Thursday, March 28, 2013

Weight Watchers Week # 12

Again, I should not really name this post Weight Watchers since I did not do the plan this week.  My few days on the smoothie diet helped jump start me back into my diet though.  I lost 3.2 pounds!  And that all came off the first two days of the smoothie diet. 

I am on week 12 which means I should be down 12 pounds, but I am not.  I behind.  Right now I am down 8.4.  My vacation is six weeks away so it is not possible for me to reach my goal weight by then.  Almost 12 more pounds in six weeks is not going to happen when it has taken me 12 weeks to lose 8...although the last month or so I have stalled/gained. 

My revised goal for the next six weeks is to lose five pounds.  That should be enough for me to fit in my sundresses for the trip. 

I got way off track there for a while, but I the smoothie jump start helped me get my head back in the game. 

Week -3.2
Total -8.4

Smoothie Diet Day # 3

The scale rewarded me again so I decided to keep going, except that I need a real lunch.  I made the same banana pear breakfast smoothie as the day before, but the pear was not ripe so it wasn't a very smooth smoothie. 

Then I got dizzy.  I have chronic problems with dizziness and when it hits I never know how long it will last.  It could be days or weeks so I do whatever I can to get it to go away quickly.  If that meant eating real food, so be it.  This same thing happened on day three when I tried to go gluten free.  I tried to rationally think about what it could be.  I had been eating plenty of fruit so sugar and carbs could not be the problem.  I had been drinking plenty of water so that should not be a problem.  That leave sodium.  I normally eat a higher sodium diet since I'm used to processed foods and I probably had been getting very little sodium over the last couple days.

I ate my "real" lunch of a salad with balsamic dressing (prepackaged), whole grain crackers and turkey meat.  I felt better later in the day.  I at a "real" dinner too.  I made a shrimp stir fry with brown rice.  It was delicious. 

So...I guess I am done.  I made it only two and a third days.  I am getting better at making the smoothies so I am going to continue to have them for breakfast and then try to continue to eat well balanced other meals and snacks. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Smoothie Diet Day # 2

I think I know now how baby birds feel.  Drinking smoothies is like having someone chew up your
food for you.  Or maybe like baby food.  At least now I know what to do if I ever have major dental work and cannot chew. 

If you read yesterday's post, you know I am not loving this.  The only thing that kept me going for day two was that the scale rewarded me this morning!  I needed to make the smoothies more appealing to my taste buds though so I started playing with the recipes. 

For the white smoothie I used a pear instead of an apple, frozen banana, nonfat plain yogurt rather than greek, nonfat milk, and water.  I was supposed to include raw nuts as a healthy fat, but did not want them in my smoothie so I ate the almonds separately.  This worked out much better than yesterday mainly because the extra liquid made it more drinkable.  I also started using an extra large straw as well so I could do something else with my morning besides drinking a smoothie.

I still needed a snack though so I had a piece of string cheese and a mandarin orange in the late morning.  BTW...I have been addicted to mandarin oranges lately.

The red smoothie for lunch went better as well because I again added more liquid and used a bigger straw.  Today I did raspberries, blueberries, nonfat yogurt, nonfat milk, protein powder and chia seeds.  I drank it all!  I'm two for two at this point.

Hungry, really hungry.  I need to find something better to do for lunch because these red smoothies do not cut it.  It's basically fruit and protein powder which is not keeping me full so I try to stretch out my snacks to keep me full through the afternoon.  I added more fruit too.  I had some crackers, turkey, an apples and two mandarin oranges.  I grazed all afternoon.  I think I'm going to eat a real lunch tomorrow.

For dinner it was green smoothie time.  Feeling confident, I use spinach, apple, nonfat yogurt, nonfat milk, and grapes.  Let's just say I'm now two for three.  This was way too thick and apple-y.  I ran out of pears so I used an apple, which just did not work.  I'm done with apples in smoothies and need to stock up on pears instead.  I only drank half of the smoothie and then had a few pistachios for my healthy fat.  I was surprisingly full though from what I did have because it was so thick.  I also had some carrots and tomatoes as an appetizer because the smoothies do not have many veggies and I usually eat a veggie tray each night before dinner. 

After dinner I went to the store to stock up on more fruit to try different kinds of smoothies tomorrow.  I forgot the popcorn though!  Popcorn is my evening snack of choice because it is crunchy and takes a long time to eat.  I had some soy nuts for a snack instead. 

Overall I am snacking way too much.  I am following the rules though of having protein and fat in each snack, but I had way too many snacks today.  I definitely need something more substantial for lunch tomorrow.  I am not craving any sweets, probably due to the insane amount of fruit I'm eating, but I want meat!  I was practically drooling at my husband's dinner.  I'm having little bit of turkey each day, but that is all for meat.  I can't say I'm feeling any better yet, in fact, all this fiber is making me incredibly bloated and I look like I'm about four months pregnant. 

I think I'm learning some good things about how to put together a healthy meal, but I am not understanding the point of putting it all in a blender.  Having fruit, yogurt and nuts for breakfast sounds great!  A spinach salad for dinner with some lean protein (shrimp or chicken), balsamic vinaigrette, and crushed nuts would be divine.  

On to day 3....

Monday, March 25, 2013

Smoothie Diet Day # 1

Day 1 of the smoothie diet started later in the day than planned because I had a doctor appointment in the morning and had to fast for blood work.  I made the first smoothie at about 11am.   The morning smoothie is a "white" smoothie, lunch is "red" and dinner is "green".  There are multiple recipes in the book for each.  I tried out my new blender and it's "smoothie" function and it worked pretty well.  There were still a few chunks, but overall much easier than the old blender. 

Apple Pie Smoothie:
Red apple
Raw almonds
Greek yogurt
Fat free milk

I did not like it.  I did not like it at all.  I tried to drink it and managed to get about half down over the course of 90 minutes and then gave up.  I like apples, but not apple juice and I have never cared for the texture of greek yogurt.  I am going to switch to regular yogurt tomorrow even though I am supposed to use greek for the high protein, but I just cannot deal with the chalky texture.

I made lunch at about 2:30pm.  I admit I am already looking forward to eating a snack so I can chew some real food.

Ruby Red Frostie:
Protein powder
Chia seeds
Water (not in recipe, but needed)

This one is tasting much better than the one this morning...probably because it is all fruit.  It takes a long time to drink one of these things though.  I guess eating a meal does too, but for some reason I just want to down these things.  I only drank about half of it.  I am already questioning how long I am going to do this for.

Snack time!  This has been the best part of my food day so far.  Turkey meat and whole grain crackers.

Dinner time had me tempted to already give up on this since I was making my husband a steak, but I had my green smoothie.  I even color coordinated my straw.  This one was probably my favorite tasting smoothie, but it was not cold enough.  As with the first two, I only drank half when I decided I had enough. 
Green Smoothie:
Fat free milk
Chia seeds

The half smoothie did not fill me up for dinner so I had more crackers and turkey.  Then for my official snack later in the evening I had popcorn.  I had a little bit extra for snacks, but I think it evened out because I only drank half of each smoothie. 
I have to say this day was a struggle.  I worked from home today so I did not have much to distract me as I do in my usual day at work running I thought about food all day.  Since it was snowing and raining all day, and I worked from home, I did not get near the 10,000 steps in.  I only did in the mid 3,000's. 
Right now I am not feeling like I will get through five days of this, but we will see!

Juicing & Smoothies

Ever since I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead a couple months ago I have been trying to figure out how to incorporate juicing and/or smoothies into my diet.  Not so much to lose weight, but to be healthier.  I have many mysterious health ailments and doctors have thought I had all sorts of nasty things wrong with me but all the tests come back negative (although still waiting on some) and they remain stumped.  I keep taking more and more pills to try to combat all of this which is similar to the people in the movie.  My body is not happy about something...maybe it is what I eat?  In the movie two of the people are overweight and have nasty autoimmune disorders.  They spent 60 days having nothing to eat but juice, mostly from vegetables, and lost a ton of weight and got off all their medication.  The third person was not overweight but had a problem with migraines and she did the juicing for 10 days and her migraines went away.  They proposed people give it a try for 10 days to "reboot" their bodies and get rid of toxins and cravings.  It was very inspiring so my husband and I decided we were going to start juicing!!!!   

We were so motivated.  We bought the fancy $300 juicer, I went to an organic market for the first time and stocked up on things I have never eaten before like kale.  We decided to replace one meal a day with juice.  I thought about doing a full 10 days of juice, but our enthusiasm quickly waned for a few reasons.

1. It takes a LOT of produce to make a glass of juice
2. The juicer is a PAIN to clean
3. Juice is NOT filling
4. Kale is not for beginners
5. It gave me a sugar rush that felt similar to the start of an anxiety attack

The third item is the main reason why this has not worked out for us.  We even tried adding a scoop of protein powder to the juice, but still was not filling.  I think the fancy juicer will need to wait until summer to make some lemonade for us. 

So then we moved on to the idea of smoothies.  These have fiber and should keep up more filled up.  A fellow blogger gave me an idea for a recipe...blueberries, banana, spinach, protein power, chia seeds and almond mile.  Back to the organic market I went and got chia seeds (yes, like the pet...they are super healthy!) and almond milk.  We had this for dinner one night and it actually filled us up!  The problem though was that we still wanted to chew something.  Given it was also the middle of winter, the hubby gave up on this pretty quickly since the idea of having a cold dinner was not appealing.

I kept on though trying to figure out how to get all this good stuff in me.  I started trying to make smoothies for breakfast...but of course continued to have problems.  They were not tasting good and the texture was like sludge.  Clearly, I was doing something wrong.  Also, my blender really sucks at this so I would be shaking it and opening it to stir and still ending up with little bits of spinach instead of it being blended.  Why can't I get this right?  And why can't Jamba Juice just be healthy!  I could drink those all day long.

I started looking online for smoothie recipes and came across a smoothie diet.  I diet a lot, but I am not usually one for fad diet...until now.  I believe there is something too all this that getting all these nutrients in my body will be better for me than my usually diet of pre-packaged Jenny Craig food.  I am going to try a smoothie diet by the Hollywood diet guru Harley Pasternack based on his book The Body Reset Diet.  There are three phases of 5 days each for 15 days total.  I can do that, right? 

Phase 1: 3 smoothies a day, plus two crunchy snacks
Phase 2: 2 smoothies a day, plus 1 meal, plus 2 snacks
Phase 3: 1 smoothie a day, plus 2 meals, plus 2 snacks

After the 15 days are up, then it is 1 smoothie a day, 2 meals, 2 snacks and you get 2 "free" meals a week.  All meals and snacks are based on being high in protein and fiber to stay full.  Meals should also include healthy fats and carbs.

There is also an exercise component of 10,000 steps per day plus 5 minutes of strength training. 

I am starting today (Monday) and hoping to make it through at least phase 1.  I got a new blender and a pedometer.  I will keep you all updated each day on how it is going!!!

Any advice?  Any smoothie recipes you want to share?  Have you tried juicing of smoothies???

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weight Watchers Week # 11

I should not even call this a week on a diet. I did not try at all and it shows. I gained 2.2. For those of you following along that means I've gained 4 pounds in two weeks. It's amazing hard it is to lose weight and how easy it is to gain. Ugh.

Week: +2.2
Overall: -5.2

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Where is Spring???

Young Adult 90's Flashback

On Friday I stayed home from work to do a "flush" per doctors orders (hope that's not TMI).  I did not know how long it would take so I took a day off when I knew I could be home alone and have a day of relaxation.  I did some blogging and watched a couple chick movies that I knew Chris would not like.  First up was Pitch Perfect that I really enjoyed.  If you like Glee, see this movie.  If you don't like Glee, skip it.  The second movie I watched was Young Adult which really depressed me, but I could not bring myself to turn it off.  Charlize Theron plays a woman named Mavis probably in her mid 30's who just got divorced. She sits around all day working as a ghost writer, watching reality TV with her dog, drinking and eating bad food.  I could totally see this happening to me if I were suddenly alone!  After the movie I couldn't sit and watch TV anymore, I had to get up and do I cleaned the house.  I was not going to be Mavis...even for one day!!!

On the bright side, the movie had some great songs from the 1990's in it.  Mavis sings this one over and over again and it has been in my head ever since.  It's called "The Concept" by Teenage Fanclub.

She wears denim wherever she goes
Says she's gonna get some records by the Status Quo
Oh yeah...Oh yeah...
Still she won't be forced against her will
Says she don't do drugs but she does the pill
Oh yeah...Oh yeah...

I didn't want to hurt you oh yeah...
I didn't want to hurt you oh yeah...

Finally Done!

It only took me two years, but I am finally done with the trip reports for a trip to Jamaica with a friend.  If you have been following that trip, here are the last two installments. 

Jamaica Me Smile Day 3

Jamaica Me Smile Day 4

I am trying to get back to regular posting on Postcards from Patrice so check back there often.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weight Watchers Week # 10

Fail.  Epic fail.  Life stress got me way off track for the last week and a half.  I couldn't even bring myself to go to the WW meeting.  My husband and I had some serious talks about some big decisions we needed to make and it really stressed me out.  I gained 1.8 pounds.  My official weigh in day was Thursday morning and I haven't gotten back on track.  Friday night I gorged myself while out with friends and then Saturday we went out for fondue and had all 4 courses.  Melted cheese and chocolate is healthy, right?  I tried today to get a plan to get back on track by going to Jenny Craig to stock up on food so I could start fresh Monday morning...but they were closed!  Ack.  They changed their hours since I had last been there on a Sunday.  I am going to try to get there tomorrow morning, but it is supposed to be snowing so we'll see.  I am sure I have gained more since Thursday than the 1.8.  I need motivation! 

Week +1.8
Overall -7.4

Friday, March 15, 2013

Amazing Talent!!!

Ever wonder what happened to the Disney princesses after ever after?  You must watch this me that it is worth 4 minutes of your life.  This guy is amazing!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dress You Up Cold Hearted Snake

Glee played to my love for 80's music tonite!  In case you missed it, here are the originals. 

Remember dressing up like Madonna??? 

And let's pay tribute to Paula Abdul before she went all crazy.  Despite what anyone thinks of her today, she was a huge pop star and obtained a level of success most only dream of.  Let's remember her at her high point.  After all, she dated Arsenio Hall, MARRIED Emilio Estevez...and brought us MC Skat Kat!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hey Look!

I finally wrote a new post for my travel blog!  I am trying to get that one going again too, but the posts take me a really long time to write.  I need to get back in my travel blogging groove to get the words to come more easily again. 

You can find a link on the side bar or here it is below.  The new post is day 2 of a trip so you may want to read day 1 if you want to start from the beginning.

Jamaica Me Smile (Day 2)

Jamaica Me Smile (Day 1)

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cous Cous the Bored Lion

Somewhere in middle of nowhere California is a private animal park named Cat Haven where a lion named Cous Cous recently killed a woman who was cleaning his enclosure.  The problem here is the word "enclosure".  Big cats do not like being held captive and I am sad whenever I hear a story like this.  It is sad for the woman killed, but also sad for the cat because he was killed as well.  I read that the cat was in a separate cage while the main cage was being cleaned.  Cous Cous was able to use his giant paw to open the door and hit the woman so hard across the head that it broke her neck and killed her.  Cous Cous then played with her body and would not leave it alone so he was shot and killed.

I am so torn on issue of captive animals.  I am a huge animal lover and struggle with the idea of eating meat, but I still do it so I am a hyocrite.  Without places like this for people to see animals there may not be the interest in saving them.  But on the other hand these animals are miserable. I refuse to ever got to a zoo again because of the way the animals are kept in small areas and just pace.  It makes me so sad. 

I have two cats who we used to keep indoors to keep them "safe" as we have been tought.  One them is now institutionalized and is too frightened to go outside now.  The other one was so depressed and bored being inside that after five years we decided to let him go outside.  We have been very lucky that nothing has happened to him, but he is so much happier when he gets to go outside.  Being that it is currently the middle of winter, he has cabin fever.  I play with him every day, but he loves to hunt and kill.  He is a murderer.  Another thing I struggle with.  I liked it better when he would chase thing and get some exercise, but not catch anything.  Now he catches stuff.  Sometimes he eats it and sometimes he just plays with it.  He does not like it when his little friends no longer play with him.

Cous Cous I am sure was just bored and the woman was a toy to him.  Some are now blaming her because she was talking on her cell phone at the time and not paying attention to the cat, but blaming the victim is not going to change anything.  Wild animals kill, they are not domesticated just because they are put in a cage.

RIP Cous Cous and your keeper.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Weight Watchers Week # 9

I am not really sure how this happened, but I lost 1.4 pounds this week!  I tracked only for about half the week and of course the days I didn't track were the bigger eating days with chips and fajitas.  I have no plans of giving up Mexican food.  I think this week may have been partially due to my thyroid medicine being adjusted so hopefully that will help me get a little more of a loss each week.  I am still on track at 9.2 pounds down in 9 weeks but it feels really slow.  I do feel like I have a good balance though.  Some weeks I indulge a little and others I don't.  It definitely shows up on the scale but I am ok with it.  I am now completely off of caffeine and sweet and low which is an accomplishment.  I have also been eating fruit for snacks quite a bit (I am in love with mandarin oranges right now) and actually had a craving for a banana!  I unfortunately found a new salty crunchy snack that I love and had a couple times in the afternoon instead of fruit.  Pops chips are very tasty.  I like the plain flavor but not really the BBQ or cinnamon sugar.  They are crispy and salty and yummy.  This past week I would say has been the first time that I noticed that I look smaller.  My clothes have definitely been fitting better but I didn't notice anything in the mirror until just recently.

What are your favorite snacks???

Week -1.4
Total -9.2

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The TV Hiatus

Why do TV shows go on "hiatus" so often?  It really ruins the flow of a show. 

They only work part of the year to start with and then two or three times a year there is a month or so break.  I don't get these kinds of breaks so why should they?  I am lucky to get 5 weeks vacation a year but it is a struggle to get it all in because nobody does my work while I am gone so I usually end up working extra late nights and weekends before and after a vacation to make up for it.  Oh and I can only take one week at a time.  What I would give to be able to take two or three weeks off at once!  Only twice since I started working after college have I had a two weeks off.  The first time was for when I got married (10 years ago) and the second time was when I was in between jobs and moving from CA to VA (8.5 yeas ago).  So although I had two weeks off, packing and moving was not much of a vacation. 

I wonder if TV shows lose viewers who do not come back after a hiatus?  I would much prefer a shortened season that goes straight through.  Even on holidays...we all have DVR's now so we won't miss it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


We have been really lucky here in northern Virginia the last couple of winters.  It has snowed, but not enough to even bother shoveling.  Whenever it snows just a little my husband and I debate whether to shovel or let it melt.  If we don't shovel and it doesn't melt, well, our driveway will be an ice skating rink.  I get excited each year for the first snow fall because it is so pretty, but shoveling really really sucks.  It looks like our luck has run out though.  I live somewhere on the line between blue and purple.  C'mon blue!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's March!

I made it through another January and February!  Yipppeee!!!!  As you all know, I hate the cold weather and winters here in Virginia.  March is the point where emotionally I believe winter is over and good times will be here again.  I suffer a bit from the winter blues each year but this year was not so bad since it was the first year where I recognized it and tried to do something about it rather than wallowing in it.  Soon there will be the smell of mulch in the air and my husband will be glued to the TV watching March Madness.  There will be a sprinkling of nice days where everybody wants to be outside and on their decks.  Daffodils will start popping out of their winter homes.  I know it is still technically winter and a big snow storm is brewing for next week but as Barry Manalow said, "looks like we made it".

Weight Watchers Week # 8

This week was a mixed bag.  I did not track and was off track part of the week and then pulled it together at the end for a 0.8 pound loss.  I admit, I did think of skipping the meeting this week and giving up, but I re-motivated myself.  My pants are all fitting better which is nice, but the vacation is far enough away that my motivation is waning.  I know once the vacation gets closer that I will start getting frantic. I have just bounced around the last 3 or 4 weeks with no real progress.  The key is I need to stop cooking/baking for other people, which is no fun, but I make yummy food for other people for various reasons and then I end up tasting and eating the same thing.  I am going to set a new small goal that I get to 10 pounds in the next two weeks. 

Week -0.8
Total -7.8