Thursday, November 17, 2011

Unhealthy Habits Out the Window

Maple glazed bacon apple. Lemon pistachio. Chocolate rosemary almond. Cornmeal blueberry. These are some of the donut flavors available at Dynamo Donuts, the premiere donut shop in San Francisco—and the donut shop that I happen to pass daily on my way to work.

For obvious reasons, Dynamo donuts are my weakness. The very thought of one makes me feel like a drug addict who needs a fix. But obviously when one is trying to lose weight before one's wedding, one must steer clear of such evil temptations.

The problem is that Dynamo Donuts also sells Four Barrel coffee. And that's my favorite coffee, and, as I mentioned, it's right on my way to work. So I sometimes find myself stopping at Dynamo in the mornings just to get a cup of delicious french pressed coffee. The intoxicating smells of donuts are always hard to resist, but I do a pretty good job.

Yesterday, I stopped at Dynamo for a cup of coffee on my way to work, and while I was there, I decided to buy a pound of coffee beans. What I didn't realize is that when you buy a pound of coffee beans, you get a free donut. Uh-oh. "Fine," I thought. "I can just give the donut to someone at work." I got my coffee and donut, got into my car, and proceeded to get on the freeway and head to work. As the donut sat on my passenger seat, it seemed to beckon to me. And in my head, I started to negotiate with myself:

"Okay, I'll just eat the donut, but then I'll skip lunch."
"No, then you'll feel like crap about yourself. Just be strong."
"But it's not even that many points. You can fit it in."
"It's not about the points, it's about being healthy and getting rid of bad habits."

This went on for about 10 minutes before I suddenly rolled down my window, grabbed the donut, and chucked it. Dramatic? Maybe. Litterbug? Definitely. But I did what I had to do.

Moral of the story? In dieting and nutrition, you can only be successful if you throw your unhealthy habits out the window. And sometimes that might mean literally.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wearing a White Dress Means Waving a White Flag

I'm getting married in May, and I couldn't be more excited. We are now knee-deep into planning: we have perused hundreds of wedding blogs, sent out save the dates, found the perfect venue, booked a rockin' band, hired a fabulous caterer, chosen a classy color palette, started to handcraft DIY decorations... and yes, just last week, I found The Dress. It's strapless and simple and elegant and I love it.

But it also makes me panic.

My best friend Katie understands why. She is getting married three months after me, so wedding talk has dominated our conversations lately. The other day she called me and told me she had had a nightmare the night before. She had woken up that morning in a cold sweat, and hadn't been able to stop thinking about it all day.

"What was it?!" I asked.
"I dreamed that it was the day of my wedding..." she said, pausing, "and that I was the same weight I am now."

My stomach sank. I understood her nightmare because I have been having similar thoughts daily, and especially since finding The Dress. With six months left until the Big Day, the pressure is officially on: I need to lose weight.

And so about a month ago, I had to throw up my white flag and give in to a healthy lifestyle, punctuated by fresh fruits, vegetables and lots of fitness. In turn, I gave up on the just-sorta-watch-what-you-eat-but-really-just-eat-(and-drink)-whatever-you-want Diet (the JSWWYEBRJE(AD)WYW Diet, for short) that I had been embracing for the past year or so. I am now back to tracking obsessively. Moreover, I'm cutting down on processed foods and trying to choose more organic, whole foods. I'm also exercising six days a week, and three of those days involve getting up at the crack of dawn to attend boot camp in the park. I am drinking tons of water and spending my lunch breaks walking 3-4 miles... while pumping 5 pound weights in each hand. Yeah, I'm not messin' around.

The best part? It's working. In a month, I have lost 10 pounds. And I'm happy to wave my white flag and give up on my unhealthy habits, especially if it means being able to wear that perfect white dress in May.

After all, on my wedding day, I just want to feel comfortable and confident. And like the skinniest, prettiest girl on earth.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened Today...

...or, "The Aftermath of a 5-day Cleanse"... or, "That Really Sucked, But It Worked!" ...

There are a lot of things I could have titled this post, but I decided to focus on the positive side of what Wino Loreal and I just did for ourselves. It's not completely Weight Watchers related, but in some ways it is because, in order to be successful on the WW scales, you have to embrace all things 0 Points Plus - namely fruits and vegetables. Which we didn't. We thought we did, but we clearly didn't. I'll start from the beginning but get to the good stuff quick...

Last month, we watched a documentary called "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead" (available on Netflix streaming) which chronicles Joe Cross, an overweight guy who's also suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease and who's determined to regain his health, and his 60-day fruit & vegetable juice cleanse trek around the States. It was motivating to see someone so determined take things into his own hands and follow through on a plan to lose weight and get healthy. The people he meets and inspires along the way are the real gem of the movie in my opinion, and if you're interested, he has a website with his full Reboot program available free to charge to anyone who wants to follow along.

We wanted to try it. Not for the full 60 days, but maybe for 10. We took the quiz on the Reboot website and it told us we needed to start with the Reboot Entry program - a 15-day "journey" of juicing and eating raw & cooked vegetables and fruits. Sounded easy enough, but in the end we decided to do our own cleanse of sorts and combined Vegan + Raw for what I am calling the VRAWWW! Cleanse (trademark!). Only raw fruits and veggies. No meat. No fish. No dairy, carbs, beans, or nuts. We allowed olive oil and we did end up cooking our veggies on day 4. We went so far as to dine out at a Vegan/Raw restaurant called Cafe Gratitude which was nice, but let me tell you, their raw Deep Dish Pizza was neither "deep dish" nor "pizza". And the enchilada? Cashew sour cream isn't anything like real sour cream. I kid you not, the guys next to us saw we ordered all raw food and said "good luck" before we dug in. But I digress...

We started on Saturday 10/22 and planned for 5 days of VRAWWW! That morning, we got $80 from the ATM and headed to the Farmer's Market for the freshest fruits and vegetables around. We made a list of everything we could have and loaded up. We spent every last dime we had on extra avocados - the only thing I truly enjoyed for 5 days. We were excited about the possibilities around us - kale, chard, fresh tomatoes, squash, wild mushrooms, beets, cilantro, jicama, berries! As we spread the bounty out on the kitchen island, we plotted what we'd have for lunch. And once we finished that, we thought about our next snack. And after our snack, we wanted something else. And what should we have for dinner? We didn't leave the house all day. We were miserable; focused on food and all the restrictions around it.

Sunday morning - rise & shine to a delicious fruit smoothie! Now, what's for breakfast? (something resembling baby food if you must know) I could use a snack. How about lunch? We were stuck in the same pattern - comatose on the couch with no will to get up and go outside. We bickered. We had horrible headaches (no caffeine!). We slept. We begrudgingly went outside, but came back in 20 minutes later. We were so caught up on all the food we couldn't have it didn't even matter if we were hungry or not! That night was dinner at Cafe Gratitude (you read how that turned out) and, thankfully, a play we had tickets to...we had to get out of the house and we wouldn't be around food in the theater.

Monday? Better. I had a ton of energy at boot camp and was feeling great (albeit exhausted when 2pm rolled around). Tuesday? Even better. Easier and I wasn't so focused on food. Wednesday? Home free! It was Weight Watchers weigh-in and the scales would tell us if this cleanse did anything for our weight loss mission. Wino Loreal was down a pound and I was down 2.6. Not what we had hoped for, but we have to remind ourselves this cleanse wasn't so much geared towards weight loss as it was toward resetting our systems and getting us to think about food - specifically fruits and vegetables - differently. Last night we splurged with a piece of pizza and a beer. It was good. We didn't feel guilty. But we also vowed that those kinds of foods shouldn't be the norm in our diet, but instead be just what it was - a splurge.

And you know, a funny thing happened today. As I went to the kitchen for a snack, I looked in the fridge and saw all kinds of options staring at me; leftover pizza, guacamole, cheese, hard-boiled eggs. I chose grapes. Without even thinking about it, I chose grapes. And as I sat down to eat my snack, it occurred to me that our cleanse did its job - sure I lost a few pounds, but I also gained the instinct to make healthier choices.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Super Easy Weekend Brunch Bake

Here is the recipe from the super-yummy-looking food porn pic I posted last weekend. It is basically a dozen eggs, chopped up veggies of your choice, reduced fat cheese and, if you choose to add it, a breakfast meat. I have written it up the exact way I made it, but you can add and subtract to whatever suits your taste and/or what you have on hand. This recipe made 8 servings with 7 points per casserole piece. If you aren't serving that many people, you can keep servings for quick breakfasts on the go for the week ahead!


1 doz eggs
2 cups shredded 2% milk cheese
1 zucchini
1 green bell pepper
4 Roma tomatoes
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 stalk green onion
1 package (4 total) chicken sausage

Crack and beat all eggs in a bowl.
Crop up all veggies and sausage (or meat of choice).
Layer all chopped items in a casserole/baking dish big enough to hold all ingredients with room to spare when the egg bakes up.
Pour eggs over chopped ingredients, top with cheese.

Heat oven to 350, bake for 45 minutes. Depending on which and how much veggies you add, there may be some extra moisture in the bake. You can leave it behind when you scoop up your piece with a slated spatula.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

This Breakfast is only 4 PointsPlus points!

Believe it.

Here's the skinny (haha, get it?)
  • 4 egg-white omelet w/spinach, mushrooms, leeks, salsa = 1
  • morningstar farms veggie sausage links = 2
  • orange = 0
  • coffee w/soy milk = 1

Monday, January 31, 2011

It's a New Day...

...and I'm feelin' good! (Because I finally re-joined!)

Should take some getting used to the new PointsPlus system, but already this morning we managed to measure out every ounce of our breakfast.

A Thomas' bagel thin (3 points) plus an egg (2 points) was a great way to start the day! I would have added an extra point to my morning had I not forgotten my travel mug of coffee, but maybe it's for the best.

Definitely in question for this site is whether or not to change the name now that we're working with much higher values for our beloved wine? Thoughts?

Monday, January 10, 2011

The whine on the wine...

Awe crap, us WINOS are SCREWED!

Today marks the second week of tracking for me on the new PointsPlus Weight Watchers program. Since the last quarter of 2010 was filled with the Giants playoffs and World Series win, then straight into the holidays, I am now paying the preverbal piper for the pounds I gained in the process. It actually feels great to start the new year with a plan to insert some sanity back into my eating plan.

So I've been learning quickly what is the same and what is different on the new points plan. As many of you I'm sure have already figure out, it comes down to this: slightly more leeway on foods that are not processed (i.e. whole foods), and more penalization for anything processed or carbohydrate-y. Guess what falls into the latter category BIG TIME: booze.

As I attempted to cut down on but still fit some doses of wine into my week, it quickly became clear how fast I was going to damage my points allowance if I went at this same ol' same ol'. Gone are the days of a bottle being 11 points. Instead try 25! Now, it's not apples to apples, as we now have an increased amount of weekly points to dole out to causes like this, but we're basically going from 3 bottles a week on the old plan to 2 on this plan.

A life or death situation? No. Probably smart changes on Weight Watchers part? For sure. Gonna take some adjusting in my weekly and daily life? Definitely!

As for the matter of this group's namesake, that is still TBD…….but ELEVEN POINTS will always live in my heart! And stomach. *tear*