Archive for July, 2012


Yesterday was a fantastic day!  I felt like my day at work went quickly (which is strange, I usually find that my days go slowly when I am anticipating something fun) and that I didn’t have to work hard to follow my health plan.

After work, I came home for a quick change of clothes and to pack for our night out.  When we were ready, we went to Red Lobster.  We wanted to go there because we had a beach honeymoon and we ate a lot of seafood while we were there–eating seafood helped us to celebrate our first year together the way we celebrated our marriage originally.  We also liked that most seafood is in the TSFL “leanest” category, so we could feel good about what we were eating (as long as we ordered the right things of course).

I ordered Lobster, Crab, and Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms, broccoli, and asparagus–all of which were delightful!  The only downside to my meal was that the Stuffed Mushrooms contained a high amount of sodium–1100mg!  To put that in perspective, those of us who do not need to watch our salt intake should get about 2300mg of salt each day.  Fortunately, I rarely add salt after my meal is cooked anymore, so I probably didn’t reach the limit for the day.  This is one more thing I love about Red Lobster (besides making me feel like I’m back on my honeymoon and being delicious), they are very transparent about their nutritional information and the nutrition facts for all of the dishes on their menu.  I am a big believer in transparency–it really is a must if we are to make good choices for ourselves.  For all of the seafood fans out there, they also have a lot of good looking recipes and tips for healthy cooking on their website; I look forward to trying one of their recipes at home!

I was also proud of myself because I didn’t have a single bite, nibble, or lick or their cheddar bay biscuits which have a smell and taste that used to get me every time.  We ordered a to go bag for them right away to help conceal the appeal of them while we were enjoying our meals.

Right after I was finished eating, I had a very intense hunger pang. I knew I wasn’t hungry, so until it went away I just kept drinking my water.  I hate when I finish eating a satisfying meal and then feel hungry.  Thankfully, it usually doesn’t last long, so if I wait it out I realize I don’t actually need to eat anymore.

Yesterday and today were great days for water–I easily got in all 80 ounces that I was shooting for each day this week.  This week I’m going to increase the amount of water by 8 ounces so I drink 88 ounces of water each day.

Today was a more difficult day at work, but it was a good kind of difficult–if that makes any sense!  I had a lot to do, but I would always rather be busy (the day moves faster and I get paid more when we are–both of which are always a good thing) than bored.  I did struggle to eat my meals on time, though, which makes things difficult.  Today, for example, I started one of my meals at 3:30, but didn’t actually finish it until close to 5!  Its hard to decide when to eat next when the window is so large!  It made me pay more attention to signs that I’m hungry or not hungry today since I didn’t have a definitive time to wait 3 hours from.  I also had to readjust my meal times twice today because I ate late twice.  I prefer to be in control of my meals and when I eat rather then just let them happen.

I ate my lean and green meal in two parts today.  I had the lean for breakfast (our hotel had free hot breakfast) and the green after work.  At the hotel I had a small piece of ham and a little bit of scrambled eggs.  I am always wary of scrambled eggs when I didn’t cook them, because they can have a lot of milk or cheese in them.  Later, I had an all veggie salad with a bit of vinegar and oil.

I had a fun, relaxing day yesterday, and a fairly good day today.  I hope my weigh in tomorrow goes as well as I think my week has gone!

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Anniversary

Just posing to let everyone know that I didn’t forget to blog today. My husband and I are having an electronics free night to celebrate our anniversary so you will all hear about my day tomorrow!

Week 8 – Sunday

I had an easy day today.  I did get up late, but I went to sleep on time so I’m not too worried about it.  I know I will be getting up on time tomorrow since I have work in the morning.  I will not, however, be going to sleep on time tonight, since I have a working N64 for the first time in like 8 years (I broke its coax cable a looong time ago and my brother bought an AV cable for it today) so I will be staying up to play it 🙂  DK64 ftw!

Today I got in all of my Medifast meals and got them in on time; I also got more than 80 ounces of water today.  We put together a quick meal for dinner today, 96/4 beef burgers with reduced fat cheese and roasted asparagus.  Today we tried our asparagus with a little olive oil and a bit of Ortega 40% reduced sodium taco seasoning.  It was a nice change, even though I find asparagus roasted with salt and pepper delicious as well.

I got to decide what I want to order for my next month of Medifast meals today and I am really excited!  Medifast just added two cereals to their product line and I am going to try both of them!  Cereal is something I have missed while I have been on the program, but no more!  They also added parmesan puffs and chili nacho puffs so I hope those are as good as they sound!

Tonight my husband and I planned on going for a walk and then heading over to a nearby park to shoot some hoops.  When we started our walk, I could feel my body starting to get super itchy so we decided to drive over to the park take a quick break and then shoot around.  We had a great time once my itch went away, I’m not sure if I just didn’t notice it because we were having such a good time or if it was because I wasn’t constantly moving–either way I’m glad I found a way to still get some activity in today.  Shooting around tonight really made me miss my basketball days.  I had such a good time and I want to continue playing basketball to get some activity throughout the week.

Off to play N64 (and I can feel good about this since I got in some movement today!)!!!!!!

This is a great post about the dangers of sugar and just how much sugar we actually consume!

L-Jay Health

Hi everyone! Monday, July 23, 2012 starts the first day of LJAY HEALTH 30 days of eating no refined sugar challenge.  The challenge will end on Friday, August 24, 2012. If you are looking to see increased fitness results or just an improvement of overall health you should join the challenge. This challenge will also test your mental strength as well!

If you are on Facebook, follow and Like my Facebook page to stay up to date on live post daily.- facebook.com/ljayhealth 

You can also find the Facebook link on the left side of this screen and click the Like button. The Facebook page will consist of other people who are also doing the challenge. Share ideas, stay motivated, share results all on the page!!

Things to know about Refined Sugar

Refined sugars consist of foods such as cakes, cookies, candy, table sugar, foods with high fructose corn syrup (donuts. chocolate…

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Week 8 – Saturday

Today was a busy day for me.  I started the day by meeting my future sister-in-law for lunch.  We went to Applebee’s (I know I just went there, but I know what I can have there and I find their food quite tasty).  I ordered plain grilled chicken, a side salad, and a side of broccoli.  I did really well, but I couldn’t finish my salad.  I decided that since I wasn’t hungry anymore it was best to leave it and have some more veggies later.

After that we met up with the other bridesmaids in her wedding and tried on a few different gowns.  I was really surprised, I could actually get into every dress I tried.  They didn’t fit, but I could get them on which made me feel really good.  I was worried that I wouldn’t even be able to get them over my hips or bust, but I did.  They were sizes 12 & 14.  The 14’s even fit my hips and waist, they just didn’t zip!!!!  A few more pounds and I should fit in nicely (I used to wear at least an 18, many times a 20).  I’m glad that I could get them on, even if they didn’t completely fit; it would have been very discouraging for me otherwise (even though 14 and 12 are still quite small for someone my weight).

When we finished up, I headed to my parents house to spend a little time with them and pick up the top tier of my wedding cake for my anniversary on Monday.  We decided to all go out for putt putt golf to spend some time together while still getting a little activity.  I actually didn’t come in last–which has nothing to do with my journey, but made me feel good none-the-less!

The next thing on the agenda was dinner.  We all went over to Eat n’ Park–as I mentioned before, its cheap & you can eat healthy there without anyone questioning you (plus they are very open about their nutritional information).  On the way over, I seriously considered having a garden burger or piece of chicken with a slice of cheese.  I kept telling myself, “I had all my protein today, but I’d really like to taste the meat & cheese…maybe if i just eat 1/2…”  I eventually decided that I only was considering it because I wanted to taste it.  I already ate my protein for the day so i made the decision to have a side of broccoli and nothing more.  This was a major success for me.  I had a feeling, stopped and thought about the feeling and what I wanted for myself, and actually made the choice not to overeat. I think many times, we all stop thinking and just go with whatever our first impulse is when it comes to food.  Its important to slow down and think about it though, otherwise we might make a decision that ultimately isn’t good for our health.

Later, I got to spend some time with more of my family at my cousin’s baseball game.  Its always nice to see everyone and spend some time with them–even if its not for long.

When I got home my husband and I decided to go ahead and have our wedding cake for 2 reasons: 1 We weren’t sure if the cake would last until Monday (since it has been frozen for a year) and 2 We had the house to ourselves so it was nice to have that quiet time to spend together and focus on what the cake represented.  We each had a little bit and reflected on our first year together and future rather than focusing on the cake.

The first day of getting 80 ounces of water in went well, the first day of getting back on a normal sleep schedule…not so much.  I ended up playing a game on my cell phone longer than anticipated last night so when 7am rolled around, I was still quite sleepy.  I set an alarm for 8am when I couldn’t get up at 7, but I never heard it.  I didn’t end up getting out of bed until 9:30 this morning!  I really wanted to be able to take my time getting ready today and spend a little time with my husband since I wasn’t going to see him much.  Tomorrow is a new day though!  I hope to get to bed on time tonight so that I can wake up refreshed and ready to start my day tomorrow morning (even if I still can’t get myself up at 7, I at least want to keep working on it!)

Week 8 – Friday

Back to normal life today. I feel back into my routine quite easily today. I didn’t feel overly tired in the morning, and I had no trouble getting in all of meals today (and on time!).

I had my weekly check in with my health coach today and I learned a few things about water that I would like to share (and record so I don’t forget). 64 ounces of water per day is the bare minimum that we should be drinking. We should actually be striving for a number our ounces equal to 1/2 our body weight (I am 224 lbs so I should be drinking 112 ounces of water per day). In addition to drinking that much water, we should be drinking an extra 8 ounces for every 15 minutes of exercise! Knowing this, how many of us are dehydrated and didn’t even realize it? Dehydration is bad for weight loss for a variety of reasons. Did you know that being dehydrated actually can make you feel hungry? I am going to strive this week to increase my water intake to at lease 80 ounces of water per day so that I can work myself up to the 112 ounces that I need. I hope that once I get and keep myself properly hydrated, it will be easier for me to figure out when I’m actually hungry and stop mistaking my thirst for hunger.

Dinner today was the result of another kitchen experiment. A few days ago, my brother was eating crackers with (stay with me on this one) Frank’s Red Hot and peanut butter. I know there are a few people out there who’s stomachs are turning right now, but until you’ve tried the combo don’t write it off! I thought it was an interesting taste when I tried it, so I crafted a recipe around it.

“This” Shrimp and Scallops

6 Tablespoons of Franks Red Hot

4 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter

2 Tablespoons of Reduced Fat Cream Cheese

2 Tablespoons of Light Margarine

42 ounces of shrimp/scallops (cooked)

Mix Franks, PB, Cream Cheese, and Light Margarine together in a small sauce pan on medium-high heat stirring constantly. Once the ingredients have combined (they need not be 100% melted) you can add it to cooked shrimp and scallops and let it cook over low to medium heat until the sauce is completely melted together and the flavor has soaked into the seafood (test a piece to find out). This should make 6 – 7 ounce servings (if you are making less shrimp/scallops be sure to drain off the excess sauce or store it for future use, you’re only meant to have 1/6 of it!).

As soon as I finish my recipe card, I will post the PDF on my recipe page. Believe me, I know it sounds strange…but it really is quite good! I call it “This” Shrimp and Scallops because that is what we named the sauce…”This”. I think “This” would taste good on chicken too if any one wants to give that a shot.

Our vegetable tonight was roasted cauliflower–a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and just a touch of parmesan cheese. Yum!

Since I am back from my mini vacation, its time to get back on my regular sleep schedule tonight. In bed by 10, falling asleep by 10:30, asleep by 11, up at 7. I am actually looking forward to getting back on schedule, it feels good to have a healthy bedtime routine. Over the next day, I’m going to pick another healthy habit to add to my night time routine.

Today was a difficult day for me.  I’m not sure if it was all the driving that made me tired and hungry or if it was just one of those days, but it didn’t go as well as I had hoped.

The Good: I did NOT have a cheesesteak from Pat’s when everyone went this afternoon.  They looked and smelled amazing.  The good thing for me was that everyone said it really wasn’t worth breaking my diet for anyway, they didn’t think the sandwiches were anything special.  That bit of information certainly made it easier to handle the smell.  We also had everyone order their sandwiches and eat them in the car–I was driving so eating a cheesesteak would have been hard even if I had wanted to give in to old habits.

The Bad: Breakfast was difficult.  The only thing I could really have (or even wanted) was an omelet.  The first time through (this is why I categorized this as the bad, there was a second time through) I got a ham & cheese omelet.  I did not realize there were peppers available so I did not get any veggies on it.  I don’t think ham is technically something I am supposed to have, as its not very lean, but I went ahead with it so that I would have something more than just eggs and cheese.  Between ham, bacon, and sausage I think ham would be the best choice.  The omelet tasted amazing but it was tiny, which of course left me feeling dissatisfied.  I saw that my brother had peppers in his omelet so decided to go back and get a veggie and cheese omelet.  I got back in line and found myself ordering a veggie and cheese omelet…with ham.  Overall, I was disappointed with how my breakfast went, because i knew I had more than a day’s worth of lean and no where near a day’s worth of veggies.  On the way home we made a pit stop at one of the plazas along the turnpike.  I knew I needed to eat more veggies, so I went over to a place that had a variety of salads.  I started by asking for a garden salad without onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, or croutons, which made me feel like I wasn’t eating very much (lettuce, peppers, and a light balsamic vinaigrette).  Right as I was finishing my order I asked the person making my salad to throw on a bit of turkey and feta cheese, even though I knew I already had plenty of protein for the day.  I’m glad I kept it to turkey though–Burger King was only a whiff away!!

The Ugly:  When I got home I was still feeling unsatisfied.  I ate my last two Medifast meals–after the last one I headed out to the kitchen (red flag–I should know by now that I shouldn’t go into the kitchen alone after I have had all my food for the day–at least not yet).  I saw cottage cheese in the fridge and had a few spoonfuls of that.  Then, I found the peanut butter and had a spoonful of that.  Then, my brother came in to the kitchen to experiment because he wanted chips and salsa to snack on but we didn’t have any salsa.  What he made turned out SUPER hot and he asked me for a way to cool it off.  We put some light buttermilk ranch in it and it was still really hot.  So I tried putting it in a dish and adding refried beans and cheese to it, hoping that the surface area would decrease the spiciness.  When it came out of the over the look and smell of it got me, so I had a few spoonfuls of that too.  I’m pretty sure refried beans are a bit too starchy for me to be eating.

Today was a day of failures mixed together with a bit of success.  I had some failures today, I ate too much protein and I snacked too much.  I think I can still be proud of myself though.  Even though I ate too much, I made better choices than I would have a year ago or even a couple months ago for that matter.  If I’m going to add meat to my salad, white meat turkey breasts is probably a good choice.  If I’m going to have something to snack on when I shouldn’t, light cottage cheese isn’t the worst thing I could have picked.  Its great that even though I mess up from time to time, I can tell that I am making progress.  Instead of the cottage cheese, not long ago I might have gone on a Sheetz run and ordered a cheesy chicken sub with ranch dressing–as a snack!  Or used the excuse that I was on vacation so I could put whatever I wanted into my body (e.g. a cheesesteak hoagie) even if its not something that I should consider food (it isn’t food just because you can digest it!).  I learned a lot about myself the last two days.  I learned that I can make the best choices possible for myself even if I can’t be perfectly on plan.  I learned that I can ask for whatever I want at a restaurant–it really doesn’t have to be on the menu.  If I ask for plain grilled chicken and broccoli, I won’t feel silly, I will feel good because I know what I want and what I need for myself and I’m going to get it.  I learned that I don’t have to focus on food to have a good time.  I can fuel my body properly while I’m on vacation and I will still feel like I’m on vacation.  It’s about relaxing and having fun, not food–focusing on the real reason you are on vacation makes it more refreshing anyway.

Next Challenge: My 1st Wedding Anniversary (July 30th)!!!!

Today was a fantastic day!

To begin, this morning I had my weight in:

Weight: 224lbs

BMI: 38.4

Waist: 40″

Hips: 49″

To date, I have lost 21.2lbs (3.2lbs this week)! What a great feeling to have lost more than 20lbs!!!

In addition to a good weigh-in, I had a lot of fun today, without losing sight of my primary choice of being healthy. The day started off by meeting a good friend that I haven’t seen in nearly a year for lunch at Applebee’s. I ordered a piece of grilled chicken (cut in 1/2 so I could split it with my husband) and a side salad with light italian dressing, both of which tasted great. I am always a bit disappointed in salad dressings, as they always seem to be loaded with carbs, but I only had 1/2 of what they gave me, so I should be okay.

After spending some time over lunch with my friend, we continued on to Philly and checked in to our hotel. We did not have a ton of time, so we decided to walk around near our hotel and try to find some dinner. We walked around for a while and quite a few blocks and couldn’t find anything that wasn’t a chain or something that looked expensive (not many of those either though!). We ended up going to the restaurant beside our hotel (TGI Fridays), because we ran out of time to keep looking. It was great to get to see a bit of the city and get some exercise in, even though we ended up where we started. For dinner, my husband and I split a meal. We ordered the sizzling chicken and shrimp, which comes with mashed potatoes as a side. We each took a piece of chicken and three shrimp. I gave him the mashed potatoes and ordered myself a side of broccoli. The only failure with dinner was that the dish came with on of my weaknesses…tons of melted cheese! I’m certain that I ate more cheese than I should have. It just made my broccoli taste so good! I need to remember that I should eat my broccoli because its good for me, not because its smothered in cheese and makes me feel good. I’m glad that I didn’t give in to the mashed potatoes though–those of you who know me probably also know that mashed potatoes are among my favorite foods.

As it turns out, Pat’s Steakhouse is not within walking distance from our hotel and is also no where near the Mann Center (the location of the concert). The goal is to go tomorrow for lunch on the way out of town. I will be having my lean and green for breakfast and eating my Medifast meals the rest of the day. I also have extra almonds packed in case I need something else to keep my mouth busy while I smell the greasy cheesy sandwiches tomorrow. Right now I feel as though I will do fine with the challenge; however, if I am feeling weak tomorrow, I am going to have 1/2 a lean & green in the morning so that I can try to find something else close by to eat while my brother and friend eat cheesesteaks.

I have been pretty happy that everyone has been trying to eat healthy on this trip. My brother is going to have a cheesesteak tomorrow, but he has told me that he is only eating 1/2 for lunch and saving the other 1/2 for dinner. If your going to go ahead and give in to the cheesesteak, that’s the way to do it!

After dinner, we headed over to the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses which was an amazing experience. If you haven’t heard the 25th Anniversary album and you are a Zelda fan or like orchestra music, it truly is a beautiful album and I recommend you find a copy to listen to. We were lucky enough to hear pieces from it as well as additional pieces not included on the album. We even got to see the person who arranged the symphony tonight! They played all of my favorite LoZ songs along with great footage of game play. It really took me back and made me feel good about the experiences I had playing those games growing up (thanks for providing those experiences Mom & Dad!). The LoZ Symphony is another experience I highly recommend–it is still touring throughout the country for a large part of 2012.

The one thing I am being lax about it my sleep schedule–I figured 2 late nights won’t kill me 🙂

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Today was a problem solving day at work.  I was really proud of myself–in the past, when I had a day like today, I would come home and use my day at work as an excuse to over eat and eat something loaded with cheese or gravy or whatever else I felt like I wanted.  Today, I didn’t do that, I didn’t even think about doing that.  I was fortunate, that my brother made dinner tonight–the whole thing start to finish so when I came home I got to relax a bit.  It was really good too, we had chicken marinated in a fajita sauce and baked.  He used his special marinating method so it was really juicy and flavorful.

 

I went on my walk today and I was really happy with the way it went!  A lot of times, when I exercise (even when its something as simple as walking) I get super itchy.  It usually starts in my legs then spreads to the rest of my body.  This, of course, is very discouraging.  Today I didn’t feel the slightest itch.  It’s so much easier to do whats good for my body when my body isn’t fighting me.  I hope this trend continues, but if it doesn’t I have to work through it until I can find a way to stop it (or if its caused by my weight, until I lose enough to make it stop).

 

All thats left is to do a load of laundry and pack for tomorrow, then I am off and can relax for two days.  Tomorrow, I am heading out early so I can meet up with a friend on the way to the hotel we will be staying at.  My game plan for tomorrow is to eat a nice light lunch (1/2 a lean & green) with my friend and a light dinner (another 1/2 lean & green) before we go to the concert.  I am also going to pack lots of Medifast meals so I have a few choices throughout the day.  Further, I am going to pack some almonds as a snack for during the concert, just in case.

 

Its always tempting to just say that “Oh, I’m on vacation,” but if I do that, it will be that much harder for me when I’m not on vacation.  I WILL NOT HAVE A PHILLY CHEESESTEAK!

 

Wish me luck!

Week 7 – Monday

Have you ever had one of those days that just kinda drags on?  Today was that kind of day for me.  I woke up on time and went to work.  Work was VERY slow today…lets just say, I got caught up on all my paperwork and when I was done, I still had 3 hours left of work!  Basically, all I had to do today was monitor my eating habits–which went well.

After work, my husband and I decided neither one of us felt like cooking or cleaning up after ourselves in the kitchen today, so we decided to go out for dinner.  This is always a challenge when you are trying to limit your fat intake and especially if you are trying to limit your carb intake.  I did a great job though.  I ordered a piece of grilled chicken and the salad bar.  That’s one nice thing about going to Eat n’ Park, they don’t give you funny looks or question your order, they just give you what you ask for (I have had one exception to the previous statement there but when I go anywhere else it seems to happen a lot more).  There is no–What? You don’t want a bun??? Are you sure??  It’s included in the cost…  -.- Salad bars can be dangerous, in addition to the usual restaurant temptations.  Not everything on the salad bar is something that should go on my salad and in the past, I have assumed that if it was on there it must not be that bad for me.  I put lettuce, green pepper, red pepper, mild pepper rings, a small amount of egg, a small amount of cheese, and 1/2 a ladel (I believe the ladels on the salad bar are typically 2Tbsp, so 1/2 would only be 1Tbsp, I would have to double check though to be sure) of ranch dressing (the only fat free option was fat free french which is loaded with carbs, with chicken as my protein I get one healthy fat, so I opted for a little extra fat instead of carbs–we will see whether or not this was the right decision) on my salad tonight.

After dinner, my head hurt and I was feeling nauseous, so I ended up laying down for a bit.  It helped, but I still just wasn’t feeling much like doing anything.  As such, I didn’t do much of anything after dinner.  Since today was a day of little activity, I want to be sure I go for my walk tomorrow.  Since my brother will be cooking tomorrow, I am also going to try to get in a little Just Dance 3.  I have a lot of fun when I play that game and if you use the non-stop shuffle option, you can get a lot of activity in without taking pauses every 3 minutes to pick what song you want.  I should also be getting in some NEAT activity tomorrow, since we need to pack for our mini vacation Wednesday & Thursday.

As promised, my lamb recipe:

Italian Style Lamb Chops

Note: I would make sure you are careful about the lamb you purchase.  Try to find lamb that is lean and boneless.  Our lamb tasted great, but we ended up wasting a lot of it because we bought it bone-in and with a lot of fat that needed to be trimmed.