Thursday, January 28, 2010

Heading in the Right Direction

It's week 4 and I am steadily loosing weight.  An average of about 3 pounds per week.  The one thing I haven't been able to do is start exercising.  For some reason, that just seems like the hardest thing in the world to me.  I know it will help me loose the weight faster, and getting into an exercise routine will help me keep the weight off for longer, but I just can't seem to get started.  I will try again next week.  I'm not going to give up!
As far as the eating is concerned, I've been doing great!  I'm eating less and eating things that are so much healthier.  I am, again, amazed at how easy it was to implement these changes in eating.  I don't even want to eat the old stuff anymore.  My favorites are the potatoes...I do miss those.  But, I know that one day I will get closer to my goal, and then I will allow myself to eat my favorite potato dishes every once in a while.
This is the Chicken with Snow Peas that we had for dinner one night last week.  After undercooking my chicken the night before, I wanted to be especially sure that the chicken was cooked this night.  But, other than the over-done chicken, everything else came out perfectly.
Sesame Ginger Chicken with Snow Peas

Monday, January 25, 2010

Resisting Temptation!

Tonight we went out for dinner.  We went to a steak place...steak is definitely OK on South Beach, as long as your diet isn't only red meat.  My husband and I both got our steaks with a salad and a baked sweet potato.  Dinner was good, but my husband and son were interested in the brownie from the dessert menu.  I told him he could have it if it was a sugar-free brownie made with whole-wheat flour.  He, of course, said it was (and almost had my son convinced he was serious)!  Well, after much persuading, I told him he could have the brownie and I would get the cheesecake...just this once.  When the waiter came back to take our dessert order, he ordered his brownie and I ordered NOTHING!  I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  I didn't really want a cheesecake that badly, and why ruin the last 3 weeks for just a cheesecake?  Well, at least not one that isn't from the Cheesecake Factory.  My husband and son ate the brownie, I tasted the ice cream, and that was then end of it.
So, it was a huge step considering just 2 weeks ago I was forgetting about the diet all together and scarfing down a creme-filled chocolate-glazed doughnut!  I was, and still am, rather proud of myself for resisting the temptation of dessert.  Now, if only I could force myself to get up and exercise...
On the menu for the rest of this week:
We are revisiting the Turkey & White Bean Chili, since it was such a big hit last time!
Grilled Pork Chops with Butternut Squash (I am told that the Squash needs to be cooked "like my grandmother makes it")
Rigatoni with Sausage & Mozzarella
Chicken Breasts stuffed with Spinach & Goat Cheese
Meatloaf with Gravy & Sweet Potatoes

Sunday, January 17, 2010

9 Pounds Down...On To Phase 2

We have been on Phase 1 for 2 weeks now, and I am already 9 pounds down.  It would probably have been more if I didn't drink any liquor (or licorice as my son calls it) these past two weekends.  My husband has dropped 15 pounds.  It's not fair that men always lose weight faster than women.  I have decided to start exercising next week.  I am going to start out with 2 days a week and see how it goes.  In the meantime, these past two weeks have been great for our son.  He is starting to think about healthy foods more often and is getting good at correcting us when we want to sway away from our diet momentarily!
I am much more excited about Phase 2.  We can re-introduce a lot of the foods that we have been without for 2 weeks.  I love fruit and that is back into the mix now too!  We can also have sweet potatoes and whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pasta.  We are going to try making our own homemade bread crumbs so that we can have Chicken Parmesan as one of our meals this week.  I'll let you know how they turn out!

On the menu this week:
Steak and Sweet Potatoes
Vietnamese Pork Rolls and Salad
Chicken Skewers and Sesame Green Beans
Cheeseburger Quesadillas with Sweet Potato Fries
Chicken Parmesan, Whole-Wheat Pasta and Broccoli
Ginger Chicken with Snow Pea Salad
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Ham and Peas

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's Not All Fun and Games!

This whole South Beach Diet "lifestyle change" sure is hard work!  It takes a lot more time to cook dinner than to just pick up something on the way home.  Plus, the dishes pile up in the sink SO much faster.  But, I know this is going to be the best thing for me and my family.  We will be healthier and stronger after it is all said and done.  Last night, I didn't really like my soup too much.  After I followed the recipe, it was looking kind of scarce.  So, I searched around for some more vegetables to add to it.  I found some corn in the freezer and added it to the pot.  Only to find out that we can't have corn...oops!  Tony suggested adding chicken to it as well.  It looked much more like a hearty soup when I had finished with it, but it wasn't exactly South Beach anymore!  I ate it anyway.  Tony sat there and picked out all of his corn (he's so good at this).
Tonight was Barbecue Chicken and a salad.  I made the sauce as the recipe said to, but it didn't taste just right.  So, once again, I looked around for something else to add to it.  I added more of some of the ingredients that were already in the recipe, but it still didn't taste right.  Then I sifted through our refrigerator to see what our usual barbecue sauce looked like.  We had:  Sweet Baby Ray's, Honey Baby Ray's, Honey KC Masterpiece, and Hickory Brown Sugar KC Masterpiece.  Then it finally clicked...what do all of these sauces have in common?  They are all sweet!  Since we can't have sugars on this diet, the recipe didn't call for anything sweet!  So, in all my infinite wisdom, I decided to add some Splenda to the mix.  Voila!  Suddenly the sauce tasted just right.  I slapped it on the chicken (what I could see of it since I was once again cooking on the gas grill in the dark in below freezing temperatures), and it was great!
I hope I get up for work on time tomorrow, because I am too tired to make lunch tonight.  It helps to have it done the day before, but this diet is getting to be time consuming!  I'll get better at it though!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Week 1 - Five Pounds Down

Well, it's official, I have lost 5 pounds.  Even with my night of debauchery last night, I still managed to lose 5 pounds!  So, I know we are on the right track, even if it is going to be a long road.  My husband made a delicious Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Goat Cheese and Spinach for dinner tonight.  He also created a side-dish with asparagus, mushrooms and onions.  It was very good!

On the menu this week, we have:
Vegetable & Bean Soup
Barbecue Chicken w/ Antipasto Salad
Beef & White Bean Chili
Grilled Chicken & Avocado Salad
Beef w/ Asparagus & Mushrooms

This will be our last week on Phase 1.  Phase 2 will be much easier.  We will be able to have whole wheat products, such as bread and pasta.  I will finally be able to have fruit again, and we can have different vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and carrots.  I can't wait!  This will be one resolution I plan on keeping for a very long time!  I am going to make this "lifestyle change" work this time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day...Or Five!

Well, it's Day 5, and I have lost 3 pounds.  Yay!  But, I am not completely acclimated to this whole "lifestyle change" yet.  This morning we had a 2 hr. delay for school because of the icy roads, so we were there nearly 2 and a half hours before the students.   One of the teachers offered to go and get doughnuts, and before I even realized, I had shoved a nice creme-filled chocolate-glazed doughnut into my mouth.  While contemplating over whether I should eat another one, I suddenly remembered that I was on a diet!  I jokingly accused the teacher who brought the doughnuts of being an "Evil Villainess!"  But, of course, I knew it wasn't her fault.  I never even told her I was on South Beach.  I felt so guilty after I came to my senses, so at least that's a good sign!  But, I'm not to the point where I just always pass up doughnuts.  I'll get there one day, but it wasn't today.
P.S.  I haven't told my husband what happened, so don't say anything!  OK?
For dinner, my son cooked us some Shrimp Scampi.  My husband prepared the green beans, and a salad.  I'm not really one for seafood (although I'm going to have to get use to it), but I was very proud of my son! He even chopped the garlic himself.  He enjoys cooking and wants to become a chef when he grows up.  I hope that this "lifestyle change" for us will mean that he is a healthier eater when he grows up too!
Time for another picture, here is the Shrimp Scampi my son cooked!
Shrimp Scampi - a la A.J. Jr.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 4 - Exhaustion sets in...

Well, if finally happened.  I'm so exhausted I can hardly type.  I'm not quite sure if this is my usual week 1 crash, which typically happens around day 5 for me.  Or if it is because I accidentally took two doses of Zyrtec this morning.  Usually I take 2 pills out of the bottle, I take one pill and give the other to my son.  This morning, before I realized what I was doing, I had swallowed both pills plus my Sudafed.  The bottle clearly says not to take more than one in a 24 hour period.    Whoops!
As for the diet.  My morning Slim-fast was much better today...considering the fact that I didn't try to mix it in my coffee again!  I had left-over Grilled Chicken and Tri-Colored Salad for lunch.  On the menu tonight, Chicken stuffed with Spinach and Cheese and Cannellini Bean Salad.  I also made a Red Wine Vinegar dressing to go with it.  The Balsamic Vinegar is all the rage right now (I know...I'm addicted to it too), but don't underestimate the power of a perfectly blended Red Wine Vinegar Dressing.
Also, the Cannellini Salad was SUPER easy, because, remember I already cut up my vegetables on Sunday!  Oh yeah!  That has come in handy this week.  I mixed the beans with cucumber, green and red bell pepper and purple onion.  Then I put some baby arugula leaves in the bowl, put the bean salad in, and topped it of with half an avocado (sliced).  It was delicious!
I hope to perk up again by to bed for now, though.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lessons Learned on Day 3

  1. Coffee and Slim-fast do not mix well together, despite what I thought.
  2. Cooking on the gas grill is no fun in freezing temperatures.
  3. My dog will eat anything from my salad except black olives.
  4. My son would rather eat Chef Boyardee over our delicious Grilled Chicken and Tri-Colored Salad.
  5. Balsamic Vinegar smells amazing straight from the bottle.
Here is a picture of the dinner I made tonight.

Grilled Chicken and Tri-Colored Salad

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Surprise! Surprise! - Day 2

Well, the brussel sprouts did NOT go over well with my son last night.  He nearly had a panic attack just trying to taste one!  It was quite comical though!  Then we tried to make a deal or maybe it was an ultimatum.  We let him choose to either try the brussel sprout, or to go 3 days with NO video games.  He actually chose NO video games, so we knew he was serious about not wanting to eat this brussel sprout.  My husband is always trying to get him to eat new foods, but we didn't force this one because he does eat so many other vegetables that kids normally don't like.  I remember the look on the waitress' face at Bob Evans when my son ordered double broccoli with his meal one night.  She looked at us and said, "Really?"  We were, like, "Heck yeah!"  If he wants to eat broccoli, let the kid eat some broccoli!
Tonight, on the other hand, was a completely different story!  He LOVED the Turkey and White Bean Chili I made tonight.  He even said that he like it better than my husband's chili (which is unheard of, because my husband is a much better cook than I am).  I told my son that it was just a recipe that I used, and Daddy makes his on his own.  My husband liked the chili too.  When I first taste tested it, I didn't like it at all.  But I guess it just needed to simmer and let all the flavors mix in for a while.  So, that is the surprise on Day 2...My son actually liked the Chili!  Hooray for the South Beach Diet Cookbook!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 1 - Feeling Good

So the first day is always a good day.  You're hyped up and feeling pumped about the new diet.  The crash doesn't come until about the 4th or 5th day.  By then, your body is deprived and feeling weak!  I'm hoping that I can keep up this pace, because today was pretty gosh-darn easy.
For breakfast, I had a cup of coffee and a slim-fast shake (not exactly on the South Beach Diet, but it's better than nothing, right?).  Then I had one diet Mountain Dew and for lunch I had a salad with chicken salad on top (it was just basically lettuce leaves and for the actual salad part, though).  Of course, one of the things I love most about the South Beach Diet is that he actually encourages you to use regular salad dressing...none of that low-fat or fat-free crap for me!  Thank goodness!  Once I got home, which was about 6:30 (sure, I could have made it home sooner, but I had work to do), I got dinner prepared.  On the menu tonight was Chicken and Mushroom Soup with leeks and baby brussel sprouts.  My husband and son pitched a fit about the brussel sprouts, but I'm glad they are both going to at least try it!
This dish was quite easy to put together because all on my vegetables were already cut up.  (I am super proud of myself for getting that done on Sunday!)  The only thing I had to cut was the chicken.  Then, it basically just throwing things into the pot at the right time and...Voila!  Dinner is served!
While, I was waiting for the broth to boil, I went ahead and chopped some more vegetables and got my lunch ready for tomorrow.  I made another salad, this time I put cucumber, celery, green and red bell pepper, chick peas, black olives and tomatoes.  Tomorrow before I leave for work, I will top it with some more of the chicken salad I made on Sunday and some of my Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing.
On a side note:  ...about those bell peppers.  For the longest time now, I have been on an anti-bell pepper kick.  I don't know exactly why or when it started.  My husband is from South Louisiana, and their basic "trinity" for any dish is onion, celery and green bell peppers.  I have tried and tried to get my husband to stop using the bell pepper for quite some time now.  However, seeing those bell peppers in the grocery store on Sunday, they looked mighty tasty!  Wicked awesome, as some would say.  So, I just had to try them!  I diced them up and had some on my salad and I loved it!  Now I am sitting here, wondering, why didn't I like the bell pepper in the first place?
I am not even going to mention how much I weighed on the scale this morning...but I will tell you, it wasn't pretty!  I'll post how much weight I lose as time goes on.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

South Beach Diet - Day Zero

My husband and I are beginning our - dare I say, "traditional" - diet tomorrow.  Everyone else probably starts their resolutions on New Year's Day, but we start ours the first day I have to go back to work after winter break.  So, armed with 4 books about South Beach Dieting, we begin.  Although, if you read the book you will quickly learn that this is not a fad's a "lifestyle change".  What have we gotten ourselves into?  After 32 years of living one way, we are expecting ourselves to change?
Well, this diet has worked for us in the past.  A few years ago, my husband and I both brought about this "lifestyle change", and had great success.  After several months, he had lost 60 pounds and I had lost 40 pounds.  I didn't even exercise all that much (if at all).  I like to get use to the food changes before I overwhelm myself with the exercise!  But that's just husband is quite the opposite, it's all or nothing with him.
Now, we have both gained our weight back and need to get ourselves healthy again.  Last time, one of the reasons we stopped South Beach is because we remodeled our kitchen and couldn't cook anymore.  (We weren't so good at eating healthy at a restaurant even though we had the Dining Guide.)  So, the time has come for us to start again.  We went grocery shopping today so we can begin Phase 1 tomorrow.
Phase 1 is the hardest part for me.  Maybe it's because I love potatoes and fruit so much, or maybe it's because I don't like being told what I can eat and what I can't.  But, if I can endure it for 2 weeks, I know it will get much better after that!

Here is my plan:
My husband and I always plan out our "menu" for the week and go grocery shopping on Sunday.  On days my husband works, I cook and on days he has off, he cooks.  This is mostly because he works 12 hour shifts and won't get home until after 7:30 p.m.  I can get home much sooner than him, if I choose to!  He only works 3-4 days per week, so the workload is usually 50/50 over a 2 week span.
As I have already mentioned, Phase 1 lasts for two weeks.  Only the no carb items...lean meats, veggies, stuff like that.  Which usually means lots of salads!

On the menu this week:
Chicken & Mushroom Soup
Turkey w/ White Bean Chili
Grilled Chicken with Tricolor Salad
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Spinach & Cheese
Cannellini Bean Salad
Shrimp Scampi & Caesar Salad
Pork Tenderloin w/ Asparagus

Today, to be proactive about this, I decided to take it one step further.  Instead of just planning the menu like we usually do, I decided to chop up all of the vegetables. and bag them up for when we need them later.  I am hoping that this will make it much faster when it is time to cook.  I chopped green and red bell peppers, yellow onions, celery, and leeks.  We are even trying some new veggies this week.  We are having leeks, radicchio, and belgian endive; I have never had any of these before.
I am excited for this adventure and I hope to come out a much healthier person by the end.  Well, and of course, I hope to lose a lot of weight in the process!