Friday, October 31, 2008


Happy Halloween!
Sorry I did not post yesterday. KBW and I drank a bottle of wine and ate too much last night- so I fell asleep early :) (it was worth it though!)
Not a good CR day.
At first I thought I was only mildly over- but I was laying in bed wondering how I got this uncomfortably full feeling- so I was going over and over what I ate and trying to remember what I forgot to add into my PDA, then I remembered: salad!
Normally it would not have been that bad, but this is a good, calorie rich, salad :)
Here is my day

Thursday: 1987 (+317)

Breakfast: 370c
2- Kashi GoLean blueberry waffles
1.1T peanut butter
1T Apple butter
Skim milk

Lunch: 298
Turkey sandwich

Snack: 246c
Coffee with skim milk
Cookies and cream granola bar
1/4c Cottage cheese
Graham cracker

Dinner: 1073c (!!)
12oz red wine (!!)
Buffalo chicken sausage
Hot dog bun
1tsp light mayo
4T ketchup
1/2 bag of organic french fries (250cal!) baked in oven
1.5c Bibb lettuce/spinach mix
15g Pecans
1/2 small granny smith apple
1/4c sliced cucumber
0.3oz crumbled goat cheese
2T light dressing

I think today should be better, I had to go to the dentist (again!) for the permanent crown placement, but it did not fit to my dentist's liking, so I am numb and sore. Soft foods will be all I eat today...
Maybe tonight I will make a stew and TE and I will watch a scary movie!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Guest Writer Carl Tries Out CR For a Day

My friend Carl wanted to be supportive of my strict-counting week and decided to eat 1670 calories yesterday and I was thrilled to have a friend join me for a day in the CR quest!
He was hungry (as he reported to me) and most probably because he was at least 300 calories under an appropriate CR prescription for a man. Although- I do remember my first day, and it was miserable, even with a valid CR prescription. But regardless of any hunger induced misery, his insights were impressive and will truly help me stay motivated and focused on getting back on track. In addition to all of the factors that Carl lists as being critical in maintaining a CR diet, having an amazing support group of family and friends has really helped me with my success on CR.

If anyone is interested in estimating how many calories you burn in a day (either to eat close to that amount or figure out a CR prescription) here is a website that I found to be very close to my experimentally derived energy expenditure:

--First you need to figure out your BMR which is the calories you would burn if you stayed in bed all day.
--Then you take that number and multiply it by an "activity factor" based on how active you are, the number I got, when I started CR, was within 125 calories of my actual energy expenditure.

So without further ado, here is Carl's insight into a day in the life of CR!

I’ve known about the calorie restriction diet, through Liz, for some time now. I had always thought that it couldn't be that tough; it’s just counting and stopping when you reach your magic number. I couldn't be further from reality. At its core, CR is about counting numbers but that’s just one part of it. The other parts include strategy, willpower and sacrifice. Each of these elements builds of each other and feed back into one another. Strategy solidifies your willpower. Willpower enables you to make sacrifices. Sacrifices help you build and execute your strategy.

Strategy comes into play when planning out each meal and snack through the day. CR requires forward thinking about the choices you will make even 12 to 15 hours later. An example I ran into was if I wanted to have a beer or two with dinner. How will my food selections leading up until then affect if I can afford this in my CR count.

Willpower gives you the ability to stick to your CR plan throughout the day and resist the temptations that pop up. I was on the CR for one day and I had to remind myself multiples times that even the slightest indulgence can throw off my hard work and planning.

Sacrifice is when you must cut out some of your favorite items in order to stick to your CR plan. Leaving out the chips at lunch, a snack mid afternoon or a dessert after dinner can be a tough thing to do. Sometimes, the sacrifices that must be made can be the hardest part of calorie restriction.

My limited, first-hand experience with CR was an experience, one that led me to find that there is more to CR then just counting numbers. I give credit to all those that must strategize, sacrifice and maintain great willpower each and everyday for months and years while living a calorie restriction lifestyle.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cold body, warm belly!

It is very cold where I live... so I am going to try to consume a lot of warming foods today :)
I wonder how Carl is doing today!

Wednesday- 1660 (-10)

Breakfast: 370c
2- Kashi GoLean blueberry waffles
1.1T peanut butter
1T Apple butter
Skim milk

Lunch: 425c
Amy's cheese burrito
Kettle corn popcorn, 100cal pack

Snack: 475c
Organic yogurt
1/4c Bran buds
1- Fiber fruit leather
Mint tea
9 baby carrots
2T Sabra jalapeno hummus (so good!)
1 Hard boiled egg
1 slice of Kraft light cheese

Dinner: 414c
Quorn cranberry and goat cheese cutlet
A few sips of reduced sodium miso soup- which was terrible!! I should probably consume less salt... but I won't... yet :)
1 graham cracker (4 pieces)
1 piece of dark chocolate

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rainy Tuesday

I am working from home today. I have a ton of grading to do and I never seem to be that productive in lab during working hours (too much talking Liz...), so I decided that to be productive I would stay in with my minimal (blogging, facebook, etc.) distractions.

Tuesday - 1604cal (-66)
- 659c
Early CR breakfast omelet- this meal tastes like my early days of CR.
It must be the goat cheese/spinach combo. I need another healthy omelet...
3/4c Egg beaters
1 Large egg
1c spinach
1/2 of a sm/md tomato, chopped
2T crumbled goat cheese (~0.5oz)
2 pieces of reduced calorie wheat toast
1T Canoleo margarine
Garlic salt to taste
2/3c Orange juice
3c Coffee (ugh! staying home lets me drink way too much coffee!!)
1c Skim milk
1 block of dark chocolate

Lunch: 225c
Organic lowfat vanilla yogurt
1/4c Bran buds
2T dried cranberries

Dinner 1: 460c
2 slices of pizza at grad student meeting

Dinner 2: 260c
Lentil soup
Diced tomatoes
Sriracha sauce
8- shrimp
Lime juice

Monday, October 27, 2008


I am going to face the facts. I gained 3lbs. A real 3lbs.
And my eating/recording/weighing/measuring is not going well.
I need some extra motivation, so I am going to report all my foods for 7 days again. I enjoyed it last time and while it may not be the most exciting of topics, I need the extra accountability. For now I will not be doing the CRON-O-Meter nutritional analysis- maybe later in the week.
So here it goes again!

Monday- 1688cal (+18)
Breakfast: 433cal
Cranberry Nut Oatmeal:
1/2c dry old-fashioned oatmeal (cooked in water)
15g Pecans
20g dried cranberries
Cinnamon to taste
1T skim milk
1T real maple syrup
1.5c Coffee
.5c Skim milk

Lunch: 368c
1 Hamburger bun
2 Slices of FFree Turkey Breast
1 Slice of reduced fat Swiss cheese
1.5T Mustard
8 Baby carrots
1- Fiber fruit leather

Snack: 172c
1 Reduced fat Quaker peanut butter granola bar
1 Medium Apple

Dinner and Dessert: 715c
BLT with 4 slices of bacon
1c Tomato soup
1 Chocolate chip cookie (made by KBW, I have been savoring them!)
1c Skim milk
2T NesQuik Chocolate mix
1 marshmallow

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Single Girl Dinners

TE has been traveling for work every Tuesday to Wednesday- leaving me free to make whatever I want to eat on Tuesday nights. These dinners have ranged from practically nothing (cereal and junk food/snacks) to some pretty creative (so I think!) single serving meals! Here I will highlight some of my favorites!

1) Quorn cranberry and goat cheese cutlets. 280 calories and so yummy! This is exciting for me because TE has turned up his nose at most Quorn products (maybe from my overuse of these items when we were vegetarians) but I still love them.

2) This is my own, not-even-close-to-the-original-mee-rebus-but-still-yummy, creation. I will call it Liz Rebus. My favorite restaurant serves Malaysian food and I order this soup every time. It is heavenly. I do not live close enough to this restaurant, so this is what I make to tide me over between visits. *I have attempted in the past to make a "real" Mee Rebus Soup, but it was disastrous. Imagine soup all over the kitchen walls and floor, disastrous. This is good and easy enough :)

Liz Rebus
~300 calories

1oz spaghetti noodles (Ronzoni smart taste or Barilla plus)*Pictured meal does not include noodles
1 hard boiled egg
1/4c canned diced tomatoes with juice or salsa (whatever is available)
Lime juice
Garlic, spicy, chili sauce (sriracha)

3) Amy's/Trader Joes Roasted Vegetable Pizza. I love love this pizza. I almost prefer it to some of our local pizza places. Again- no meat means TE does not love this meal as much as I do. Two 270cal servings for dinner (if calories permit) and 1 serving leftover for lunch- perfection!
Last night my friend JT made me dinner (whole wheat spaghetti with organic meat sauce- Thank you J!!) so I did not have to cook for myself. I wonder if my dieting would be more or less difficult if I had to cook for myself alone every night.... I'd bet I would eat cookies or cookie dough more often :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chicken Cassoulet

After all those promises I failed to keep you all updated!
So the evening of Yom Kippur KBW made us a fabulous dinner Chicken Cassoulet- I devoured it and highly recommend it! That pan you see in the picture is 4 servings and a TON of food. A great meal and a large volume for big eaters like me!
She got the recipe from EW and here it is:
Cassoulet-Style Chicken Thighs (6 servings)
2- 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed
3/4 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tip)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into thirds (she used chicken breasts)
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 pound low-fat turkey kielbasa, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1. Put 1/2 cup beans in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add the remaining beans and set aside.
2. Toss breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add chicken in a single layer and cook until browned, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
4. Add onion and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
Add rosemary, thyme and pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add wine, increase heat to high and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits, until the wine has reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add broth, water, kielbasa, the reserved beans and chicken; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
Top with the toasted breadcrumbs and parsley (she put the pan under the broiler for 5min here)

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 370 calories; 13 g fat (3 g sat, 6 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 29 g protein; 10 g fiber; 749 mg sodium.
Nutrition bonus: Fiber (41% daily value), Folate (37% dv), Iron (20% dv).
TIP: Tip: To make fresh breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor into coarse crumbs. One slice of bread makes about 1/3 cup crumbs.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

ADF vs. Yom Kippur

I am fasting today for Yom Kippur. It is 5pm and even though I have consumed liquid calories today (2.5c skim milk) I feel like I can not focus, I do not want to move much, and thinking about work is making my head spin-- I can only manage 1 experiment today (I know I should not even be here). It is one that I frequently mess up so I need all the attention I can muster. These effects of fasting make me think about how people actually maintain an "alternate-day fasting diet."
The poll results are in and not surprisingly, CR is the big winner (I voted, so only 3 of you out there would do a CR diet and 1 ADF- the rest of you- not dieters, I understand).
The one thing that is nice thing about fasting today is that I now have ~1400 calories for dinner tonight. KBW is making a yummy Eating Well recipe, I am going to bring a vegetable/salad- so we will see how I feel after eating 1,000 calories in a small amount of time. Previously, when I have saved up serious calories for a big meal (amazing, all you can eat sushi) I have disappointed myself by not actually being able to eat much over 1,000cal in one sitting... I will have to work on that.
Upcoming posts: Single girl dinners, Cook's Illustrated Cheesecake (so so yum!), and my own recipe in progress: Paella stuffed peppers! Will catch up when brain resumes functioning :)