Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dinners with Pictures

In order to justify spending 1/10 of my monthly salary on groceries Monday-- I have been making some fabulous dinners! I even took pictures of them with my new camera. Enjoy!

Monday Night- "Meat and Potatoes"

6oz Top Sirloin Steak (broiled in oven... apartment life is not grill friendly) (ate 1/2= 156cal)
Pan "fried" onions (fried in vegetable broth! No oil) (32cal)
1/2 recipe Mashed cauliflower (150cal)
Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
-1 whole head of cauliflower boiled
-1 Tbsp Whipped light cream cheese with chives
-2 Tbsp Light Sour Cream
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Decorated with Siracha sauce (spicy garlic sauce ~5cal)
Tuesday Night- "Chicken Salad"
2c Romaine Lettuce (19cal)
diced carrots (10cal)
1/2c cucumber slices (8cal)
grape tomatoes (12cal)
1/4c black beans (cooked in canned juices, with garlic and red pepper flakes) (57cal)
1/2Tbsp Light sour cream
1/4c Salsa (18cal)
2Tbsp Ken's light Italian salad dressing (40cal)
4oz chicken breast tenders (120cal)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Party Generation

So the weekend is over!
Summary: I spent too much money, slept too little, ate very well, and generally had a great time with my family and friends. Today I have a cold/sore throat as a result. I am curious to see if the cold passes quickly due to my healthy CR diet...

This weekend I maintained my calorie restriction and was able to drink and eat "normally!" On Friday and Saturday I ate 500cal during the day so that I could save around 1,000 for the evening festivities. I am not sure if my body is adjusting to not eating/drinking 1,000cal at once but each night I felt very full. So I checked and double checked my PDA for proper food entries and even with my overestimation I was very close to my 1670 calorie restriction! Bliss :)

More bliss: teaching is OVER! I am ecstatic about this fact. I can now refocus all my energy back onto my research and aiming for a graduation date in 2009!! Ahhh.
Also I purchased a new camera this weekend with my study stipend- food pictures galore!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Side note

This article came out in BBC today about vitamins potentially shortening lifespan. We had a good discussion about it in the office, but I will need to do a bit more research and get back to you all regarding my final opinion-- here is the article :)

Veggie Heaven

TE was out last night and I was craving Indian food. I blame my 1-hour group meeting for the craving-- We spent the hour reviewing restaurant menus to identify the healthiest options (and outlining all the things we love to eat but will not...). I brought my favorite Indian restaurant menu, an Ethiopian menu and a Jewish deli menu. So by the time I left I was starving!
I was about to call in my order for naan and chana masala (chickpeas in a spicy red sauce- not my typical order but a healthy option) when I thought of the can of chickpeas in my pantry. I decided it would be better/healthier/more fun to make my own! It was great and lucky for me TE was not home. There is nothing he hates more than my "curry vegetable stew." I love curry and Indian spices, and maybe at one point I was a bit too liberal with my use of curry, but he was not home so I went all out! Here is the recipe

Chana Masala- serves 4, 250cal per serving
1 small onion diced and cooked in 1/4c vegetable broth to soften
1 15.5oz chick peas (rinsed)
1 15.5oz can diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 bag of Quorn tenders (Yay for my reunion with fake meats! This is a fake chicken product that I also may have also overused... maybe)
all spice
hot pepper flakes

Instead of naan, I toasted a whole wheat roll (90cal) added canoleo (66cal- canola oil margarine) and garlic salt.

Since I also wanted dessert- I made "No Pudge" brownies (1 box= 12 servings at 82cal/brownie) and had that with strawberries and 2T whipped cream. A perfect dinner!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bad Dinners

So I have been lax with food updates. Mostly that is because I have been making some bland/bad dinners recently. In addition- my photos of these tasteless dinners have also been pretty bad as well, not helping my blogging motivation.
Take last night for example- I purchased a pound of ground turkey (only 1% fat) and while I should have made the turkey meatloaf again, I decided to make a meat sauce for pasta and string beans.
Tip: there is a purpose for fat in meat- it makes the meat taste good. My dinner was very very bland. I may buy the 1% fat meat again and see how it impacts the taste of the meatloaf for a true test though.
I have also been feeling guilty about eating meat again, so TE and I made tilapia the other night. This should not have been complicated, we have been eating fish as a regular staple for the last 10 years- I know how to cook fish. It was organic and previously frozen, which may not have been a problem for other fish, but this broiled tilapia marinated in lemon, soy and dill tasted like dirt. It was awful.
I am planning a yummy green curry, Thai inspired, dinner so hopefully that will go better. Everything tastes better with coconut milk and curry.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Why would anyone live like that?

After starting this blog entry in Word, my computer crashed. My new computer. But that is another story for another time, the point of it all: Word did not recover my entry so I am starting over...

The diet is going well! I lost another 1+lbs this last week, I am still feeling happy with my foods, and I have returned to social situations! The food story from this weekend occurred when TE, SB, KBW, SW and I went to the movies. We went to a new (to us) theatre that serves beer. This was exciting to me for many reasons.
1) Movies, popcorn and beer- what could be better?!
2) They had my favorite 64 calorie beer (Beck's Light)
and 3) The staff was so friendly, I will continue to see all the movies they show (they only have 2 screens) just to support them!
I brought my own popcorn and chocolate covered pretzels, ordered a beer and was thrilled to be snacking like the rest of the crowd. It was great.

I am gearing up for a real doozie of a blog post. There is a ton of chatter in the CR/CRON world- and I want to speak up. But that post is not ready yet. Until then here is what is new:

Participating in this research study has started a whole new life obsession. It is not just healthy eating and diet for me. I have been constantly researching the latest discoveries in CR. This has overwhelmed any remaining interest for my current graduate school thesis topic. Not that this is a bad thing... I am almost ready to begin the next phase of my career and I need a niche. I have been thinking about what that was going to be since I started graduate school, and throughout this tumultuous time my ideas have changed annually. They almost always focused on"finding genes that cause human disease" but varied on which disease, animal model, and why. I am beginning to think that I should combine my passion for CR research with my professional goals! It is amazing to have focus. I am excited again about research! Things are good :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Turkey Meatloaf

I had a great CR day yesterday! I was full, satisfied, and 100 calories under (a good buffer for human error)!
Here is what I ate :)

Maple and brown sugar oatmeal with a 1.5oz box of raisins (made with water)
Coffee (about 20oz- I had to teach at 8am)
Milk (for coffee)
330 Calories

Lean cuisine butternut squash ravioli
1/2 serving of Amy's pita chips (7 chips)
Spinach salad with FF balsamic dressing
479 calories

1/2c 2% cottage cheese
1 piece of string cheese (light)
1oz low fat jerky (!!! Bad I know....)
Fiber One granola bar
1 serving turkey meatloaf (see recipe below)
1/2c sliced mangoes
3 large strawberries sliced
6T whipped cream
687 calories

Pretty reasonable- right? I was a bit low on fiber, B5, B12, VitD and VitE so I am trying to incorporate more mushrooms, cauliflower, and almonds into every day.

Turkey Meatloaf As I made it. It was so good! I found it on
6 servings (240c per slice)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil (plus 2T of chicken stock for sauteing vegetables)
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/8-inch dice (61g baby carrots)
3/4 lb white mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (2T dry parsley)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ketchup
1 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup skim milk
1 whole large egg
1 large egg white
1 1/4 lb ground turkey (I used 93% lean)

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cook onion and garlic in oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened, about 2 minutes.
Add carrot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and they are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in Worcestershire sauce, parsley, and 3 tablespoons ketchup, then transfer vegetables to a large bowl and cool.
Stir together bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes.
Stir in egg and egg white, then add to vegetables.
Add turkey and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to vegetable mixture and mix well with your hands. (Mixture will be very moist.*mine was not that moist, but I used regular bread crumbs rather than fresh)
Form into a 9- by 5-inch oval loaf in a lightly oiled 13- by 9- by 2-inch metal baking pan and brush meatloaf evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons ketchup (I also topped with black and red pepper flakes).
Bake in middle of oven until thermometer inserted into meatloaf registers 170°F, 50 to 55 minutes.
Let meatloaf stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Saturday Overage

I went over my calories on Saturday. By 200. At least.

It was PC's 30th surprise birthday celebration and it did not help that I arrived (with my chicken, low-cal pasta salad, seltzer, and light beer in hand) starving. It was also not good for my will power to be surrounded by really nice wines and cheeses before eating anything substantial. In my hunger- I did not care about the mice, or being healthy, or anything logical. I wanted wine and cheese.
So I compromised-- it was a long night ahead (college friend gatherings usually = drinking like we are still in college). While waiting for dinner- I had 2- 64 calorie beers, some cheese (3 slices to be exact), and a small piece of stromboli while salivating over all the other food being prepared.
By the time dinner was ready, I painlessly avoided the lasagna and eggplant Parmesan in favor of my grilled chicken breast, green salad, and low-cal pasta salad.
But that was where the good ended.
I reached my calorie limit with 2 beers, 3- 0.5oz pieces of cheese, and dinner. I did stop drinking at that point --not included: sips of each fabulous new bottle of wine opened. PC had to make me his “special recipe” steak tips (since beginning to eat meat again all of our friends and family are very excited to make meaty meals for TE and me). So I ate two steak tips (1oz?)- Which were very good. Birthday cake avoidance was the most difficult. I knew I was over limit but desserts are my weakness.
Yellow cake.
3 layers high.
Filled with chocolate and vanilla pudding/mousse.
Oh the pain!
I broke down after 3hours of staring at the cake. I ate a heaping tablespoon full. After the cake teaser- I ate an apple.
Final Overage Tally:
5 sips red wine
1oz grilled steak tips, marinated in sauce containing calories
1 heaping Tbsp cake
1 medium apple (90cal)

It really does not seem that bad in this format. When you think about how bad it could have been- I should feel better about the fact that it was not worse!
This week I am trying to be extra cautious about my calories to make up for Saturday.
I have been eating lean cuisine meals for lunch and drinking a lot of water/seltzer/iced green tea throughout the day. We will see if there was any overage- effect on my weight on Thursday.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Weekend ready

TE and I are headed to his parent's home for the weekend, and I am ready. My last visit was not so pleasant for the following reasons:
1) It was Easter weekend and I was eating study-packaged foods
2) There was a plethora of amazing food everywhere (Entenmann's Chocolate Frosted Donuts)
3) I could not drink alcohol
4) I was not that happy/satisfied with the end of the Mediterranean diet which made me extra cranky

Needless to say I am excited to go back and be pleasant to my family and show them that I am not suffering the emotional effects of hunger anymore! I may have over anticipated my food needs for the weekend though... I packed 2 grocery bags full of yummy, healthy foods so that I will not be tempted. Who knows though-- those donuts may have an unnatural effect on me.

On a side note- I lost a pound this week, so the study is happy and not concerned with my progress. I will keep an eye on my food ratios and timing though- those are good points to consider.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


So the cookie poll is almost over and my presumptive winner is in the lead! I do think that I will have to make all of them eventually and report back.

One week down ,103 left! Haha- just kidding. The diet (or "plan" as KBW likes to call it) is actually going very well. TE and I are cooking together, exploring what it is like to cook and eat meat again, and I feel satisfied and full everyday! So much so that I am developing some unnecessary anxiety about how it could be possible that I am calorie restricted and happy...

Most of it stems from the fact that I have not lost any weight since beginning my own foods (one week ago- dramatic?). So how does one anxiety-prone, control freak try to regain the unsatisfied hungry feeling that "must" go hand-in-hand with dieting? She weighs the food, measures it, weighs it again, plugs the ingredients into CRON-o-Meter, plugs the ingredients into her PDA/calorie king, and then finally compares the results with the original recipe info (which has this information already calculated). The result: the recipe was right-- unnecessary anxiety. Lesson learned? No, of course not.

I talked with my therapist about it this morning. She does not seem concerned with the lack of weight loss. Basically, if I do not lose another pound for the remainder of the study, I will still fall within the "normal" range of weight loss expected for the study. (*I have lost 7lbs from my baseline weight)

I am eating some packaged foods to help curb my neurotic behavior- today for lunch I ate a lean cuisine pizza (370c) with a side salad (100c). Not bad, but not something I want to make a habit of...

Oh the drama! :)