Saturday, April 30, 2011

WID - Weigh in Day

The week ended up better than I thought it was going to be. I gained a pound and I am okay with that. So, in total, 24 pounds in 14 weeks, still ahead of my plan to lose 1.5 pounds a week.

I still haven't figured out why I have been so hungry. Maybe it's because I am a little tired, which has been self-induced. I got a Kindle for my birthday. I think I love it. I really enjoy reading and am having a little trouble getting over not holding a book, not turning the pages, not finding something to use as a bookmark, etc. Here's the thing though, when I have a good book, I have trouble putting it down. I will read it all night. I have read 4 books in the last 6 days. At midnight last night I had to have a talk with myself about having to be at work by 9 this morning. Even after shutting down my Kindle, I think about the book and will take at least an hour to fall asleep. Maybe that's why I like reading other people's blogs. When I read, I cry for people (or animals), I cheer for people (or animals), I feel part of other peoples lives. I get totally immersed.
Does anyone else do this?

Well, it is almost bedtime at The Tortoise's Weigh (yep, I figured I better initiate a bedtime so maybe the hunger symptoms will stop). Have a great day tomorrow!

Friday, April 29, 2011

One of Those Weeks

Okay, I have to admit it. I am having one of those weeks. It's not out and out bingeing but it is definitely being off plan. I don't know what happened but I was HUNGRY all week.

Sunday - Easter - went out and had a splurge meal
Monday - DH made homemade pizza - had 1 extra slice and a Diet Pepsi (I really believe it makes me hungrier when I have diet sodas)
Tuesday - Ate fine all day until later that night - I just was not feeling right and did some snacking
Wednesday - Bad migraine to start things off - felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck - did not feel like eating anything but carbs and salt. Felt better later on and had pizza and Diet Pepsi again
Thursday - Felt much better, back to normal, got back on plan mostly (went out for dinner and ate just half my meal, just a little over calories)
Friday - I'm BACK! Whew!

I think my body knew it was getting some sort of bug and needed additional fuel. I am a little worried since the scale showed a 3 pound gain Thursday morning. I probably ate an additional 500 calories a day for Sunday through Wednesday but not enough to gain 3 pounds. We'll see what ends up happening tomorrow on WID.

Here are the steps I will take:
1) Analyze what happened during the week (was it that I was getting sick or was it Easter or was it that I had to fire someone, etc.)
2) Plan on what I can do if it happens again
3) Get, and stay, back on the plan (at least until I go to Vegas in June)

Any other suggestions for dealing with weeks like this?
See you tomorrow at The Tortoise's Weigh!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What I Eat for Breakfast

I have had some friends in town ask what I eat for breakfast. My breakfast does not vary much. My lunches and snacks are pretty routine also but my dinner is where variety is the spice of life. I will cover my dinner trials and tribulations at a later date.

My breakfast usually consists of:
1 whole Thomas' Multigrain English Muffin with just a little REAL butter
1 fruit cup, drained (I really like the pear or mixed fruit ones)
1/2 cup of 1% cottage cheese with a little black pepper on it
2 cups of coffee with a little fat free half and half

It comes to right about 300 calories, perfect for my plan. Sometimes, I will have a poached egg on toast with some fruit or half an almond butter/jelly sandwich with some fruit. I have found that I have to have my carbs and some protein which holds me over until my first snack a few hours later.

I have realized that I really can live the rest of my life eating 1500 calories a day (with some splurges here and there). I know that after I let go of a lot of the weight my pounds dropped will slow down and, eventually, 1500 calories will become maintenance. I can live with that.

Now, I need your help. I cannot get this out of my head. I think I heard, or read, somewhere that there is a concept regarding eating in calories what you want to weigh times ten. So, if you want to weigh 150, you would eat 1500 calories. If you want to weigh 125, you would eat 1250.
Has anyone heard of this? Did I dream it? Please help put my mind at ease!

Thanks for reading this eclectic post from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Monday, April 25, 2011

MIM #6 - Bean and Pineapple Tacos

I hope you all had a great Easter Sunday (if you celebrate Easter)! I used my May splurge meal yesterday. I had Eggs Benedict (my favorite breakfast item) made with chopped cooked bacon, green pepper, onion and spinach, poached egg over the classic English muffin with made from scratch Hollandaise. Add in some hash browns and some great apple cake (made just like carrot cake but with apples instead) with thick cream cheese frosting. Mmmmm! It was good and so worth the splurge. I did stick to my rule of eating only half of restaurant meals though.

But, back to the post at hand, it is Monday and I wanted to give you one of my favorite recipes. As I continue to post recipes, you will notice that I kinda like spicy foods. You will also notice that I post a lot of vegetarian recipes. It's not that I don't eat meat, it's just that as I have gotten older, my tastes have changed and I really don't find myself wanting much meat.

This recipe is delicious and very easy to make. I love the flavor combinations, a little spicy and a little sweet. Hope you enjoy it

Black Bean and Pineapple Tacos - makes 10 soft tacos
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple tidbits, drained
1 jar (16 oz.) salsa
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies
2-3 jalapeno slices, diced (from a jar); optional
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon cumin
10 (8") tortillas, warmed
Shredded lettuce, shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream (we used low fat cottage cheese), some homemade guacamole (with chopped tomatoes in it) or anything else you like on your soft tacos.

Mash half the beans; set aside. In a large skillet, saute the onion in the olive oil until tender. Add the pineapple, salsa, chilies, jalapeno, cumin, mashed beans and the remaining whole beans. Heat through. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh cilantro. Place 1/2 cup filling on one side of each tortilla. Add the toppings of your choice; fold in half; enjoy.
NOTE: Be careful with those jalapenos!

The filling comes out to about 90 calories per taco. Add in your tortilla and toppings and you still have a low calorie, healthy meal!

Hope you enjoy this recipe from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Let's start with the weigh-in. I have let go of another 3 pounds, bringing the total to 25 pounds gone in 13 weeks. I am ready for the next 25 now. I have not changed my plan, still consuming about 1500 calories a day and eating 5 times a day. I have noticed I have a little more spring in my step and I probably "move" more than I was. I have actually caught myself dancing around to songs with a good beat.

I have noticed that my mind, and thus my attitude, has been slowly sneaking back into that strict "diet" thinking. Last night we planned out what dinner would be, teriyaki chicken (4 ounces), 1/2 cup fried rice and Asian style vegetables(1+ cups) with a touch of Asian dressing. Perfect! My DH made dinner and when I went in to eat, I noticed the vegetable oil was out and he was basically frying the vegetables. He said that he had used less than a tablespoon of oil, then said he used less than a teaspoon. The bottom of the pan was pretty greasy. I had a melt down. Instead of just eating a little less and being thankful that he made dinner, I was angry. We got through a tense dinner and basically dropped the subject. I do have to say that the vegetables were really good and I did just eat less.

I analyzed what caused all of the distress, and it came down to two issues:

Issue 1
The night before, we went out for dinner, to a Chinese restaurant. We ordered the dinner for two. When it came, there was enough for 4 people and everything (except the soup) was FRIED. Most of the meal was heavily battered and the noodles were really greasy. I barely touched my dinner. I ate a little chicken after peeling all the batter off, a little bit of the noodles and my soup. I figured I had consumed my calorie allottment and I was still hungry. It was too late to eat anything when we got home so I toughed it out until breakfast.
I ate as normal throughout the day yesterday and was really hungry by dinnertime. I had planned on having 2 cups of vegetables (me, the person who DOES NOT like cooked vegetables) and because of the oil, I had to eat less. In the end, after a little bit of time, I did feel sated.

Issue 2
I tend to be a perfectionist. Whenever I have a project, I try to make it perfect. I always try to improve on it. I have been trying to be perfect in my eating. I don't expect others to be perfect, just myself.
I am reading a book right now called "The Clutter Diet" by Lorie Marrero. She writes about learning to be happy with "It's good enough". I need to work on this!

Does anyone else find themselves trying to be "perfect"? Does anyone have any other clues to overcome perfectionism?

One thing I do know is I need to remember, this is The Tortoise's Weigh and that SLOW and steady will win this race!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Those Ads

You are sitting there watching your favorite show and an ad comes on for a new miracle diet pill/book/exercise tool/drink/food/or other such gimmick. Do you find yourself getting pulled in?

Do you start to think, "hmmm, maybe that would work"? I do, I always get sucked in, zoning out everything else except for the ad, the voice, the product, the promises. Luckily, I have put myself on a tight budget so I never "hurry, pick up the phone and call to order now".

The thing that bothers me the MOST about those ads is the people who say, I lost 40 pounds and went from a size 20 to a size 4 (or 6 or even 8). Can that really be true? I keep thinking something must be wrong with me. I have lost almost 25 pounds and am just now dropping one size. I am 5'10" tall so that may make some difference but really, come on. I guess the advertisers think that those of us overweight will want the miracle so much that we are willing to believe anything and take that "one more chance" to end our overweightness (new word for me but it is in urban dictionary - not very nicely I might add).

Thanks for letting me rant at The Tortoise's Weigh!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

That One Food!

I don't know if everyone has one or if it is just me.

In my plan, I am allowed to have anything I want, in moderation, and it has to fit in with my daily quotas. There is that one food item, that one thing that I cannot have in the house, the one thing that if I eat it I can't stop, that one thing where if I have it once, I will want it again and again, the one food item where I won't get full if I consume an inordinate amount.

What is it? Fritos, especially the honey bbq twists. They cause some sort of drug addiction/frenzy in me. If a large bag is in my house, it will be quickly consumed. I may feel sick the next day but I will still want more. So, the answer is that I just cannot have Fritos at all. Even the new kind I saw in the store yesterday, the Tapatio Fritos. I think I stood and looked at them for over 5 minutes (seemed like an hour) going back and forth on if (IF) I could stick to no more than an ounce. The answer was a resounding "NO". I also spent a LOT of time looking at the hot dogs. Why? I have no clue. I finally realized that if I was obsessing so much over how to incorporate one large hot dog, I was better off not having any! I just walked away and did not look back.

There are a few other foods that I have to be careful of, Smart Food White Cheddar popcorn, Nathan's hot dogs, BBQ potato chips, and thick cheesy pizza. They all point to a high salt addiction. Even writing about these foods is triggering something, making me want them, making me salivate. What is it?

So, is it just me at The Tortoise's Weigh or do most people have "That One Food"? And if so, what is yours?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Menu Item Monday - Easy Pad Thai

As stated in Friday's post, this is now my favorite dinner! I love all the flavors. If you want, you could add some cooked chicken to it but I like the way it is!

Easy Pad Thai - serves 4
8 ounces whole grain spaghetti
3 Tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (we call them pizza peppers)
1 1/2 teaspoons siracha sauce (I found mine in the Asian section at Safeway)
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 scrambled egg (optional, it really is only a texture addition)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime cut into 4 wedges

Cook spaghetti according to instructions on the package. In a separate bowl, whisk the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, rice wine vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes and siracha until fully combined.

Once the noodles are cooked to the desired doneness, scoop out 1/4 cup of pasta water and set aside (in case the sauce needs thinning). Drain the noodles and return to the pan.

Add the shredded cabbage, egg (if using), and green onions. Pour the sauce over all and stir until well coated. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water, a little at a time.

Divide the noodles onto plates and top with cilantro and chopped peanuts. Serve with a lime wedge for people to squeeze the juice over the noodles if they want.

Total calories is approximately 1430 (or about 357 per serving).

Remember, the siracha is spicy (add more or less to taste)!
I think I may have to add this as a dinner item to this weeks menu planning.

I hope you get to make this recipe presented to you by The Tortoise's Weigh. You won't be sorry!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Yep, it is Saturday again. Oh right, this was a short WID (Weigh In Day) week for me since I weighed in on Monday (due to the mini-vacation).
The results...down another 2 pounds. Yay! That brings me to 22 pounds in 12 weeks.

I find myself wanting the weight to go away faster. I find my mind thinking "just eat less and you will lose faster". I have to keep reminding myself that it took a long time to gain the weight. I also have to remind myself that eating less to lose faster is what has typically ended all previous attempts. I will keep doing what I am doing.

I am The Tortoise. Slow and steady will result in winning this battle. That is The Tortoise's Weigh.

See you on Menu Item Monday.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blur of a week and a new car

This week has been INSANE! We got back late Sunday night from our mini-vacation. Our router died and we ordered a new one. We spent all day Wednesday driving 2.5 hours, each way, to a car dealership to get a new car.

We got a new Nissan Rogue and I have claimed this car as "Mine". I love the car. I drove home, in the dark, over a mountain pass, through rain, snow, sleet, had to pass a truck spewing sand all over the road (and on any car that tried to pass) and all the time watching for any critters walking onto the road. Whew, it was exhausting.

The actual car buying experience was a piece of cake. I had talked to a few dealerships and had been told they were getting close to MSRP for these cars but, they did tell me what the invoice price was. I ended up using the website for some quotes on the car I wanted. You choose the car, color, and options. The website comes back with a quote (or quotes) with a dealership's offer on the car that they are willing to commit to. I got the car for about $3000 under MSRP and about $1200 under invoice. I am sure that the manufacturer was giving dealerships some kickbacks and I got about $400 less on our trade-in than I wanted but I am extremely happy!

Our router came in, we hooked it up, got my computer re-connected wirelessly, got our Netflix to work with the Wii, and got my new Kindle (birthday present) connected. Oh, and we both worked a few days. I think I need a nap after all of this!

It is probably obvious that I won't be posting a Menu Item recipe this week but I promise a doozy on Monday. My new favorite dinner. I think I could eat it weekly (and I just may).

Thanks for joining me at The Tortoise's Weigh! Have a great weekend. If it stops raining, I will take and post a picture of MY (in case DH reads this) new car.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back to Business and WID

I have returned from the mini-vacation we took to Penticton, British Columbia, Canada. I love that area and recommend visiting to anyone (especially if you like wine as it is a HUGE wine area). My eating did not go as well as I hoped they would. Tickets for the day/time we wanted to go to the ale fest were sold out resulting in a complete change of plans.

Friday went fine and then starting Saturday morning, it went downhill. For lunch on Friday, we ate at Cantalope Annies in Oliver BC. Wonderful, healthy lunch and had a great time catching up with the owner whom we had met on our previous trip 5 years earlier. Friday evening, we walked 6 blocks to dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant (Theos), had the perfect meal of Avgolemono soup, Tzatziki sauce with pita, and Chicken Souvlaki with roasted vegetables. We split the soup and the pita and I ate half my dinner, skipping the rice. We walked the 6 blocks back to the car, went to the casino for awhile and then called it a night. All in all a pretty good food choice and fun day!

Saturday morning, my DH went to get real coffee and to find something for breakfast. He does not like to eat breakfast, usually because of a big meal the night before as was the case here. He wanted to bring me breakfast (sweet of him, don't you think?) and ended up getting me a chocolate crossant (oh oh, this is a sign of things to come). The tickets for the ale fest were at noon, cutting the day in half. We went and the food choices were what you would expect at a beer festival, chicken wings, pizza, sandwiches with fried chicken, stir-fried noodles, etc. I tried to eat small amounts and did okay but was quite hungry (and a little irritable) when we left around 4. We didn't go to dinner until around 6 and ended up choosing this incredible Italian restaurant (Villa Rosa). The service and the food were outstanding! When we got there, we were told that the next available seat wasn't for 2 hours but luckily they had a cancellation and were able to seat us. I was overly hungry, we ordered an appetizer and a full salad (which we split) and I ended up eating my full meal (although I did order the smaller portion) and had dessert. Oh, I forgot to tell you, it was my birthday meal as well as my splurge meal.

The next day, we ate breakfast/lunch (it was a little late for me) at a fast food restaurant, didn't do too bad in choosing but then had pizza for dinner.

The good news, I got right back on track today because after all, I am not doing a "diet", just watching my calories and portions. I classified the weekend as a splurge weekend (which I won't do again until my trip to Vegas in a few months). ALSO, I weighed in this morning and still managed to lose 1 pound this week. I was quite surprised especially because of the pizza (loaded with salt). That brings me to 20 pounds down after 11 weeks.

What I learned from this past weekend:
1) Need to try and plan a little more for the unexpected
2) Make sure DH knows some better breakfast choices (he did cut up a lot of vegetables for the trip but since we were crossing the border there is no way they would have let us take them into Canada)
3) Make sure tickets/reservations, etc. are taken care of as early as possible
4) It would have been great to stop at a grocery store and get some snack/food things to keep in the hotel refrigerator
5) I am going to skip my splurge meal in May and save it for another splurge weekend in Vegas in late June.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions for The Tortoise's Weigh!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

1st Big Challenge

This weekend is going to be my first big challenge. We are going on a mini-vacation. We already have reservations for dinner one night at a great Greek restaurant. When we have gone before, we ordered the platter with everything. Not this time. I already checked out the menu and have a plan for what I will be ordering. Okay, that is 1 meal out of 7. We are attending a beer fest (for DH), going to a casino (for me) and going to the Greek restaurant (for both of us).

I did pre-plan my once monthly splurge meal for this weekend so that will help. I am finishing up some last minute laundry, writing up instructions for the house/pet sitter, finishing up some business taxes, and getting ready to pack. You would think that I am leaving for a week with the amount of work I have had to do. Oh well, isn't that always the way with vacations, even if they are mini ones?

Have a great weekend. I guess weigh-in day will have to be Monday (because I surely am not going to weigh in Sunday night)!

Check in on The Tortoise's Weigh on Sunday night to see how it went!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Induced Spring Fever

I got a new vacuum cleaner, the Shark Navigator Lift Away. I am loving this vacuum cleaner. I got it home, put it together (easily), and started using it, practically dancing with it.

We interrupt this post to bring you a warning about purchasing this induces spring fever. First, vacuumed the entire house. Second, boxed up a bunch of old cookbooks. Third, moved china to where the cookbooks were. Fourth, rearranged everything in the china cabinet. Fifth, moved my desk area to a different part of the house. Sixth, as soon as hubby (DH) got home, rearranged furniture. This was all in one day. I think I burned some calories that day.

Sorry for the interruption, we will now return you to the original post.

In the past week, I have vacuumed the house 4 times. I think I got a good deal on the vacuum. On their commercials, the price is around $200 plus shipping, although you do get the steam mop(good deal). I saw it on QVC for $159 plus shipping (better deal). I received an email coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond for 20% off any single item. The vacuum was $169 at BB&B. Got it for $135 plus tax (best deal) and didn't have to wait for shipping. Woohoo! The carpet is looking better than it has in a LONG time. Supposedly, this vacuum will not lose suction, time will tell.

Do not take this warning from The Tortoise's Weigh lightly. Spring fever is going around and I have heard it is contagious.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

MIM #4 - Menu Item Monday

I was so intent on getting yesterday's post done that I forgot it was Monday so, Menu Item Monday is on Tuesday this week. Better late than never (that quote is also appropriate for letting go of my weight). Without further ado, below is one of my favorite (easy and delicious, not-so-light) casseroles:

Hominy Casserole - serves 4-6 as a side dish or 3-4 as a main dish
4 slices thick bacon
1/2 large onion, finely diced
2 14.5-ounce cans white hominy, drained
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
4 slices pickled jalapeno (optional, for heat)
Extra cheddar, bacon, and chilies for sprinkling

Fry the bacon until almost crisp; remove from skillet and drain all but a tablespoon bacon grease. Crumble the bacon and set aside. Add onion to skillet and cook for a couple of minutes. Pour in hominy and stir for a couple of minutes until warm. Add chilies, jalapenos (if using), bacon, and cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a greased 10x6x2" pan and sprinkle with a little more cheese, bacon, and green chilies, if desired. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until hot and heated through.

NOTE: The whole recipe has about 1350-1400 calories so divide it accordingly. Add a tossed green salad with light dressing for a perfectly decadent dinner.

Hope you enjoy this recipe from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Path of the Past

Last week, there were about 4 days in a row that I did not drop even a tenth of a pound and suddenly I had this mental epiphany in regards to my past attempts at dropping pounds.

Here is how my past attempts have gone:
Start strong and drop weight for a 4-5 weeks
Then, have a week where I don't lose anything
Then, feel frustrated, eat less (thinking that will help),
Weight stays the same, feeling more frustrated,
Then binge, because eating less has caused me to be really hungry and the frustration has gotten to me,
Then, the scale might say down 1/2 pound and I would think "I wonder what it would have been if I hadn't binged".
But then, the really unhealthy thoughts would kick in like "Hmmm I ate a lot and lost, I might as well eat more".
Then I would eat, gain back 2-3 pounds and end up giving up on the "diet du jour".

NOT THIS TIME! Within those recent days where the scale did not change, I felt the urge come on to eat less to see if that would help and that is when the epiphany happened. Weight will fluctuate. I told myself, "Keep doing what you have been doing because it is working".

Someone told me once that when you aren't dropping pounds, your body is reshaping itself and you will lose in measurements. I don't know if that is true but I am hanging on to that belief. I made it through the week, dropping two pounds almost all at once.

So, if what you are doing is working and what you are doing is something you can live with for a long time, keep with it.

Remember "Slow and steady" is the motto at The Tortoise's Weigh.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It's April, It's Spring, It's WID

I believe we have really finished winter! If it snows one more time, I may move. It is April and I have flowers coming up - no more snow!

We had our first festival in our small town today and it was busy. Woohoo, the season has started.

I am going to keep this short. I weighed in first thing this morning and guess what...another 2 pounds this week and I even went out to dinner last night. The running total is 19 pounds in 10 weeks.

Vacation next week, we will see how that goes.
Have a good rest of the weekend from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Say Cheese

If you look at my profile, it says that I am a tea shop owner. This has been my career for only the last year. My DH and I also own a cheese, beer, wine, salami, snack, cracker, (you get the idea) store. We worked together for the 8 years prior to opening the tea shop.

When we moved to the town we currently live in, I weighed 60 pounds less than I do now. Have I told you how much I LOVE cheese? Well, I do, lots. We put cheese in, on, or around everything. When we get invited to parties, asking what we can bring always gets "cheese" as the answer. We have over 100 kinds of cheese and not your basic kinds. We have smoked blues, carmelized onion Cheddars, Wasabi cheese, ones that finish like butterscotch, ones with fruit in them, ones from France, Holland, England, Australia, Germany and more. Now you can better understand the gaining of 60 pounds.

Now, working together with your husband, no matter how much you love him, being together 7x24 (or close to it) can get to be a little difficult and sometimes stressful. I found that I needed my own shop and when a spot opened, after discussion, we grabbed it and thus the birth of my tea shop, selling over 100 types/flavors of loose leaf tea. Somehow, I think that tea is going to be much better for the waistline! It is also nice to go home in the evening and ask "How was your day dear?" and not already know the answer.

We are trying to use less cheese in our meals and need to remind ourselves to use it as a flavor/texture enhancer and not as the main ingredient. There are some dishes I will miss having. Yes, I know I have said that nothing is off limits in my plan but there are some recipes that given the portion I could have for the calories just wouldn't be enough food for me.

So, if you hear me say cheese, it will be for photographs instead.

I hope you didn't find this post, from The Tortoise's Weigh, too cheesy!