Monday, January 23, 2006

Progress Report

Today marks two weeks since I started the 30/90 plan (Synopsis: under Dr.'s orders, I have 90 days to lose 30 pounds or be put on drugs for high blood pressure and cholesterol). I am very happy to report that I have lost 10 pounds! TEN POUNDS!!! Granted I lost five of those the very first weekend due to that really nasty stomach thing everyone is getting. However, I haven't gained those back and based upon the additional 2.5lb a week loss, I am right on track to get to my goal! I've been eating healthier and paying close attention to what I eat and when I eat. I've been tracking my calories and weight on this handy spreadsheet created by Jeremy Zawodny as it includes a running daily average graph as you can see from the pink line on this chart (down is good):

The jagged line is the daily amounts. The really HUGE upticks are the "medicinal" glasses of wine a rough week at work required and the huge down ticks are me skipping lunch because the aforementioned rough work week. My average daily calories are fluctuating between 700 - 900 calories which really surprised me. Before anyone writes me with great concern that I'm starving myself (average calorie intake for a healthy correct weight adult is 2000 - 2500 daily), let me assure you I am not. I'm not hungry and, I've got to admit something, I've never eaten so healthy in my life!! I'm eating three small but filling meals plus two tasty snacks a day. I'm snacking on things like a 1/4 cup of dried fruit (cherries, bananas, strawberries, and cranberries are my favourites) with a small piece of graham cracker for 110 calories and an apple with peanut butter for 90. For a really decadent tasting snack, I have a new sweetheart, The Laughing Cow; only 70 calories when I spread one wedge of the light herb and garlic on a rye cracker. It tastes like 1000 calories. As for my meals, I'm eating cereal with fruit or oatmeal with plain yogurt for breakfast. Lunch has been soup and a handful of pretzels or pita bread with hummus and cucumbers as well as some fruit or Jello. I splurge with a really nice but low cal/low fat dinner. For example, over the weekend, I made Tarragon and Sage Turkey Breast and Potato Gratin from the December issue of Cooking Light (390 calories/13g fat). MBH liked it and it made enough for some leftovers that I used for the Toasted Turkey and Brie Sandwich from the same Cooking Light issue for dinner tonight.

I lightened both meals further with some substitutions (fat free Ricotta cheese for the Brie in the sandwich, low fat/low sodium Swiss cheese for the Gruyere in the Potato Gratin). I'm really enjoying taking the recipes I'm using from Cooking Light, my recipe box, and a few other tried and true cookbooks and finding ways to keep the flavour but lose the calories and fat. I don't feel deprived of eating tasty foods and already feel much better.

Toasted Turkey and Ricotta Sandwiches
adapted from the December Cooking Light (CL recipe ingredients in parenthesis)

4 Thomas 100 Calorie English muffins (sourdough English muffins)
4 tsp good French Dijon mustard (honey mustard)
2 cups shredded turkey breast
8 Tbsp fat free ricotta cheese (5 oz Brie, sliced)
1/8 cup 2% cheddar cheese (my addition)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch oregano and tarragon for each English muffin half (my addition)

Preheat the broiler. Arrange muffin halves, cut side up on a baking sheet. Spread 1 tsp mustard on four halves. Top all eight halves with a Tbsp of ricotta cheese and a pinch of oregano and tarragon. Top each half with a 1/4 cup of turkey, 1 Tbsp of cheddar cheese and salt and pepper. Broil for 2-4 minutes until cheese is melted and turkey is warm. Serve open face with a small salad and fresh fruit.

Note: The CL recipe also called for 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion and 1/2 cup arugula to be added after the sandwiches come out of the boiler. I omitted the onion because raw onions and I don't like each other and I substituted the 1/2 cup arugula with a 1/2 cup baby spinach to make a little side salad with fat free feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Calories/fat (my way): 290/6.5g for two halves
Calories/fat (CL version): 340/11.6g for two halves