Thursday, November 30, 2006

Diabetes testing supplies, and Seattle pictures

sharps containerCalories eaten yesterday: 1782
Fat: 107g (56%)
Carbs: 28g (6%)
Protein: 128g (30%)
Calories burned in exercise: 92

I'm very pleased with those numbers.

The picture on the right is what I bought at the drugstore today - a sharps container to safely dispose of lancets. It was about $5 including tax. It's illegal and just not nice to toss them in the trash. Someone could poke themselves and then spend time worrying about getting some horrible disease. So this is the best way. :)

I also won all three auctions on E-bay for the Accu-Chek Multiclix lancet device with lancets (I didn't want to win this one) and both of the True Track test strip auctions (I only wanted to win one).

test strips Accu-Chek device and lancets
Made it to the gym today. Did 45 minutes of weights, 30 minutes on the elliptical (the kind with the moving arms), and 20 minutes walking on the treadmill.

Oh - my Seattle pictures are up! Click here to go to the Flickr album.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Meters & test strips & lancets, oh my!

Accu-Chek lancet deviceRead this blog post yesterday, which inspired me to want to test my blood sugar more often. So I bought the lancet device pictured to the left off e-bay. I am currently bidding on test strips.

I'm back to using my food journal again today, trying to keep fat high and carbs super low and calories under 1850 since that seems to be about maintenance for me.

Today I ran into the City, found the new location of the bank where I have a savings account, took out the $50 in it (leaving the $5 needed to keep the account open), and took the money to the bank with my checking account. Then I went to Macy's to exchange the watch that Millie gave me during Thanksgiving vacation at April's. The watch she gave me was too big and not adjustable so I exchanged it for one that is. Unfortunately, when I tried it on, it was too big, even with the extra link removed. Guess I'll be going back again! Argh!

Then I checked my P.O. box. My National Weight Control Registry questionnaires came today! Yike there's a lot of paperwork to fill out. I just have to keep reminding myself that I am doing this for the good of low-carb. (There are not enough low-carbers in the registry, so sign up!) They said "thank you for joining" so I guess I'm in!

diabetes test kitE-bay bidding is only going so-so. I don't want to win ALL the items I bid on. I only need to win two of the four auctions. So far I won one - a diabetes test kit with a meter (see photo - click to enlarge); this is one of the two I needed to win. I asked the seller exactly what was in the kit, but I got no response. The picture shows a lancet device and a meter, plus some unknown items in the pocket. I guess I will find out when it arrives.

I did find a description elsewhere online and this is the list of what's included, which may or may not match what I get:

True Track meter with battery
10 True Track Smart System Blood Glucose Test Strips
Lancing Device
10 Sterile Lancets
owner's booklet
Compact Carrying Case
Self Test Log Book
quick reference guide

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Week 15 Weigh-In is cancelled

Week 1: 147.6
Week 2: 147.6
Week 3: 147.6
Week 4: 146 (-1.6)
Week 5: 145.4 (-0.6)
Week 6: 144.6 (-0.8)
Week 7: 142.6 (-2.0)
Week 8: N/A
Week 9: 145.6 (+3.0)
Week 10: 145.2 (-0.4)
Week 11: 145.2 (0) (one day late)
Week 12: 144.2 (-1.0)
Week 13: 145.6 (+1.4)
Week 14: 144 (-1.6)
Week 15: N/A

Total gain/loss: ???

I know I gained real weight over Thanksgiving just from the sheer amount of food so I am not going near the scale.

Food-wise I'm doing another detox day of meat and eggs with four deviled eggs for breakfast (8 halves), a plain double cheeseburger with mayo for lunch, and leftover pre-cooked chicken from yesterday for dinner. The fat really does keep me satisfied for hours. I may be on to something! :) Tomorrow I will see about adding in some salad. I do love my vegetables.

Made it to the gym today. Did weights for 50 minutes, then 20 on the pedal-type stairmaster, and 30 minutes walking at 3.5 mph and above. 1.8 miles covered.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Back to the grind

After yesterday's early morning and busyness I was too tired to get up and go to the gym this morning. I slept in and worked a bit on the pictures I took. Walked from the BART station to work for exercise, stopping at WalMart for glue. I also bought a net light set (my old one broke and had to be thrown away) and I found a cool little gift for the Vicki box. I have got to start wrapping.

When I arrived at work Brad gave me two shrugs. the white lace fit okay, but the brown one was really tight under the arms. Brad said I could keep it and regift it. I think I will give it to April. It should fit her and it would be her style.

I'm not counting calories today. I'm doing a meat and egg, very low carb day. My only carbs today are from black coffee, plain tea, diet soda, and a little cheese. There's also a little sugar in the pre-cooked chicken.

I had one hard boiled egg and three deviled eggs for breakfast, and a double cheeseburger with mayonnaise as topping for lunch. Fat is so yummy and keeps you full for hours.

If you look below you will see that I have posted my vacation journal. Pictures will take a bit longer, but you can see a few in the entries below.

Looks like I won't get anywhere near 12,000 steps today. Spent too much time in front of the computer. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm home!

I made it home safe and sound. The trip went okay. I'll be typing up my six plus pages of handwritten notes. Look for those entries appearing BELOW this post in the next couple of days. I'll be postdating them. I'll also be getting rid of the Thanksgiving theme and putting up the Christmas one.

Pictures forthcoming.

Hope y'alls Thanksgiving holiday was great!

Thanksgiving Vacation, Day 5

snow on car<-- as we leave for the airport, it's snowing (click to enlarge)

I was up at 7. I had coffee with heavy cream and sugar-free syrup. It could be a long time until I have it again. I had two slices of low-carb bread with cream cheese and peanut butter (one of each). I also had the last 1/2 slice of the sugar-free chocolate cheesecake.

Renato drove Millie and I to the airport. It snowed last night and there was snow all over the car, but we didn't have to descend far before the warmer temperature (35 degrees) turned the snow into a cold rain.

We parked and I was checked and through security without a glitch. I found my gate and a Starbucks and cheated with a small latte with low-fat milk and sugar-free vanilla syrup. I shouldn't be having milk, but it's the last day of vacation.

Coming up to Seattle I was in the second to last row on the plane; flying back I was in the second row back from first class. Tre cool.

On the plane I asked for the received an entire can of diet Coke to drink, but no snack was legal for me. All they had were honey roasted peanuts and pretzels.

Brad picked me up at the airport and took me home and I unpacked. He gave me a back rub. I started the laundry, and then we went grocery shopping and he took me out to dinner. I had wine, a bunless burger with broccoli instead of potato salad, and an Irish coffee to top it all off. I had a few of the crackers from the cracker and cheese plate. At dinner I discovered my $20 cash back from the grocery store was missing, so we went back and the girl audited her drawer and was $20 over and gave me the money.

We went home and I put my laundry in the drier. I wanted to set up my Christmas tree. Brad ended up cleaning out my closet and we threw out a bunch of stuff. Who knew my closet was so large?

After finishing the closet, we got the tree up and trimmed. Brad gave me another back rub. I fed him a little ice cream and then he went home and I got ready for bed.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving Vacation, Day 4

Dad & Millie eat breakfastthe bed I slept in at April's house; very comfy (click to enlarge) -->

I will be so glad when this is over. April has had every day planned out. I've been on the go every day all day. And yet I've had amazingly few steps. We only walk between one sitting activity and another.

I had black coffee and low-carb bread with peanut butter and cream cheese (one of each) and some left over scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Then we went on the Washington Spirit Dinner Train for their Saturday lunch run. I had some wine, an Irish coffee, and way too much diet Coke to drink, no potatoes with my main course, and fruit instead of a sugary dessert (I had a few bites of April's apple crisp, though).

When we got home, April, Renato, and I walked the dogs down to the store (33 minutes round trip according to my pedometer and my only aerobic steps for the day) to buy the cheese I needed for the eggplant lasagna. Then I made it, but we had to take it out early and eat quickly. I had diet Coke to drink.

We all went into Seattle and packed off Dad and Millie to the play White Christmas. April, Renato, and I went to the movies and saw Babel. It was okay, but very long. It was cool how they tied all the seemingly separate stories together, though. And it stars Cate Blanchett who played Galadriel in Lord of the Rings.

Then we picked up Dad and Millie and went home. I have to be up very early tomorrow to catch my flight.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving Vacation, Day 3

coffee break<-- we take shelter from the cold in a coffee shop after shopping at Pike's Place (click to enlarge)

Before breakfast I got Millie to check my fasting blood sugar just for kicks. It was 84, a bit lower than normal for me. It's probably because of the extra carbs I'm eating. The more carbs I eat, the lower my fasting blood sugar. I guess that's what happens when Atkins resensitizes your cells to insulin.

Breakfast was waffles with berries and southwestern style eggs. I had low-carb bread with peanut butter and cream cheese (one of each), a South Beach wrap, berries, and some of the eggs.

Then we went to Pike's Place and shopped. Because it was crowded I had to shuffle and the pedometer didn't count any steps.

After this we went to Tully's coffee shop nearby to warm up with lattes. I had a small latte, no foam, with low-fat milk and sugar-free caramel syrup. The milk wasn't strictly legal, but this is vacation and I did get a small. I ate the Atkins bar I brought with me.

After that we drove out to Snoqualmie Falls and took some pictures. Dad wanted me to see it.

After the falls we went to a shopping center and I got Dad to buy me a strapless bra with clear straps to attach (something I have wanted for a while). I bought long fitted workout pants, something I've been looking for since it's too cold to wear my bicycle shorts to the gym.

Then we finally headed home for dinner. April invited over Michelle and her husband husband and Satin and her husband. I ate turkey and veggie leftovers (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots) and drank too much wine. Then I had coffee with heavy cream and sugar-free syrup and my sugar-free chocolate cheesecake. Someone brought macadamia nuts and I ate way too many of those.

Before bed I jogged in place for 18 minutes to get my steps as high as I did (7082 steps).

I've been eating too many carbs from sugar free candies and low-carb bread and toppings. I definitely need to do an all meat day to detox when I get home. The extra carbs are making me tired and not feel as good.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Vacation, Day 2

Dad & Millie eat breakfastDad & Millie eat breakfast (click to enlarge) -->

Thanksgiving Day

Breakfast was more or less a fend for yourself affair. I had way too much low-carb bread, some with peanut butter and some with low-fat cream cheese. April stocked her fridge with non-fat which is much higher in sugar. Bleh. Glad I bought low-fat at the store. I had also bought heavy cream to make the chocolate cheesecake, and discovered the joy of putting it in coffee.

Sometime after breakfast I asked Dad if I could use his glucose meter to test my blood sugar, just for kicks. I ended up having to use Millie's. It was 129 (or possibly 119?) - normal for after eating. Tomorrow I want to check my fasting glucose.

Lunch was something carby, so I made myself a big bowl of Dreamfield's pasta with no-sugar-added pasta sauce. It was good.

April and I went to Fred Meyer to buy me underwear because because I forgot to pack any (!!!). I also got a thermal undershirt. It is so cold here.

Thanksgiving dinner was around dinner time - much later than traditionally. I had a slice of low-carb bread with real butter instead of a white roll with margarine. I had turkey of course, and even some not-really-legal gravy (very little). I had one bite of cranberry sauce, but NO stuffing and NO mashed potatoes. It was even much of a temptation. It was no big deal. Yay! I have some veggies and plenty of my cauliflower "potato" dish.

We had dessert later and I and Millie had the sugar-free chocolate cheesecake I made. Dad had 1/2 a slice of mine and 1/2 a slice of pumpkin (full sugar). He wanted more of mine :-) but I told him no. He's gaining weight and doesn't need more sweets, diabetic-friendly or not.

I helped April walk the dogs twice, morning and night. That really helped my step count. It's the only exercise I get here.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Vacation, Day 1

threat level sign<-- threat level sign at Oakland airport (click to enlarge)

I was up at 7 a.m. and out the door by 8:30. Took the bus to the airport. That went pretty smooth. Had a well-expired Atkins "granola" bar on the way. Edible, but a bit dry.

Checking my bags went smoothly: there was no line, no wait. Security presented problems of course. They wanted to confiscate my Crystal Light. I wanted to drink it right there, but nope. I had to leave the security area, go back into the non-secure area, drink the bottle (took about 60 seconds), and go back through again. They let me keep the empty bottle and I have powdered Crystal Light with me if I want more.

One inside the eating frenzy began: 3 1/4 oz. of almonds, a vegetable snack pack with full fat Ranch dressing, my peanut butter and jelly sandwich I brought this morning (with sugar free PB&J of course), and a "Red Eye": espresso and coffee. I had them add a bit of sugar free syrup to it. Yum. I also bought a chicken Caesar salad for later. I ate two croutons and threw out the rest.

The flight was uneventful and fairly short. There was no suitable snack so I ended up just having Diet Coke.

Once in Seattle I froze for a while before getting picked up by Renato, who was stuck in traffic. We went grocery shopping first, then went to the house.

April, Renato, Millie, Dad, and I all went to dinner at a Thai restaurant. Everything they served had added sugar. I ended up getting a vegetarian dish of veggies and tofu that they said they would prepare without sugar. It was yummy. I had two glasses of Merlot. Yes, I am such a wine girl!

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Recipe: Easy Faux Mashed "Potatoes"

* 1 20 oz. package frozen cauliflower
* 6-8 oz. cream cheese, softened (fat-free is fine; I think 6 oz. tastes better because then you can taste the cheese better)
* 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (low-fat is fine; I buy the pre-shredded bags)
equivalent of 4 green onions, chopped (I buy the frozen pre-chopped regular onions and just toss a bunch in)
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1/4 tsp. pepper
* 3 pieces bacon or turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled/cut, or bacon bits equivalent (optional)
* paprika

Note: Do NOT use fat-free cheddar cheese in this recipe. It does not work well and will make the recipe chewy. Fat-free cream cheese is fine, but using fat-free for the other cheese is not advised.

Cook the cauliflower until soft (8-10 minutes in the microwave). Drain and break up the florets with a knife. Grease an 8x8 pan or 2-quart casserole. Mix all ingredients into the cauliflower with a potato masher except for the paprika. Use that to dust the top.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20-40 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Or microwave, loosely covered, for about 40 minutes on 50% power, turning dish after 20 minutes. (Microwaving this takes more work; baking is the best option.)

When split into 6 servings using regular cream cheese it comes to about:
324 calories, 27g fat, 15g protein, 6g total carbs with 2g fiber, 4g net carbs

Here's what it looks like. Click to enlarge.

cauliflower 'potatoes' for church potluck

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Week 14 Weigh-In

me at Easter sunrise serviceRandom picture of me at an Easter sunrise service sometime in the late 1990s. -->

Weight: 144
Calories eaten yesterday: 1534
Fat: 77g (48%)
Carbs: 47g (13%)
Protein: 92g (25%)
Calories burned in exercise: 111

Week 1: 147.6
Week 2: 147.6
Week 3: 147.6
Week 4: 146 (-1.6)
Week 5: 145.4 (-0.6)
Week 6: 144.6 (-0.8)
Week 7: 142.6 (-2.0)
Week 8: N/A
Week 9: 145.6 (+3.0)
Week 10: 145.2 (-0.4)
Week 11: 145.2 (0) (one day late)
Week 12: 144.2 (-1.0)
Week 13: 145.6 (+1.4)
Week 14: 144 (-1.6)

Total gain/loss: -3.6

I'm glad I lost, but I'm not joyful. I am still hovering around 145. Why can't I break that weight and get and stay at a lower weight? But no, I just keep hovering in the 145 range, give or take a pound or two. And really the difference between 140 and 145 pounds is huge. All 5 pounds are in my belly and make it pooch out so I'm fat. At 140 my belly doesn't pooch out and I look really good. *sigh* Still, I'm 0.2 below where I was two weeks ago, so that's good. I know I'll be up next week due to Thanksgiving. I just hope it's all water weight and not real weight. My metabolism is ridiculously slow and I gain weight super easily.

One of the wheels on my Pullman (the one I use daily) broke, so I had to buy a new Pullman backpack with money I don't have. I ran the numbers today and the whole $200 I got yesterday was swallowed up, so still nothing for bills. Bleh.

Bought too much salad last week, not remembering that it would be a short week. So for the last two days, along with my large salad at lunch, I've had salad for breakfast. Pretty strange, but now I only have one leftover bag of salad instead of three. I also have one leftover tomato and some cucumbers, but they should keep okay.

Had 44 minutes of aerobic steps by the time I got to work. I had to walk up to Sequoia Church for my meeting, then I walked from the BART station to work, stopping at WalMart for the backpack and Christmas wrapping paper (I'm out).

WalMart is where all my money is going. For the first time ever I have easy access to everything from clothes to workout accessories to food - all fairly cheap. I stop for this or that item far too often. It's the same reason I go to Starbucks more often now - they are in the same shopping complex.

Today is my last day to get my step count up before I leave. It will completely go to pot while I'm gone. My sister isn't real big on exercise except for walking the dogs in her dog hotel business, which she does want me to help out with. I've been pushed out of the highest score category by the new walkers. Where a score of 10 used to be enough, it now takes a minimum score of 13 and a daily average of over 13,000 steps to make that group. My score is in the 12 range. I swear to God these people are freaks of nature. Most of them walk 25,000 to 35,000 steps a day on a near daily basis!

Well, I leave tomorrow! I want to get to the airport three hours early, seeing as it's the biggest travel day of the year (48,000 passengers are expected at the [small] airport I'm flying out of). That means I need to be out the door a little before 8:30 (I just ran the trip planner and that's what they say). That means getting up around 7. I could gain 20 extra minutes by taking BART, but that means $1.40 more money and an extra transfer. Doing it the way I'm planning will save me money and hassle - pretty important since I'll be struggling with three bags all alone.

Bleh. I'm going to be so tired! I get off work late tonight as usual and there's a ton of stuff to do when I get home (pack, wrap Christmas presents, etc.)! Yike.

Anyway, I'll see you all on the flip side! And have a happy Thanksgiving!

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Easy Recipes

Here you will find links to my favorite recipes posted here, collected to make them easy to find. Click on the "Recipe Box" link on the left to return to this post at any time.

Many of these recipes can be modified to be made lower fat by using non-fat cream cheese and cheddar cheese. I cannot vouch for their taste as I have only tried one recipe this way. I personally use (and recommend) low-fat cheese and cream cheese. Non-fat sour cream tastes okay though.

Low-Carb Recipes
Easy Flax Seed Bread (by the slice)
Easy Vegetable Casserole
Easy Faux Mashed "Potatoes"
Easy Eggplant Lasagna
Easy Low-Carb Frozen Dessert
Easy Low-Carb, Low-Fat Chocolate Cheesecake
Low-Carb Holiday Eggnog - by the serving (traditional and easy versions)

Not Low-Carb but Still Healthy
Easy Homemade Starbucks Chocolate Banana Vivanno
Healthy & Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Weight Loss blogs (non low-carb)

Weight Loss blogs (non low-carb)

Sorry, no current blogs.

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Manic Monday

me drinking wineWeight: 145.4
Calories eaten yesterday: 1380
Fat: 49g (33%)
Carbs: 45g (14%)
Protein: 135g (41%)
Calories burned in exercise: 259

<--Random picture of me drinking wine.

My blogroll has been getting out of control. In an effort to keep it under control - and because I can't have more than one drop down menu (I tried) - I have grouped various blogs into posts here. The blogroll points to posts here where I have a listing of all the blogs in that category: low-carb blogs, Knights of the Round Bottoms, religion blogs, and journals. I'll edit the posts if I need to add or delete a blog from my listing. Sorry for the large number of posts today, but that's what's going on. It's a one time thing, though I may add a catagory for general weight loss blogs in the future. Right now only one blog fits that catagory, so I grouped her in the post with the Knights for now. [Edit: non low-carb weight loss blogs now have their own catagory.]

Well, I feel guilty today. I had to do something I promised I wouldn't. The background is - last year my Dad gave me a piece of property that is in the process of being sold. Each month I receive a check for about $200 from the mortgage company. I promised Dad I wouldn't spend the money; I would save/invest it. And so far I have. But coming up on Thanksgiving I'm broke and needed money for things like a haircut so I don't look like a mess in the family pictures. I had two checks at home. I took one and cashed it. I got a haircut (just to trim off the uneven ends), a rolling Pullman duffel bag with backpack straps to use as a carry-on bag this week ($25 at WalMart!), and even Hoodia pills to help suppress my appetite so I'll eat less. Not that I don't eat when I'm not hungry - this is an issue I need to work on harder - "don't feed the wrong need."

I'm thinking of doing a "no carb" day when I get back from Seattle - buy a pre-cooked chicken and just eat that for one day. One day of meat only won't kill me. Still debating whether I want to do it or not.

No exercise today except for the 1.5 mile walk from the BART station. None tomorrow either, though I plan to do the walk of course. And then I leave Wednesday morning!

Only two days until I leave! Yikes! It's coming up so fast. I may - or may not - have computer access. Even if I do it may be too short to post entries. I'll keep a longhand journal and retype and post it here whenever I have time, even if it's after I get back.

Pray that I be a good witness for Christ to my family. I'll be the only Christian there. Pray that God draws each and every one of them to Him.

One last thing: check out this awesome article in Men's Health entitled The Cure for Diabetes. I printed it out to give to my Dad when I see him at Thanksgiving.

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Just Journals

Just Journals - because life is always...interesting
all links will open in a new window

Where Is the Love? - Lisa

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Blogs of Faith

Religion Blogs - all links will open in a new window

One Eternal Day
Book Dust (by an Eastern Orthodox lady)
Unknown Island North by Lira

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Knights of the Round Bottoms blogs

Knights of the Round Bottoms - all links will open in a new window

Once A Fat Guy - Lord Chubalot
Losing A Hundredweight - Sir Man Boobs
Born Squishy - Sir Squishy
Future Cat Lady - Dutchess Tuckus
Sir Belly Jeans
Sir Fat Lazy Guy
My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles - Sir Lee Padthaiserver
New Life Fitness - Josh, Esquire

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Low-Carb blogs

Low-Carb Blogroll - all links will open in a new window

Livin' La Vida Low-Carb
Protein Power - Dr. Michael Eades
Thin Enough to go to the Gym?
Healthy Low-Carb Living Blog
The Divine Low-Carb blog
Low Carb Lollygagging
My Low-Carb Diet and Recipes
Cindy's Low Carb Life
Bonita Gordita
Gluttony No More

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Knights of the Round Bottoms

knightI've been accepted as a member of the Knights of the Round Bottoms, a group of noble knights and ladies trying to lose weight. They blogged about me here. I'm just an esquire until I pick a name. How does "Lady Atkins" sound?

To anyone from over there reading here, I'll give an introduction of who I am.

So far I've lost 60 pounds on Atkins. I've been doing this low-carb approach since March 29, 2004. I'm not perfect, but once you get most of the carbs out of your life, you stop craving them. I get most of the carbohydrates in my diet from vegetables and non-sweets fruits. Contrary to what the media says, Atkins is not just about meat and cheese (though you can certainly eat these). Vegetables are the cornerstone of the plan. I've gone from thinking of vegetables as a necessary evil in life to loving them and craving them.

I was headed toward a lifetime of obesity and type 2 diabetes, just like my Dad. Atkins has put a stop to that, resensitized my cells to insulin, and taken away the health issues I had - chronic constipation, adult acne, eczema, and cold sores. Every single one of these issues has completely gone away on Atkins. My tendency to diabetes is still there, so this has to be a lifestyle change.

I cannot thank Dr. Atkins enough.

I enjoy exercise. I started at Curves and am currently a member at 24 Hour Fitness. I go 1-4 times a week, depending on my schedule. I'd says a typical week is 2-3 times. I try to make exercise a part of my life 6 days a week though, even if that just means walking the 1.5 miles from the train station to work. I wear a pedometer and track my steps and miles at Walker Tracker.

I've been stalled on my quest for about 18 months, but I've come to see it not as a stall, but as maintenance. I haven't lost any weight, but I haven't gained any either. :) I've been hanging out at about 145 pounds. My highest weight was 206, and my lowest was 138.

I track my food, exercise, and weight on FitDay. It helps keep me from going off track when I have to stare my numbers in the face.

I am an ex-Witch. I practiced Wicca for about four years in the early- to mid-1990s and belonged to a coven in this area. I am still in e-mail contact with the leaders of that coven since they are good people - we just have very different views on religion now. The story of how I became a Christian is here. There's also quite a bit of stuff in the posts from 1996. Click on my archives drop-down box.

I believe in headcovering for one simple reason - the Bible says to do it. I wrote a longer post on the topic here, and it explains the whys and wherefores of this belief. It's more common than you might think.

Finally, yes there are gratuitous cat pictures here. They tend to be few and far between, but I have two tabby cats who I greatly love, and I occasionally post pictures of them for no reason other than to show them off. My Flickr account has three photo sets of them:
Xena set
Abby set
Xena & Abby together set

They even have their own MySpace profile. Yes, I am a crazy cat lady. :)

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Photo courtesy Ocoee High School.

This weekend

23658 steps on pedometerThursday weight: 143.4
Calories eaten Thursday: 1839
Fat: 77g (40%)
Carbs: 61g (14%)
Protein: 137g (31%)
Calories burned in exercise: 300

Friday weight: 143.4
Calories eaten Friday: 1717
Fat: 72g (40%)
Carbs: 63g (15%)
Protein: 110g (27%)
Calories burned in exercise: 321

The picture above is me at Thanksgiving dinner in 2004, which was at work. I promise to take my camera to Thanksgiving in Seattle and bring back pictures, which I will post on my Flickr photo site.

Okay, this weekend. Friday I talked with the guy at the bank about what to do with the money that I couldn't place in my IRA. He talked about how to invest the money, explained what mutual funds are, and showed me one. I noticed a tobacco company on the list and asked if there were any funds that didn't have something like that. He said I had an option of "socially responsible" mutual funds - not necessarily "green" companies, but no alcohol or tobacco type companies. He showed me one of those - mostly large companies, but ones that still had growth potential, such as Starbucks. I tend to be conservative - I don't want to lose everything because some little IT companies folds in six months. I asked him to find me two other mutual funds like this, send me the paperwork on all three, and I would look them over and choose. He gave me a booklet to read about mutual funds.

After that I had a chiropractic appointment with therapeutic massage. Brad picked me up from there and we went to walk around the lake. We ended up going around twice (about 6 miles)! It took us 1:47. Whew! I made a new high step count for the day - 23,658 steps (10.8 miles)! See below.

Saturday was my off day from exercise and I was SO hungry. I couldn't stop eating, even if I wasn't hungry. I need to learn don't feed the wrong need. I have a hard time not stuffing my face, hungry or not.

Today I made it to the gym. It will be my last workout for over a week because When I arrived I unpacked my stuff and discovered that I had forgotten my protein shake. I went over to where they had a refrigerated case of various drinks and looked them over until I found one low in carbs (3 net grams). It was a bit high in protein (35g) and low in fat (1g), but hey, beggars can't be choosers. I would have run over to the drugstore next door and bought a four pack of SlimFast, but they are closed on Sunday.

Anyway, I did 45 minutes of weights, 20 on the pedal-type stairmaster, 10 walking 4.0 mph, and 12 walking 3.5 mph.

Click to enlarge.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Recipe: Easy Vegetable Casserole

This is an easy side dish that can be made vegetarian, depending on the kind of soup you use.

* one 16 oz. bag of frozen "Winter Mix" veggies [broccoli & cauliflower mix]
* 1/2 package frozen broccoli (about 7-8 oz.) and 1/2 package frozen cauliflower (about 10 oz.)
* 1 can "cream of" soup, any kind (as little as a 1/2 can of soup can be used for better flavor from the cream cheese)
* 8 oz. fat-free or low-fat cream cheese, softened
* paprika
* Optional: carrots

Defrost veggies to make them easier to combine with other ingredients. While they are defrosting, mix cream cheese and soup together. When they are fully combined, drain the vegetables and mix them in.

Grease an 8x8 baking dish. Spray with Pam. Place mixture in. Sprinkle paprika on top. Cook uncovered at 375 degrees for one hour.

When doubling the recipe, use only one can of soup (no second can). The taste of the cream cheese comes out much better.

Here's what it looks like. Click to enlarge.

low-carb vegetable casserole - Atkins & South Beach friendly

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Recipe: Easy Flax Seed Bread

This is a recipe for one slice of flax bread. And trust me, you do not want to eat more than one slice a day! The fiber is pretty powerful!

4 Tbs. flax meal (ground flax seed - can also be made with 3 Tbls.)
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 packet Splenda or 1 tsp. sugar-free syrup such as Torani

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a square (sandwich) container. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. All done!

Put butter or other toppings on it and enjoy!

Optional frosting:
mix 1 packet Splenda or sugar-free syrup into cream cheese and frost the bread

Per slice (plain): 200 calories, 14g fat, 3-5g net carbs (depending on the type of baking powder and sweetener), 12g protein.

Here's what it looks like. Click to enlarge.

plain flax bread
flax bread with cream cheese 'frosting'

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

5 days cheat freeWeight: 143.4
Calories eaten yesterday: 1598
Fat: 71g (42%)
Carbs: 54g (14%)
Protein: 122g (32%)
Calories burned in exercise: 87

Felt pretty good at the gym today. Did 45 minutes of weights. Thought I'd do 30 minutes on the stationary bike, but I am kicking myself because I forgot to clip my pedometer to my sock. I didn't realize it until I'd been pedaling for 20 minutes! So that's 20 minutes of aerobic steps lost! Grrr. Wrapped up with 26 minutes of walking on the treadmill and drinking my protein shake. FitDay says 300 calories, so not bad!

Brad is supposed to pick me up after my chiropractic appointment tomorrow and we're going to walk around the lake. That should help give me a good step count. It takes me 6600-6700 steps to get around the lake. Then Brad and I will go to my house and I'll feed him something while I eat what's on my menu.

Saturday Brad will also come over. As many of you know, Saturdays are mini cheats for me - low-carb foods only, but I eat too much of them, and have a few treats such as whole wheat bread, low-carb ice cream, and berries. And way too many peanuts off the snack table at church. ;) I asked Brad to bring a bag of spicy pork rinds and cottage cheese with him. Yummy. I can't have potato chips (pure carbs!), so pork rinds are the next best thing. They are an acquired taste, but I actually do like them now. And the spicy ones dipped in cottage cheese are to die for. Knowing Brad he'll be content to just let that be his dinner. He's a true Texan and loves his pork rinds.

I'm making vegetable casserole for the church potluck this week. I'll do that tonight maybe because I was a really good girl this week - I got the ground chicken cooked yesterday afternoon before work. Plus, last night I packed dinners for the three days I'm working next week and the four days I'm working the next week after I come back from Thanksgiving in Seattle. And I still have a ton of ground chicken - all cooked - left over. My freezer is pretty packed right now; I am set for quite a while. :)

Anyway, I should actually be able to relax tonight other than making the casserole, and all my recipes are a piece of cake because I'm so lazy, lol. Hopefully I'll get the first of my recipes (flax bread) posted this weekend.

My health club is closing for three days over the holidays. This totally sucks. Last year they only closed for Christmas Day, with shortened hours the other days. I don't care about the closing on Thanksgiving, but they are also closed all day on Christmas eve day, and I would have gone in that day. Guess I'll be working out at home. They told me they would be open new year's eve and new year's day, so I can go in then at least. I gotta have my exercise fix!

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

4 days cheat freeWeight: 144.4
Calories eaten yesterday: 1687
Fat: 73g (42%)
Carbs: 62g (16%)
Protein: 128g (32%)
Calories burned in exercise: 183

144.4 this morning. Still above last week's Tuesday weigh-in.

Gar. Dad gave me $200 and even with that there still isn't enough money to pay the bills. I had almost enough for groceries and they will last me until the next payday, but I have nothing extra for bills. Gosh I wish eating healthy weren't so expensive. *sigh* I hope Verizon, Direct TV, PG&E, and Pac Bell can all wait.

My computer no longer reads CDs. I'm not amused because now I have no way to add music from CDs into iTunes and put them on my iPod. And I don't have the money to get the damn thing fixed, nor do I want to be without my beloved computer for the better part of a week. Geez, I depend on the thing daily. Grrr. I'll post here when I finally take it in.

Not much else going on. I might hang out with Brad this weekend and go for a walk around the lake for some exercise. He'll be watching my cats while I'm gone over Thanksgiving.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Week 13 Weigh-In

3 days cheat freeWeight: 145.6
Calories eaten yesterday: 1698
Fat: 82g (46%)
Carbs: 54g (13%)
Protein: 121g (30%)
Calories burned in exercise: 282

Week 1: 147.6
Week 2: 147.6
Week 3: 147.6
Week 4: 146 (-1.6)
Week 5: 145.4 (-0.6)
Week 6: 144.6 (-0.8)
Week 7: 142.6 (-2.0)
Week 8: N/A
Week 9: 145.6 (+3.0)
Week 10: 145.2 (-0.4)
Week 11: 145.2 (0) (one day late)
Week 12: 144.2 (-1.0)
Week 13: 145.6 (+1.4)

Total gain/loss: -2

I'm back to where I was on Week 9. Oh well. I knew I'd be up today. Carbs always do that to me, evil things that they are. That's okay. It's just water weight and it will come off. I just gotta keep up my step count and keep down my calories.

I looked so good last Friday morning. I don't usually say that about myself, but I was at 142 that morning and I put on my newly altered paint splatter jeans and short tank top. My midriff showed and I looked sexy. Me. Sexy. Wow. I want to get back there again. I looked great; I felt great. As soon as I get back to 142 I'll try to get a picture of me wearing that outfit.

Received a strange package today. It was a long silver necklace (probably sterling silver) and included the following note:
Gift Message
Message: Saw this on your Wish List and knew you needed here it is! Love...An Admirer (tee hee!)

I have no clue who sent it.

Didn't feel like going to the gym today so I just bounced around on my mini trampoline for 30 minutes while watching TV and then walked the last 1.5 miles to work. FitDay says I burned only 183 calories.

I went into the "Reports" in my FitDay journals and for every time period checked I have gained. I looked at all the time frames they offer - one week, two weeks, one month, two months, four months, six months, and one year. At showed at least a small gain during every one. Could I have been working my butt off for nothing for the past year? Well, at least I'm maintaining fairly well. :-p

I stopped at WalMart for more sugar-free Ice Breakers candy so I'll have something to stick in my mouth at my sister's house when carbs are put in front of my face (which will be all five days). Also picked up Cream of Celery soup for the vegetable casserole (both for this weekend and over Thanksgiving), pork rinds, Crystal Light (powdered and in bottles), and sugar free Kahlua flavored syrup. Yum! Also a Christian present for my sister and some sunflower seeds to much on while there.

Only one more week until I leave. I may or may not be able to post while I'm gone. I'll keep a longhand journal and then just type it up if/when I can get access. At the very least I'll post it when I get back.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

What American accent do you have?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
North Central
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

No, that's right. I was born and raised in the West and currently reside in California. Why is it the lowest common denominator, though?

I was close to Midland. 96% West and 95% Midland.

H/T: ALa
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Back on the wagon

2 days cheat freeCalories eaten yesterday: 1408
Fat: 64g (43%)
Carbs: 44g (13%)
Protein: 100g (30%)
Calories burned in exercise: 101

After pigging out over the weekend I got back on track yesterday and cut my calories as low as could really be expected. Tomorrow is my official weigh-in day and I know I'll be up, but that's okay. I just need to stay strict from here on out.

I'm not looking forward to Thanksgiving because even if by some miracle I manage to stick to only low-carb foods for the five days I'm gone, I will still be eating too many carbs and calories for my metabolism to handle. And there's no guarantee that my sister doesn't have every minute planned, leaving me not knowing when I'll be able to cook other than Thanksgiving day itself.

It's winter now, the season when things grow around here and the hills turn green. We've had a couple good rains so far, but last night and today it just rained and rained. Thank goodness it was a gym day so I could get some exercise. My step count will be going down now that I won't be able to walk to work as often.

I pulled out the down comforter last night. My bed is by the window and the cold air just comes right in because the windows aren't sealed. The heater is on a lot more often and Xena seems to enjoy warming her furself in front of it. I think it's time to pull out my hat and gloves and scarf.

Made it to the gym. I did almost 50 minutes of weights, a half hour of cardio on the elliptical, and then only had time for 12 minutes of walking. I felt pretty good. I think I still have carbs in my system from the weekend and that helps overcome the lack of red blood cells.

I did some research today about how long it takes the body to replace the blood lost in donation, and once again Wikipedia came to the rescue. From it's blood donation page:

Plasma volumes will return to normal in around 24 hours, while red blood cells are replaced by bone marrow into the circulatory system within about 3-5 weeks, and lost iron replaced over 6-8 weeks.

That's the reason for the 8 week waiting period - so that iron levels will be back to normal.

This page also has information and links for requirements in other countries.

My iron was 41% and they don't take anyone below 38%, so I'm okay and not overloaded on iron, which is good news.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Are You Gooder at Grammar?

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

Seeing as I'm a published writer, I better have a perfect score!

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My crazy weekend

Friday weight: 142
Calories eaten Thursday: 1774
Fat: 83g (44%)
Carbs: 48g (11%)
Protein: 122g (29%)
Calories burned in exercise: 86

Friday and Saturday were off plan, so I only have Thursday to report. As you can see I got back to my original goal of 142 Friday morning. I am way up right now of course, but I am getting closer and overall losing weight, albeit ever so slowly.

giving bloodThe blood donation Friday went okay. I attached a pic. I have decided that being honest and upfront only causes problems, so next time I am not going to mention my problems getting lightheaded. This time I had to argue with first the lady taking the blood and then a nurse also and convince them that I would be okay. They said I had a history of passing out (once - 15 years ago!) and that it gets worse every time (it's gotten BETTER each time). Geez. It's just not worth it. The nurse also said I was "small." I assume she means I get lightheaded because my bodyweight is so low? Hello! The minimum body weight for giving blood is 110 pounds. I am well over that. And while I've been called a lot of things in my life, "small" is not one of them. I guess I should take that as a compliment, but I was too caught up in the argument at the time to care. A lot of the people who worked there were fat; maybe they have a skewed idea of "small"?

When they asked me how I was doing during the donation I lied and said I was fine even though I was a bit lightheaded. I filled the bag pretty fast. The woman looked at it and said, "Wow, you're almost done. That was fast."

I felt okay after the donation and ate a bunch of carby snacks. Then I went home, taking the 11 bus and getting off early and walking the 15 minutes home. I felt really good at that point - all the sugar in my bloodstream gave me a burst of energy.

hanging outFriday night I went out to dinner with Brad, Lisa, and Davina at Applebee's. We had appetizers, our meals, drinks, and dessert. Expensive, but I don't go out often. I felt fine until I ate dessert and all of a sudden I was lightheaded and nauseous. I went into the bathroom and sat in the wheelchair stall on the tiled floor just in case I had to throw up, but after a while I started to feel better again. Davina checked on me.

After dinner we walked around the mall for a while and took silly pictures. Check out the pictures Lisa and I took.

Saturday Brad picked me up after church and took me home. I fed him some healthy food (low-carb of course) and then he needed to leave because I was wiped out. I ate some more after he left, took a long nap, then got up and ate some more, then brushed my teeth and went to bed for the night.

I think part of the tiredness was 1) getting up earlier than I wanted Friday and Saturday, 2) giving blood, and 3) eating high carb food Friday and some Saturday as well. Eating a lot of carbs makes me tired. Once I get the carbs out of my system I should feel better.

Had to get up early this morning to be at work by 11 for my 12 hour shift. :-p I badly need the extra money for bills.

I made my 1 million step goal on Friday! It took me 81 days. I am now in the 1 million step Hall of Fame at Walker Tracker. My next goal will be 2 million steps and then 1,000 miles.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Cry Out To Jesus

Today I wanted to share with you this video - my first ever video posted here! I love this song. It always chokes me up. Have you ever suffered and struggled in life? This video reminds us that we have help in our hurt - just cry out to Jesus. He'll always be there.

Take a few minutes to listen.

Music Video Codes by VideoCure

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Buzzzzy Bee

32 days cheat freeWeight: 142.2
Calories eaten yesterday: 1757
Fat: 76g (41%)
Carbs: 63g (15%)
Protein: 139g (34%)
Calories burned in exercise: 298

This week has crept by so slowly. I'm glad it's my Friday. I'll cook and pack lunches, do laundry, get to bed at some horribly late hour, and then have to get up tomorrow after too little sleep, shower before I'm fully awake (something I detest), and be at the blood donor place way earlier than I'd like to. I wish they didn't close so early.

I've been fantasizing all week about cheating on my diet on Friday. That's so wrong, but there you are. I am also really exciting about giving blood. I find this is something I really want to do.

Tomorrow is dinner at Applebee's with Brad and Davina and Lisa. Friday night and they don't take reservations, so we are probably going to have to sit at the bar and wait quite a while. That's okay with me. I'm going to have some fun. :)

So far today I've stripped the bed and put on fresh sheets. I also picked up my clothes after the alterations. They were two days late finishing and should have given me a discount rather than a lame apology. :-p Then I went grocery shopping - eating healthy is expensive! Yike! Then home to put away the groceries and cook the meat for lunches next week. I have two days worth of ground beef left; after that I am switching to ground chicken. Then I left for work, walking the last 1.5 miles from the BART station for some exercise. Tonight I will pack my lunches while the laundry is going. I can't wait to wash the newly altered jeans so I can wear them tomorrow and look HOT. (The legs were too long so I had to have them shortened.)

Would you believe I got another compliment today? I have been deluged with these this week and I have to say I like it! Today it was a bus driver who remembers me better than I remember her. She asked me if I was still doing the Atkins thing and I said yes. She said I looked good. (c: I said I'd lost 60 pounds and gone from a size 18 to a size 8. Her comments made me feel so good!

I'm down to 142.2 today! I've been really good all week and this is the lowest weight I've seen in a while. I know I'll gain a bunch after tomorrow's cheat, but it will just be water and will come off. I was able to go to the third hole on my new belt. I'll be back to hole #1 or 2 tomorrow night!

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