Cycle 12, no luck

My hormones were in overdrive on this first cycle after the miscarriage. I really hoped that this one would be a winner. But this morning my basal body temperature crashed a full degree from yesterday… so it isn’t. Onward and upward I guess. One more cycle before we’ll have been trying for a year. 13 cycles, 3 early losses (so far). A deep down part of me feels sure that it won’t ever happen, and I’m working on being at peace with that.

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Grocery day 4/10/2013

I just got back from the grocery store, which is having one of its regular 10 for $10 promotions. I don’t know if the deals are worth getting as excited over as I do, but I do. So mathematical. So tidy. This time around it included avocados, artichokes, large bell peppers, and one pound boxes of strawberries. Ka-ching! I tried to buy ten pounds of strawberries but accidentally picked up organic ones, not regular ones on sale, so I (sadly) left them at the register. I was too tired to go get regular ones. Now I regret it. The tiny old Italian couple in line behind me, who were buying ten artichokes, also regretted it. They wanted to see ten pounds of strawberries walk out of the store for $10.

Dinner plans for the week:

chicken satay, rice noodles, cucumber salad
steaks, tabbouleh, veg
pork & cabbage stir fry
salmon, potatoes, chard
burgers, roast veg
kefte, tomato salad, tzatziki
freezer surprise

And the list this week, not including the surprise sale items:

green onions
peppers
tomatoes
cucumbers
asparagus
parsley
mint
bread
burger buns
milk
cottage cheese
yogurt
mirin
cooking sherry
oatmeal
canned salmon
almonds
la croix
salmon
steak sauce

Foods I depend on

So I am pretty well back in “Core” mode, so called because of the now-defunct Weight Watchers program that really worked for me. There are several foods that I depend on when I’m doing this, and hard boiled eggs are one of them. No other egg preparation seems to have any staying power for me–they’re all too light and fluffy and melt away too soon. A cold hard boiled egg in your stomach, though, lets your body know that it’s got something substantial to deal with. Take that, stomach. I’ve been having one as my mid-morning snack, after eating Standby Oatmeal for breakfast.

I also depend on 1% milkfat, large curd cottage cheese. That’s another big slug of serious protein that sits in my stomach nicely. I usually eat a half cup as my bedtime snack and it keeps the midnight tummy-rumbles away.

Also roasted vegetables. I slice tomatoes, onions, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, squash, asparagus, or whatever other vegetable looked good at the market into pieces no more than 1″ thick and arrange them in a single layer on a tray. I spray them with olive oil Pam, salt, and roast at 400F for about 20-30 minutes. I can eat this hot as is or cold with a little fat-free dressing, I can wrap it up in an omelet, I can blitz it in the blender with stock to make a smooth vegetable soup. Tasty, easy, and oh so very filling and low calorie.

Because I feel so much better when I’m eating a lot of protein and moderate amounts of fat, it’s easy for me to under-eat carbs while I’m doing this. I know, isn’t that funny? The Core program had you count extra points for any kind of bread, but newer versions of it now allow light breads, so I’ve been eating that. I pile on protein salads–mashed up eggs and water-packed sardines, water-packed salmon with pickle relish, water-packed tuna with cottage cheese and a lot of pepper. On the days I’ve done this I’ve boldly eaten two slices at a time, and it works for me. It staves off hunger.

And finally nuts. It’s another thing that can look like a big calorie hit but is worth it, satiety-wise. Emerald now makes almonds with several tasty coatings that don’t involve sugar or much salt–Cocoa Roast and Vanilla Roast are the two I’m thinking of. If you want to take the hit of salt there are many many more fiendishly delicious flavors.

This morning I weighed 195.4, down another .4 pound in two days, that’s a total of 2.4 pounds in four days. It’s bloat of course, leaving my body along with the processed food. It feels good.

Pinterest

I love Pinterest. It’s the perfect highly-entertaining, zero-commitment distraction for me while watching my daughter play. These-a-days I have my Pinners pretty well narrowed down to home design and crafts, but every now and then I’ll peek at one of my real-life friends’ pages. Let me describe the content I usually find:

Recipes for sticky desserts involving chocolate, caramel AND peanut butter
Recipes for “easy” dinners involving pasta, sour cream, AND cream cheese
Pictures of cut female fitness models with workout routines superimposed

And that about sums up the female mindset, I think. The food we want and the bodies it won’t get us. Ah me, we’re a funny bunch aren’t we?

Weekly weigh-in 4/7/2013

Highest observed weight this week: I can’t remember
Lowest observed weight this week: 195.8
This morning’s weight: 195.8

Weekly overview: I started the week by floundering, not counting points or anything. Halfway through the week I found ChickenTuna’s blog and the weather warmed up. Combined, they inspired me to eat “simple” food for the last two days, and two pounds dropped off. I cancelled my Weight Watchers account and began to track my food with SparkPeople, not aiming for a specific caloric goal but out of curiosity.

Weaknesses this week: I didn’t start out well.

Strengths this week: I’ve decided to eat “simple” food, to eat to satisfaction, and to eat when I’m hungry. I think this is the only viable eating plan for me that might produce weight loss; in fact it has in the past. I also did an elliptical workout on Friday. The weather is gorgeous so I am busting ass in the garden this weekend.

Plans for next week: to keep eating plain foods. I’m feeling strengthened and energized by thinking about what I can eat rather than what I can’t. Oatmeal? Whole wheat bread? Brown rice? Vegetables? Fruit? Beans? Lean meat? Cottage cheese? Eggs? Nuts? I can live on that. I can stave off hunger with that. And with a lot of concentration, I can lose weight on that.

Chickentuna

Sooooo… this week I stumbled upon Chickentuna for the first time. She’s 45. She lifts weights three times a week (short routines that are on her website). She does about 30 minutes of cardio five times a week. She eats clean. Her ass is amazing.

Now, she’s been doing it for decades. In spite of what she says, she does have a lot of willpower. I don’t think that if I followed her routine for the next twenty years I would look like her… but somehow I am inspired.

Her message is so simple: this is what she does, you do what works for you. She’s so positive too. Scroll through her blog and see if you aren’t inspired, also. Start with her Words I Don’t Use page and see if you don’t like her.

I’m inspired to clean up my eating, anyway. Hello oatmeal, chicken, tuna, cottage cheese, grilled and steamed vegetables, whole grain bread, nuts and avocados. That sounds like a really appealing diet. I’ve just had my Standby Oatmeal for breakfast. I think I’ll make “tuna salad” with cottage cheese and raw veg for lunch and eat it on a piece of whole wheat bread. I think I’ll snack on almonds. I think I’ll try!

Avgolemono

Last weekend we had a snow day. It snowed, and it blowed, and it snowed and blowed some more. We were quite definitely stuck in the house, for all non-emergency intents and purposes. Given that it was already officially “spring” and that my blooming crocus were swiftly being buried, I felt grumpy. I needed a coping mechanism. Soup, soup sounded good. Warm, thick, nourishing soup. Soup with an emotional connection. How about… how about avgolemono? It’s yet another blast from my college past, when the sweet old couple at the mom & pop Greek restaurant around the corner were sort of surrogate parents… or at least surrogate home cooking. I cannot come up with a single friend from my college years who I didn’t take there at least once. Ah me… the souvlaki, the gyros, the moussaka (the memory makes my breath catch!), the retsina, the octopus salad, the flaming cheese, the honey rolls, and yeah… the avgolemono.

This is a thick chicken soup flavored with lemon. Excellent on cold days or whenever you need spiritual nourishment. The eggs make it opaque and thick, so your brain reads it as a cream soup, even though the only fat is two egg yolks in a vast pot of soup–so it’s very low in points.

Avgolemono

8 cups chicken stock (I use Knorr chicken powder to make mine)
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup Arborio rice, dry
2 chicken breasts, 6-8 oz cooked weight
1 tsp dry oregano
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup lemon juice
2 eggs

Marinate chicken breasts in 1/4 cup lemon juice, salt, and oregano for several hours or overnight. Pull out of marinade and bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, until done but not tough. Meanwhile, bring your chicken stock to a boil then add the carrots, onions, garlic, and rice. Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes, until rice is close to done. Shred chicken and add to pot. Put the 1/2 cup lemon juice and 2 eggs in a small bowl and whisk well. Ladle two cups of the hot broth into egg and lemon mixture, whisking well, then pour it all back into the soup pot and return soup to the boil.

Makes eight huge, comforting servings with 4 PointsPlus apiece. Pleasant and also virtuous with a little pita bread and a big Greek salad. Can you buy retsina where you live? You should try it, the salty-sour savoriness of this soup plays well with it.