in the freezer. They keep for months as long as they are sealed well. For a backup family meal, just cook double of one of your family favorites that freeze well – like roast chicken, pot roast, spaghetti sauce or meatballs. While the water boils for pasta, you can defrost sauce or meatballs and have the whole thing on the table in 30 minutes or less. Or defrost the chicken and some whole wheat tortillas while you chop up lettuce and tomatoes for some fast tortillas. This is perfect for those nights when you get home and you thought it was his turn to cook and he thought it was your turn to cook.

What do you want to order from take out is just not a healthy option most of the time. I feel so guilty sometimes about how much fast food and prepared food my family ate in the last 6 years. When I was doing the stay-at-home Mom thing, I learned to cook. It wasn’t always healthy cooking (Loved Paula Dean recipes which always seem to start with one stick of butter!) Once I went back to work after my son was born, I really cut back on cooking and started to rely on prepared foods, takeout and delivery menus that piled up by the phone. I thought I was being super organized and efficient, but I was feeding my family crap. I gained weight. My husband gained weight. Even my eight year old gained weight. As I watch it come off now, I’m so grateful that my husband has decided to be the stay at home Dad and has learned to cook and cook HEALTHY! We save so much money, it really makes up for the lost income. Plus our quality of life is improved because we eat together. We sit down at a table and we talk and catch up on our day and that is the best part of all. A meal isn’t just about what we eat. It is about how we eat it and I’m so grateful I get to eat mine with the two best boys in the whole world. I love you guys.

Comparing Before and Now Pictures

When I posted my pictures from the triathlon, my friend Becky suggested I look at them side by side with my before pictures. She was right – this is a cool image to wrap my brain around:

These two women have a lot in common, but there are some really important places where they are worlds apart and it isn’t just 140 pounds.

I dropped another size – why am I sad?

I have been putting off my monthly closet purge. I keep saying I don’t have time, gotta work out, gotta do this or that. My clothes have been getting loser and loser and yesterday I kept tripping over my baggy, too long pants. So last night I hauled stuff out of the closet and started trying on. All the size 14 pants, except the smallest ones – too big – into the Goodwill pile!

Then I started pulling out the size 12’s thinking – there’s no way. But – half of them fit. I’m a size twelve. 12. One Two. TWELVE.

I was never supposed to be a size 12. My goal was size 14, which I hit in March and have been hanging on to by my fingernails.

Why am I so resistant to being a size 12? I was standing there last night, looking in the mirror and even standing side-ways, which I hate to do, cause that’s not usually a pretty site. Well, guess what? I have four good sides now. My stomach (in clothes, at least) looks NORMAL. Not flat, not Heidi Klum, but NORMAL.

I can’t stop tearing up. I feel sad and scared and not sure what’s happening. I’m not at my goal weight – I want to lose another 30 or so pounds. And that’s gonna put me down to a 10, isn’t it? Maybe – gulp! even an 8. That’s just too freaky. I can’t get my head around it.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be bigger, but I honestly think I’ve been slacking off on the exercise and eating because I was afraid to be smaller than goal. With the triathlon over, I started the couch to 5k yesterday and just finished an hour-long kickboxing class. I’m tightening up on what I eat. Oh boy. It looks like I’m working on being a size 10.

Anyone else zip past their goal size and know what I”m talking about?

I gained a pound and a half

I was up 1.5 pounds at Weight Watchers yesterday. This is my first gain in 10 months. I initially blamed it on all the salt I drank after my bike ride on Saturday, and all weekend when I was testing a recipe for WLS friendly “gatorade”. But since I haven’t been tracking very well, I figure it is more likely from what I have been eating.

When I don’t track, I am essentially saying to my self “Self – eat whatever you want. No one is looking, not even me!” When I do that, I am also ignoring the fact that I have a food addiction. That I am not normal or I would not have been super morbidly obese. That I had to have gastric bypass and reroute my stomach and my intestines so that I could lose weight.

Why did I have Surgery? What was all that for? For a few brief months to bask in praise and astonishment from everyone I know? To be the Biggest Loser in Dunwoody, Georgia? And then what? To gain it all back? NO! NO! NO!

The first pound is the first step on the road to being naked, cause I gave all my bigger clothes away and I’M NOT BUYING MORE! Whew! Okay. Moving on.

Today I am once again pushing myself to track better so I can see what I am doing. Scary! Yesterday I ate a whopping 1612 calories and my goal was 1200. I ate 92g of fat yesterday. Holy cow! 39g of fat from a BINGE on a whole cup of Emerald Cocoa Almonds. Obviously, I cannot be trusted to have the whole container at work, at my desk. Will need to go back to packing into single serving bags and taking in only one a day. And I’m just NOT going to buy them again. They are addictive and then they make me crave other carbs. I made some myself with splenda that didn’t do that. Will do that again after the tri is over and I have more time.

76g Carbs, 37g SUGAR, 18g Fiber First: too much sugar from fruit. I was justifying it, saying that I could add it in because of all the exercise. But I can’t. I can add in healthy carbs that are low GI but I need to limit fruit to once a day. I’m going to cut the fruit out of my morning oatmeal, which already has a ton of carbs. And I will only have the 1/3 of banana in my workout shake if I burn more than 500 calories in my workout. Also, I don’t need the fat free milk in their, either. Water works just as well, with the greek yogurt for creaminess and extra calcium and it has less sugar. I’ll keep the afternoon fruit and yogurt and almonds (strictly measured) and see if that keeps the cravings to a minimum.
I did get in 127 grams of protein and I did drink all my water.

Note to Self: “Karen, if you track, then you can analyze and see what you are doing and correct when you are off course. If you don’t track, you can’t analyze and you can’t self-correct. So TRACK for goodness sakes!”

Duh! And you know what? I forgot to take my vitamins yesterday, too. Never packed them up on the weekend. This is why I need routines and project plans and checklists. When I don’t use them, I am just flying by the seat of my size 4x stretch pants.

I just need to lose this last 10 pounds

I was looking at my blog stats and just wanted to thank all my friends for visiting my blog. It makes me really happy to know that so many people are reading about my journey and cheering me on towards the finish line.

As of today,  11 more pounds to my doctor’s goal weight. Triathlon this weekend should put me in the “I just need to lose 10 pounds” category. Never been there before and I now have to apologize to all those “thin” people who used to say that. I was mentally rolling my eyes and thinking – jeez, how hard could that be, I need to lose 150?

But it is hard. It might be as hard as it was to lose the last 100, maybe as hard as losing the first 20. I have to get super precise with my calorie intake and calorie burn, and as we all know, I really struggle with tracking. (As seen by the many empty gaps on my Accountability page…sigh.)

And dang it, now I need to crank up my exercise again. Obviously, if I can anticipate finishing a sprint triathlon, then I am at the point where I should add something more to my swimming, biking and walking/running routine.

I’m thinking about yoga. My friend, Cricket, has these amazing muscles and she is completely toned and says it is all yoga. I asked for some advice and this is what she said:

I like vinyasa – you move with your breath. But there’s a hatha class that I like too – more of an isometric workout. Try some classes at your gym, but if you don’t finish the class feeling more balanced and peaceful, find a yoga studio (google is how I found my 2 favorite ones – check out Thrive Yoga and Sacred Space (both in Rockville, MD) to get a feel for what you’ll want to look for).

Fwiw, Dave Romanelli does a wonderful “wine and yoga” and “wine and chocolate” tour. He came to Sacred Space and I really liked him. He also is going to Atlanta in December, so check out Balance Yoga in Atlanta. Also, Jai Shanti looks interesting – a bit on the edge – but how can you not love a studio that has nude male yoga?

ISHTA is “Integrated Science Hatha Tantric & Ashtanga” and one of my Vinyasa yoga teachers follows that. I have this awesome book called “Breathing Space” that is inspired/features Alan Finger who is kinda the “founding father” of ISHTA (at least in the US, I think). Anyway – that book is a GREAT read, so enjoy that and think about what you want to get out of yoga.

I also did the Baron Baptiste “40 Day Revolution” – don’t think I could’ve done it on my own, but Thrive did it as a program that included support group meetings and unlimited yoga. It really was incredible – got you to think about *why* you eat and *how* you eat and how mindfulness about how/why you’re eating can make a difference. In week 3 or 4, they include a 3-day fruit fast (just fruits and fruit juice). It was incredible. I realized how many different kinds of feelings I was translating into “I’m hungry, I *need* to eat”. My appetite shrank. I acquired a love of better foods and honestly don’t like really rich, creamy, cheesy sauces, which is one of my healthy downfalls. After 3 days, I also found that – no joke – I could *see* better – I noticed the clarity and completeness of things. I can’t describe it, but it was really, really cool. And my appetite shrank. So, highly recommend that book too 🙂

I’m so psyched you’re going to try yoga – let me know how it goes

cb xoxo 🙂

Is that awesome or what? It’s nice to have friends. So that’s the plan: I’m going to try the yoga classes at my gym a couple of times a week – might as well get them for free if I like them. If not, I may have to mosey on over to the yoga studio or buy a dvd. Because I want those biceps!

Well, I’ve finished my water and my power protein oatmeal – gotta get moving to the gym for a 75 minute body sculpting class. 

Triathlon Thoughts

Didn’t really stick to my goal of getting out and exercising before writing today. Instead, I woke up early – too early to exercise, and wrote for an hour before getting out on the bike.

This morning I rode 9 miles, mostly hills in 57 minutes. This included 3 stops to repair my chain. Have to get that into the shop today. I also need to by a CPSC approved helmet as neither of mine are. Never knew I was riding around with an unapproved helmet. Also want to get both tubes changed, buy a race belt and some body glide, which is supposed to help my socks/shoes go on faster and cut down on chafing.

I was watching videos of transitions last night and reviewing various check lists. I found a few web sites that I liked:

Well – gotta run to drop off the boy and make it to work!

Planning for Success and the Exercise Train

Happy Monday everyone!
I always feel an amazing sense of relief when I get back to my weekday routine. Weekends are HARD! The schedule is always changing and I know I do better with a rut. I mean, routine!

One of my best support routines is to go onto the board and post on the Planning for Success thread for the day. I put down what I’m planning to eat today. Then I find the Exercise Train thread for the day and put down what I’m planning to do for exercise. Sometimes I post the whole week’s schedule/menus if I haven’t made them yet (this weekend was nuts, did I mention that?) so that my plan for the week is written down and I can look at it, think about how to improve it and if necessary, figure out the points/calories on either Livestrong/DailyPlate or Weight Watchers online tools.

Planning For Success:

B: 1/2 cup of steel-cut oatmeal recipe with protein powder, applesauce, cinnamon, Splenda brown sugar, peanut butter
S: Coffee with inspire ice-cream sandwich protein powder (I know – sounds strange but is GOOD)
L: Emergency freezer rations – we didn’t do ANY cooking this weekend – how weird is THAT?
S: Nectar Peach protein drink in unsweetened ice tea
D: Smoked pork, broccoli and quinoa
Optional snack: greek yogurt with brown sugar Splenda and apple slices (I will keep this at work all week and if I get the munchies, I have it available)

Exercise Train

Today I have less than 2 weeks until the Iron Girl Triathlon. I’m a little nervous – I haven’t done nearly as much in the last two weeks as I planned because I hurt my shoulder a bit and I’ve been spending way, way too much time sitting on my butt and writing about exercise instead of doing it. That doesn’t burn as many calories as you’d think – LOL!

So today – I’m planning to:
1. Swim 1/3 of a mile
2. Walk 3 miles at lunch
3. Ride my bike for 45 minutes tonight after dinner with my son

We’ll see if I do all that – and can keep it up this week! I’m going to come back and update this just for some accountability!

What’s Your Sign?

What's your sign?

What's your sign?

The Young Man Who Was Not a Beggar There was a young man at the begging corner at our intersection on Friday afternoon. He looked as if he was new to the streets – still had clean clothes and his shoes were in good shape. He looked clean, if a bit sweaty. I couldn’t read his sign from where I sat in my big, air-conditioned SUV with the leather seats and moon roof.  I scrambled to find some money, but I never have actual cash money on me – just a random quarter or two for the toll and credit cards.

I thought:  I’m leaving my great job to go home to my nice house with my beautiful family. There will be a roast chicken on the table for Shabbos dinner – and he’s stuck out here in the heat, begging for money.  So I drove to the Burger King and bought him some dinner and a soda. Okay, not healthy, which bothered me, but I didn’t think about that until I was driving away from the window! I drove back and gave it to him and wished him luck.

I still didn’t get to read his sign so for some reason he continues to stick in my mind. Was he traveling and broke down? Does he need a job? Food? A place to sleep? I kept thinking about him at odd moments all weekend. He wasn’t there when I went past on Saturday or Sunday, so I hope his problem has been solved and he’s moved on to journey’s end.

Think how much easier life would be if, when we encountered people, they had a sign so we knew immediately what they needed. As I continue to travel on my journey towards health, I think mine would be: “Please don’t give me food. I really need love, attention and respect.”

Maybe we should all be wearing a sign. What would yours be?