Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Week Nineteen - Day Two: Tuesday is here!

Yes, Tuesday is here and that means it's Happy Viking Pint Night! Captain is, as always, a happy guy when he gets his weekly pint! Tonight its Sierra Nevada Summerfest. And as you know, I like my Bloody Mary. Why? Because a shot of vodka is allowed on my no carb diet!

Yes, I love my drink with 2 olives! 
When I woke up this morning I was actually feeling lighter, my stomach a bit more concave. Well, it will NEVER be concave, but not nearly as "puffy" as it has felt. Don't you love that feeling? I've feeling very positive about Thursday's doctor's visit.

My son has decided to try the paleo and low carb form of eating. Last night we talked and he was trying to figure out why, if he had eaten a good, healthy dinner, he was hungry. There are two reasons for this. First, you may just be thirsty and not realize it. Nope, that wasn't it because he guzzles water all day long. He said he had a big, lean pork chop and a good sized salad with lots or "stuff" on it. The operative word here is "lean."

Not his actual dinner, but a good representation!

There you have it! Not enough fat. Fat is what helps keep you satisfied and keep the cravings and hunger pangs at bay. The solution was, go eat a big ole spoon of peanut butter. The protein and fats will help. It worked! He was no longer hungry. That is why I try to keep my magic peanut butter cookies on hand.

Now, how is my day going? Quite well, thank you for asking. Breakfast was... you know, my fav!

What is it about those stupid things that is so satisfying? It must be the salty, fatty, crunchy thing. I love mine well crisped on the outside! Yumminess!

Lunch was a bacon sandwich. I used my #recipe for grain free sandwich bread with garlic.

It's very thin but filling. I slathered mayonnaise on, stacked the bacon, and it was awesome! Did I mention the bread only has one (yes, 1) net carb? That's practically a free food. Bacon has 1.4 net carbs per slice; I had 3 slices. Mayonnaise has zero carbs. So my lunch only had 5.4 net carbs. I'm trying to keep it under 30 net carbs a day, so that is only 1/6 of my daily allowance.

Tasty, indeed! 
Next time I make my bread I will make it plain so it can be a bit more versatile.

Dinner time was slowly approaching and Captain called to say he was running late. Not a problem, I will meet you at The Happy Viking!

I got there, ordered my Bloody Mary and about 5 minutes later he arrived. We ordered calamari appetizer...

...he ordered seafood pasta...

...and I ordered BBQ chicken salad.

My chicken had a dry rub on it and I got the ranch dressing on the side! :) 
Tasty? Yes! Gourmet? No, not so much! But it's always fun. And it's our standing date night.
The rest of the evening was very uneventful. A little coffee, a little TV, and we called it a night. No waiving for me, I am happy to report. Now all I have to do is get thru tomorrow and then I will have the reveal on Thursday.

Hoping you all had a great day as well.  Until Wednesday, then!


Monday, May 26, 2014

Week Nineteen - Day One: Memorial Day...

Today is the day we celebrate those who gave their lives in defense of this country. Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated. Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle. It is now celebrated in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971. Several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. No matter when you celebrate it, it is all about those who gave their all. To them I say, "Thank you."

This is the start of a new week. I began my day with my usual cup - or cups - of coffee. Breakfast was a hamburger patty with cheese melted all over the top of it. I just love it when the cheese melts down into the skillet and you get that yummy cheese skirt! Nothing better!

No, mine did not have the bun, and it wasn't quite as big as this, but it certainly was just as tasty. 

About 11 o'clock the phone rang and it was Dad. Fortunately his blood pressure was just fine, BUT... since it's Memorial Day, and since Long John Silver is giving a free dinner to veterans, he wanted to know if I wanted to go with them. 

I couldn't say that to him because he was so very excited about going. So I said, "Yes, I'd love to!"

We got to talking about different restaurants and he said, "Do they have a Red Robin here?" Why yes, we do! "No, I mean Applebee's!" Yes, we have that one, too! 

"Please let them choose a restaurant and not fast food! I don't want to waiver!" I prayed. 

Woo hoo! Prayers answered! 
I had their lunch special, which was 3 chicken strips, fries (which I did not eat) and a salad. $6.99. Extra ranch dressing, please! They did the 2 for $20. It's their favorite thing to eat. They had chicken strips and salad, too. The only difference was, their salad was bigger than mine. Mine was the better deal and $3 cheaper per meal! :)

After that I took them home and it was time to head to the grocery store as I was low on supplies. Low carb supplies. I got bacon, hot dogs, lettuce, radishes, avocado, rotisserie chicken (that was my dinner) and water. Yep, that was it. I didn't even make any recipes today. It was a very dull day.

I had a low key, successful day. In 3 days I will weigh in at the doctors and I will be sure to let you now how I did. If I keep going like I am, the results will be good.

The sun has set, the delta breezes are blowing, and it's time for me to post this story. Thanks for hanging with me and helping me be accountable for my day. 

I am wishing you a most beautiful evening.


Week Eighteen - Day Seven: What a week it has been!

This truly has been a crazy week. So crazy, in fact, that I had to look at my calendar to see what I did the first of the week!

Monday started with meeting Susan for breakfast. We ate at a cute little Italian restaurant called Dancing Tomato Caffe. I had an omelet made with provelone cheese and Italian sausage. It was so good!

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent trying to take care of my dad, whose blood pressure has been spiking up, and planning the trip down south for the funeral. Tuesday night I made the decision to leave on Thursday and come home Friday.

Through it all I managed to stay pretty low carb with an occasional bite here and there of "forbidden food!"

Literally, just an occasional bite. Note: See the jerky and nuts on the above graphic? On low carb they are not forbidden. Isn't that awesome?

Thursday arrived and I was ready to go. I met Captain in Elk Grove and had breakfast before hitting the road. My breakfast was sausage and eggs, but they were served over potatoes covered in gravy. Half the sausage and eggs and 90% of the potatoes and gravy went home with him. Yes, I did indulge a bite or two. But you knew that already.

The drive down Highway 99 was uneventful. I did stop in Madera and got a Starbucks as I needed a bit of caffeine.

When I got into the Valley (i.e. San Fernando Valley - this is where real Valley Girls, like me, come from!)...

...I picked up Eric and he took me to dinner. We went to Claim Jumpers. Yes, I absolutely threw caution to the wind and went rogue. Well, not too rogue, but I didn't stick to my low carb.  I had their tri-tip sliders and a bowl of their potato cheddar soup. Thank you for dinner, Eric! It was awesome! (I have a great son. I love him!)

This is a nice Motel 6 - not anything like I stayed in!
I was going to stay with Eric, but circumstances precluded that. He suggested the Motel 6 not too far from him because his dad had stayed there before and it wasn't too bad. Yeah... That was 8 years ago or so. I told the clerk I wanted a very safe room as I was by myself. He said ok, and then proceeded to give me the room at the very front of the motel with the window on the street. Anyone walking along the sidewalk could touch the window! Not only that, it was dark and dirty and smelled like a cat had been using it for a litter box! Refund, please!

I stayed at the Howard Johnson's instead. I got an room inside the courtyard. It was clean, cheery, and had a continental breakfast. Well, their version of a continental breakfast, which consisted of bread for toast, muffins, cereal and coffee. Ugh... No eggs, no fruit. Really? I had to have a bite of something to take my meds with so I opted for a very small muffin.

Now it was time to pick up Eric and head to the funeral. I have to say it was really a beautiful celebration of Lisa's life. It was good to see her siblings and cousins that I haven't seen in 30 years. I cried - a lot - but I am happy she is now out of pain and is looking over all of us. I will miss her so...

Time to come home and traffic leaving the Valley was horrendous!

It took me an hour to go 10 miles. I do not miss the Valley. The only reason to now go back is to visit Eric. How sad that there is almost nothing left for me there. Ten hours and three stops later I was home.

Saturday morning and I am running around like a crazy person because Captain and I have two different events to attend today. But wait! What is that I hear? OMG it's the phone and it's mom. Dad is still having problems with his blood pressure and needs someone to stay with him because she HAS to go to church. I called Captain and told him what was going on and he was okay with it.

An hour and a half later and dad kicked me out of the house. He was feeling better and mom would be home in less than an hour. So off I go!

First stop was Rendez-Vous Winery where they were having the Pick-up Party &  BBQ. Good wines, lovely venue, fabulous food!

After relaxing for an hour or so at Tupelo Coffeehouse we headed up to Mt. Vernon Vineyards for a cave dinner.

This was the menu!

Cave Dinner May 24th, 2014

Course I

Fig Crostini:  Dried Mission Fig garnished with toasted walnut and micro greens gratineed with MT. Tam cheese on sour dough baguette finished with star thistle honey.
Paired with Mt Vernon Barbera
and Butter poached shrimp:  Flavored with Thai basil on a fried crisp with an avocado puree and a Sambal relish.
Paired with Mt Vernon Grenache Blanc

Course II

Salad of Frisee and Baby Spinach:  With toasted hazelnut and goat cheese with a White Balsamic vinaigrette.
Paired with Mt Vernon Cuvee Blanc

Course III

Pan Seared Diver Scallop:  Served on a fava bean puree with Pancetta and a beurre noisette flavored with tarragon.
Paired with Mt Vernon Sangiovese

Course IV

Roasted Duck Breast:  With a fingerling potato mash garnished with braised pearl onion and grilled Swiss Chard, finished with a Bing Cherry glacage.
or Stuffed Savoy Cabbage Leaves:  With Farro, Quinoa, spring onion, pine nuts and asiago cheese on ratatouille flavored with cumin and finished with a vegetable nage.
Paired with Mt Vernon Pinot Noir

Course V

Almond Cake:  Served with a strawberry rhubarb compote, crème anglaise, Chatilly cream and fresh chocolate mint.
Paired with Mt Vernon White Port

An amazing dinner! And as you can see, I did not low carb it!

Six crazy days, and we now come to Sunday. I am home and settled and able to once again get back into my routine.

I have spent the day cleaning out my emails and I did come across a #recipe I want to share with you.  Grain Free Garlic Sandwich Bread!

The #recipe only makes 2 pieces, well actually one long piece that is cut in half, but it is so worth it! I love it!

I mixed up tuna, added mayonnaise and pepperoncini, and made myself two open faced tuna sandwiches, MMMmmm... I did make the garlic version and it went really well with this. Will make it again tonight so I will have one for breakfast tomorrow.

I go back to the doctor on Thursday. I am anxious to see how much more I have lost. When I saw him 10 days ago I still weighed the same. I will take whatever loss I can get!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week Seventeen - Day Sunday: Not Feeling It!

Nope, just not feelin' it. It has been very difficult to blog the last 4 days. Why that is, I don't know. But I think it's for the following reasons:

When I saw the orthopedic doctor on Thursday he told me I have been on the pain medication (tramadol) for way too long. So Friday I only took one dose instead of three. Saturday I was going through withdrawls and did not have a good day. I took one and a half doses to get me thru the day. Today I have only taken one dose and not sure if I will take anymore tonight.

I have been waiting to hear about the funeral plans for Lisa. I just got the phone call from her husband tonight that the service will be next Friday, 5/23. So surreal when someone that you've shared almost your entire life is no longer with you.

And finally, today would have been my 43rd wedding anniversary. Even though Paul and I were divorced we never stopped loving each other. He passed away in 2007 and he is still missed.

Through all of this I have somehow managed to stay fairly low carb. How? I have no idea. Tonight I have had to make my cheese crisp and magic peanut butter cookie #recipes as all I want to do is eat! Must be the stress. I succeeded tho, and made it through...

So here is to a new day, a new week. I don't know what is in store for me, but you will know about it when I know about it. Well, with maybe a day of lag time. ;)

Sweet dreams, and wishing you a beautiful tomorrow!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Week Seventeen - Day Three: A New Recipe and Girls Night Out!

The other day I was shopping and found orange cauliflower. Isn't it beautiful?

I wasn't quite sure what I would do with it. Perhaps make bread? And then along came this email from Splendid Low Carbing that had this #recipe. Cauliflower, Bacon & Cheddar Casserole. That's it! That's what I'm making. It makes six servings and only has 4.1 net carbs per serving!

There is also a link in the #recipe of her third version of gluten-free baking mix, and it only uses 3 ingredients - almond flour, oat flour and coconut flour. No oat flour? No problem. Make your own by using rolled oats and blending it in the blender or food processor until you have flour. (A scant cup of oats makes 3/4 C oat flour.) I've done it before and it's very easy. Best of all, there is only 5.7 net carbs per 1/4 cup and the entire cauliflower recipe only has 1/2 cup!

If you're just starting to low carb you can have up to 20 net carbs a day. You can gradually increase your carbs on a weekly basis by 5-10 extra carbs a week. Depending on your metabolism you can increase your daily intake somewhere between 30 to 80 net carbs. Mine is at the lower end of the scale, sadly. But you can't fight your metabolism. It is what it is.

If you are looking for a great place to start, the Atkins website is probably the easiest to maneuver through. I am partial to Dr. Atkins because his plan was the first one I ever found that truly worked for me. But feel free to google your own websites. And there's tons of low carb blogs out there to give you encouragement along the way, as well.

And now, back to the recipe! 
Although it said to boil the cauliflower, I steamed it instead as I wanted to keep as many nutrients in it as possible. It took less than 20 minutes to steam the whole head.

Umm... Next time I lift the steamer basket off the boiling pot of water I will wear oven mitts to avoid steam burns. ::shaking_head::
Now I would like to share with you MY finished product! I have to say, it is good just as it is, however I like a little more seasoning than this has. Next time I will probably add a bit more salt and pepper as well as garlic and onion powder.

Today's word is "Yumminess!"
The rest of my day was rather quiet, but then I went out with my girls this evening!
We went to a Japanese restaurant called Chikara Sushi. I didn't have any sushi. Too much rice for me! But I ordered their Sesame Chicken and we all snacked on Edamame.  I also had one glass of white wine. The chicken was a bit overcooked. Next time I go I will order the butter shrimp. :)

Two and a half hours later, when we had laughed ourselves silly, it was time to go home.

Left to right we have me, Monica, Darlene and Carole.
We were missing Kailia and Charee tonight.
Hugs and kisses all around, and then we headed for our respective homes.

So that was my day... A new recipe, a night out with my girls, and a fairly successful food day! I am blessed to have some really awesome friends, I must say. Tomorrow I will see the doctor for a recheck, and hopefully another pound or two lost. Fingers crossed!

Thank you for being with me another day. I wish there was some way to show my appreciation!

In the meantime, have a beautiful night and I will see you tomorrow!