Category Archives: check-ins

Check In and Lab Work – 10/18/17 + Facebook suggests recipe sites

Finally had my follow up labs done to see how the weight loss and “re-balance” of my diet has affected my health.

  • Weight: 240 lbs (down 33 lbs)
  • Blood Pressure: 120/70  (down from 135/90 in May)
  • Cholesterol – 235 (down to borderline range from high range)
  • LDL: 161 (down from 205 – significant improvement, but still borderline high)
  • HDL: 41 (up from 40 – good movement, still need more)
  • Triglycerides: 167 (up from 142 – probably due to my weight change that can have weird effects on triglycerides)
  • Ac1: 5.7% (down from 6.2 but still just in the pre-diabetic range).

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My labs indicate a lot of good movement in the right direction, but not as much as my doctor was hoping for at my relatively young age. She suggested some statin drugs for the cholesterol, but I tend to err on the side of conservative treatment (do what I can without drugs or invasive procedures until absolutely necessary). I convinced her to give me another six – eight months working the diet and exercise plan to see what improvements can continue to be made. 

The next hurdle is probably the upcoming holidays and the need to step up a strength training regimen.

WEIGHT LOSS SLOW DOWN

I’ve definitely hit the first weight loss slow down part of the journey. I’ve slowed from losing 1.5-2 lbs per week to about 1 lb a week on average. It was expected, but can be hard to keep motivated. The lab work definitely was a perk up, though.

I also have to admit that, on the whole, I generally feel better than I did last spring. So that’s something.

NON-SCALE VICTORIES

I’ve logged every single meal – as honestly as I possibly can – in MyFitnessPal every single day since I started. Even if I let myself slide on a few days or have a rougher week, I can at least say that I’m not lying to myself!

RECIPE IDEAS

I did a shout out on Facebook to get some new recipe sites to look at. I need to expand my options! There were a lot of great suggestions of a wide variety of sites. Take a gander if you’re looking for resources:

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Food Prep and Week’s Journal 7/30/17: Rehearsal foods, TJ’s in the freezer, & How to make a Farmer’s Sandwich

7/30/17 Current weight: 252 lbs. 5 lbs away from first goal. 22 lbs lost.

When mom died on the 18th, I was 3 lbs away from my first goal (10% of my weight lost, or 27 lbs).  But in the two weeks after mom’s death, I gained back two pounds.  Not so bad considering I thought I had gained 8! But putting on two pounds after just losing my mom AND while directing a play . . . I’m putting that in the win column.

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The large-ish food prep that I did for rehearsals, right before my mom died. Got me through another week without having to think too much about “staying on track”.

In all honesty, I had done a huge food prep the weekend before mom died, and that really helped during the week. To not have to think too much about food and just grab something already prepared was a godsend when I was in the fog right after her death.

Right now, I am exhausted. The grief from mom’s death has caught up with me and I’ve still put off doing her obit. Not good. I have other, show-related items I need to get done as well. But I physically hurt from the low-grade depression and anxiety of grief. I was exhausted all last week. I got through rehearsals but just barely. The cast has asked for longer rehearsals this week.  I’m not looking forward to it.

I’m going to try to get up early and walk in the mornings this week. Give me more time during the day to organize my thoughts, perhaps get a few things done. Maybe take Friday off for rest and recovery.

But the food plan is full of whole grains balanced with protein in order to keep my energy up for the whole day. Once I get to six p.m., I still have at least five more hours of work to do!

 

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Food Prep Upcoming week: 7/31

Final week of regular rehearsal before tech. Needing to prep food for easy lunches and dinners to keep me on track and Jaguar fed.

ON THE MENU:

Breakfast: TJ’s Steel-cut oats or hard-boiled egg (with apple slices, usually).

Lunch: Farmer’s Sandwich (a favorite of mine – see below for how to make), leftover chicken breast with whole wheat spaghetti on the side.

Dinner: Spaghetti marinara (whole wheat) and chicken breast, chicken breast/rice/steamed veg, chili-seasoned beans with quinoa.

Everything I’ll need for food prep, except the chicken breasts.  I use the 21 Seasoning Salute on the chicken breasts, the Lime Chili Seasoning, Garlic Powder, and Cumin on the beans (which is beans, corn, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bit of whatever broth I have mixed together), and the marinara and pasta is self-explanatory.

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Almost all from Trader Joe’s.

 

Today’s food prep:

  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 parboiled chicken breasts
  • 8 cups whole wheat spaghetti marinara
  • 6 cups chili beans/corn
  • 2 apples, quartered and sliced

 

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Each takes only 3 minutes in the microwave.

In the freezer:  

TJ’s frozen steel cut oats (more sugar than when I make the oats myself, but I went this direction to get the oats back in my diet. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling them the last two weeks).

TJ’s frozen brown rice

Mixed California Vegetables for steaming

The food prep has helped me stay as on track as possible in the last two weeks. Not having to think about what to eat is good. But by the end of last week, I was tired and emotionally exhausted and just wanted mashed potatoes (I’ve had next to NO potatoes for 2 and a half months). I planned for a meal at Jack’s Urban Eats – the chicken plate with mashed potatoes and corn – which pushed up against my calorie limit, but wasn’t terrible overall.  My weekly averages were still okay, all things considered, and I still lost a pound. Hoping for similar results this week.

Adding in the frozen items from Trader Joe’s are helpful when I’m already tired and stressed from rehearsals on top of work. They cut down on my Sunday food prep time and make pulling  a meal together very, very easy.

 

FARMER’S SANDWICH

A “Farmer’s Lunch” is traditionally a crust of hearty bread, an apple, and a hunk of cheese.  I put these elements into a sandwich.

  • Two slices of whole wheat or multi-grain bread
  • Brown Mustard and Mayo to taste (I use less than a tbsp of each)
  • Sliced apples (usually half an apple is plenty)\
  • Sliced cheddar cheese

I stack the sandwich with the apples on the mayo side of the sandwich and the cheese on the brown mustard side.  The sweetness of the apples pairs well with the sharpness of the brown mustard and the cheddar, and the mayo gives it all a slight creaminess. It can be difficult to keep together, though, so assemble at work if you are brown bagging it.

Today's simple pleasure. One of my fave springsummer lunches a farmer's lunch sandwich. Apples, sharp cheddar, light Mayo and brown mustard on wheat bread. With milk. It gets the job don
Farmer’s Sandwich Lunch – except I now omit the milk. Too many carbs and sugars.
  • It is around 500 calories, but super filling for a no-meat sandwich and gives good, long-lasting energy.
    22 g protein
    44.5 g carbs
    12.2 g fiber
    15.5 g sugars (but only 4 of those are added sugars, the rest are in the apples)
    25.1 g fat (that’s with two slices of cheese, cut it in half if you want less)
    10.1 saturated fat
    60 mg cholesterol