Category Archives: Food Journal

Still alive and kicking

It was a rough summer, food-wise. Many French fries were consumed, as well as burgers WITH the bun … and sugary sweets.

Every time I fall off the low-carb wagon, I feel a need to consume ALL the carbs. I tell myself I’ll start after I eat ____. “It’s the last time you’ll ever have ____.” And then I have to eat ALL the different _____ before I get back on the wagon.

One problem with that. I forget there are so many awesome low-carb swaps that I can stay on the wagon and not miss things like pancakes and biscuits with sausage gravy. Thanks, Pinterest!

I finally came to my senses and recommitted to the low-carb life on Sept. 1. Now I’m back in the swing of things, eating simple meals/snacks, food prepping a little and generally loving life. There’s been no carb withdrawal, or as I’ve called it in the past, raving bitch mode.

Last night, while Almost Eagle was busy covering Friday night high school football, I whipped up some cauliflower mac and cheese, using this recipe from Pinterest. Haven’t tasted it yet, but the cheese sauce alone is delicious. I know that because I licked the spoon … and the saucepan … and the foil baking dish, after I put the mac & cheese in a container for the fridge.

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

I might have a tiny cheese addiction. That means if I AM lactose intolerant, there’s gonna be a whole lot of pouting and crying.

I made some Almond Joy Butter, too, and gave my food processor a workout. It was also Pinterest-inspired. I didn’t take a photo, though. It had 2 cups raw almonds, 2 T coconut oil, 2 T cocoa powder and 3 T unsweetened coconut chips.

I foresee myself using it instead of peanut butter the next time I make a batch of fat bombs…which it’s almost time to do. I tend to pop one before bed at night — a little sweet treat after a stressful day at the office.

I joined a Zumba class last month, thanks to my friend Alison. She used to go, and invited me when I first moved to Prescott. I tried to go a couple of times, but ended up working too long. Then the class stopped meeting.

It started up again, and now that my office is a windowless room in Prescott Valley (instead of the beautiful office of many windows on Prescott Lakes Parkway), it’s easy for me to attend. In fact, it couldn’t be much more convenient. Class meets just a block away from my office, so on Tuesday and Thursday, I take a longer dinner break, change into workout clothes and dance my ass off.

Before class.
Post-Zumba sweaty selfie

Zumba is so much fun! And it burns a huge chunk of calories. I calculated that, at my weight and medium intensity, I burn 830 calories in a 50-minute class.

Not too shabby. Hard work never felt so easy.

The instructor’s talking about starting a cardio kickboxing class on Wednesdays. If she does, I’m so there. When I was a member of Flagstaff Athletic Club, I sometimes went to kickboxing class… I think. Maybe we just did kickboxing moves in step aerobics.

I’m serious about getting healthy. Now that I have Almost Eagle in my life, there’s an extra incentive. I want to live a good long time so we have lots of awesome years together.

And I want to look this good again. For both of us!

Those are size 10 jeans from Eddie Bauer—I loved those pants. And the sexy top was a find at one of the boutiques in the MGM Grand when my former roommate and I spent a weekend in Vegas. The photo was taken in our room at the Sahara, before we headed out for a night on the Strip.

I still have the outfit. Can’t wait to wear it again.

Almost Eagle and I walk most days before work, and I have Zumba two nights a week.

I feel like I’m starting to get back to a fitter, healthier version of myself.

Hello, gorgeous. Where’ve you been?

Time for a #confession

I cheated on my diet today.

As transgressions go, it wasn’t a massive one … but I did eat something that’s supposed to be off-limits.

Let me start from the beginning. I made the mistake of stopping at Arby’s on my way to work, during the lunch rush, when I hadn’t eaten breakfast. (I didn’t wake up ’til nearly 10, and wasn’t terribly hungry, so it didn’t make sense to fix breakfast when I could wait an hour or so and have lunch.)

As I stood in line at Arby’s, I was suddenly ravenous — and I convinced myself I needed a 4-piece mozzarella sticks with my bun-less roast beef sandwich. I’d been doing so well on the low-carb plan that I deserved the “treat.” Besides, they couldn’t have TOO many carbs, right?

Let me tell you, those mozzarella sticks tasted fantastic. And a quick check of the LoseIt! app (hours after the fact) tells me a 4-piece mozzarella sticks has 9.2 grams of carbs and 0.5 grams fiber for 8.7 Net Carbs.

Not a diet-buster by any means.

Unfortunately, the marinara dipping sauce added another 5.2 NC … Oops. Lesson learned: Bring own marinara next time I feel like cheating with mozzarella sticks.

But you know what? I’m not sure I’ll feel like cheating again anytime soon. This was my first time straying from the low-carb plan since I restarted on Jan. 1. I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve gone over 20 NC, maybe to 25 or 30 … but there’ve been no massive “oh my god, let’s eat EVERYTHING IN SIGHT” moments.

And, even with that slight amount of carbs, I noticed a slight dip in energy around 3 or 4 p.m. … the same afternoon slump that used to plague me every day. Before I started Atkins the first time, I’d fall asleep on the couch watching The History Channel every afternoon I had off.

In fact, last night I stopped for gas after work … and then I pulled into the parking lot at In N Out. I’d been thinking of a burger for about an hour — but after I parked and cut the engine, I realized I wasn’t really hungry.

“Why eat if you’re not hungry?” I asked myself.

When myself came back with no good answer, I restarted the car and drove away, burger-free.

I’ve had other victories over food lately, too. When our lovely newsroom assistant brought in brownies the other day, I barely looked at them. Okay, I did note there were two kinds: cream-cheese frosted and turtle … but neither variety was strong enough to pull me off the low-carb path.

It’s a process, I know. There’ll be other cheats and setbacks … but I remain convinced that consistently eating low-carb is easier than any other diet I’ve tried. I’m thankful for the structure and the way it allows me to live without constantly obsessing over my next meal.

P.S. Since I have no pictures of mozzarella sticks, enjoy this gratuitous shot of me at my lowest adult weight, having fun at Olympic Garden in Vegas. I’ll get there again (hopefully both to that weight AND to Olympic Garden)!

Yes, that was me, at my lowest adult weight. You don’t want to know how much we had to pay for a lap dance. I was miffed they gave ’em away for free in “Magic Mike.”

Still going strong on Day 5

There was leftover pizza in the break room all afternoon, and I didn’t touch it. Okay, I did lift the lid and peek at it, only because everyone else was eating it and it smelled fantastic.

But I didn’t take a slice, even though technically, I could have pulled off the toppings and eaten them.

I call that a victory!

I think my resolve was strong because last night, I rolled over in bed without any aches or pains. That hasn’t happened in recent memory.

NoSodaMy attempt to swear off diet soda has not been quite so successful. After foregoing it on Sunday and Monday, I’ve had a can of Diet Dr Pepper each afternoon, starting on Tuesday. (Work stress has made it necessary. Trust me.)

I didn’t buy any on my last trip to the store, but I still had most of a 12-pack stashed under my desk at the office — and I was glad to have it!

Oh so glad.

Guess I can’t break all my awful habits all at once. And considering I’d been downing two or three cans a day, especially on work nights, I’ll take the reduction to one.

Breakfast today was another stack of FitViews pancakes, referenced here.

These, of the Sweet Cinnamon variety, tasted just as excellent but they looked a bit more camera-ready. I even topped them with a pat of butter and a tablespoon of chopped pecans. Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a photo. I thought of it about halfway through the stack, and decided not to shoot my half-eaten breakfast.

I have standards, after all!

My lunch break is nearly over, so I’ll stop here. Just wanted to check in and report I’m still doing great.

It feels different this time, like I’m more committed than I was the last time I tried to go back to low-carb eating. Hopefully, a year from today, I’ll be able to say “Day 370 and still going strong.”