Day 10: Keto Reset Day – Lowering Stress With Food Prepping

Feeling like I’m over the worst part of this blasted cold, yesterday I did something I haven’t done in a long time. Food prepping for the week. Granted, it happened on Hump Day, but that’s neither here nor there. Doing something so simple felt great. It’s an habit I started when I went low carb and it’s been MIA for too many months.

What To Do With All These Tomatoes?
I deviated from my grocery list slightly by picking 2 pounds of tomatoes – Campari, heirloom and San Marzanos. Why? Oven-dried tomatoes of course! Great for salads, pesto, quiches. Nice add-ons to the dishes I’m making this week.

Of course, they take 8 hours or so to dry out, but they do taste spectacular. Frankly the taste is even better when they sit in a delicious extra virgin olive oil (frankly, the amazing oil coming out of California is replacing Greek and Italian olive oils in my home).

Rinse, Chop, Make Ahead, Repeat
While the tomatoes took hours to make, the rest of my food prep took just 2. I quickly dispensed with the veggies: washing, chopping and storing – about 30 minutes total.

Next up, the cooking portion of my prep work: whipping up hard-boiled eggs, testing my Instapot (that poor spaghetti squash!), and preparing a make ahead meatloaf to pop in the oven for dinner.

The nice thing about all this prep work was how relaxing it is to work in the kitchen. Just turn on some music and focus on the simple task at hand. No worries. No melt downs. Heck, even when I knocked over my big tumbler of water, I just laughed as I cleaned up (and played a little ice cube soccer with the pup).

Food Prep Takes Stress Away…It Really Does
Two hours of my time to save me hours during the week. So simple. Yet it’s too easy to fall back into that bad habit of mine — sitting on the couch scrolling through a Twitter feed.

Not only is that bad habit a waste of time, but it added to my stress. How many times I felt rushed to try to cook meals for my family. A little bit of food prep yesterday and I saved 20 minutes this morning making a Swiss and mushroom omelet for my mom. My husband just reached in the fridge and quickly put his lunch together (my meatloaf the day after is awesome!).

No fuss, no muss…or stress eating!


Weekly Weigh-In: Down 1.3 Lbs.

Dec 12 weigh in

I’m down 1.3 lbs. this week and lost 7 lbs. since Thanksgiving. I’m optimistic I’ll finally break that 185 pound barrier by year’s end. Maybe by my birthday I’ll finally reach the 170s.

Well my march to the 170s continues. I’m down nearly 1.5 pounds this week and I’ve lost 7 lbs. since Thanksgiving. Woohoo!

I do have a holiday party later today. As I want to keep my momentum up, I came up with a pretty simple plan for tonight:

  1. Eating a late lunch. I’m currently on an 18-hour fast which ends at 2:00 pm. So I’m making myself a mushroom-onion omelette. That way I won’t be starving when I arrive at the party.
  2. Eat only when hungry. I’ll snack on the lowest carb food available. My goal is to eat only when hungry, keeping snacking to a minimum.
  3. Keeping alcohol to a minimum. I’m limiting myself to just a few glasses of wine.
  4. No desserts! When I eat sugary sweets now, I feel physically ill. I just need to remember that when I see anything yummy.
  5. Have fun!! Food and drink are not my focus tonight. Celebrating the holidays with old friends and making new ones is what’s special about tonight…not the food or booze!

The husband is doing the same so we can support each.

What’s your game plan for avoiding temptations during holiday parties?


Road Warrior Diet – Strategy For Reaching The 170s

Packing a few LCHF friendly snacks (which can double as a light meal) for my drive to TX.

Packing a few LCHF friendly snacks (which can double as a light meal) for my drive to TX.

I’m driving to Texas today to help Dr. Mom move. She’s coming to live near me in the Commonwealth of Virginia (Yeah, Virginia is to uppity to be a regular state).

So blogging will be light, although I’m hoping to take a lot of photos, especially of amazingly unhealthy truck stop food that I come across (but won’t eat).

I’m driving for about 2.5 days so yesterday I hit the grocery store for my low carb, high fat (LCHF) road snacks and/or light meals. Read More


10 Reasons I’ve Lost 140 Pounds And Kept It Off

Conventional dieting wisdom - eat less, exercise more - is wrong. For me, cutting sugar, carbs and starches resulted in more than 140 lbs. gone.

Conventional dieting wisdom – eat less, exercise more – is wrong. For me, cutting sugar, carbs and starches resulted in more than 140 lbs. gone. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.

Today’s dieting advice – eat less, exercise more – doesn’t work. A new study shows that few overweight people lose 5% of their body weight. And those who are successful put the weight back on within 5 years. Money quote from the study:

“Current strategies that focus on cutting calories and boosting physical activity aren’t working for most patients to achieve weight loss and maintain that.”

I’d tried for more than 25 years to lose weight. I tried all the different programs, most of which are the same: some form of calorie reduction and exercise. While I initially lost weight, I always felt hungry. I just couldn’t sustain those diets, and eventually I gained even more weight back.

So what’s so different this time?

1. My health became THE priority (I had to become a priority in my own life).
2. I read Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes (life-changing).
3. I said good-bye to processed, high carb foods (and sugar) and embraced low carb, high fat real foods.
4. Took the time to build good habits, like:

5. Eat only when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full (not stuffed).
6. Gave up perfection for patience.
7. Get 8 hours of sleep.
8. Avoid fruit, except for berries (and only as a treat).
9. A sense of urgency (my health was at serious risk!).
10. I’m not depriving myself. I’m making smarter, tastier choices!


Nuts!

I spent part of the morning weighing nuts before bagging them into single portions. Nuts are a great, healthy snack but be careful about overdoing it!

I spent part of the morning weighing nuts before bagging them into single portions. Nuts are a great, healthy snack but be careful about overdoing it!

I’m busy coming up with quick, easy snacks for the hubby and me. This morning I spent some quality time weighing and bagging some of my favorite nuts – macadamia, walnuts and almonds.

Nuts are a great, healthy snack loaded with healthy fats and nutrients like Vitamins A, E and magnesium.

However it’s easy (too easy!) to devour large amounts without feeling full. Trust me, I’ve eaten jars of peanuts (not really a nut; it’s actually a legume!) in the past.

Lesson learned. Now I bag the nuts into single serving sizes – 1 ounce each.

I use to keep the nuts in a jar on the counter, easy access for a grab-n’-go snack (way too easy!). Now that little jar sits in my pantry. Yes, I still remember where the nuts are, but I’m more mindful before reaching for them. Read More


Preparing For My First 5K

I fly home tomorrow, leaving me one day to prepare for my Saturday morning 5K. I'm planning now so I can stay relaxed before the race.

I fly home tomorrow, leaving me one day to prepare for my Saturday morning 5K. I’m planning now so I can stay relaxed before the race.

I’m running in my first 5k on Saturday. Now I’ve run in other 5k races, but this one is special. My goal is to run the entire race, something I haven’t done yet. I fly back home Thursday, yet I don’t feel anxious at all. In fact, I’m pretty relaxed about the race.

Well to keep this moment of zen going, I decided to take some time today to create a checklist of what I need to do the day before the race.  I’m keeping it simple.

Dot’s Pre-5K Race Checklist

  1. Pick up Race Bib & Packet – Friday morning I plan to head over to the race HQ and pick up my shirt, bib and race instructions. When I entered my first 5k two years ago, I picked up my packet the morning of the race. Bad move! It was an hour of waiting followed by 5 minutes of pure chaos as race staff tried to find my name. To make the morning perfect, I had to high tail it over to the starting line so as not to miss the start. Yikes! Never again.

Read More


10 Healthy Menu Plans

Check out the Tone & Tighten site. You'll find cool exercise challenges, fitness tips and recipes.

Check out the Tone & Tighten site. You’ll find cool exercise challenges, fitness tips and recipes.

Hey gang! I had a mighty adventure this weekend that I’ll post about tomorrow. But for now, I want to share with you a list optional meal plans from other sites. The blog Tone & Tighten searched the web for healthy meal plans and posted 10 weeks worth of plans.

Yours truly made the list. The other menus look interesting, as well as Weight Watchers and low carb friendly (with minor tweaking).

Be sure to check out Tone & Tighten. There are lots of workouts, recipes and tips on the site.

 

 


Gobble, Gobble! Dot’s Healthy Turkey Day Menu

low carb thanksgiving, weight loss,

What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? To have the smarts to plan my menu before Turkey Day arrives. A food strategy is the best way to make sure you don’t pig out! (Image via marthastewart.com)

Well Turkey Day is upon us and that means its time for another low-carb holiday menu. We’re staying put for Thanksgiving so that makes it easier for me to control the points and carb count. My goal for my weigh in after Thanksgiving is to maintain my weight. That means I need a menu that is both filling and delicious.

You can take a look at a snapshot of my menu with the carb and Weight Watcher point count. Below you’ll find either the recipes or links to the recipes for my Turkey Day menu.

Building My Menu
I’m allowing myself to eat up to 25g of net carbs. I have 29 daily Weight Watcher points. Because I plan to have wine and dessert, I’m going to tap into a handful of my weekly allowance points. But that doesn’t mean I go crazy. I’m allowing myself between 4-7 extra points. No more. I need to keep control. Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean food is the most important thing. Being with family is what it’s about…oh god, maybe I need to budget more points for wine! Read More


Sample Of Dot’s Weekly Meal Menu

So what did I eat last week to lose 5.6 pounds?

Last week's meal menu. Every Sunday I take 10 minutes to put it together. It keeps my eating in check and my weight loss on track.

Last week’s meal menu. Every Sunday I take 10 minutes to put it together. It keeps my eating in check and my weight loss on track.

Pretty simple.

In truth, planning meals for the week is the key. Every Sunday I spend 10 minutes mapping out what I’m having for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. With planning comes healthier eating. Plus it makes my life a lot easier — I no longer fret about whipping something up for dinner.

I know many of you are thinking: “It’s hard enough planning for tonight’s dinner, but planning for a week is just downright crazy talk.” Read More


Want To Lose Weight? Take Control Of The Fridge

While in Texas, my hubby actually ate what I prepared for him - and then some - rather than eat out.

While in Texas, my hubby actually ate what I prepared for him – and then some – and not eat out.

Weight Watchers stresses taking charge of your environment – removing foods that get in the way of weight loss and replacing them with healthy options.

I took this advice to heart. It’s hard to make smart choices if I have a pantry loaded with cookies. Once I decided to go low carb, my refrigerator and pantry felt my wrath. You won’t find any of my trigger foods. No sweets, crackers, pastas or breads. I trashed anything that tempted me.

By taking charge of my fridge I was in control, not the food.

While flying home on Sunday, I admit I worried what my kitchen would look like when I got back. My husband was alone for one week. It isn’t uncommon for him to add some of his favorite food groups – namely pies and cookies – to my kitchen space.

Before I left, I stocked up on protein and veggies and instructed him to eat only what’s in the fridge. However, I knew that listening isn’t one of his strengths. When I got home Sunday, I fully expected to find soft, furry vegetables and lots of high-carb treats. Boy was I wrong. He ate what I stocked up on and then some.

He did me proud.

Controlling my space! Food prepping helps me in making healthy choices.

Controlling my space! Food prepping helps me in making healthy choices.

Come Monday morning I took charge of my kitchen again. After grocery shopping, I spent the day chopping up lots of veggies.

Looking at my fridge now, all the healthy foods are within sight and quick to dish out.

Later tonight we’ll fire up the grill. So this afternoon, I’ll prep chicken, pork and beef with rubs and marinades.

My fridge now. Tonight, we grill all on the 3rd shelf! Healthy choices have never been so easy!

My fridge now. Healthy choices have never been so easy!

Another advantage that comes with controlling my space? The prep time for meals is less than 5 minutes.

Sweet.