Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vegetarian Challenge Day 7

Well this is my one week mark, this will complete the goal that I have set for myself.
I started with breakfast where I took two morningstar farms veggie sausage patties and built a sandwich with a little Cheddar and an Egg, and I finished up the home fries that I had leftover. Off to a great workout with Lynn, then on the way home where I was going to meet Nicole and go out for a bite, the weather took a turn for the worse. Not much rain, but plenty of wind and lightening, all the street lights went out, and so did the power at my house. We decided to stay in and so I went through the fridge and made us Vegetarian lunch, Pita Pockets with Sprouts, Carrots and Feta, Hummus and Pita Chips, String cheese, Apple slices and Grapes. It ended up being better and cheaper then if we had gone out, and after about an hour the power came back on! Then off to work, where after my 8 hour fast my blood sugar was 86. Now it was time to celebrate, with the usual wednesday night after work trip to Steak-N-Shake. It was at this meal last week where I had eaten my last Burger and Chlli! I have met my requirements, so what shall I order?
I decided to try to keep the Vegetarian thing going a few days more, I had Baked Beans, a Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Cheese Fries. I am in no way saying that these were "healthy" choices, but i was pleased with myself with sticking with this task for a little longer, even if it is just for a couple of days. I'm sure that I will get the craving for a Burger soon, but until I do I am going to keep it this way!

Vegetarian Challenge Day 6

Once I got up I was looking through my fridge for things that I knew I needed to use up, I had a Tomato and I also had three pieces of Bread left - Well that is a no-brainer - Add some Cheese and make a Triple Decker Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Mighty tastey! and I used up things that would have gone to waste - not bad! Then once Mark got here I made us each a small Salad with Dried Cranberries and Figs, Almonds, Walnuts and Honey Roasted Peanuts, knowing that we were going to the Food Truck Bazaar later that evening, I figured that I would keep it simple.
Upon arriving to the Food Truck Bazaar, we found it to be way busier then expected. The lines would have been what looked like at least 30 minutes, however they were barely moving so it might have been even longer. We ended up going to Tijuana Flats which was Ok. I had a Veggie Fajita Burrito with some chips and a small Queso. It did the trick and I maintained my Vegetarian Diet, a bowl of Cereal before bed, and a blood sugar of 131 in the morning.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vegetarian Challenge Day 5

Nicole and I were out running some errands and decided to go to Sweet Tomatoes. As always it was delicious, however this time I was actually paying attention to all of the signs that said "Vegetarian" or "Non-Vegetarian". I have my staple items that I normally get here, but considering I am eating Vegetarian this week, some of my "usuals" were out. No Wonton Chicken Happiness salad, No Joan's Broccoli Madness (Bacon) and my two favorite soups, Tomato and Cream of Mushroom were both Non-Vegetarian. For the first time this week I realized how many things that I would naturally think to be Vegetarian were not. I'm sure the soups were made with Chicken or Beef stock, which doesn't bother me, however If I were Vegan, I am finding out that there are a lot less choices! I still managed to eat and have a good time doing it.
It is funny when you look up the definitions of all the different kinds of Vegetarians. It seems as though this week i am attempting to be an Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian, but I think after this week the most I would agree to is a Semi-Vegetarian. we will see, there are a few days left.
Another difficult time for me was yesterday at dinner, Addison and I went to Teak for half priced mondays, although I stuck to the plan and had Pan Fried Fresh Mozzarella Rounds $6.95
Panko-crusted fresh mozzarella, lightly fried served with marinara sauce and then for my entree I had theBroccoli Cheese Flatbread $7.95 Steamed broccoli, roasted garlic pesto spread, melted pepper jack and parmesan cheese topped with diced tomatoes, grilled onions and a nacho cheese drizzle. Now if I hadn't been eating Vegetarian, then I would have definitely ordered something different, however I wanted to stick to the rules and achieve the goal that I have set! Then late night was some Cereal, and after a 10 hour fast my blood sugar was 138.

Vegetarian Challenge Day 4

I got up and decided to cook brunch for me and Nicole, Scrambled Eggs (half whole Eggs, half Egg Whites) with Spinach and Tomatoes, Home Fried Potatoes, Morningstar Farms Veggie Sausages and Toast - Delicious and Hearty! This was also the first day in about a week that i didn't do any extra cardio, but I had a long shift in front of me and felt that it was OK to have one exercise-free day. When I got to work I figured that I should eat in the Rainbow Cafe before I started my shift, a Garden Salad and a cup of French Onion Soup (I'm sure that it was made with Beef Stock, but I am not ready to be that kind of Vegetarian so I didn't mind) then after a long, sweaty shift my reading was 88. Then several of us went to California Burrito Express, I had a Veggie Burrito and it was pretty good, probably actually the best thing that I have ever had there. Sometimes when I have gotten meat in the past from there it creeps me out a little, I think maybe it is the fact that it is very fatty meat that they use, and sometimes the Chicken has a little too much dark meat mixed in and i hate it, so this Burrito did me just fine and i really enjoyed myself!

Vegetarian Challenge Day 3

I woke up and decided to have a non traditional breakfast, I roasted some Asparagus that I had bought the previous day, and served it with the leftover Rice that Mark had made along with the last piece of Naan. I wanted to get some sort of work out in early, but didn't feel like getting on the treadmill, so on the living room floor I did 75 crunches, 75 Bicycles, and 60 Push Ups. So then when I got a call from my Mom telling me they would be in town and would like for me to join them at Buca Di Beppo I figured that it would be OK. They already knew what they wanted and it fit into my Vegetarian plan for this week, FRIED MOZZARELLA Hand-breaded mozzarella fried golden brown and served on a bed of homemade marinara sauce, and APPLE GORGONZOLA SALAD Tart Granny Smith apples, spiced walnuts, dried cranberries and Gorgonzola cheese tossed with our fresh lettuce blend in our signature Italian vinaigrette. Both dishes are delicious. Then a quick nap and then off to work. After my 9 hour fast, imagining that my blood sugar reading would be about 100, I was shocked when it turned out to be 251! What was going on? I took it again.... 153. Then again.....121. The 4th reading was 106 (sounds about right) I took it the 5th time and it also read 106. Is my meter going bad? I have changed the batteries recently, so I knew it wasn't that, it IS about 4 years old, how long do they last? I will keep close watch over it for the next few days, and will replace it if necessary. So then it was off to Bananas, I had to order a little healthier then the previous night, I didn't want that heavy feeling again. My final decision, a House Salad with a side of Potato Chips. The Chips are not the best choice, but I really love them and at least I was not having a big Sandwich with it. So far, I have not missed the Meat, I'm pretty sure I will not actually become a Vegetarian, but I can easily do it for a little while!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Vegetarian Challenge Day 2

After doing a P90 workout video and getting my blood sugar down to 114, I had my first meal which was very similar the yesterday's lunch, a Veggie Pita (Carrots, Cucumbers, Sprouts, Hummus and Feta) a small portion of Pesto Pasta Salad and a few Grapes. Delicious and Satisfying! Later, and throughout the day I snacked on a bowl of Cereal, and then a small plate with a piece of String Cheese, a palm full of Marcona Almonds, Green Apple Slices and a few more Grapes. Then off to work where after an 8 hour fast my blood sugar reading was 93! Then Bobby and I went to Bananas (like we usually do on fridays) They now have a Burger that is sandwiched between two Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (served with chips), I decided to get it with a Veggie Burger Patty (instead of Beef), thinking that it would be a good vegetarian option. However once I managed to eat most of it, I realized that it was actually pretty gross. Although it DID fit this weeks Vegetarian Diet, it was too heavy in my stomach, and I had wished that I had chosen something a little lighter. Perhaps when I dine at Bananas next I will just get a salad or something. Perhaps now that I am in a "healthier" mode I just don't want the extra calories or extra carbs, or at least I feel guilty after eating them. We shall see.
Tomorrow night after the bar, Healthier eating I promise!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Vegetarian Challenge Day 1

Well the first day was easy. I made a picnic for Mark. Pita Pockets filled with Carrots, Cucumbers, Sprouts, Hummus and Feta, Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Peas, and Apples (plus a little bit of White Chocolate) Then in the evening Roy and I walked around Lake Eola for about 50 minutes total, stopping afterwards at Pine 22 where I had a Black Bean Burger with Sprouts, Cucumbers, and Tomatoes (there should have been Avocado on it, but they forgot to add it) but still it was Delicious, I had Sweet Potato Fries with it (I only ate about half) Then late night I went to Subway and had a Veggie Delight Sub, followed by a little more Chocolate at the house. In retrospect I should have only eaten half of my Sub, and skipped the Chocolate because my 8 hour fast was 191 (Yikes) however i waited 2 more hours and then checked it again, it had come down to 138 (better) but then Roy and I did a 40 minute P90 Workout Video, and after I checked the blood sugar again (10 hour fast plus a 40 minute workout) and it was down to 114 (Much, much better)
I am finding that when I fast while I work at night and then check the blood sugar that it is right on the money, but when my fast is while I am sleeping (non active) it is usually a little higher when I take my sugar in the morning. Maybe the key is to get up and work out before I take my reading? I'll do some trial and error testing and we will see what happens.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vegetarian Challenge?

So when I did the "Eating at Home" challenge, I learned that what I liked about going "Out" to eat was partially the food, but mostly the experience. Now in the past I have successfully given up going through Drive Thrus for a year, I have gone 2 whole years without cooking Bacon, and I have given up Snickers bars completely!
Sometimes I think it is a good idea to sacrifice something that you like for a certain amount of time, both to see if you have the will power to do without it (or break the habit), and to maybe realize why that thing you gave up is so important to you in the first place.
I love vegetables, however I never seem to eat enough of them, mostly because I am focusing on something made of ground beef. In fact I love meals based around Ground Beef, Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Bacon and an occasional Gyro! I have thought many times that i could easily be a Vegetarian, because in so many ways Meat grosses me out (ex. Never Meat on the Bone, Nothing with too much Fat, When I do eat meat i like it Extremely Well Done)
So....the next Challenge!
I'm going to try a week without Meat!

So yesterday for lunch Mark and I had some leftovers that he had brought from Tabla. They were Vegetarian, extremely Delicious, and very satisfying! As we were eating I decided that Starting today I was going to start the Challenge.

After work we went out to Steak-N-Shake. I knew that it was going to be a little bit before i allowed myself to eat meat, so i wanted to overload myself a little as a last hurrah!
I had the Barbeque Western Burger which has Bacon, Cheese, and Crispy Onions and a cup of Chilli!
I really enjoyed it!
Now here I go.....

I'm not doing for this for animal rights reasons, (although much can be argued about the health factors of not eating animal products) and I am not giving up Cheese, Dairy or Eggs. I will just make a conscience effort for at least a week to not eat any Beef, Chicken or Pork based products.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eat at Home Challenge Day 7

I did it. I made it a week without dining out! (with the one exception previously blogged about)
I started with a doctor's appointment which was a diabetic follow up. My blood results were in. She was pleased with the weight loss and the effort I have been putting towards my health. She was pleased with my food habits. She also said that my Cholesterol was perfect! She re-arranged my diabetes pills a little, increasing one of the pills that I am on but I still remain insulin free. She told me that I should increase my exercise (mainly cardio and aerobic) which is something that I promise to do, and she also told me that if I were to lose a little more weight that it would definitely be beneficial to my diabetes. (Of course she is going to say that, but I am going to work really hard to lose a few lbs.)
So after the appointment I cooked some eggs (2 egg whites and 2 whole eggs) with onions and tomatoes and also some toast with jelly! Then off to a good sweaty work out with Lynn. I also set up an "Exercise" Calendar and also a "Fasting Blood sugar" Calendar on the computer, so hopefully that will help me keep even better track of my daily rituals.
Before work I had a small piece of leftover Mousakka and some Broccoli/Cauliflower Mac-N-cheese. I am finding that if i use a salad plate, instead of a large dinner plate that I can fill it up more and still save calories by controlling portions.
After my shift I went to take my blood sugar, but found that I was out of Test Strips in my case, so I don't have a reading for last night but I DO know that it had to be good, probably right around 100.
So it had been a week, I had reached my goal, and I went to celebrate at Steak-N-Shake with Bobby. I had a coupon for a Cheesy Cheeseburger which came with Cheese Fries. My God it was delicious! I ate every bite of the Burger, but only ate about half of the fries. As I was eating it I tried not to feel guilty like i do sometimes, I earned this and I should be able to have it every once in a while, that being said, when i was done, i was done and no longer had that "itch" to eat more.
What did I learn from this week?
I learned that i can enjoy my food at home just as much, if not more, as dining out. However I don't want to give up dining out either. I love the experience of looking at a menu and deciding what I want. I love the act of being waited on and having the server bring the food to me. But mostly what I Love, and also what was the hardest thing to give up in this challenge, is going out to eat with friends. There is something special about going with co-workers for a bite to eat after work, or meeting someone you haven't seen in a while for lunch, or going for a meal with your boyfriend! I will not give it up, but I will try to keep everything in a nice balance!
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Eat at Home Challenge Day 6

Started with a yogurt and some trail mix. I had made a Rachael Ray Recipe for a Whole Wheat Pasta, Broccoli and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese Casserole the night before, so when it was close to lunch time all I had to do was put it in the oven. It wasn't the best Mac-N-Cheese ever, but it wasn't bad for being a slightly "healthier" version. Then in the evening it was leftovers, some Chili and CornBread from two days prior, and a basic spinach salad with almonds, goat cheese and dried cranberries. I must say that leftovers can be really enjoyable. I also had some Cheetos throughout the day, and I ended with a bowl of Cereal before bed. I should have exercised at some point but did not. My 10 hour fasting sugar was 137. Not the greatest, makes me want to work harder. I have a Doctor's appointment today, so we shall see what my blood levels are at very shortly!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eat at Home Challenge Day 5

This morning I got up and drove to Tampa to see Michael and Leif. This was a trip that had been planned for weeks, and they had planned to take me to a restaurant for lunch called Thai Ginger. When I mentioned at the beginning of this challenge that I had already committed to "dining out" once during the week this is what i was referring to, and i must say that it was pretty good. We started out with spring rolls and coconut shrimp for appetizers and then I had Amazing Chicken (Yes, that is the name of it) which was Chicken and Vegetables in a sweet peanut sauce. I have had it before at another thai restaurant and loved it, and i must say that this place tasted just as good.
Then we went shopping for groceries, since we would be cooking for dinner at home that evening.
Leif suggested that we all do a session of Zumba that he had on video. It was quite fun and we all burned a few calories which was a good idea considering the cookies that we would have later.
On to dinner, We all worked together and made a delicious Eggplant Parmesan, some Pesto Pasta and Garlic Bread. (Michael's dog Sachi co-stars in the photo) Everything turned out really good, and surprisingly i was full and did not go back for a second plate. But then came out the pillsbury cookies, buy one get one free, how could we resist? I ate too many! but after a drive back to Orlando and a 12 hour fast (Yes, I realize that is too long to fast) I had a morning blood sugar of 125.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Eat at Home Challenge Day 4

I started the day with a bowl of cereal with a little trail mix and a sliced banana. Then my friend Jasmine came over from Sarasota and I cooked some Chilli, Corn Bread, and made a Salad. It was both delicious and hearty. Then off to work, where for the second day in a row my fasting sugar after 8 hours was 108. Then a plate of left overs which contained the rest of the salad, a small piece of Mousakka, and half of the last Onion burger. Leftovers are a wonderful thing! Tampa tomorrow!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Eat at Home Challenge Day 3

Day 3 started with a big breakfast, Scrambled Eggs with Roasted Red Peppers and Zuchinni, Home Fried Potatoes and a piece of Toast. Mid-afternoon was a Fresh Fruit Smoothie. Pre-Work meal was a plate of leftover Mousakka, the rest of the Home Fries and some Pasta with Chicken and Vegetables. The portions stayed relatively small, and after an 8 hour fast during work, I came home to a blood sugar of 108. Then my dinner was an Onion Burger with a few Sunchips. I realize that all of these choices may not be the "healthiest", however I am finding that I can have very satisfying food WITHOUT going "Out to Eat" all of the time. Saving a few extra calories, and a lot of extra dollars!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Eat at Home Challenge Day 2

Today was a little easier. I started the day with a bowl of cereal, Corn Flakes that i added some Dried Cranberries and Mixed Nuts to. Lunch was a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich with a handful of Sunchips. Dinner a sandwich of Turkey, Ham, Roast Beef, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion and Cheese on an Onion Roll. and for late night, another bowl of Cereal.
I had a stomach ache for a little while, maybe my body is missing all of those preservatives and mystery ingredients?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eat at Home Challenge Day 1

Well, i did it!
I got up, picked up John Clor and ran some errands...Bank, Bloodwork for next weeks Doctor's appt, and then some grocery shopping.
I knew that I would have to stock up on some things if I were going to be eating at home for the week.
I spent the day snacking on things like sunchips, hummus, apples, and nuts.
Then for my big meal of the day I made a Moussaka. I fell in love with Moussaka about three years ago and i have had it at six or seven different restaurants around Florida and New York, and I have also made it at home from two different recipes. The one I make from this particular recipe is my absolute favorite, layers of Eggplant, Potatoes, Beef and Onions, with a Creamy Custard on the top! I thought it would be nice to start out the week of home cookin' with something that I adore! and the leftovers are usually just as delicious! I paired it with a basic Ceasar Salad which jazzed up with some cucumbers, tomatoes and a little bit of cheese.
I will go to bed satisfied and fulfilled.

a new Challenge?

Yesterday I went to lunch with Devyn. We went to Banana's and I had my usual Fried Chicken Sandwich which came with a huge mound of Beer Battered Onion Rings. Delicious! I just about cleaned my plate. Then immediately following (actually about half way through the meal) I had my usual feelings of "Why did i eat so much?" and "Do I really need to eat out so often?"
The fact is that I eat "OUT" at least once a day.
I really enjoy cooking and preparing food.
Eating at home would save money, as well as most likely be a little healthier.
I have tried to set a goal of eating at home for one month straight, and it didn't work.
I usually go out to eat for either lunch or after work late nights with friends and co-workers and I really enjoy it!
So knowing that a whole month is too much to ask, what about a week?
Can I do it?
I have been trying to find a week where I didn't have anything already planned (Yes, i am a planner! sometimes it can be a curse, and i usually have where i will be dining planned a week or so in advance - Crazy - I know)
So after this heavy meal I decided "OK, THE WEEK STARTS NOW!"
Now, I know that next monday i will be in Tampa with Daphne and we already have a lunch "OUT" planned, so with that being the exception, I am going to try to eat at home the rest of the week.
The hard part is not going out to eat after work friday, saturday and sunday, and the challenge will be to stay on top of the game and make sure that i have Delicious food to prepare at home.
Well it is documented now, so here we go....
Upon coming home I decided to make myself a Grilled Cheese Sandwich with some Cucumbers and Tomatoes.
It was pretty good! and much cheaper then what i would have gotten if I had gone to Steak-N-Shake like I normally do on wednesdays. Maybe if I am good, I can treat myself next wednesday.
I'll keep you posted!