Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend foods

This is the end of my first weekend on my own foods-- and I think it went very well! I must say that I feel better about everything. I am happy to be back cooking and baking and creating tasty low calorie foods.

Each morning I ate a big, protein rich breakfast at noon. Then I ate a small snack in the afternoon (string cheese, apple, and fiber one bar), so that I could save ~1,000 calories for dinner and wine!

I experimented with omelets each morning. Saturday's was much better than my omelet today.

Each day I had:

1c Egg whites/beaters (82c)
1c Spinach (7c)
1/3c grape tomatoes (8c)
1/2c onions (27c)
2c Coffee/espresso (Pete's reserve: Kona!)
1c Steamed skim milk (83c)
What was different:

1T Goat cheese (52c)
2 slices of turkey bacon (70c)
Sunday: (*see picture)

1c Mushrooms (15c)
1 roasted red pepper (20c)
1T mozzarella cheese (21c)
1T Parmesan cheese (22c)
Thomas' Multi-grain light English muffin (100c)
1t Canoleo margarine
1/2c Orange Juice with calcium (68c)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pasta Recipe

I know I have a lot of catching up to do but I wanted to start updating my faithful readers with recipes that I have been making so I do not get too bogged down later.
I should be working right now but this seems more important :)

Pasta with Grape Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
(from Cooking Light- serves 1- approx 300cal)

2oz Barilla Plus Rotini (it seems like a tiny amt)- cooked without fat
1/2c Grape tomatoes quartered
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp dry basil
Hot pepper flakes to taste
2 Tbsp vegetable broth
1 Tbsp goat cheese

Boil pasta
Heat garlic, tomatoes, hot peppers and broth in frying pan (2-3min)
Once the pasta is cooked and drained, mix with basil and goat cheese
Add in garlic/tomato mix
Stir and enjoy!

I could not believe how good this tasted. This is going to be a regular for sure!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cookie Poll

OK I have a feeling I know which cookie is going to win- but I have put together an image using CRON-o-Meter so you have all the nutritional information with which to cast your vote.
The contenders are:
Cooking Light: just a lighter version
With Beans: actually replaces some butter with white beans!
Nestles: your standard cookie recipe
Flax Seed: my favorite from the diet (may require purchasing some hard to find ingredients)

If any of you are interested in the recipes please ask, I am willing to share!

Happy baking ahead :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Check out my interview with

I am having another crazy day- posts will be updated soon :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Free food day!

I do not have a ton of time right now- but I survived this weekend- barely- and I am NOT being dramatic!!

I am finally eating lunch today at 4:45 (teaching until 3 then 1.5hrs of students with questions about the upcoming exam...)-- Not a great start to my free eating day.
I will be blogging tonight or at the latest tomorrow morning: the cookie party poll is ready, and I have a few thoughts on how not to handle family weekends on minimal food, why supermarkets should not be closed on Easter, and how food appeal is situation dependent.

Check back soon!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Weekend Survival

I survived the drinking and party filled weekend! (The drama queen returns!)

And this is my last Monday on study-provided foods. Time is flying.

Last week was very nice and slow- you may have noticed my increased blog posting. It was spring break here on my university campus and I enjoyed it almost as much as if I was an undergrad drinking on a beach somewhere tropical! My lab was mostly empty all week, I had no teaching responsibilities, I left work everyday by 5:30, and the pup and I got to play outside for 1.5hrs each night- purely decadent.

Speaking of teaching- I got to bring up CR in my classes today! Today we discussed the ethical issues of government funding for life-extension research. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to 1) talk about current research looking at nutrition and aging and 2) to enlighten my young, science loving students to the greatness that is the TV show - Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda. It was a great class and we had some fun discussions on this topic. I was amazed at how closely the student's opinions reflected everything I hear regularly about my involvement in a diet like this:
"What is the fun of living longer if you can not eat what you want?" (I always get this question!)
"Cool- for the mice- but why would anyone want to do that/I would never want to do that."
"Cultures and celebrations are centered on food, what would we, as humans, be without food?" (This point was made after someone brought up that future eating could be replaced with pills)

Fun day with the kids... also enhanced by that fact that I did not receive evil death stares over the difficulty of today's quiz.

Here is my report on the Mediterranean diet so far!

Day 1 (Saturday)
Low fat granola with raisins
Skim Milk
Banana (although they forgot to give it to me, so I did not get to eat that...)

Greek Wrap (Cucumber, tomato, feta, black olives, hummus)

Lentils, olives and feta
Cous cous

*saved from lunch*
Slice of cheddar cheese
14 grapes (one serving size)

Also my daily snack is now 2T hummus with a piece of pita. So far I have been eating it with lunch, I am not thrilled about it. Miss the peanut butter bar :)

Day 2: Sunday (party day)
Oatmeal with brown sugar
Slivered almonds
Skim milk

Pesto pasta with chicken (maybe only an ounce of chicken- this diet has way less meat than the others)
Dinner roll

Dinner: (*ate hummus and pita while waiting for dinner to heat up)
Greek style potatoes (in olive oil with tomato, feta, olives and "Greek" seasonings)
Salmon Steak (~2oz)
Green beans

Mandarin Oranges

Now this day was difficult. MH and NW hosted the brunch party and there was a ton of fabulous smelling and looking food. Everyone was sensitive to not rave about the food around me, but I knew how good it must have been and it really took some serious will power to keep my hands from reaching into the bowl of Cadbury mini eggs or picking up an amazing looking hamentashen. I did not end up taking any pictures, but my hands were full with coffee, diet soda, and seltzer all day.

I think dieting in general is difficult because it is such hard work to stay "on target" and the results (whether it is weight loss or improved quality of life) do not seem so immediately rewarding. For example, I was so good this weekend that I should have lost 5lbs (or 5 months)just on effort alone, but it will be more like 1lb --and I do not think that there will be any age reversion, just slower from here on out...

Day 3: Today
Slivered almonds
Diced pineapple

Grapes (eaten between classes)
Tuna salad with oil, celery and onions. *For the E family- I would say this was tuna JE-style- a lot of onions, yum!
Black bean and vegetable salad

Dinner: (I'll let you know how it goes)
Chicken Alfredo pasta
Olive oil salad dressing
Dinner roll

This menu is higher in fat, so there seems to be less food. I think I am going to be more of a volume eater, so I will have to find the perfect balance between all these menu flavors and my 1670 calories.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Low GI foods

In all my thoughts of cookies- I neglected to report how my low glycemic diet is going :)

I am on day 3 of the 2nd cycle so only 3 days left before I start the Mediterranean diet.
Here is what I have been eating:

Eggs (beaters- I think) 1cup
11:30am Snack:
1c plain yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, 20g Fiber One cereal
Creamy chicken and pasta: tasty but not "creamy" like you may think.
Imagine- elbow noodles, chicken, spices, skim milk and a touch of butter.
Mixed unsalted nuts (1/4c)
Muesli yogurt. It has grown on me. I hated it at first for replacing my yummy peanut butter bar, but I like it now. It has chopped nuts, apples and blueberries too!
Roasted turkey, broccoli, bean and barley stew
Flax seed cookie (!!) and milk

I have to drink a LOT of milk on this phase of the diet. It was rough at first, but I think I am getting used to it. Also there is a lot more meat. Surprisingly, I am OK with it!

Kashi Crunch cereal (added 15g Fiber One)
Grapefruit sections (1c)
Muesli yogurt
--I had to eat all of this in one sitting because the kitchen prepared it all in bowls, which I could have asked them to transfer into take-out containers, but I think the staff things I am pushy enough (I bring them reusable shopping bags to pack my food into and there was a bit of confusion at first as to whether I am eating some meals there or taking them all to go) and I want to stay on the good side of the cooks! Needless to say, I was very full after breakfast.
Tuna Salad
Pumpernickel bread
Flax-seed cookie and coffee
Chicken with Salsa
Beans and Rice
Spinach salad topped with my marinated beans and veggies that I did not eat at lunch time

Overall, I have felt a lot less hungry on this Low GI diet than I did on the low-fat diet. I think that I will incorporate low GI meals into my diet so I feel less hungry.

The cookie poll is almost ready. Keep checking for updates!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cookie Party

I am still being haunted by dreams of chocolate chip cookies. The other night in my dream MomE had purchased 3 chocolate chip cookie cakes for multiple celebrations! I did remember that I was on a restricted diet and could not eat them (so not a typical anxiety dream per se), but their presence haunted me :)

I am planning on making a batch of cookies for my "free" eating date (March 24th) so I am currently trying to calculate (with the help of my dietitian, LR) the exact calorie content of a few recipes.

I have had 2 types of cookies on my diet: an All-Bran cookie, and a flax-seed cookie. Both were good (I liked the flax-seed better) so I will also have to consider whether or not I will make a healthy recipe and add chocolate chips or just go all-out and make real cookies...
Calorie comparisons will be posted soon- be prepared for a blog vote!

But back to the cookie cakes for a moment: this dream brought up memories of being a teenager and hanging out at the mall. My best friend, AH, and I would get double doozies (calories) regularly. Remembering those cookies reminded me of all the junk food I ate as a kid (and as an adult!) and started a stream of negative thoughts about CR. Luckily, my next meal was close by and easy to prepare-- it is much easier to convince yourself that you can eat healthy (and do not "really" want a double doozie- the last one I ate must have been in 1995) and stick to your goals when there is good tasting food at hand (*must remember this).

I have explained the feeling of going off the study-prepared foods as what I imagine what it must be like to get out of prison. Now- I am being dramatic. I do not really think it is anything like that in reality, but maybe just a tiny bit. Here is my perception; I have turned off any and all food cues that surround me because I can not eat anything that is not given to me. So no matter how good some food looks, smells, is, I can not have it. Fine. Done. Black and White, yes or no.
But what happens when I can have *some* of that great food and it is up to me to balance it out later?
Will I be able to eat one cookie?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Low Glycemic- Day 1

So I have officially been dieting for 9 days now.

At my weigh-in this morning I discovered I have lost a total of 3.7lbs.
I think most of that is weight gained from my binge eating for the week leading up to the diet :)

But now for the exciting part: my new food menu!

This one is going to be interesting... a little less like my "typical" diet.

Breakfast: Muesli cereal with milk (I am now supposed to drink 4c/day!)

Snack: Muesli yogurt (my beloved peanut butter bar is replaced with this... sad)

Lunch: Turkey sandwich on pumpernickel, tomato and bean salad, and dried apricots (OK!)

Dinner: Salisbury steak
*I have been a fish eating vegetarian for 7yrs and the one thing I have never missed is steak... burgers, bacon, and other "bad" meats yes, but never steak!
We will see how it is, I survived -and even liked- the meatloaf from the lowfat menu...
Spiced Lentils (hmmmf...)
Zucchini (another we will have to see...)

Everyone wants to know how I am doing on the diet- outside of the hunger and restricted foods. I am doing well enough because I have pretty much removed the social temptation for now.
This past weekend TE and friends wanted to go out to dinner and a movie- I opted to meet everyone at the movie theater. It felt a bit antisocial and awkward, having missed about 2 hours of catch up and other conversations. Not to mention I had to keep a close eye on my hands to keep them from unconsciously grabbing some popcorn out of TE's bag :)

The next night was better. Our friends wanted to have us over for dinner and they made what I was eating! S & T made meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans. TE and I brought baked apples for dessert. The apples were halved, cored and soaked with orange juice. The non-dieters got theirs topped of with pecans, chopped dried cherries and cranberries, brown sugar and cinnamon. My apple was topped with splenda and cinnamon with my crumbled graham crackers and fiber-one cereal!

I realize that this half-social behavior is not sustainable for having my life while being on a diet, but I think until I get off the packaged foods, it is what I need to do. We will see how I handle next week's St. Patrick's day celebrations (TE and I have been invited to 2 parties...). Alcohol is completely off limits this month- so I will be bringing my flavored seltzer to the parties!

Another funny thing that has happened since the diet has started is that my anxiety dreams have manifested themselves as food dreams: I dream that I am eating something off limits (pizza, cookies, or choco-tacos?!) when I remember I am on a diet, which then leads to a dream state-freak out, so I wake up and have to tell myself that I have actually not eaten these things!

Other than that things are pretty good. TE has been cooking some near gourmet meals for himself- and is keeping a good record of the ingredients/amounts so when I start eating with him again we can keep my calories on track! My PDA prowess is increasing (only one minor technology setback- which was nothing my tech savvy brother couldn't handle) and I am really enjoying looking at the calorie content of foods at fast food restaurants stored on it :). I am on my way to incorporating my life with my diet!