Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I *heart* Trader Joe's

Remember when I said I was going to make these?  Yeah, so, I made them.

They were horrible. 

AND when I ran the ingredient list through MFP, it told me that the bars were closer to 150 than the 66 listed in the recipe.  So, no.  I could just have a small, regular lemon bar for 150 calories. 

But then.

Oh, then.

Then I went to Trader Joe's.  And I found these:

 Cue choirs of angels.  Want the nutrition stats on these little (and I do mean little, as they are about 1" square) pieces of heaven?


Other things I love at Trader Joe's (harkening back to Lap Band Gal's post last month):

-  Cookie Butter:  I have to measure out one serving of this and then put the jar away.  Otherwise, this stuff is *dangerous*.
-  Spinach & Kale dip:  I did say that I can't do dips, because they're a trigger food for me.  That said, this dip is fantastic without being a trigger.  And it's so low-calorie that I can have a 1/4 cup serving for 60 calories.  I often use this dip as a topping for my everything bagel thin.  Holy moly, tasty tasty.
-  Meyer Lemon cookie thins:  These are 9 cookies for 130 calories.  I occasionally eat these with a serving of cookie butter for a 220 calorie sweet treat.
-  Egg white salad:  100 calories, 14 grams of protein.  Sometimes I eat it with...
-  Reduced Guilt Pita Chips:  These add the perfect crunch to the egg white salad.  100 calories of these plus 100 calories of the egg salad makes a 200 calorie, 17g of protein meal.

The only thing I have ever found that I don't like at Trader Joe's is their Roasted Garlic Salsa.  I am just not a fan of that stuff - it tastes more like a marinara than a salsa to me, and while that has its place, it's not on my omelet in the morning.  Yuck.

Tell me, what are your favorite groceries (whether or not you shop at TJ's)?

Thursday, July 26, 2012


1.  I had a *huge* NSV at the gym yesterday - I did 60 minutes on the elliptical.  60 minutes!  The first time I tried the elliptical, I could only do 2-1/2 minutes, so 60 is huge for me.  In a sick way, I'm looking forward to trying it again today.

2.  The person who keeps the gallon of whole milk (yuck) in the fridge at work needs to settle down and stop pushing my 32 oz. container of grape imitation Crystal Light to the back of the fridge.  There's room enough for both of us, gross dairy product drinker.

3.  I kind of want to join the gym at work so that I can go in the middle of the day when work is slow and I have some free time.  But I get so sweaty that if I did, I'd have to shower afterward.  I'm not sure how I feel about that level of time investment - I already shower twice a day (and my skin is feeling it - it's so dry!), do I really need to add a third?

4.  I finally came out to a co-worker about my band.  I haven't told anyone at work (or anyone else, except the wife), but I really like her and I always figured that if she ever asked me, I'd tell her.  She's a large lady, too, and I figured I'd be happy to share with her if it could maybe help her, too.  She asked me how I was losing so much weight, and I told her on the spot.  She said she's going to call the insurance company this week to try to get the ball rolling on getting her own band!  I hope everything works out for her.

5.  In last week's Ten Things, I complained that I didn't get to go to Vegas for the 4th.  Then on Monday, I found out that in August I have to travel to meet with some customers...  in Vegas.  Holla!  I'm going to extend the trip a few days and bring the wife.  Vegas!

6.  I am thinking about revising my goal weight from 173 to 160.  In fairness, they both seem so far away as to be unimaginable, so I may need to give this one some more time and thought.  My surgeon didn't discuss a goal weight with me - he just said, "under 200."  

7.  Do any of you use a reliable method for tracking calories burned from exercise?  I don't always believe the numbers on the gym equipment, and what's in MFP is just plain ol' wrong.  Not that it really matters, honestly, I'm just curious.

8.  The wife is out of town visiting her family this weekend.  I have no idea how I'm going to keep myself entertained.

9.  My boss is back from his three-week vacation.  Thus ends the least stressful three weeks of the last year.

10.  It is so cold in my office that often when I get in my car at the end of the day, I leave the windows rolled up and don't turn on the a/c for my whole drive home. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Eat... More?

I had my third fill on Monday.  It was with the new PA.  She seems nice enough, but she had to stick me twice.  It didn't hurt (much), but did cause me a bit of anxiety.  But then I got a Snoopy bandage, so all is right with the world.  I was a tad tight afterward, but now I feel great.

I also met with the nutritionist on Monday.  She took one look at my diet (which I printed out from MFP) and told me that I wasn't eating nearly enough (read: any) vegetables.  She actually told me that I need to eat more in general, even when I'm not hungry.  I have never in my life been told to eat more.  This is very counter intuitive for me - aren't you supposed to eat less when you're trying to lose weight?  Isn't the band supposed to control my hunger so that I want to eat less? 

This is difficult for me, the eating thing.  I guess that, since I count calories, I look at eating in much the same way that I look at budgeting (and my financial house isn't always in order, either).  I ask myself, "How much do I want that, compared to how much it costs/how many calories are in it?"  A lot of the time, I decide that I don't want anything, preferring the security of having those calories in my "bank."  Which leads me to undereat on a lot of days (okay, looking back at MFP, I've ended 16 out of the last 25 days more than 100 calories less than my target).  The same disordered thinking that sends me running to Taco Bell when I'm upset makes me hoard my calories until they turn into pounds lost on the scale. 

Am I ever going to have a healthy relationship with food and eating?  Is food ever going to just be fuel, rather than my best friend and worst enemy?

Thursday, July 19, 2012


1.  On the job front, I have so much work to do and so little will to do it.  I have senioritis when it comes to my job, and it actually kind of bothers me - I'm not used to caring so little, but I can't seem to find my motivation.

2.   I've been aiming to get to -60 pounds before my third fill on Monday.  I'm currently sitting at -56.5.  So close!

3.  I'm still exhausted from my mother's visit last weekend.  It's more of an emotional exhaustion than a physical exhaustion, but still...  It was tiring.  I learned some things about my mother and had some realizations about myself, and I've come to the conclusion that I need to work on being a kinder and more generous person, especially to my wife.

4.  I miss Las Vegas.  We haven't been since Easter, which isn't actually that long; however, we usually take a trip over the 4th of July that we didn't do this year.  I miss everything about Vegas - the smells, the sounds, the sights, the gambling...  I can't wait to go back in the fall.

5.  I miss the beach.  There's something about being at the beach, on vacation, with the sun, sand and surf.  It can't be replicated by the pool.

6.  The wife got a promotion at work, which means now she's working full-time and making significantly more money than she was previously.  This is great news for our family finances.

7.  I killed my (new) fitbit.  I think I am just not meant to have one.

8.  I've (kind of) gotten over my cravings for fast food (I mean, I still really, really want some Taco Bell, but whatever, that shit's delish).  I've realized I miss the convenience of fast food more than I really miss the taste.  And in realizing that, and in figuring out what I can make fast and cheap at home, I've been overcoming that urge for fast food.  But now, other cravings are taking the place of fast food - like lemon squares.  I really, really, *really* want a lemon square.  I don't usually bake, but I think I'm going to try making these sometime soon.

9.  (This one is gross, sorry.)  I had a huge flare up of my hidradenitis suppurativa last week.  My armpit was the size of a golfball.  It hurt so very much, and restricted my movement to the point that I couldn't lift my left arm.  Which was awesome when getting onto and off of a plane and socializing around 500+ co-workers.  This has been the first flare up in quite some time.  I was hoping that these would reduce or even resolve once I quit smoking and started losing weight, but I think that exercise (specifically, sweating during exercise) may have been a significant causal factor in this last one.  So now I've switched from my beloved philosophy products to plain ol' Dial antibacterial, and I'm being particularly diligent about showering (which is not to say that I don't always pay attention to proper hygene, but I will admit to occasionally not showering right after getting out of the pool).  It would make me very happy to not have another flare up as long as I live.

10.  We have three cats, one of whom became an outdoor cat shortly after we moved.  Because I'm paranoid, and because we live near a fairly busy street, we put up an invisible fence to keep him confined to our yard.  What we didn't realize was that the invisible fence got unplugged sometime recently.  Two nights ago, we couldn't find the cat.  We stood out in the backyard and called and called and called for him.  Finally, he reappeared, jumping over the fence from the neighbor's yard.  Oh, boy.  We got that invisible fence fixed so fast that poor kitty didn't even know what hit him.  Now he just lounges about and huffs at me, all, "YOU!  You took away my freedom!"

Friday, July 6, 2012

A tale of two cauliflowers...

So, I went to the cafeteria for lunch today, which is something I never do, but the lunch I was supposed to have yesterday got postponed to today, so whatever.  Cafeteria it is.  So, of course, I have to scope out the healthiest food option.  Salad bar?  Too tempting.  Pasta bar?  Not if I want to stay full for more than two hours.  Dessert cart?  Who are you kidding? 

Finally, I spot the "Healthy Living" option.  Alright.  Chicken stir fry.  I can do that.  It comes with two vegetables.  Okay so far.  The vegetables are rice and a cauliflower/carrot mixture.  This is where it gets tricky.  I don't want the rice.  And I don't like cooked carrots.  So, I look around - hey, right over there!  Two trays down from the mixed cauliflower/carrots - there's a tray of just cauliflower!  Perfect! 

Me:  "Can I have the chicken stir fry with a double portion of cauliflower?" 
Lunchlady:  "Chicken satay?"
Me:  "Stir fry, please?"
Lunchlady:  "No cauliflower with stir fry."  *points to cauli/carrot mixture*  "This with stir fry." 
Me:  "No?  I can't just...  there's plain cauliflower right there..."  *plaintive smile*
Lunchlady:  "No.  This cauliflower comes with the stir fry.  That cauliflower comes with the chicken satay."
Me:  "Really?  Just...?"
Lunchlady:  "No."
Me:  "Forget it."  *sighs and walks over to the sandwich line*

I ended up with a greasy grilled chicken breast, on which I had to use four napkins on to soak up the grease, and a cup of red grapes.  And then the co-worker I was having lunch with said, "That's not enough food."


Seriously, lunch should not be this fraught with peril.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ten Things Thursday

1.  I'm so glad it's Thursday, though with the day off yesterday it feels like Monday today.  That's the hard part about holidays on a Wednesday - the feeling of two Mondays in one week.

2.  The wife and I started Couch to 5k last night.  This is our second time doing it (the first being in 2010).  The first day went okay, other than that huge hill at the end.  But, to be honest, I'm struggling with the idea of running.  I'm of two minds about it:  1) I would love to be able to run 5ks, to be able to run without feeling like I'm going to die, to do something that my father loved so much (he was a triathlete for much of my youth).  On the other hand, 2) I feel like I get a better, yet gentler, workout from my time on the treadmill at 4.1 or 4.2.  I sweat more when I walk.  I don't have to worry (as much - other than the time that I nearly broke my knuckle on the treadmill) about my form.  Walking is nicer to my body.  I read things like this and I wish I felt as certain that the weight would both come and stay off without vigorous, sometimes painful exercise.  But then I read this and I can't wait to know what running in an actual race feels like.

3.  I tried to get out of bed at 4:40am today to go to the gym - I did it on Monday and Tuesday, and that was the time bootcamp was at, so it's not unheard of me for me to get up that early.  But I didn't manage to get to sleep until around 11:30 last night (I was reading this, which I stayed up late to finish because, while it was a very compelling work, frankly it gave me the heebie jeebies and I was looking forward to being done with it).  Long story short (too late!) I didn't get to the gym this morning.  So I will be going this evening.

4.  I have to have lunch with a new co-worker today.  We don't really work that closely together (or, honestly, together at all).  But I feel obligated to have this lunch with her, because she initiated it, I've missed it once, and I think she wants us to bond together as the only females (who aren't admins) in the office.  In reality, I just want to eat the beefy pasta I have in the office 'fridge and sit at my desk reading gossip blogs.

5.  My job is a fustercluck.  Just completely, obscenely screwed up.  I can't even.

6.  The wife leaves for her 11-day family vacation tomorrow.  I am sad.  I will have to figure out how to feed the pets and water the lawn!  Horrors.

7.  I am so looking forward to my mother coming to visit and doing yardwork for me (I have a black thumb, she is a Master Gardner).  In particular, I cannot wait until she gets rid of the giant rosemary bush in the backyard.  I hate the smell of rosemary (I also hate the taste of rosemary) and it's starting to permeate the whole yard with its stink.

8.  I have so much cleaning to do this weekend.  But at least the living room painting project is done.  I am never painting that room again.

9.  I have to travel next week for business.  I hate traveling for business, but I am especially dreading this trip, as I will be staying in a remote hotel with 250 sales people and no transportation of my own.  And I fucking hate sales people.  Especially the sales people who work for my company.  They are vampires who just take and take and take and never say "thanks" or "good job."  They don't even think of us "corporate employees" as real people, and they treat us accordingly.  I hate them.

10.  One day, I swear, I'm going to have a job I like.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Death of a fitbit

My fitbit died.

I wonder if this is what killed it:

Probably not - but I do like to think that my fitbit got fed up with walking up and down Michigan Avenue in Chicago and decided to take a well-deserved nap.  My wallet certainly got tired of it (oh, how I've missed you, amply stocked Sephora!).

The replacement (fitbit, not wallet) is coming in the mail.  In the meantime, I'm in withdrawal.  I had to track my gym time this morning in MFP, for crying outloud.  I hadn't realized just how much I'd come to enjoy the positive reinforcement (and immediacy) of the fitbit, and how every day I'd work my tush off to get those 10,000 steps in.

Bootcamp is over - the wife and I did not sign back up for July because we're both going to be out of town next week (her for a family vacation, me for work) and then she's going to be gone the last week of the month as well.  It didn't seem like an effective use of money to pay for 3 weeks of camp and miss two of them.  So we'll go back in August, and for now, I'm getting up before the sun rises to do my time on the treadmill. One day, I won't feel like I'm going to fall off that thing.

In other news, I am down -2.5 pounds this week.  I don't want to sound like an ungrateful asshole (since when, right?) but my supposed calorie deficit from 6/26 to 7/2 was -12,868 last week (and that's with my fitbit going cold on me at lunch on Saturday).  Where's the extra pound?  Oh, TOM.  I hate you.  I feel like a greasy, bloated mess.  And I just want some salt and vinegar potato chips.  I won't have them, but ohgodiwantthem.

And yesterday my wife says to me, "Now that you're losing weight, you'll probably have your period on the regular."  Not the right words, lady.

Also, the woman who shares a wall with me at work is having a birthday today.  Ask me how I know.  Go on, ask.  Oh, fine, I'll tell you - the constantly repeating MIDI versions of "Happy Birthday" emanating from her desk.  Who sends e-cards anymore?  What is this, 2006?