Friday, October 28, 2011

New toys are always fun

This week I got two new toys from Amazon that are helping the weight-loss fight.

Cuisinart CSB-76 SmartStick 
200-Watt Immersion Hand Blender
First I received my Cuisinart immersion blender, shown at the right. I bought this model on the recommendation of Bariatric Foodie. I’ve always wanted one, but they were too expensive. This one was less than $30 on Amazon. I can make my morning shakes much more easily. Previously I used a Blender Bottle, but that took LOTS of shaking since I put so many extras in my shakes. I’ve also used the blender stick to chop up the rosemary apricot chicken salad from Trader Joe’s. I simply sank the stick into the bowl. It left a few pieces bigger than I’d like, but I much prefer washing one piece of equipment than dissembling a food processor. I look forward to pureeing my soups. The only thing it doesn’t do well is chop ice. The instructions tell you to blend only crushed ice.

PB2 powdered peanut butter,
and with chocolate, right.
My next purchase was also at Bariatric Foodie’s suggestion, PB2. I tried to buy this a few weeks ago but the supplier wasn’t able to come through and the order was canceled. This time I ordered the peanut butter and chocolate peanut butter flavors. This is powdered peanut butter with 85% of the fat removed, so there are only 1.5g of fat (1g in the chocolate flavor) in a 2 tablespoon serving—compare that to the 16g found in most brands. So far I’ve used the chocolate in my morning protein shake and it gives it a nice nutty flavor. You also can reconstitute it with water to make peanut butter. Discovering fresh-made peanut butter at one of the stores where I shop was the beginning of the end of my previous weight-loss efforts post band. But this peanut butter looks like it’ll be a helper.

See you next week.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

No reason to go AWOL—I just did

I didn’t write a blog entry yesterday and I’m just now getting over the guilt. My goal is to write every weekday so I keep my weight loss efforts in the front of my brain.

No big reason I didn’t write yesterday. My sister called me at the time I normally write and we chatted over an hour. After I got home and tried to eat dinner, I tried to come up with a topic, but my mind was empty. I figured you didn’t want to hear about how my dinner didn’t stay down. I think 3-day old pulled pork isn’t quite soft enough for a third meal. I ended up with pistachios and they stayed down fine. I’ve gotten better at eating at restaurants. I take small bites and set down the fork in between. Still, I’ll occasionally get stuck and have to fast-walk to the restroom. One time, when I thought I was alone, I took care of the stuck stuff and cleaned up. A woman in another stall looked at me all concerned when she came out and asked if I was bulimic. I assured her I wasn’t and explained how the band lets food get stuck sometimes, but I don’t think she believed me.

The upshot of my sister’s phone call is that she and my mom don’t want to brave the Thanksgiving traffic, so they’re staying home and dining with our aunt. That leaves me and the daughter free. Haven’t decided if I’m going to cook a small turkey, cook something else, or just go out to a fancy place for dinner. We did some serious cleaning last night and can actually see the entire dining room table for the first time in years. The daughter even put on a new tablecloth (a plastic one from Walmart) and trimmed it to fit. We bought new red place settings from Target and this year we were going to finally coordinate. Oh well, it’s nice to have a clean table. Plus it gives our cats a new perch from which to stalk the parakeets and canary.

My eating has been great these past few days, except for the stuck episode last night. I accidentally bought the full-fat Greek yogurt—the packages look so similar, and I thought it tasted a bit rich—but that seemed to pose no problem because I’m down another 1.8 pounds, for a total loss of 86.9.  That seems to be my pattern—stay the same weight for a few days, then drop 1.8.

I’ll take it!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Everything is A-OK

Today was a good day. It wasn’t outstanding, just nice and normal. My weight is holding steady. I didn’t really think “I’m on a diet today,” I just ate my food and went on my way.

I do have Thanksgiving on the brain. I’ve decided I’m cooking turkey this year and will have my mom and sister visit. They need to see the canary and puppy we’ve added since June, their last visit. I love this time of year for food magazines. The holidays are like the Super Bowl, with all of the publications pulling out the stops for The Best Holiday Ever! As I read them during lunch, I pretend I’m going to make all these delicacies. They don’t call it food porn for nothing.

We used to celebrate my husband’s birthday on Thanksgiving, because his birthday falls on or near it. I would make his favorite, beef Wellington, which is not difficult to make, but just takes all day to do it. But since my husband is not at home anymore, and can’t eat by mouth anyway, I’m making turkey.

The last time I made turkey, I brined it for a few days but seriously undercooked it. This year I’m getting a meat thermometer to ensure it’s done right. Turkey is a great WLS-friendly meat. My mom’s not a big eater and my sister’s on Weight Watchers, so I can take it easy on the sides and everyone can enjoy the feast. And we’ll have turkey for days.

I may experiment with some sugar-free dishes. I already make a great sugar-free cranberry sauce. I buy a bag of fresh cranberries, wash them, then put them in water and let them boil until they pop and the water thickens. Then I stir in 1 cup of bulk Splenda (not the packets). You can add more if you like it sweeter. Stevia probably would work well, but I haven’t tried it. I’ve added mandarin oranges to the mix occasionally. My next experiment will be sugar-free pumpkin pie, with a crust made of almond flour. The recipe on the can uses only 1/2 cup of sugar, so that should be easy to replace.

This year I’m excited about cooking again, which I don’t do much because it’s just me and my daughter. I’m also excited to have people visit, and it gives the daughter and me a real excuse to clean up!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I love the weekend

Weekends used to be hell on my weight loss because a week of deprivation would cause an orgy of overindulgence, then I’d have to really cut back to make up for it.

But now, my weekends usually include lots of shopping, which means walking, which means exercise. I walked off 1.4 pounds on Saturday. I actually braved the mall, since I had some stuff to pick up. We started with lunch at Nordstrom. I got a white bean turkey chili that was to die for. Of course I couldn’t finish it, so I had the rest for dinner that night. We walked the hell out of that mall, then went to World Market and walked some more. I found Torani sugar-free syrup in Peppermint to add to my growing library of flavors.

I’ll admit we did stop at Godiva for a piece of chocolate. We got a fruity piece with raspberries and blueberries sitting in a canoe of chocolate. My daughter and I split it the next morning. I find really good chocolate so satisfying that one piece will do—especially when you only buy one piece.

Sunday found us having dinner at a barbecue restaurant. I got the pulled pork platter. The meat was so tender and went down easy. I’ll be having it for dinner the next few nights. I’ve been craving some barbecue and I’m glad I could find some to satisfy me. I’ve purchased premade barbecue before and it wasn’t the same. The barbecue sauce is always too sweet. I don’t have dumping problems, but I want meat, not ketchup.

I’ve happily figured out that I won’t need to buy Halloween candy this year because I won’t be home until late and the daughter is going to a party. We have never gotten more than a couple of trick-or-treaters because we’re a gated complex of mostly young adults. In the past, I’ve tried to buy candy I don’t like, but the problem is that there isn’t any candy I really don’t like. And kids don’t like when you give out liver.

See you tomorrow.