Sunday, October 24, 2010

150 and the Beginning ... Again

This is my 150th post!


Well, I think I finally reached my max point of over everything. Overeating, over-drinking, over-stressing... you get the idea. Today begins my return to healthful eating, minimal drinking, and being productive.

I have been/done none of those things since October 8th... But my thesis defense went amazingly, I was a bit of a nut case/stress ball (of course) around that time- but the days preceding and immediately after flew by- my family and friends were so supportive and amazing and I was floored by the final outpouring of love and patience. I know that I am truly blessed.

Since then I have been on a bit of a baking/cooking bender. I also have been avoiding any and all exercise (mostly with the excuse that I need more sleep and since I still have work to do, something had to give). And I have been drinking. A lot. All of that equals weight gain. I don't even know how much. I am scared to look. I will check tomorrow for the charting progress, but I know it is not going to be pretty.

I plan to start easy and this week I am going to eat more mindfully, plan out my meals/snacks etc for the next week because this upcoming weekend is my best friend's wedding. A celebration where a lot of food and alcohol will be consumed and I will not be counting. But I still remember the CALERIE life lessons and I know that the mindset of "I will just start next week" is not good and it never gets easier. This is a lifestyle of eating healthy and not beyond my needs (hopefully I can get back to the restricted state!) and the faster you get back to it, the better you feel about it. So here it goes.

I am excited for this new beginning and for the comfort of knowing that I know how to do this and I really mentally ready for it!

Friday, October 1, 2010


Thesis Update: it has been completed and distributed to my committee (yeehaa!) and now I am in the final throws.

One week until D-day.

The email announcement (time, date, place...) went out today to the entire department. Now whenever I see anyone in the hall- they will comment and ask me how I am feeling. That, inevitably, will make me want to run the the bathroom and puke-- but I will restrain!

My final thoughts on thesis writing and eating= Not good. I won't step onto the scale, but I fear the worst. 4lbs?? More?? I hope not. I will save all scale weighing until Sunday October 10th. The official day of beginning CR "for real" again :)

I am looking forward to eating more regularly, planning my meals, and COOKING!! OMG how I miss cooking! And baking! I have a fun new idea brewing for the blog so stay tuned.

Yoga update: I had to stop doing yoga for two weeks because I was staying up too late to wake up at 6am to go to yoga (the yoga I have been doing is only offered in the morning). But I went back this morning- and it feels great to be back. I hope I can keep it up this winter. I am SO not a morning person and it is DARK at 6am... I got my first pair of lulu.lemon pants (!!) and hoodie for my birthday so I hope that is motivation to keep my butt in the yoga studio!

I think that is all I can update on. The thesis has consumed my life... Nothing new going on... That will all change soon enough though! Thanks for reading and sticking with me!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Whole New Level....

... of stress...

The countdown begins. I will be VERY happy once this thesis is written, out of my hands, and defended. Soon. Soon.

In the meantime, I am doing okay. Not sleeping well (or enough) and not eating well (not entirely true- I am eating very well-- my wonderful friends keep cooking for me! I am just eating a lot for the minimal activity I am engaged in). But I am trying to maintain perspective. Luckily my labmates have been wonderful in helping me keep my head together. We go through our lists daily of all the things we are thankful for. Here are some of the things that help me maintain my sanity these days:

  • I have a wonderful husband who buys me pretty flowers, cleans out the refrigerator (and the kitchen), and takes me to my favorite restaurant for my birthday (he knows the way to this girl's heart)!! He is also a saint whenever I need technical help or in dealing with my roller coaster of mood swings.
  • I have a loving, supportive family who are ALL taking off work to fly, drive, or bus their way to me to support me and celebrate with me all that they have helped me accomplish.
  • I have AMAZING friends who cook for me, edit my thesis for me, walk the king pup when TE and I can not, they remind me that I can do this, and are generally coming out of the woodwork to help me through this!
  • I have a new job to start when this is all over. Someone recently told me that I got the "golden unicorn" and "NO ONE gets a job right out of school these days!"

So that is my daily affirmation. I hope seeing it all in print will help keep me from losing it.
I can just revisit my list whenever I need to :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thesis Eating

Sitting in front of a computer all day affects how you eat.

Normally, I like to think about meals I want to make hours, or even days, ahead of time. I
subscribe to food magazines (thanks M&N!!), own countless cookbooks, have more food sites bookmarked than anything else, and yet- I can not remember the last good/new meal I have made.

My meals on writing days go something like this:

1) Set up coffee first and foremost, no less than 8c (usually for both TE and myself)

2) Eat muffin (classic corn or lemon raspberry) or breakfast bar (lately )

3) Work, while refilling coffee, and maybe grab a snack if one is around: grapes, cookies...

4) Continue working until starving and jittery from the coffee-- make lunch (burrito, English muffin with peanut butter and apple butter, leftovers, or really anything I can microwave/toast/prepare quickly)

5) Work, diet soda and pretzels/crackers or veggies and dip, work, more liquids, work, eat something fabulous my husband (or friends!) has made, go back to work, bed....

Really- calorie-wise, it is not that bad, thanks to the fact it is summer and I have been trying to make more of an effort to have more fresh fruits/veggies around (TE brought me some home-grown, BEAUTIFUL Swiss chard and eggplants recently!) but I feel uninspired by the foods. Not something that can be changed, but once I am finished I have BIG food plans :) Meals I have in mind, pies with frozen summer fruits, and the best yet: I am taking a 2-class cake decorating class!

As a graduation gift to myself, and to inspire me to get back to cooking, I will be learning how to make my cakes look as good as they taste! (Have I mentioned lately how much I love cake?! Ha!)

Presentation -and following instructions!- have never been my strong suit- even though I usually pull it off, well enough--

This was my friend J's birthday cake- a vanilla cake with caramel whipped cream frosting and a caramel ganache (a ganache will save any ugly cake!). I will have to share all that I learn in the class here- I am sure it will be good fun!

But until then.... I just get to sit back (at my desk!) enjoy and appreciate all the great food everyone else has been cooking for me! Not too bad :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Breakfast

Thanks to Shannon, a fellow CALERIE participant (who is almost done! OMG where does the time go?!) I have a totally new idea for breakfast.

It is vegetarian (!!), protein rich, and leaves me full for hours!

Here is goes:

1/2 of an English muffin, toasted (50c)
1 veggie burger (boca is my preferred brand) (100c)
1 egg, poached (80c)

1 thick sliced tomato (5c)
1 thin slice of a mozzarella ball (I will need to weigh this next time) (est 50c)

I cooked these separately (and did not broil the tomato and mozz quite as much as I would have in cooler weather) since I could not imagine how to balance it all- but the taste is the same!

For around 280-300 calories, you can't get much better than that!

Mmmmm, thanks again Shannon!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Quick Update

I have some good things to post soon, and to keep me on task I thought I would highlight a few of them!

1) "My" new favorite breakfast (haha- thanks Shannon!)

2) Eating while writing thesis (not good!)

3) Yoga (at least I have yoga!)

4) What meals my wonderful husband has been cooking for me!

That is it for now- soon I will return!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Packing Light

I am on a bus. On my way to my hometown for the weekend. It is going to be a 6hr (at least!) bus ride. I tried to organize things so I could be very productive while riding... but alas, here I am, blogging :)

At least you get to benefit!

So I was waiting in line to get onto this bus, and I thought of a perfect topic to blog about!

This European couple came into the line behind me with nothing but a halfway filled back-pack and the girl's purse. I was curious (maybe they had shipped their luggage?) because this is not an overnight trip. Well I guess it could be, if you really loved spending your day on a bus... but really much more like a two day trip at the minimum. So it got me thinking... TE sent me a link to a great NYT article that I have made it halfway through, and this couple they interview in the beginning, lives with only 100 items (what??!!) TOTAL. I was thinking this couple could be like that. Or maybe it was because they are European... So I checked out all the other passengers in line with me and like me most had an overnight bag of ranging sizes and a personal items bag. Americans :)


I tried to think of what I "really" needed this weekend (since I was in line with my suitcase, backpack and purse, all of which contents I will outline shortly).

I am going home for my best friend's bachelorette party weekend and we have a variety of things planned. But really all I need could probably fit into one bag. Probably.

So here it goes. Food items first :)

I am also going to calculate the calories since this is a diet blog (ha!). For reference this European couple came aboard with one diet Snapple (16oz?) and a single-bag box of chips ahoy. For.both.of.them.

Now let's compare.

Liz's Food For the 6hr trip
(Yes I am traveling alone, TE and the King Pup are hanging out at home this weekend!)

1) Sub.way footlong sub (ham and provolone, spinach, tomatoes, pickles, and jalapenos with mustard) and I know, I totally won't need a footlong, but who knows this trip may take 10hrs, better to be safe, and it was only $5... (see-- already excess) (670c - ish) (335c)
2) 3c watermelon (150c)
3) 1c Cheddar goldfish (~300c)
4) 1/2c Gluten free herb crackers (Amy's gone crackers?) (75c)
5) 1 Nature Valley peanut butter granola bar (170c)
6) 1 pack of raw fruits and nuts (TJs) (200c)
7) 1 bag of peanut M&Ms (250c)

and then...

for an emergency situation....
8) one of those gross (but so good) Little Debbie brownies (530c!!!)

I should be embarrassed by this...

I am a bit...

Grand total calories: 1815 without the brownie, 2345 with.
Oh my! How far I have fallen!
I, most likely, will not even eat half of it (packing waay more than I need) but still- why do I think I need 2300+ calories for 6 hours!?

I "bolded" the items i thought I would eat/have already eaten (watermelon and crackers) and that total is 810 calories. Better, but still- not great. I did only have breakfast and lunch so that fits into the 4- 400 calorie meal plan...
As long as I don't eat the brownie! :)

Which brings us to actual packing. I think I did pretty well considering my typical habits.

I fit all of my going out clothes (actually enough going out clothes for 3 girls...), beach clothes and towel, hanging out/causal clothes, PJs, 4 pairs of shoes (!!), and all my toiletries/makeup/hair stuff (I think that took up half the space) all into 1 normal sized suitcase!

Then I have my work and laptop in my backpack.

And my food and purse stuff in my purse.

So not minimalist- at all. Well, I never claimed to pack light!

Something to think about, I guess. Something other than my thesis... not what I should be doing. Alright-- back to work :)

Monday, August 9, 2010


Well, I am on my way.

I have a job!!!

It has nothing to do with aging or calorie restriction.

I am very excited about it, despite those details.

I am doing something related to what I did before grad school and in undergrad. It is funny how much of that I still remember. I start the job November 1!

It took me a bit to get excited. But I am fully on board now. I have 6 weeks to turn in my thesis to my committee. That fact is making me crazy. I feel like a chicken without a head. Running around aimlessly, too many things needing attention, nothing actually getting adequate time or focus. I am repeating myself, forgetting who I have talked to about what, forgetting meetings and plans... etc.

So to all my family and friends out there who have suffered because of my chaos, I promise to be better-- in November :)

So for now, I will be cutting myself off. Or trying to. So far I have been unsuccessful at being productive (I needed to celebrate, right?!). But my experiments are ending. Whatever is done is done. Whatever is not, will not get done. And now the writing really begins. First the paper. That is getting sent out the week of labor day. That will also be a (the) major chapter of my thesis. Then I will focus on the rest of the thesis. The more I do, the more I feel like I have to do. I never feel like I get any closer to the end. But the end is coming whether I like it or not....

But how are my eating habits you wonder??

Terrible! I have to get myself back into some old CR habits. I have been drinking too much, sleeping too little, and stressing out way more than is helpful (which in turn causes me to eat too much junky food). I need to get back to my standard meals.

Breakfast: I need help with this one. I can not do cereal (I really overdid it...), PB on toast is getting old although I can eat it occasionally, I have not wanted yogurt and granola, and it is too hot for oatmeal. Maybe eggs will have to do. Egg white omelets. Ideas?

Lunch: I am getting back into the Amy's burrito phase again. Thankfully I recovered quickly from overdoing that one. Also sandwiches are good too. Change up the mustard and it all tastes different :)

Dinner: It has been wayyy too hot to cook and I bought stuff for salads the other week and never used them. I need to get over that and eat salad again. My vegetable intake has gone into free fall mode. Luckily I have a lot of friends who have been cooking for me lately and they cook vegetables for me and TE. I think a rule of one salad/day needs to be implemented.

Well- that is it for now. I am sorry for the absence recently. I will try to keep you all posted on my progress and keep thinking of meal ideas for me, I need all the help I can get right now!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

CR Can Change Your Life!

Boy, I have been busy, and not posting! Honestly, I can not think about food in this stage of the game. I am working a ton and stressing even more- so that really cuts down on my food enjoyment. I have been maintaining my weight, which is all I want right now. I will pick up the counting and measuring again when I can think and plan. But for now, just eating...

Things are not bad though. I am writing (my committee said I can be done "when I am done" which means I am really pushing for August- keep your fingers crossed!) finishing up experiments, and.... applying for jobs!!!

Yesterday I sent out 2 applications (which now makes my application grand total = 3, 2 postdoc, 1 actual job) and have since heard "something" from both. The first response appeared to be an accident- I think they meant to forward my application to someone, instead they hit "reply-all" but it was short and positive so I think I will be hearing back from that soon.

The second application was for a postdoc in a lab studying diabetes, and how maternal nutrition affects diabetes risk (so cool!!). The lab PI has already called me and wants me to meet the lab members ASAP. She said she got in touch with me so quickly because she was very interested in my letter where I talked about how I became interested in nutrition and how it plays a role in disease prevention and treatment-- by participating in the CALERIE study!

That bit of information really helps me stand out as an interesting candidate, I think. Not many people can say that they ate 25% less food for 2 years to benefit science! And people love to hear about this study!!

I really did not know how participating in this study would really change my life when I signed up to do this. It not only changed how I eat and how I feel, but changed my whole professional goals! I feel like it has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself (grad school is very far down on that list right now- haha!). And I am so thankful that this research is ongoing and I can continue to be a part of it. Happiness :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Still Here

Yes, yes. I am still here!

I have a big meeting tomorrow to discuss my future as a graduate student (graduation dates?). Thus, my nerves have kept me from wanting to think about food. I am working a ton and thankfully TE, our families, and our friends have been amazing and supportive throughout my dramatic roller-coaster of moods. Which I am sure will not end tomorrow...

The Woods family made us an amazing meal on Sunday night and forced me to stop freaking out for a few hours (not a small feat!). I have never had BBQ chicken that was so good. Really. I would eat it everyday. :) Maybe we can coax a guest recipe out of them!!

I have big plans to relax this weekend. "Relaxing" will involve scouring our apartment (we will be hosting my little brother and his girlfriend and pup next weekend- I think the King is going to be more excited than I am- he LOVES his cousin pup!), drinking tequila and tonics out in T&S's back yard (T made homemade tonic!! AND calculated the calories in a drink for me!! He is so sweet!!), some yoga and some running. Annd... very minimal work. Maybe only 5hrs or so!

So with that, I promise to return with stories of food and nutrition and hopefully some good news on the graduation front...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Why CR?

In my attempts to re-motivate (counting is not going as well as I would like...) I am going to dedicate the next few posts to why I want to maintain this seemingly (to me) labor intensive diet.

1) Weight loss/maintenance.
Really what more is needed to say? I lost 20lbs throughout the study and I would like to keep it off, and keep my body in a negative energy state. Good things happen when you are in a negative energy balance. Like what, you ask?!

2) Improved health functions.
If we can correlate the animals studies to the preliminary human studies*: if one were to maintain a CR diet for life (all benefits lost once you stop dieting- not that you would get unhealthy immediately, but the "protection" is lost) you would
  • Not get sick as often-- when I did get sick it was never that bad
  • Be more protected from getting diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, immune diseases, and cancer
  • Have improved muscle and bone structure
I am more interested the benefits of this diet improving the aging process than extending my life in terms of years. I would like to live healthy for as long as possible.

*None of this has been proven in humans, but the evidence is clear in animal studies.

3) Awareness.
It is a good thing when you know how much food you actually need on a daily basis. And anther good thing when you can look back at the end of the day and know you ate what you needed. It may seem strange, but awareness and control can be a good thing. Self control is one of the hardest things I am still learning...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bad First Day

So I went over my calories yesterday. Way over.

What went wrong? Where to begin!?

Poor food planning (lunch/snacks), evening delays (the King Pup), and reduced kitchen access (all of our porch furniture is in our kitchen while they paint/stain the decks) all led a "starving Liz" to order Chinese food last night (oh, the drama!).

Which in theory is fine, since I have my favorite healthy order now: hot and sour soup with steamed mixed veggies (you get 3 meals out of that order and it is pretty low calorie. High salt, low calorie) with a side of scallion pancake (you have to have some fried yumminess!). But then I also ate some lo mien and a few pieces of General Tso's chicken (very small amounts but still calories add up quick in fried foods!). AND then(!!) ice cream!! I was insatiable yesterday.

I will blame the half marathon. Yep, that's it :) the blame game which got me into trouble before CALERIE. I know better now.

Usually when I get back "on the wagon" after a blow-out day-- I like to have a few very high fiber days (45g). I feel fuller. I am less likely to have starving fits that go out of control like that. But that requires planning, which I did not do yesterday. Today will hopefully be better. I have my leftover soup, bran buds for my yogurt, fresh berries, and some fiber one bars on hand. Many better choices to keep me satisfied throughout the day.

Here's to a better day today!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I am baaack!



I had a nice two month break from thinking about calories. I ran a half marathon. I did a lot of yoga. And I gained about 2lbs...

Not terrible. But if I keep gaining 1lb/month I will be back where I was in less than two years! Not something I want. I want to keep up with the CR. I like how I feel when I am restricted. It is cheaper to eat less (usually!). If I eat what I know/standards there will be no room for questioning and I won't have to think too much about food while I am over stressed writing my thesis. Packaged foods. The same favorites. This will keep me going for the next 3-4mo until I graduate!!

So I will get back to blogging and keeping track of my calories. Either on CRON-o-Meter or on the Calorie King website. I have not decided yet. I think I am going to try out the CK website, since I can do it on any computer. Or maybe Google...

Today is Day One!!
I am going to attempt a comical Bridget Jones diary format. We will see if I can pull it off :) It may get back to the boring same old.... I am thinking about not retelling everything I eat here (for the sake of my readers) but to highlight things that went well or not so well.

Let's start this journey again!
Thanks for sticking with me--- if there is anyone left out there reading :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's all over now, baby blue

I know I have not had any time to blog about the sad ending of my role in the CALERIE study. Things have been crazy with being at the study, getting ready for a conference, and getting ready for a vacation.

So the short version of the story is that I am/was very sad to be finished with the study. The last morning was a grueling one --I think that I have to claim the biopsies are the least fun part of the study-- but as I told the doctor performing them, I entered the study because I saw the impressive pictures of the calorie restricted mouse muscle- so I should have to participate in this part of the study for that reason alone! But as I was done, and eating breakfast, I started sobbing. I did not know why I was so upset. I would think most people would have been thrilled to be finished with the study- but no- there I was blubbering over my English muffin and peanut butter.

I was getting some very good/supportive text messages though at this time. AMH helped me justify that the study was a major part of my life for 2 years and I am allowed to mourn it's end. And so I did. All day. Every time I thought I was okay, something would trigger the tears. At one point it was hearing Bob Dylan's- It's all over now baby blue on the radio.

But I could not mourn for long. I needed all pistons firing for the effort of making my poster... if any of you remember the last poster I made (October) I pulled an all nighter (nothing like the last minute- procrastination Liz). I promised my counselor I would try not to ever do that again. I failed this week in keeping that promise. So without going into any of the awful details, I made a poster, it got printed (after many hours of IT intervention), I cleaned my apartment, did laundry, packed, baked muffins, and actually slept last night :)

So we made it. We have arrived safely and pretty much without any trouble, settled into the hotel with TE, and just returned from food shopping.

Which is really the topic I want to discuss the most right now. We had to go to a gas station grocery for our food. We are trying to save money by not buying more than one meal out each day-- we wanted to take a bus to a supermarket somewhat nearby, but we are tired and did not feel like having to deal with public transport in a confusing non-city. So off we went to the gas station nearby.

We spent $56 (!?!? I know, right?! When you see the list below you will ask if we are really saving any money!)-- here is what we got for breakfasts and lunches for TE and lunch/snacks for me.

6 Bananas
6 Bagels
Raisin Bran cereal
JIF peanut butter
Strawberry Jelly
Plain corn Doritos (TE has been talking about their existence for years, no one believes him. We had to get them...)
Beef Jerky
Bag of mixed mini candy bars
4 6oz- yogurt (not the ones I would want but at least they are low-fat)
Red Fat Cream cheese
25% reduced fat cheddar (impressive for a gas station!)
Ziploc "bowls"
Plastic utensils

Yep- so I will keep you all posted on my CR eating at a conference. I did well tonight, steered clear of any and all cheese (I can not have one piece) and just drank tea/decaf coffee and ate fruit. They only give us breakfast here so I am going to make the most of it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Morning Over

So the worst of it is over... well mostly. Tomorrow I have my biopsies, that is not terrible but not fun.

This morning I was woken up at 6am (I told this to TE, and he asked "Do they know you?!" Ha!) for my weight, blood pressure, and set up for the resting metabolism test. Set up for me involves staying in bed. Fun!

The RMR test started at 8ish, they put this hood/mask thing over your head (clear plastic- you can see out of it) and it makes this wonderful white noise. Wonderful because it makes you want to sleep like you have never slept before. Buuut you need to stay awake for it- I try counting ceiling tiles, telling stories in my head, and this time I actually watched the screen measuring my metabolism. Always when I caught myself falling asleep it was the lowest. It kept things a bit more interesting than ceiling tiles.

I would say, just from my observations this morning- my RMR is around 1100 calories. That is to say - if I stayed in bed all day, I would need 1100 calories to maintain my weight. I think it is pretty much what I have been all along.

After that-I fell back asleep, had some crazy dreams about the King Pup (he has been acting out of sorts) and got re-woken up at 8:30(?) to start my glucose tolerance test. I won't go into the gory details- it is not terribly fun- especially because I am a big baby about blood lines in my hands. I am fine with lines in my arms, but I hate getting blood drawn from my hand. Regardless, my nurse was amazing and noticed that once my vein started to seize she needed to move the line. Fantastic!! I was also chanting (in my head) about my veins being rock-stars not disco dancers (okay, now I know I have not eaten/had coffee at this point-- but where do I come up with this stuff!?)

The glucose test was over by 12 (early!) and I got to have lunch (turkey and cheese on wheat bread) and head back to my room.

At 1pm I did about an hour of computer testing, which always make me feel like a dummy with ridiculously slow reflexes.

And that, my readers (if you are still reading), brings you all up-to-speed. I am about to start in on some work setting up my poster layout/outline for a meeting with boss-man tomorrow afternoon. Fun times at CALERIE high :)

Monday, February 22, 2010


Well I am not quite sure if this is actually live blogging... but hey, it is what it is :)

So I did some work (some of my many experiments actually worked!?), watched According to Greta (eh), and 3 episodes of Ab Fab. Oh and ate. Something about being in here makes me starving!! Like insatiable.

And I am avoiding scratching at my arm where the allergy tests are planted. I have photos. They are gross.

Anyway- I thought you all may like this clip. If you have not ever seen Ab Fab before- you should. This episode is called "Fat" and if you do not want to watch the whole beginning you can fast forward to 2:35 when Edina asks why she is so fat. Enjoy and goodnight all!

Live Blogging Overnight

Wow. My last stay at the study center. 2 years! Where did the time go?!
Well today was a crazy day (it always is crazy the day I go in for my overnights) but I did manage to get in for my morning visit before 11 (my baseline and 1yr visit was at 11am, not 8:45 like it was today)!

So here is the run-down of my day so far (I know, maybe even more boring than my daily food records):

8:45- arrive at study center, drop off overnight bag and books. Blood draw (fasting). Temperature, blood pressure, pregnancy test.
10:05- Skin allergy test plant
10:30- Breakfast: my favorite- English muffin, peanut butter, apple, coffee, non-dairy creamer
11:30- Arrive at work -- proceed to frantically run though way too many experiments in a very short amount of time. I will, after blogging, look to see how one of them worked out. Given my mental state, I am not too sure about the success of anything I did today...
4:35- RUN out of the building with hopes of going to the post office. Arrive at the post office and notice the line is about 12 people deep (what is it Christmas?!). Forgo the post office and go to the subway.
5:15- arrive back at the study center, drop off bag (yes another bag) and coat, and head down to dinner.
5:45- Take my core body temperature pill (it is about the size of a multi-vitamin and is currently reading 36.84 degrees) The researchers will measure my core body temperature for at least 24 hours. Start unpacking.

Here is where things may get a bit more interesting... Here is the inventory of what I brought to keep me entertained in my time here (keep in mind I have a poster to make, plenty of work to do, and I will be discharged on Wednesday morning-ish). I began to amaze myself as I was unpacking it all...

Liz's Delusional Vision of the Number of Hours in an Overnight Stay

According to Greta (Netflix)
A Mighty Heart (N)
Atonement (N)
Absolutely Fabulous Season 1 (so good!)
Charlie Wilson's War
All of netflix/hulu/tv streaming...

Middlesex (I am halfway through)
The Kite Runner (I know, I know... I have not read it yet- I will!)
Ask For It (a negotiation book for women)
Ashtanga Yoga- The Practice Manual

2 issues of The Week
2 issues of Paste

And then there is my work!! Which I am about to start now. More later!! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday so far....

I had my first day of testing today. I recorded a play-by-play for those of you curious as to how I spend my time at the study center or just want to know what kind of rigorous testing I go through ;) You can find my food buried in the details!

7:20am- Arrive at study center
7:30- First urine sample: pregnancy test, other unknown tests. Change into scrubs. Realize I forgot my laptop power cord.. live blogging is going to have to be done the old fashioned way-- with a paper and pen. Nurses get my weight.
7:45- Blood work, back to room
7:55- Second urine sample
8:06am- Drink dose of labeled water (this is how they measure exactly how many calories I am eating over a one week period). Waist circumference measurements done. Go over my daily diary (I record any illnesses/drugs taken). Read some of my book.
9am- tune into Ellen show. I have actually never watched it before!
9:20- get picked up to go across the street for a DEXA scan (bone density)
9:45- return to room, catch the tail end of Ellen (Emily Blunt was on!)
10:15- start counting minutes to snack time.... (11:06)
11:06am- SNACK time! At this point I am starving- I stopped eating last night at 6:30pm. The Nature Valley Granola bars and OJ never tasted so good!! (293c)
11:15- go upstairs for strength tests
12:15- Finished with strength tests, started to fill out questionnaires- but got taken to get an EKG, blood pressure, physical, and visual computer tests.
1:26- Finished questionnaires. Begin the final countdown to lunch time!
2:06- final urine, then LUNCH!

Lunch Feeding Frenzy-800 calories (ugh!)
2 slices wheat bread
3oz roasted turkey
1T fat free mayo
1tsp mustard
2 slices tomato
1 leaf of iceberg lettuce
1c diet ginger ale
(saved the apple and bran cookie for later)

Left the center and picked up a coffee on my way into work...
Coffee- 40c
....lemon loaf.. (eeekkk) 350c (!!)

Leaving about 500 calories for dinner.... TE wants to check out a new middle eastern place in the neighborhood, so I am going to look up some options on Calorie King!

Monday, February 8, 2010

2 Weeks of Accountibility

So tomorrow begins my final testing (2 weeks long) of the CALERIE phase of my CR life. I will be getting my handy orange booklet to record all of my food- but I thought I could use the extra accountability and encouragement in this phase. Especially since it is going to be hectic with work (a lot of late hours) up through the end. So here we go again....
This is a picture of me at my 6mo testing recording diligently at a pizza shop in SF.

Monday- 1670 calories!

Breakfast (at study site)- 345 calories

English Muffin- 100c
3/4oz creamy peanut butter- 125c
1 med red delicious apple (I usually get a banana- but they did not have any this morning)- 80c
1T cream- 10c

Then walk to S.bucks for more coffee (11oz coffee, 1/4c 2% Milk)- 30c

Lunch- 500 calories
Subway sandwich 380c
--Oven Roasted Chicken on wheat (320c)
with Provolone (40)
Spinach, Tomato, Pickles and Mustard (~20)
Diet Coke

Seminar Snack- 115 calories
Coffee - 1c, + 1T whole milk ~15c
Oatmeal Raisin cookie ~100c

Snack-180 calories
Yogurt - 130c
Bran buds- 1/4c- 50c

Dinner - 530 calories

The other half of my Subway sandwich- 380c
Kettle cooked potato chips- 1/2 bag 100c
Clementine- 50c

Friday, February 5, 2010

Winter Breakfast

In an effort to keep blogging I thought I would update you all with my current favorite breakfast. It is great for cold winter mornings. We first had this combination of oats, berries, and nuts in Texas while visiting our dear friends A&K. It was not necessarily as cold as it is here- but everything is relative...

Looks good, right?! I love my selection of mugs too, haha!! Also- notice my handy measuring tools in the background. Such a kiss-up!

Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal
serves 2
420 calories/serving

1C Mixed grain oats (260c total)
1.75c Water to cook the oats

1tsp cinnamon
1oz chopped walnuts (200c)
30g (one serving) dried cranberries (130c)

Cook Oatmeal according to directions (boil water, add oats)
Add cinnamon, nuts and berries to the oats about 5min before all of the water is absorbed
Put oatmeal into 2 bowls

Top each bowl with:
1T maple syrup (50c)
2T skim milk (25c)


Monday, February 1, 2010

Big Month

February is upon us.

I am no longer counting the days left in the study- because I am no longer thinking of the study as being over-- it will continue as I continue keeping my CR dietary habits alive :)

Everything has been going well- I was inspired by the CALERIE party, met new participants, lost most of the weight gained over the holiday season, and generally feel better about things. Maybe it is the running, or the yoga, or not traveling... I am not questioning it.

I am very thankful that all my family and friends have been very supportive throughout this process. School is crazy and I need all the support I can get at this time.

In other good news, the weekend that the study is over TE and I are going on a winter wonderland trip! We are going to a state that I have never been to before, staying in a spa, snowboarding, and getting massages!! There is some academic purpose to this trip, but for now I am not thinking about it-- only the fun! :)

I am also planning a shopping trip for my CALERIE body wardrobe (to keep me this same size!) for March.

Two things to keep me thinking positively and giving me extra motivation to maintain my weight/CR diet long term and my outlook through the next few weeks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On board

I know, 13 days into the new year and no posts from Liz....

Another writing block? I have had a few post ideas floating around in my head- but have not had the motivation to sit down and write them. Until now...?

On new years day I realized I only had 55 days left of being a participant in the CALERIE study (now only 42) and it initiated a mini-freak out. What am I going to do? How am I going to be able to do this on my own? What if I gain 20lbs? What if I forget everything I learned?

Nothing I had not thought before, but it all seemed so much closer. So much more real. The study is actually going to be over. Two years already!?

I have since negotiated these thoughts and am practicing telling myself (over and over) that I can do this, I will not forget everything, and if I gain weight, I know how to lose it.

It is helping.

I am writing this the day before a CALERIE party- and if it is anything like last year- I will leave feeling empowered that I can do this for the long haul. That will help power me through this last month in a sprint.

Another thing that is helping, related to sprinting, is the fact that TE and I (along with a few friends) are training for a half marathon in May. TE has been dragging me out of bed in the mornings to run (despite my cranky grumblings), and I know as it gets warmer (will it ever get warmer?!) it will be easier and easier to run.

Exercise helps me make better food choices. Having the support of people who helped me get here will help me make better choices. And reminding myself of how I did this for two years will help me make better choices. And again, I will remember the mice.

I hope to document this last month well so that I can look back on my two years of blogging, eating well, and changing my life, and know that I can continue this for life! Help keep me honest!!

Thank you for reading and following me/supporting me throughout this study!