Friday, September 30, 2011

Seemed like a good idea at the time

Soups are one thing I really enjoy in this post-banded life. Some of the canned soups, especially Progresso’s, have lots of protein.

I picked up a lentil soup and had it sitting in my office the past few weeks. (Side note: I keep a few cans of soup around so I’ll always have a handy lunch.) The lentil has 9g of protein per 1-cup serving, 2 servings per can. I thought I’d boost the protein with addition of texturized vegetable protein. I bought it in bulk at Winco. TVP is defatted soy flour and  looks like a lighter-colored Grape Nuts and has no fat, low carbs and 15g of protein per quarter cup. 

I poured about a half-cup into a container and added water to soften it up. While it softened, the TVP smelled like oatmeal. So far, so good.  I added the TVP to the soup and heated it in the office microwave. The soup came out a gray-brown with white flecks and I really hoped it tasted better than it looked. Sadly, no. I’d anticipated that the TVP would pick up the soup flavor, as tofu will do. Nope. I had lentil soup with rubbery particles in it. Chewy particles harder to masticate than calamari. I managed about a half-cup before I gave up. No more TVP for me.

Today I planned to eat a little more. I think I’m not eating enough, because even though I’m eating hardly anything, my weight was up 0.6 this morning. I know it’s not the time of the month because I’m too old for that now. I am an odd loser. When I was in Weight Watchers and was weighed weekly, I’d lose a lot, lose a little, gain a tiny bit or plateau, then lose a lot. Today I brought string cheese and Greek yogurt to work. I think I’ll work on the yogurt on the drive home and maybe the cheese for after that. I had a QuestBar in the early afternoon and it finally chased away the taste of the lentil/TVP mess.

This weekend we have a trip to IKEA planned, so I’ll get plenty of exercise doing all the aisles of that big bastard of a store. We need new throw pillows. I’m looking forward to a couple of Swedish meatballs and a few more meals from the leftovers.

See you next time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Breaking a streak—not in a good way

Since I started conscious eating and following the band rules, I’ve avoided making emergency dashes to the restroom during a meal.

Until last night.

My daughter and I went to an Asian coffeehouse. It’s really a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, but they also offer Asian drinks such as boba tea and a short food menu. We ordered tuna salad crepes. The tuna salad part was great—light on the mayo and with the addition of corn. Unfortunately, I ate part of the crepe, and that proved to be the problem. I thought that since it was so light it would just slide through, but no. I ended up dashing to the restroom (which actually is quite nice in this place). When I got back to the table, I felt hungry, so I ate a little more. Mistake. I should remember that once I make a trip to the restroom, nothing will stay down for hours. But I didn’t, and I made a few more trips.

I thought my little adventure might pay off at the scale, but I was actually up a few ounces. Strange, because my pants are getting baggier. I’m not going to sweat it; I stuck to my plan today. I started with a peach-mango 50g protein shake. Since it’s not coffee or chocolate based, I couldn’t use my regular flavor enhancers, so I added some of my daughter’s Torani peach syrup. It’s not sugar free, and that added 70 calories. It wasn’t as satisfying as my chocolate shakes. Perhaps I need to get both peach and mango SF syrups, and maybe even add some vanilla. For my midafternoon snack, I had the apple pie-flavored QuestBar (good suggestion, Eggface). This one is very good, and I wish I would have heated it, but I was in a hurry.

Tonight’s dinner will not be a tuna salad crepe. I have a cabinet and fridge full of soups, fat-free beans and other goodies, so I won’t go hungry.

See you tomorrow.

Late update: Turns out the tuna salad I bought at the health food store was pretty dry and did not go down well. We'll it went down but didn't stay down. Ended up having a bunch of pistachios for dinner. They stayed down. Better have beans tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hot piece of heaven on a plate

I tried a Quest Bar today. I read about them on another blog (thanks, Eggface!) and they sounded appealing. Each has 170 calories with 20g of protein and 6g of fat, and the 24g of carbs are offset by 18g of fiber. Yeah, that sounds good, but how do they taste? I bought a case of the chocolate brownie flavor and brought one to work. I zapped it in the microwave for 20 seconds. It smelled like a chocolate brownie. It tastes like a thick, chewy chocolate confection. Besides tasting great, I’ve felt full for the two hours since I ate it. I also bought one apple pie flavored bar and I’m trying that tomorrow.

My weight was the same this morning, but my clothes are looser. Had to get an early start today because my daughter had a doctor appointment at the crack of dawn—8 a.m. I mixed up my usual 50g chocolate protein shake with added espresso powder and 4 pumps of SF Torani syrup. But today I accidentally put in the brown sugar cinnamon flavor instead of chocolate. An interesting change. I might try that again.

I also have protein powder in a peach-mango flavor and I can’t help but think some mango and/or peach syrup would enliven that.

The only problem with getting an early start is that I finished my morning shake earlier than usual, so I was hungry earlier. I just made a cup of coffee and told myself that I needed to wait until noon or later for lunch. If I don’t have discipline, I can artificially impose it and it’s almost the same thing. I’m proud of myself that I’m not eating between meals.

My only regret yesterday was that dinner could have been better. Had some errands to run and we went to a new health/grocery store that opened nearby. I bought some almonds and ended up eating those instead of having a proper dinner. Then I had some pistachios later at home. Tonight I’m having some “diet chicken salad”—that’s what they called it—we bought last night. I feel the need for meat.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Not the result I expected

I woke up excited this morning expecting the scale to have a nice lower number. I did exactly as I’ve been doing all week. The numbers have been going down. I shooed the cat off the scale—she’s a trim 12.2 pounds—and hopped on. Up 0.4. Whaaaat?

OK, any number of things could have caused it. Maybe I ate more cottage cheese/bacon/sunflower seeds than I thought. Maybe my food was saltier than it should have been. Maybe dinner was too big. Maybe I just had to use the bathroom.

The point is, I encountered a tiny bump in the long road. In the past, how many of us would think, “That’s it, my diet’s ruined, it will never work, I’m meant to be fat, I’ll never be thin, might as well eat the entire top two shelves of the refrigerator …”? At work, I mess up a spreadsheet, I fix it and move on. Doesn’t mean I’m a bad worker. By that token, a tiny, tiny gain does not make me a bad human. “I am not a number,” as The Prisoner used to say. I am not my weight.

I’ve heard other banders say they don’t want to do the shakes because they want to eat more normally. That’s good if it works for them. For me, I think I will continue with the protein shakes for now. It’s an easy way to get in all my protein. I know I won’t eat like this the rest of my life, but for now it’s working, and that’s the important thing. Another plus of following the program—haven’t had any food make a return trip, and that’s a benefit.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My body is a laboratory

Interesting that eating early and often lets me lose more weight.

Sunday was another sleep-in day because I just can’t be bothered going to bed at a reasonable hour during the week. I woke at—let’s just say the Packers game was into the second half, and it started at 1 p.m. our time. I started my eating day with lattes from my Tassimo. The milk disks contain 2% milk and are about 60 calories. I experimented with a few syrup combos that were less than satisfying, but now I know what I don’t like.

Because of my late start, I didn’t have anything substantial until early evening, and I had a 28g protein shake (Chike vanilla). Daughter and I did errands and shopping until almost 10. Once home, I had to feed the critters—we have a Chihuahua puppy, 2 adult cats, 3 guinea pigs, 1 rabbit, 1 robo-dwarf hamster, 2 parakeets and a canary.  After the animals were fed and the puppy put in her enclosure, I had leftover chili. There wasn’t as much left as I thought, so I supplemented it with some Trader Joe’s goat cheese that comes in a log covered in blueberries smeared on multigrain corn crackers. I topped it off with pistachios. As I watched TV Saturday night, I transferred the nuts into serving-size bags (1/2 cup for unshelled) so I’ll know how much I’m eating.

When I weighed myself Monday morning, I didn’t lose any weight as I had every other day last week, and I wonder if it’s because of my lack of eating. It’s Monday, so I’m back on track. Had my 50g protein shake on the way to work, my cottage cheese with sunflower seeds and bacon bits for lunch, and a 28g protein shake this afternoon (Chike orange, and it tastes like a 50-50 bar). Tonight the daughter wants to go shopping, so I’ll probably have soup at a mall restaurant.

Right now, my only exercise is from walking the aisles shopping, but at least it’s moving. I know I’ll have to add more, but it’s a matter of getting to work earlier so I can do time on the elliptical machine in the company gym. Yes, we have a free gym at work, with showers. It doesn’t have all the machines I’d like, but it’s better than nothing. And did I mention it’s free?

See you tomorrow.