Thursday, January 31, 2008

I Think I Have a Tapeworm

Really. Look:

That's 164.4, folks!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pressure Me, Baby!

So we got this pressure cooker for Christmas which has proven to be a fabulous thing for the lap-bander. Tender meat, soupy/stewy foods. Tonight I adapted a recipe from a local foods class Jill and I took a few months ago. The original was watery, and too salty. Here's what I made - if you don't have a pressure cooker, you can just cook it for 3 hours. If you do, it's 15 minutes to cook.

Aromatic Braised Beef Stew

8 oz. grass-fed stew beef
1 tbsp. high heat canola oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
3 cups chicken or beef stock/broth or water
1 star anise pod
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. fennel seeds
3 nickel-size rounds of fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. shallots, minced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 half onion, sliced
3/4 c. long grain brown rice OR hulled barley (bulk at natural food stores)
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups chard, kale or greens of your choice

In a cast iron skillet (ideally), brown bite-sized pieces of beef in canola oil. When all sides are nicely browned and carmelized, set aside. Deglaze pan with a spash of red wine, add garlic and shallot and cook for a few minutes.

In a pressure cooker, put wine, water and stock. Add aromatics, rice, and vegetables (except mushrooms and chard). Stir in beef. Bring to a boil; place lid on cooker and bring up to pressure. Cook 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, about 5 minutes before cooker is complete, saute mushrooms and greens in the skillet used for beef until both are soft.

When pressure cooker is done, run under cold water and let pressure release. Remove aromatics (cinnamon, star anise and ginger rounds). Stir in mushrooms and greens. Eat!

Try it out if you one...I wanted to blog it so I could remember what I did! It was yummy!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lose Weight, Lose Points...

So, I entered my new weight into my Weight Watchers point tracker and it prompted me to re-evaluate my points. I was allowed 24 points (at 50 calories or so each, so 1200 calories) - well, since I've dropped down to 167.4 - and this isn't a complaint - I'm now allowed 22 points (1100 calories). There's always the 35 extra points/week, and all the exercise extra points I get, but I try to never use those. I think I can keep to it - but man, 24 seems hard some days - 22?? Oy. But, look at that ticker - it's worth it! So close!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Survived the East Coast!

We just got back from 10 days back east, and somehow, I managed to lose weight. Could've had something to do with the intestinal flu I got in Pittsburgh; or maybe my body just getting a break from it's usual routine made it let go of some stuff. Who knows, but I'm glad for it.

Food whilst traveling is hard. It's tough to eat out all the time, or visit people who very graciously make sure there is a ton of stuff to eat - and often it's not the usual things you would have at home. Lots of chips and dips and stuff like that...and hours of visiting where you just keep picking at it all. That said, I did pay attention and other than a couple desserts, really didn't overeat at all (though I did eat some things I normally wouldn't, because they were there). I only had one PB the whole time, which is great with climate change and flying and all that!

We hit NYC, Pittsburgh and then my hometown in PA for my dad's retirement. All three of my sisters came too, along with two husbands and Jill. My dad had a great time, as did all of us - but from a weight loss perspective, it is so nice to be home! Jill and I have been basking in simple fish/veggie dinners, snacks of nuts, cheese, crackers...I missed my smoothie shop, coffee, etc. Oh, and how we both missed our yoga practices! We went to Power Vinyasa Tuesday, and Bikram last night (yes, I've converted Jill and she is now doing Bikram too!! We went in NYC and it was brutal, but we loved it). It just feels good to be back to exercising and eating healthy. Who'd a thought I'd say that a couple years back??

Here's a little shot of the sisters with my dad, bidding farewell to his funeral home!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

200th Post!

Wow, it's been a long 2 1/2 years since started blogging my lap-band adventure - and like all WLS folks, I've had my ups and downs...but overall, boy, am I happy! Today a girl at the coffeeshop was like "Jenn, wow, you keep getting smaller and smaller - I didn't even realize that was you in line!" While really it was just the outfit, I think, I can think back to those 260+ days, when I was in a sense, double size. I sure did look like a different girl standing in line (about to order a double tall soy mocha and a biscotti...every day) vs. today's girl, who gets a double tall latte and nothing to eat. Back then, lunch was a carb-festival of some nature - pile of Thai noodles, a big fat 1000-calorie "healthy" I sit and munch on my 1/4 cup of tuna salad with 5 water crackers, and I'm good to go. Dinner was half a large Pagliacci pizza (oh, how I do miss thee!), or a mountain of white rice 'garnished' with tofu and veggies, or two big enchiladas stuffed full of beans and cheese...with rice on the side. The other night, I had 2.5 oz. of chicken and 3/4 c. of green beans with a few sips of red wine.

Now then, I don't claim to eat perfectly every day, but it is true that since I now exercise nearly daily, I find it hard to "blow it" by eating crappy when I've worked my bootie off in a brutally hot yoga class, or running, or at the gym. And while sugar was a daily mainstay, it's now an occasional treat! When I think back, it is pretty amazing where I've come from...sadly, I'm still technically overweight (BMI must be 25.0 or less to be "normal"), and still not quite to my 155 goal. So, we'll carry on! :)

Before I go, a little picture view of the situation: Now and then... it sure could be worse! But I'm driving it home - hoping for 155 by my birthday in June. Based on my typical weight loss of about 3/4/pound per week, I should make it!

Oh, and why yes, that is a Size 8 dress! Thanks for asking :)