Why am I bothering?

Symbol for Longevity
This is what I seek.

I can understand that some might question why get into this slog of changing my diet in order to lose the weight I regained.
Simple.  I may not have the looks of my 20s and 30s, and goodness knows I still want to polish up my personality, but the goal I have is for longevity.

I want more time to love those I hold most dear, to impact those around me, to create if I am able, things of beauty.

To have any shot at a long life, it means having a healthy weight, a diet that lets my body work its best.

My love of cooking, sharing food and laughter with others, has only grown since childhood. So be ready for future posts with many mentions of cooking, recipes, and the satisfaction of eating myself to thin.

Green Chicken Enchilada Cauliflower Casserole

This is a new to me recipe that I tried for our Reward Meal last night – but it is a CM recipe, suitable for any meal.

I would classify this as a cold weather comfort dish, as it is very rich and dense.  I did make some adjustments, but would encourage you to try the recipe as written (especially if you are counting calories, as the author has all that figured out for you, if made as written.)

Green Chicken Enchilada Cauliflower Casserole is simple, easy to make and just scrumptious.
Melissa Sevigny of Ibreatheimhungry.com hits it out of the park again!

My adjustments were to increase the amount of shredded chicken used, and the amount of salsa verde.  Photo will be added to this post next time I make this dish!

Sour Cream Pancakes – Yes, they do work!

I tried a new recipe today for my Sunday Reward Meal brunch.  The recipe is for sour cream pancakes, and it uses considerably less flour than traditional pancake recipes do.

Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes published on the Pioneer Woman’s website is a keeper of a recipe.  If you are not worried about calories OR if you prefer that they are coming from fat instead of flours, this recipe is for you.

Using just 7 tablespoons of flour to make pancakes for two, with eggs and a full cup of sour cream as  protein components in the recipe to offset the carbohydrates (does call for a minimum of 1 tablespoon of sugar), it is my kind of treat.

Next time I make these (which my husband loved declaring them “not tough at all” and “delicious”), I will take a good photo and add to this post.

Almost 2 weeks back on plan

I have continued to be ill with bronchitis, and due to the way my body responds to a max strength formula of Mucinex, dropped 13 pounds my first week back on plan.

I am now finishing up my second week, and to my delight, my weight is holding steady at 12 pounds off in under 2 weeks.

Most importantly, I am enjoying my meals, and my body feels so much better when I eat this way.

Brief recap of how I eat. Two meals a day, and any snacks, are composed of protein and a low carbohydrate vegetable.  These are  “craving reducing” meals aka CMs.

One meal a day  will start with a salad (or a cm vegetable), and the meal will contain 1/3 protein, 1/3 low carb vegetable, and 1/3 complex carbohydrate.  This is the Reward Meal aka RM.

A sample cm breakfast is 2 eggs cooked in butter with sautéed mushrooms and/or mini-sweet bell pepper, 1 oz. half and half with my coffee.

A lunch cm could be what I had today: home brined (no sugars used) and smoked turkey breast diced, with fresh kale, fresh celery,1/4 of a tomato, all boiled with a bit of water to make a broth.  I added 1 tablespoon sour cream and curry powder to the broth and  had a yummy “stew”.

I am looking forward to 2 weeks from now, when I can say I’ve been back to normalcy (for me) for a month!

Interesting article about the benefits of eating cheese

I found this very interesting.  Particularly the comment that all too often a decision is made about the potential harm of a food by simply looking at the “stats” – how much fat, sodium etc.

Do give this a read: The Case for Eating Cheese a Time article by Mandy Oaklander.

Where have I been?

I call it down the rabbit hole.  All of 2016 was a whirlwind of change.  But first a bit of history.

I was told to stop losing weight in Spring of 2015, after it became clear I was becoming too thin, and the “number” picked as target weight was not appropriate.  I was gaunt, bony, taken off my bp medication due to problems with low blood pressure that landed me in the hospital.

I did not manage maintenance well.  It fell apart when my husband treated me to the most incredible birthday ever.  In July of 2015, we spent 2 weeks of driving from one wonderful resort to charming town, around Vancouver Island BC, then spent 3 days in Las Vegas in an incredible suite at the Venetian hotel.

I planned to be on plan for the BC trip, and took appropriate snacks with me, but within a week was diving into poor eating habits. Not with complete abandon but enough that I gained 20 pounds!  I can gain so very quickly.  I knew it wasn’t “real” weight, and took off 17 pounds of it, in 2 weeks.  Eating almost 1,800 calories per day, so no, I was not starving myself.

But Vegas did something to me. I not only put back on the weight I’d just lost, I began to lose my resolve.  The 20 pounds stayed and I began to (at first) slowly gain.  I was mid-170s by Christmas of 2015.

2016 saw lots of travel – a week plus to California, then 2 weeks in Colorado, a week in Ohio…and I was ill for the first 2 months of the year.  Truly so ill, I could care less what I was eating.

During 2016, we remodeled our home, preparing to essentially flip it. It was a process that unexpectedly led us to living out of motels from April until late June, and that made eating on plan truly challenging.  Stress levels were beyond high.

We moved just after the 4th of July – leaving a state we loved, friends and the church where I was confirmed at Easter Vigil 2016. I am an emotional eater and there were many emotions around this life changing move.

Once in Ohio, we were blessed to find our dream home within 3 weeks, though we continued having to live out of an extended stay hotel until we could close and move in, which was not until September.

I made several up to a month-long attempts to get back on plan, knowing that I was gaining and so very uncomfortable.  I was shocked when I found out just how much I had gained since July 2015, when I had a trip to the ER after a fall, in late August of 2016.

I did semi-well for November but then tossed up my hands, took December off in a move that well and truly made me feel very ill, and really packed on the pounds.

The damage is that I have 124.4  pounds to lose to get to my new maintenance weight of 160.  It was at 150 that I looked so horribly thin, and I won’t return to that weight.  I was in the 260s in November, telling myself okay, 100 to lose.  December was a stunning month for weight gain.

I’m on day 5 of returning to eating the way I feel best, and down 4.6 pounds.  I have my first goal of simply getting back to my lowest weight since August 2016 of 261. My plan is to lose a steady 1.5 pounds a week, and to be at my goal weight of 160 in 2 years.

Then, having successfully lost a large amount of weight twice, I will work as hard as it takes, to be successful at maintenance this next time.  I know that I can, despite being a slow learner, figure this out.

Few folks lose 216 pounds as I did initially (over a 4 year period), without medications, surgery or stringent workout programs.  I know I can lose this 124+ pounds the same way, and it is my deepest desire to then maintain.
If you have read this far, thank you!  I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Thought provoking article

No better way to  jump-start my blog this year, than to post this link to a must read (in my opinion) article about Diabetes and the recommendations frequently made.

http://robbwolf.com/2017/01/05/why-wont-we-tell-diabetics-the-truth/

I have become inured to the puzzling advice and ads I often see for what diabetics should eat, but not being a Registered dietician, why would I comment except to share my personal experience as a pre-diabetic?  This article’s author has that training, and makes good points about what she is observing.  Hope you will give the article a look.

Well really, I am still here

Just dealing with closing my business, and some travel with my husband.  I have had some wibble wobbles with maintenance, and this 11 day vacation I just took (all around British Columbia) did see me off plan for a fair bit of it.

I came home to see quite a weight gain – one that didn’t make sense for just 11 days.  I realized I’d retained water as my lower legs were not their normal shape.  I got back on plan on Sunday July 12th, and as of this morning have lost just under 13 pounds!  I’m eating over 1,700 calories per day, and per calp rules.  Just to make it clear that I am not starving myself to get this weight off.  I have greatly increased my water intake from the poor intake I had while on the road, and it is this, in my opinion, that has helped me so much.

I feel like myself again.  I truly do prefer eating this way, and am looking forward to being back at my preferred maintenance range of 150-153.

I am here!

May in Chinook Pass
Snow, fog and sun going over Chinook Pass.

Since I last posted, my daily weights have been May 19 – 151.0.
May 20th – 151.3
May 21st -152.1
May 22nd -152.1
May 23rd – 151.8
May 24th – 151.6
Memorial Day – 154.0 (oof!) New weight by average: 151.8.

Today, the 26th – 153.7.
I am having some concern over the past two days, and will be working to see 151’s again within a couple of days.

My maintenance goal is an average weight of 150-153.  Right there, and want to stay there!

We had a lovely drive to the Yakima area of WA state to buy fresh vegetables for something less than the arm and a leg they are charging for them locally.  We came home with fresh baby bok choy, zucchini, asparagus and first of the season cherries.  As usual in this lovely state, many photo opportunities, and even though just taken with my phone camera, I think the photo in this post shares nicely just how breathtaking a drive we had home, going back over Chinook Pass.

Goodness – Didn’t Expect This!

I had a new low this morning and officially, for at least today, hit my current goal of 150.0.  I would like it to be an averaged weight, but am still quite happy to see it.

I am almost done running a fever, and back to normal activities.  No more napping!

and eating yummy food at that