Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Zoodles Shrimp Scampi

On a whim, I bought a Veghetti vegetable spiralizer.  I've seen videos and such where zucchini has replaced pasta, and I like zucchini, so thought it might be worth a shot.

Here was my finished meal:

The recipe:

1 TBSP butter
2 tsp olive oil
1 mushroom, diced (optional)
finely chopped garlic (I used about 2 cloves)
3 oz raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 small zucchini, spiraled
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
salt, pepper
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
red pepper flakes to taste

1.  heat olive oil and butter in skillet
2.  add mushroom and garlic and saute on medium heat
3.  toss in shrimp and cook on both sides until pink
4.  Add zucchini noodles, toss with shrimp'
5.  season with lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper
6.  toss all together until noodles cook down
7.  toss in cheese and red pepper flakes
8.  Serve immediately

Calories: 385
Fat:  27.1
Carbs:  8.9
Protein:  28

Granted, the fat content is a bit high, but I couldn't really finish this, and adding more shrimp and zoodles, could have easily stretched this to 2-3 servings.  I don't think I would have needed to adjust the fat content.  This is one of those recipes worth taking a shot.  The lemon and garlic were quite nice and the texture of the zoodle wasn't all that bad.

Will I make it again?  Ask me when I am hungry again, because right now, I am stuffed!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

55.3% of Goal

As of this week, I am down 56.4 lbs.  I think in 14 weeks, that's a very good average.  In looking at the app I have on my phone, I am 55.3% to my goal, which is unrealistically set to 145 lbs, but I can be optimistic!  The surgeon said that he was hopeful I would lose at least 70% of my excess weight.  I don't want to jinx myself, but that goal doesn't seem too unreasonable at the rate of success I am having.  I would say I don't want to brag...but I really do!  And where else can I do that, than at my own blog.  :)

I finished up the healthy behaviors class this evening.  This was week 4, and it covered stress.  I do allow stress to get to me.  I think it's a big factor in my depression at times, and I most likely bring it on myself due to unrealistic expectations.  I'd like to say I am working on that, but honestly, I am sometimes not even aware until it's too late.  But, be that as it may, trying to be present and mindful can make a big difference.

I am trying to find some "before" pictures to share and compare.  It's more difficult than I anticipated because I have avoided cameras for the most part.  Although, I know there are many snapped of me holding a grandchild by their parent, taken more unaware, and then posted and tagged on Facebook. Oh yay.   So, I will gather some of those and post them soon.  I think they are mainly face shots though, as I don't know of many full body shots out there.

Today is Saturday and I had a nice sleep in until my dogs decided to pounce on me and let me know they wanted to be outside.  It's still relatively early however, so I think I will enjoy this lazy time before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.  

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fat Head Pizza

I have been craving pizza flavors for a week now.  I know I can't eat pizza because of the crust, but everything that goes on the pizza is relatively ok for me.  I heard about a thing called fat head pizza, and dismissed it because it does contain almond flour.  But, the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I became.  So I looked up the recipe and what goes into it and decided that it was worth a shot.  However, I knew there was no way I could consume an entire pizza, even as leftovers throughout the week.  I knew it would be a treat meal, in a way and not something I would want to eat many days in a row, but more of an occasional thing.  So, the idea came to me to make the dough into several small pizza crusts, bake them, and then freeze them for later use.  Here is how it went:

The recipe:

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T cream cheese
3/4 C Almond Flour
1 egg
pinch of salt
seasonings as desired.

1.  In a bowl, add the cheeses and flour, microwave for 1 minute on high
2.  stir well until appears to be stringy and hard to combine.  Microwave 30 seconds
3.  Add egg, salt and desired seasonings (I used thyme, rosemary, garlic powder and oregano)
4.  Mix well until a dough like consistency
5.  Press onto parchment lined pan (I divided into 6 mini pizzas) in a rounded shape with wet hands
6.  Using a fork, dock the circles well to minimize puffiness while baking
7.  Place in 425 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes or until browned (I flipped them at this point and baked an additional 3 minutes to make them a bit crispier
8.  add favorite toppings
9.  Bake an additional few minutes until toppings and cheeses are well melted

Here are some photos of the process.
Here is the dough divided into 6 parts.  I docked it with my fork to eliminate puffiness

Once they were baked, I flipped them over to brown both sides
My pizza with onions, mushrooms, pepperoni and olives.

And this was all I could eat.  Obviously, if I make this again, I need to make smaller pizza's; perhaps 8-10 portions.

I put the other half of my pizza in the fridge as a meal or snack to enjoy tomorrow.  I was extremely full after eating this portion, but it is a very dense and fat ridden food.  I believe this would be perfect for the Keto diet.  I am not personally on that diet, but a higher protein and fat diet is what I mainly have right now.  And, I am avoiding foods with flour right now.  Almond flour is different, and the amount was quite small when divided among so many portions.

Overall, I would call it a success.  It did taste good, didn't make me feel nauseated, and helped me get over that pizza craving issue.

When I recalculated the nutrition and divided the portions into 10 servings, here were the numbers:
Crust only:
Calories - 113
Fat (g) - 9.3
Carbs (g) - 2.6
Protein (g) - 6.8

Adding the desired toppings will change the totals of that, but it's a good starting point.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week 14 POST OP

Today is my 54th birthday, and I am enjoying a day off from work.  Yesterday, I treated myself to a trip to the mall and trying on clothes to see how they fit.  Honestly, I was a bit surprised to find that I could wear a size 11/12 now!  I bought 2 pairs of jeans because I have been wearing the same size 14 jeans everyday for a while now.  The bad side is, today I wore the new jeans and they really are a bit too tight still.  I am debating whether I will wear them to work or not.  Honestly, the size 14's used to fit me the same way, but not anymore!  I saw a purse at Macy's that I really liked, and now have been debating all day whether I want to go back down there and buy it for myself.  What to do, what to do...?

I updated my weight chart a day early.  True, tomorrow is supposed to be my weigh in day, but since I am home today, I thought I could go ahead and weigh in anyway.  Work day mornings are sometimes a bit hectic for me.  This week I am down another 2.3 lbs, which brings me to a total loss of 56.4 lbs since November 15, 2016.  My goal was to be under 200 lbs by my birthday, and I definitely exceeded that goal.  Realistically, I have tried not to put date expectations on myself, and I continue to feel that way, but for many, many years I have always had some idea in the back of my mind that I'd like to be under 200 by the next birthday...and this year, I actually accomplished it.  It's pretty amazing if I take the time to let it all in and truly appreciate it.

Jim spoiled me pretty good for my birthday.  Unfortunately, he couldn't be here, but he hid some presents around the house.  He bought me a USB Superdrive for my new Mac Notebook and a Victorian Doll house with furniture.  I love doll houses.  I always wanted one when I was a girl, but of course, never had anything as extravagant as that.  Now I do.  My granddaughters are going to want to play with it.  He was smart though, and bought more pieces to the dollhouse I bought for the grandkids to play with so they won't be allowed to mess with Grandma's special one.  

Last evening, my son, Brandon and his family treated me to dinner at the Red Lobster.  I enjoyed shrimp skewers with some coleslaw and green beans.  I still have 1/2 the meal in the fridge.  It will be something I can enjoy tonight or even tomorrow for lunch at work.  Today, they said they were going to drop by in the afternoon too.  I received a text happy birthday from my oldest son, Jeremy, and a phone call from Jordan in Hawaii.  And yesterday, I heard from my son, Trey on his mission.  He is doing well, and that's the best present of all.  Even though, I have been home all alone today, I haven't let any depression seep in.  I feel loved and blessed and have nothing I should be sad about. In past years, I have let that happen to me, but I am not going to allow any pity parties today.  Everything is fine.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Amazing Journey

I looked back on all my progress and posts since my surgery and it's really been an amazing journey.  One of the main things I have picked up from the Healthy Behaviors classes I have been taking is that it's important to be present and aware of where I am, what I am doing and the steps I am taking.  Instead of just letting life happen around me,  I need to steer the direction it takes me.  A day can sometimes go by in a blur without really being mentally present and aware.  It's a strange phenomenon and I think I often allow this to happen when I have to deal with unpleasant things, but when I stop to be more aware, time moves along a little slower and I can participate more.  It's sounding more complicated than it really is.  But I think the most important aspect of this is that when head hunger or temptations come my way, being focused in what's affecting me at that moment to cause those feelings, and stopping to ask myself why I feel the way I do, and then if I truly can and do need or want what I am "craving" then I can make that decision with better information.

Food.  It's constantly on my mind, unless I am busy at work or working out on my treadmill, but maybe it's like that for everyone?  My husband has never had a weight issue, but when he is home, he eats almost constantly all day.  Lots of little snacks of this and that, but none ever very healthy.  When he is at work, he doesn't allow himself to eat much because he doesn't enjoy feeling overfull, especially since his work is mainly physical.  I admit that I sometimes have a difficult time watching him eat doughnuts, Cheetos, chocolate, etc.  I don't even necessarily want this stuff, but the idea of sitting and snacking along side of him enters my mind.  I am sure, down the road, when my sleeve isn't so constricted and I am able to eat more volume than I can now, those situations could be problematic and I will need to get a handle on my actions to avoid weight gain.  Just saying...it's a reality.  But, for now, I am trying to keep those actions and temptations under control.

Today being Sunday, I am doing my usual lazy day activities.  I did commit to a weekend step challenge and am in last place.  I told myself that I would try to get in a walk, either outside (since the snow is no longer an issue) or back on my treadmill.  I confess to being pretty lazy most weekends,  but really make up for it from Monday -Friday. This week, however, I have Monday and Tuesday off from work and plan on enjoying that time for myself.  Tuesday is my 54th birthday.  I plan on either that day or Monday, taking myself out for a clothes shopping spree.  Happy Birthday to me!  My size 14 jeans are getting fairly loose on me and after a few hours, bagging around my hips.  I doubt that I can comfortably wear a size 12, but I want to see if its a possibility.  Additionally, I plan on packing up the closet of clothes I own that are so large I don't even bother with them, and donating them to charity.  There are some really nice clothes in there too...but, I don't plan on wearing them again, so it would be best to let someone else appreciate them for awhile.

I also plan to take some current  photos and find some pre-surgery photos for a comparison to share here.  I haven't intentionally avoided this, but the time has gone by fast, and I haven't taken the opportunities that I could have.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Stepping Up

I updated my weight chart recently and noticed some discrepancies in weeks post-op and dates, etc.  I think I was even confused in some of these blog posts as far as the correct week I was on, etc.  I believe I have that all corrected now, however, so it feels more straightened out.  At least digitally.  I think my brain might still be confused though!

I have met my steps goals consistently for 4 weeks now, and the biggest motivator is being included in step challenges on my Fitbit.  I do find however, that I sometimes can't backdown from a challenge, and though I rarely win 1st place in the challenge (although I did win the week of 2/6-2/10) I am still very motivated to do my best effort.  This past Friday was one of those pushing myself a little too far and went a little bit overboard.  But, I could do it, and I am no worse for the wear, but here were the results.

I don't plan on being this extreme, at least with walking, all the time.  And I know that I really need to  add in some additional weight training to shake things up a little bit.  I am not overly fond of using weights though and am not even sure if I am capable of this, but was thinking I could add some push-ups or sit ups to my routine so that I am pushing my own body weight as opposed to adding weight to lift.  My 54th birthday is coming up in a few days and I honestly am not certain how much I should push this tired old body.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Goal Setting

Living in onederland is pretty awesome.  Now that I have lost 50+ pounds it's exciting to consider that I am looking so much more "normal" than I was previously, and feeling extremely better physically.  I still haven't set up any specific goals after dropping below 200 lbs, as that was kind of the main focus for so many years and I honestly lived with that dream to get under but secretly didn't believe it would ever happen.  So, here I am.

On my Fitbit, I set a mini goal to get to 185 lbs, so a few more pounds and I will be there.  I guess I could try and create something that breaks it down, so here is where my thinking is.  I will NOT set time limits on these goals, however.  I think time limits are a fast way to set up unrealistic expectations and then there is so much disappointment when the goal isn't achieved.  So, instead, I will just set these up as milestones.  Here is how they have gone so far:

Starting 247 11/15/2016
Under 240: 11/23/2016
Under 230: 11/27/2016
Under 220: 12/16/2016
Under 210: 1/4/2017
Under 200: 1/29/2017

I have finally updated my weight chart so it's fun to go in and take a look at the progress I have made.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

11 Weeks - Surgeon Office follow Up

This marks 11 weeks since surgery. I had an appointment with the surgeon's office and they seemed pleased with my progress.  Rachel said that I have lost about 41% of my excess weight.  She'd like me to drop another 20 lbs and then I can start to reintroduce whole grains.  Sounds like a party to me!  I believe I need to lose about 70% of my excess weight to get to that stage, so I think I will watch that so I can take the most advantage of what this post-op honeymoon period.

Many of the youtube vloggers I watch are coming up on their year post op.  Most have either reached or come very close to their goal weight.  It sure is exciting to see that happen.  And, it also makes me realize how many months I spent last year working towards getting this surgery and now the aftermath.  It hasn't been a super long time, but a lot has happened.

My weight loss peaked at the number I reported a couple days ago when I made it to Onederland.  I am pretty sure, however, I will make some more progress to report next week.  I'd like to get well under the 200 mark so I don't see that fluctuation bring me back above.

Between my new Aria scale and the doctor scale, it might actually put the Aria scale a little heavier.  That's quite a change. Usually doctor scales weight me a couple pounds heavier, but I was fully clothed in jeans, etc and I weighed in at just a bit over 201 lbs this morning.  I believe this morning in my altogether, I was only a  bit over a pound less than that.  Interesting.  I did pitch a mini-fit though.  We had some more snow this morning, so I wore a pair of boots and the nurse would not let me take them off before weighing.  I don't see that as being a very weigh in!  She said they had someone fall at the scale before, so for liability sake, no one is allowed to remove their shoes.  I grumbled enough about it that she let me go into my room, take my boots off while sitting down, and then she led me back to the scales to re-weigh.  It was nice of her.  I think I will try to be better prepared next time though and wear some sandals or something.  These things matter!  It will be May before I see them again, however, so weather could have drastically changed by then too.

One thing I did get while at the appointment, was a card to use in restaurants that should grant me a reduced price on menu items.  Such as, being allowed to order from the children's menu or the senior menu.  I am not sure how well these will work, but I will try it out this weekend.  My husband mentioned that he wanted to go eat out on Saturday afternoon.

Rachel also took me off the omeprazole and prescribed me some zantac instead.  She said that the omeprazole may cause some loss of calcium, and that's the last thing I need at this stage in my life.  I haven't really experienced acid reflux, which can be a problem after a sleeve procedure, but then again, the medication may have been preventing it.  I am very hopeful when I visit my pcp in April, more medications can be reduced or even eliminated.