Monday, March 22, 2010

110 Pounds has MOVED!

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weight Loss Plateaus

I got a great question from a reader:
"i was looking at your weight loss log & i seems that you never really plateaued or temporarily stopped losing weight. congrats on your weight loss by the way! ive made a huge plateau right now and i think im going back to calorie counting to get off the final 20 pounds - any feedback on how to stayed on the weight loss train without getting off periodically?"

Oh yes.....I plateaued A LOT during my weight loss journey. If you look at the dates in my Log, you can probably see that I didn't always "weigh in" each week. In reality, I weighed in once a week EVERY week for the two years I was losing weight. However, if the scale didn't budge, or I gained weight that week, I didn't log it, I just wrote down whatever it said the following week. The reason behind this was that for me, I didn't want to get discouraged by seeing my log go up and down, up and down. So I just recorded losses.

In a previous post, I said my friend Rachel (above) started Weight Watchers. She's weighing and measuring every Saturday and logging it online. I think that's fantastic. It shows her progress on a graph too. So if she happens to plateau or gain a few during her time at WW, the graph will show that.

There was a time when I plateaued for MONTHS. It was really frustrating. After seeing so much progress each week, to be at a standstill for weeks (sometimes months) of hard work, it was discouraging. Keep at it! Don't get discouraged.

The above picture was taken at my 27th birthday (I think) when I weighed about 175.

The advice was I was given by my personal trainer to get over my plateau was pretty simple: DO WEIGHTS! A weight training program is the FASTEST way to lose weight when you get stuck. And it's important to mix things up!

Heading Home

Sunday we woke up fairly early and went out to breakfast. Again, I forgot to take a picture! I got 2 fried eggs, an English Muffin, and 2 strips of bacon. Instead of the hash browns, I asked to substitute fruit instead.

Breakfast was really big so we skipped lunch (even though we had planned on getting lunch at Dick's!--next time!) and left Seattle behind us.

When we got home, Michael hopped on his bike trainer to do his workout and I headed to the pool. It felt really nice to stretch my legs after yesterday's hike.

After swimming I decided to walk to the grocery store to get a few things. 45 minutes later, I had burned another 200 calories! Dinner tonight was leftover bratwursts.

Game Night And Snacks

We were all pretty pooped from the day of hiking and wine tasting. We picked up food from the store and headed back to the house to play games and have snacks. Rachel recently joined Weight Watchers, and since I'm on my own program, we got some healthy snacks.
Baby carrots, sliced cucumber, sliced orange peppers, reduced fat Wheat Thins, hard salami cubed small, and hummus. Very tasty snack!
I love hummus! We played games and relaxed and then Michael made turkey burgers for everyone!

Turkey burgers are much lower in calories and I think they taste better than ground beef. Michael calculated the turkey burger patties to be about 170 calories each (plus the toppings, etc).

I used mustard on the sandwich thins and a mixture of lettuce and sprouts, a tomato and some cheese. Delicious!

Very filling dinner!

Saturday Sushi & Wine Tasting

After the hike, we went to a sushi place in Bellevue that Rachel really liked.

We were ALL starving after the hike and with driving time, we didn't actually eat lunch until about 2pm. Michael and I got the Spicy Tuna Roll, Philly Roll and a Bay Roll.
It was very delicious! And the perfect amount of food for two people. After lunch, we headed to Woodinville, WA to do some wine tasting. I had grown up in Seattle but never went to Chateau Ste. Michelle before. They happen to make one of my favorite wines, so I was pretty excited to go there.

The grounds were absolutely beautiful! Unfortunately, EVERYONE seemed to have the same idea we did and the place was packed! We could barely get a spot at the counter for the tasting, but eventually we did. I did the White Wine Tasting for $5 and got to sample some very yummy Rieslings!
 Michael, Rachel and her hubby Jeep all did the Red Wine Tasting for $10.

The Chateau Ste. Michelle dry Riesling is one of my favorites. I bought a bottle of their special limited release bottle to take home.

The grounds of the winery were really beautiful and tons of people were there having picnics. Next time I want to do that!

The fun thing about wine tasting is being able to sample a lot of different kinds of wine that you wouldn't normally try. And --small samples equal less calories than entire glass!

After Chateau Ste. Michelle we went to another winery down the street for another tasting. I bought a bottle of red from that Brian Carter Cellars. Then we decided to head home.

Hiking Rattlesnake Ridge

We stayed with some friends in Seattle this weekend. Saturday had fantastic weather! Michael made omelets for breakfast for everyone (I forgot to take a picture). Basically he made two omelets and each couple split them. Lots of veggies, some cheese, topped with sour cream and chopped tomato and a side of bacon. Delicious! My best friend Rachel drove us to Rattlesnake Ridge where the three of us hiked to the top! Here is a picture from the bottom before we started:

 The picture to the right is of us before we got to the trail.

It was a gorgeous day and everyone else came out to play too. The trail was packed. There was also Search & Rescue Teams in training along the way. That was interesting to see.

So the hike was apparently only 2 miles up but let me tell you, it was pretty steep! We stopped a long the way to rest and to enjoy the view.

I felt really good about the hike. I never felt like I was going to die. I definitely got my heart pounding but I was barely out of breath.

Here is a picture of Rachel and I at the top! The view was absolutely amazing! It was very scary as well--so I didn't want to get any closer to the edge!

I wish I could remember what the mountain range was behind us! Like I said earlier, there were sooo many people out hiking that it was QUITE the party at the top!

And here is the other side of the top:

We sat down to rest. Rachel shared some of her homemade trail mix (yum). Michael and I brought our protein bars (Luna for me, Atkins for him) but the breakfast had been pretty filling and neither of us felt like we needed the protein bars.

Here is a picture of my resting at the top:

We headed down and made it to the bottom much quicker and with no stops. 2 hours of hiking burned 826 calories for me! Now lunch time!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday's Food

Breakfast this morning was scrambled eggs (3 eggs, 3 egg whites split between two people) and 2 turkey sausage links each, topped with a little cheese, sour cream and salsa. This is a pretty standard breakfast for us. Calories: about 300.

Morning snack: Banana, slightly bruised. I'm trying to eat it slowly because it's going to be a long time until lunch today! I'm also having a Crystal Light (100 + 5 calories).

Afternoon Snack: Trader Joe's Greek Yogurt (I think 110 calories) and the Light Pom Super Tea.

Lunch: The last Smart Ones frozen dinner I have at work. My goal next week is to make some easy and healthy lunches I can bring. I'm pretty sick of the Lean Cuisines lately.

Dinner: A slice of pizza. Dinner is going to be on the go tonight since we are heading out for the weekend!

Today during lunch I went for a walk in the Pearl District. It was so beautiful outside! I definitely did not need my jacket and I even wished I was wearing shorts! I am sooo excited for nice weather to be here! Here are a few pictures from my walk:

If you aren't familiar with downtown Portland, "The Pearl District" is yuppy-ville downtown. Hipsters, Yuppies, Rich People Who Live In Lofts. But it's also got some cool upscale stores and restaurants too. I walked by Cupcake Jones and couldn't resist drooling through the window.

Mmmmm....cupcakes. Someday I will try one from there!

I Hate Cooking

I have a confession to make: I hate cooking. I read a lot of foodie blogs and I see these very creative people cooking all their food and buying all their organic food at Whole Foods. Who has time for that? Who has the money for that?! Certainly not me!

Something I DO love to do is cook with Michael. He's really good at cooking and has the creativity to create his own recipes as well. It's pretty impressive what he can create. One of his specialties is Mac and Cheese. It's a Martha Stewart recipe. I think it's the Gruyere that makes it soooo fantastic! It's a HUGE hit every time he makes it. A few times he also made it will sausage cubed in it. Yum.

The picture above right is Michael looking cute during last night's bike ride. :)

Here is the recipe (photo courtesy of


Serves 12
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
  • 6 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.
  3. While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
  4. Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano; set cheese sauce aside.
  5. Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer's directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce
  6. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.
From Martha Stewart Living, January 2001

Bike Ride Cure-All

Yesterday kind of sucked for a number of reasons. Work stresses and petty BS kind of ruined my afternoon and evening. As much as I tried to let it not bother me, it did. So no pictures of me during yesterday's bike ride. Red eyes and my vanity prevented that! Michael and I went for a fantastic bike ride when I got home! It felt great. Because of the time change and the sudden nice weather, it was sunny and somewhat warm until almost 7:00! I can't wait for summer.

We did Michael's commute and it took about 53 minutes there and back to the house. There were a few hills too! A few times my gears locked up (which was scary).  I realized a few things:
1. I need to take a bike maintenance class ASAP before Reach the Beach. Just in case.
2. I also realized I am still scared to go really fast down hills. Hopefully I beat that fear soon!!! Michael whizzed by me like it was nothing!
3. I really need cycling sun glasses.
4. I hate my bike pedals. They are such a struggle! I fumble and can't get my foot in. Michael ordered me some clip-in cycling pedals so hopefully I get those soon so I can practice clipping in.

My average heart rate was 136 (just below my target to be honest) and my max was 181. I felt really great about the 409 calories too!

Michael made bratwursts for dinner (I didn't end up eating it all because I got full). I put some spicy mustard on it and a little cheese. We also had some homemade guacamole and tortilla chips. 

I felt way too full after eating all of that. I think I'm okay for my calories. Since I was really upset, I felt some of the old "pulls" to eat bad food. Emotional eating at it's finest! But I didn't give in to them 100% (just a little bit!).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wednesday Food and Thursday's Update

After the pool last night, Michael and I went to The Ram restaurant for dinner. It was pretty busy so we waited at the bar with drinks. I had a Riesling because beer just didn't appeal to me.

I wasn't too impressed with the menu selections (it kind of felt like a Red Robin) and didn't really see much that I could order. Michael and I ended up splitting a burger with onion rings. I like splitting entrees at restaurants because the portion sizes are always huge.

After dinner, Michael confessed that he hadn't wanted to split the entree but after eating it he was really glad we did. I was too. I felt way too full all night. It was too much food--evening splitting it!! I don't think I broke my "bank" calorie wise though.

This morning I was running late so I had a quick breakfast of toast with peanut butter and a protein shake, with a little iced tea to take my vitamins.

I'm glad the sun is out and I'm anxious to get out there and enjoy it. I think I'll go for a walk at lunch today.

Ankle Update

Yesterday I went to the doctor to have my ankle checked out. The doctor said I probably just strained it a little bit and had some bursitis in my ankle (inflammation). She said if I need to keep icing it and taking Advil, to do so but really the only thing she said was to take a week off from running and don't run hills for awhile. I'm okay with that! I picked up some vitamins for joint health.

Then I had a snack and headed to the pool. I love going to the gym on holidays! It's practically empty! I enjoyed my swim, but took it easy so I didn't hurt myself.

My doctor did give me some physical therapy exercises I should be doing. She recommended that I stretch every single day, even on days I don't exercise. 

I'm really happy that my ankle is okay! And looking forward to hiking this weekend.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Smart Snacking Tips

(Too good not to share! It looks like this article was originally published in Cooking Light in 2007. There's so much good information here! Taken from:,28747,1602551,00.html)

1. If your energy levels are flagging...
Solution: Consuming caffeine–in the form of coffee or tea–can help boost energy and alertness. Adding a bit of sugar and low-fat milk–if you prefer–only adds about 50 calories. Eating foods that blend complex carbohydrates and lean protein can also provide energy. Complex carbohydrates provide readily available fuel for your body, while protein increases the brain's dopamine levels, thereby boosting alertness. Healthful choices include a small handful of dried fruit and nuts, whole-grain crackers with a slice of cheese or a hard-boiled egg, or yogurt topped with a tablespoon of granola.

2. If mealtime is several hours away, but you're hungry now...
Solution: For a snack with staying power, eat something that mixes fiber and protein. (This is also a good strategy to tide you over until morning if you become hungry before bedtime.) In a study at Wayne State University in Detroit, researchers found that when nighttime snackers developed the habit of eating cereal with milk 90 minutes after dinner, they reduced their total daily calorie intake and increased their chances of losing weight, compared to those who ate whatever they wanted. The cereal's fiber and protein combination kept them full–and prevented less mindful eating that can accompany evening routines. Other good hunger-curbing pairings include carrot sticks with hummus or black bean dip, or a slice of multi-grain bread spread with a tablespoon of reduced-fat peanut butter.

3. If you need a pre- or post-workout pick-me-up...
Solution: Before a workout, consuming complex carbohydrates–such as fruit or whole-grain cereal–will provide your body with energy for exercise. Afterward, eat high-quality protein, such as low-fat yogurt or whole-grain cereal–particularly if you performed resistance exercises. A weight workout will stimulate the growth of muscle cells, which depend on protein. And, as always, consume plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercising.

4. If a stressful situation makes you feel an irrepressible urge to munch...
Solution: In this instance, your desire for food may be hard-wired: Research from the University of California, San Francisco, found that consuming food–particularly items that contain sugar and fat–appears to calm the body's hormonal response to stress. But before you head to the vending machine, take a series of deep breaths; delay reaching for food for 15 minutes; drink a hot beverage such as tea, which can be soothing; and distract yourself by calling a friend or taking a walk. If you still feel like eating, then you're probably hungry. Eat a smart snack that fits your craving–a small piece of chocolate with a glass of skim milk, for example.

Ankle and Food Update

Last night my lovely boyfriend Michael took very good care of me! The second I got home, I got in my jammies, elevated my ankle and iced it. Michael is a wonderful caretaker. When I'm sick or hurt he always takes care of me. He fixed dinner: left over steak grilled up, potatoes and onions and a spinach salad. He refused to let me help and insisted I sit down the whole time. :) And later I found out HE was even injured as well! He pulled his hamstrings (pretty badly) on his last bike commute. Poor guy. :(

I woke up this morning and my ankle felt so much better! Maybe all it needed was a little rest and ice. I'm still going to the doctor this afternoon to make sure it's okay. I want it to be healed enough to go for a hike this weekend!

Breakfast this morning was Cream of Wheat. Snack will be a banana and I have a grapefruit for this afternoon.

Fun tidbit: A coworker who is running the Portland Marathon this year told me something amazing! Apparently if you run and finished the San Francisco Marathon, you get a pedicure AND a necklace from Tiffany's! Wow!

I wanted to share something that happened recently and was really puzzling! I had my snacks on my desk (apple and an orange) and a coworker asked me if I was on a diet.  I said not really and asked "Why?" slightly confused. He said that he noticed my apple and orange on my desk. I was left feeling completely baffled as to why eating fruit would mean I was on a diet. Do people really assume diets = fruits and veggies?  

QUESTION: Even when you're not "watching your weight" or actively trying to lose weight, are fruits and veggies part of your regular day??

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


"Hunger is generic: you need food, any food that'll make hunger go away. Cravings are specific: you want a particular food. ["Eating the Moment", pg 21]"

The next time you are faced with the desire to eat, ask yourself "Is it HUNGER? Or is it CRAVING?" Sometimes it's hard to distinguish the difference. 

I crave sweets. Like I posted in a previous entry, my trigger food is sweets (candy, cookies, ice cream...anything sweet). QUESTION: How do you resist your cravings? Something I did was to have sweets in the house that can't do too much damage to my waistline. Small dark chocolates that satisfy my sweets craving but aren't 300 calories a pop. I do NOT have things in the house that I cannot resist! For example, my boyfriend LOVES M&M's. He'll buy a huge bag from Costco and it will taunt me the entire time it's in the house. Michael says, "Well why can't you just have a serving of it?" Why can't I? I have no idea. If it's in the house, I will think about them ALL THE TIME! 

If you have ever been on a diet, you will understand this next comment. How many times have you realized you have overeaten or "cheated" and you just give up and say "Oh well, I might as well just keep eating! Today is ruined anyways!" It's happened to us all. Don't fall into this trap! Many, many times I've felt guilty after I've slipped up. Try not to beat yourself up to badly. It's not the end of the world to have one bad day. You can make up for it the next day. Go for a walk during lunch in addition to your regular workout, or instead of having dessert, have some sweet fruit (like strawberries) to balance it out.

I've never done Weight Watchers but friends of mine have and they've told me a bit about it. Apparently you get a few "extra" points each week that you can use one day when you go over your allotted points. I think that's a good system! 

Note: The above picture was taken last summer when we were having dessert at Papa Haydn's. It is THE best dessert place in Portland!!