April 27, 2010

Yummy Smoked Turkey Salad

Made this today and it was so good I had it for lunch AND dinner.

Smoked Turkey and Swiss Cheese Salad (this recipe makes  2-4 portions for me, an early post-op)

3 ounces smoked turkey - cubed
1 ounce swiss cheese - cubed
6 seedless grapes, quartered
1/4 cup celery -chopped
1/4 c pecans, chopped

Dressing:
3 Tbs Greek Yogurt
1 Tbs Mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Vinegar - I used rice vinegar, but would also like this with white wine or sherry vinegar
1 Tbs Chopped fresh tarragon (or use 1 tsp dried - but flavour might suffer a bit)
If you don't like tarragon, or don't have any, basil would be tasty here also.
A good grind of black pepper

Mix dressing ingredients together and toss with salad. Eat up - it's tasty and high protein!


How I eat

I thought I'd photo essay a day of my food.

I start with low carb orange drink and vitamins.



Breakfast: 3 ounces of tuna sashimi with wasabi and soy 



After breakfast, I mix up a double batch of Syntrax Nectar Protein (Crystal Sky flavour) and have half of this in the morning and, if I don't finish it before lunch, half in the afternoon.



Lunch was some seafood salad, a calcium tablet and a Benefiber tablet.




Dinner time supplements



Dinner was roasted garlic pepper chicken (from Costco) and curried cauliflower (Roast cauliflower florets, toss with olive oil, curry powder, lemon juice and sea salt.)


 Not shown: 24 ounces of Crystal Light and Bedtime supplements (Iron and Vitamin C).

Low Carb Fajitas

I made fajitas with a grilled tri-tip roast on Sunday and everyone except the child approved. Here's how to do it yourself:

1 tri-tip roast - any size you like

Spice rub:
2 Tbs Garlic Powder
2 Tbs Oregano
2 Tbs Cumin
1 Tbs Cinnamon
2 Tbs Salt
2 Tbs Smoked Paprika
2 Tbs Chili Powder (Any kind, Ancho Chili if you can get it)
1 tsp black pepper

Mix it all together, then rub all over the tri-tip roast



You can roast this in your oven - follow directions on the package or from any general cookbook for times. I like it best on the barbecue! I used hardwood charcoal, plus some soaked cherry wood chips, cooked in a disposable foil pan over indirect heat, (Bank all coals to one side of the grill and position beef on cool side) about 20 minutes a side, then briefly charred each side over the coals. Let rest about 10 - 15 minutes before carving - YUM!



I also made some homemade salsa:

2 Tomatoes, chopped
1 or 2 jalepeno peppers, seeds and core removed, finely minced
1/3 of a sweet onion (i.e. Vidalia or Maui)
2 Cloves garlic, chopped or through the garlic press
1 handful chopped cilantro
Juice of one lime
Salt to tast

Mix it all together - that's it!



Finally, I sauteed some bell pepper and onion and heated up a can of  Black soy beans with a bit of chicken stock (You could use plain water too). Served the whole shebang on lo-carb tortillas with a bit of sour cream.

The black soy beans are great - very high protein and low carb see the label below for the stats:


Here is my plate - again I couldn't eat much beyond the meat and some veg - didn't manage any of the tortilla, but husband was glad to fill er up and have another fajita.

Flax Seed Crackers

Made these from a recipe I found on About.Com and they were fantastic, delicious, full of health fats and fiber, and super easy to make. Here is the link to the recipe:

http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/snacks/r/flaxcrackers.htm

Note: I didn't grease the parchment paper and they came out just fine, I did use a rolling pin so that I could keep the thickness even, and then used a pizza wheel to cut them up (though a knife would no doubt work just as well!) If I were more motivated than I typically am, I might square off the edges better and cut to a more uniform size; instead I'll just pretend that they are meant to look rustic and hand-crafted.

I might try making them next time with pizza seasoning or some other variation. I do love them but they are a too-convenient way to convey peanut butter to my mouth if I am not very careful! They have some calories, but are very low carb (about 5 net carbs for the whole batch). I can use the fiber and if I refrain from topping them with high calorie stuff, they are a good addition to my personal diet plan.


Smoked Trout and Asparagus Frittata

I made this for brunch on Saturday and have been enjoying the leftovers for breakfast or lunch ever since:


Ingredients and Recipe
  • Preheat broiler to highest setting
6 whole eggs
2 Tbs cream (Optional - you could use milk also: almond, regular or soy)
Pinch salt
A good grind or two of black pepper
  • Beat eggs until well combined with cream/milk and salt and pepper. Set aside.
 4 stalks asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 - 2 inch pieces
 3 ounces smoked trout (could also use hot-smoked salmon here)
  • Cook asparagus in a saucepan of boiling water until crisp-tender. drain, rinse with cold water, set aside.
  • Remove skin and any bones from trout, break into small pieces with fingers, or roughly chop.

1 Tbs butter or oil 
1/4 yellow onion, sliced

2 green onion, sliced
2-4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • Heat oil over medium heat in non-stick pan - preferably oven safe - and saute onion until soft and translucent
  • Add asparagus, trout, and green onion and stir briefly, until all is heated through
  • Add eggs and cook gently - using spatula to move cooked egg from bottom of pan, letting uncooked egg flow to bottom. 
  • When eggs are about halfway cooked, stir in cream cheese cubes, distributing evenly, then continue to stir gently until eggs are just a tiny bit underdone
  • Remove pan from heat, sprinkle the frittata evenly with the parmesan, and slide under the broiler, watching carefully, until parmesan browns a bit
  • Cut into wedges and serve

April 25, 2010

Stalling, stalling

Yep - slooowww weight loss for the last little while. Not a full-on stall, but only about a pound a week down over the past couple weeks (compared to 3 or 4 each the previous two weeks). Although this rate of loss is not nearly as much fun as watching the scale go down half a pound every day, I still am managing to feel pretty calm and positive, though I have been a little bit more preoccupied with how/what I am eating, even though I do not believe that this is related at all to food intake - just a normal slowdown while my body adjusts.

On a more exciting note: This week I bought, and fit into, easily, size 18W jeans. I haven't been below a size 22W since I was about 24 years old, so this is pretty exciting. I do have a pair of 18 misses (Lee jeans) that I can (just) get over my hips, but which are still some ways from actually zipping without mechanical intervention and the imminent threat of asphyxiation. I am also into size 1x tops, after years and years at 3x. Not bad for two months after surgery! I had been trying to hold off on buying clothes, trying to be thrifty and all - but all of my jeans were really saggy and baggy and I just couldn't stand how I felt wearing them. (Well, at least once the novelty of having pants that were too loose got old.) Bras are getting really loose too, so they are next to be replaced, though I'll get inexpensive ones for now while my size is changing so rapidly.

I am flying to LA for a visit with family in a week and a half, and looking forward to experiencing a less cramped airplane seat - and also to enjoying Disneyland now that I can walk for ages without pain and will also fit way more easily into all of the rides!

Been cooking a lot the last couple of days, so stay tuned for some more recipes and photos!

April 22, 2010

Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry

Tonight, despite the protests of the nine-year-old, we had stir fry for dinner. The child doesn't like the sauces, or the vegetables all cooked together, or, well, any of it really. So I sauteed her chicken separately and she had cut up peppers for veg.

Husband and I, however had a delicious meal.

 Recipe

 Sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 Tbs Soy Sauce

2 Tbs Lime Juice (or juice from one lime)
2 tsp Splenda, or sweetener of your choice
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1Tbs corn starch
Mix  sauce ingredients together in measuring cup or bowl, set aside

Noodles
2 packages Shiritaki Noodles - any type
Rinse noodles well, then parboil for three minutes, let sit in hot water until time to serve.

1 tsp sesame oil (ok to use other cooking oil, but you sacrifice some flavour)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 /1/2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
2 skinless/boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1" pieces
Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium heat
Add garlic and ginger and stir fry for 2 minutes
Add chicken and stir fry 3 minutes, until nicely browned and cooked through
Empty contents of pan into medium bowl, set aside

1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cup "Broccoli Slaw" (From salad section in the grocery store)
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, cut in half on the diagonal
1/2 bell pepper, cut in chunks
1 cup sliced mushrooms, your choice (I used enoki mushrooms leftover from another meal - shitake or plain brown mushrooms would be great too!)

Add 1 tsp sesame oil to hot pan
Add onion, and stir-fry until softened and beginning to color a bit
Add broccoli slaw and peppers, cook until softened
Add mushrooms, cook until softened (if using the enoki, add these at the last minute instead - if using Shitake, add them with the peppers and slaw mix)
Add peas, cook until they turn bright green

Return Chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan
Dump in the sauce mixture (Stir it first so that the cornstarch doesn't all stick to the bottom of the bowl)
Cook for a minute or so, stirring, until the sauce is glossy and delicious looking


Drain the noodles and portion onto plates
Serve the ginger chicken and vegetables on top of the noodles.

Seafood Salad

So honestly, sometimes I don't feel like being all creative and gourmet in the kitchen. Sometimes I just want to eat something that tastes decent and is reasonably healthy.  Today at lunch was one of those times.

I had some Seafood Salad from Costco - fairly low carb, reasonable protein, a few weird ingredients, so not exactly an homage to organic dining. (Chief among the weird ingredients is surimi - that crablike seafood item. I get that it really doesn't resemble crab (which I love by the way), but I happen to like it anyway. There are also shrimps, and some celery in this salad. I ate it with a third of an avocado and liked it alot. And that was lunch sorted!

Low Carb Tortillas

A couple days ago I received an order from Netrition - one of my sources for low-carb products. Among other products, I received some tortillas 


The stats are pretty good: 60 calories, 7g carb (4 of these are fiber), and 5g protein per tortilla. This morning I stuffed one with a couple ounces of chicken salad, 1/2 ounce of cheese, and then folded it and grilled until the cheese was melted.



Yum - but I was only able to eat half.

April 21, 2010

Sesame Chicken Salad

Yesterday I bought a whole roasted chicken at the grocery store. I do this pretty often - as I have instant access to high quality protein for as long as it lasts in the fridge. The menu for the evening was Sesame Chicken Salad and it was really delicious, and simple - no cooking! Recipe below...


Sesame Chicken Salad

Handful of chopped greens (I would usually use spinach, but we had some butter lettuce that needs to be finished)
Assorted chopped or sliced vegetables - whatever you have around and like the best. I used cucumber, enoki mushrooms, red bell pepper and sugar snap peas
Roasted Chicken - torn into smallish pieces
Toasted sesame seeds - for garnish and for tasty crunch

I used Newman's Own Lite Thai Ginger Dressing and thought it was delicious.

As my daughter used to say when we lived in the UK, "Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!"

April 20, 2010

Fish for Breakfast

Thought I'd post a photos of something I often eat for breakfast - sashimi, with wasabi and soy.

I buy frozen sashimi-grade tuna at a local Asian grocery store and keep it in the freezer. In the morning, while I am taking my supplements and having at least 10 ounces of water to start the day, I slice 2-3 ounces off of the frozen filet, and then let them thaw while I get showered and dressed. I also get ready made wasabi paste (comes in a tube) and mix a bit with soy sauce for my dipping sauce.

I find this is a very fast/easy, very low cal/no carb/high protein start for my day. (Of course if you can't stomach the idea of raw fish at all, let alone first thing in the morning, then this idea will not be for you!)

April 18, 2010

Show me the Beef

SO, while I like chicken and fish and pork (especially in its bacon and spareribs forms) a heck of a lot - I really love beef the best, but I am picky about how it is cooked. Steaks need to be medium rare at most and I like them tender with a lot of beefy flavour. I don't eat sirloin much because it sometimes gets kind of livery tasting. Usually I like ribeye, porterhouse, hangar steak and skirt steak the best. Tenderloin, while indeed tender, sometimes is lacking in a beefy flavour (at least from my hypercritical perspective). Also it's dang expensive.

The thing is, husband and daughter don't like any meat with weird bits of bone, or fat or weird gristly bits or anything else that isn't plain, identifiable, and not in need of any further dissection once served. Tenderloin is kinda perfect from that criteria.

I bought some at Costco, tied a strip of bacon around it and grilled over a med-hot hardwood fire for about 10 minutes a side, with the grill covered. Let rest for a few minutes, remove string and serve, either sliced or as whole piece. Perfection! (Served with roasted asparagus and baby potatoes.)

Wrap in bacon, tie with kitchen twine, and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Husband's Plate

My Plate
(Once again, could not finish - only 2 slices of meat, 1/2 baby potato and the asparagus)

A Car, A Costco Trip and Garlic Pepper Chicken

So, last weekend I did two things that are small in the overall scheme of things, but momentous in Margo-World.

First, we bought a car. We have been car-free for almost two years, since moving to Canada and I have to say that the smugness of being all environmental has never really trumped the annoyance of having every single errand involve waiting, (in the rain, usually) for buses and for cabs so that I can schlep home my groceries, plants from the nursery, whatever. So yippee! I have wheels again!

Second, I returned to Costco. I used to shop there a lot when we lived in Oregon, but haven't been since we moved to the UK during the summer of 06 and then to Canada in 08. I have to say it was nice to be back, although I might have considered the possibility that Sunday afternoon at 4pm with nine year old daughter in tow was not the optimal time to meander around checking out the stock. In the end we whizzed through the butcher section and I dropped a bunch of dollars on protein, then went home and portioned and froze everything that wasn't scheduled for this week's menus.

One fantastic find was the Garlic Pepper Chicken Breasts. These are skinless breasts, on-the-bone (for better flavour I think), with a yummy pepper and garlic paste smeared all over. They were super simple to cook (375 degrees for 1/2 hour or so - use your meat thermometer to check!) and everybody, even the picky child, loved them. The leftovers made a very delicious chicken salad.

Served this with steamed sugar snap peas and a sugar-free version of glazed carrots

Glazed Carrots

As many baby or cut up carrots as you need

Place carrots in a saucepan and pour in enough water or chicken stock to just cover
Add the following to taste:
A pat of butter
2tsp Splenda or other low-cal sweetener
A pinch of salt
A sprinkle of pepper
(Optional) A drop or two of molasses (aids caramelization, adds flavour)

Cook the whole thing over med-high heat until the water evaporates and a glaze forms, stirring frequently toward the end so that nothing burns. By the time the water is gone and the glaze has formed, the carrots should be tender.

Note: I do know that carrots are high carb for a veg. In the small amounts that I eat, they fit into my nutritional plan. My plan includes fresh veg at most meals, fresh fruit a few times a week, potatoes in very small quantities very occasionally (and NOT french fries!), white flour / sugar almost never. It works for me, your mileage may vary.

Husband's Plate

My Plate
(Couldn't finish the veg - so into the chicken salad they went)

Salmon / Chicken salads

Seafood and chicken salads are a staple of my diet these days - I tend to tolerate them better than drier proteins and since there are ALWAYS leftovers in my fridge - the ingredients are on hand.

I am the only person in the household who will eat leftovers - and I am still adjusting to post-op cooking/portions and a nine year old who seems to subsist on a few bites of meat and whatever vegetable she deigns to eat, unless I take pity on the child and let her have some mac and cheese! Consequently, either I need to eat it or it ends up in the bin - bad for our budget, bad for the environment, and just guilt provoking in general.

The salmon salad below is made from leftover cooked salmon, some chopped avocado, a bit of Greek yogurt and a bit of mayonnaise (I'm a full strength Hellman's girl for the mayo.) If you are watching fat you may decide to use another option for the mayo...

Anyway - I portion this out in about 2.5 - 3 ounce servings and eat as often as twice a day, for breakfast and for lunch.



I also make a lot of chicken salad. As I roast a lot of veg, there are a lot of these in the fridge and I have started chopping these into my protein salads - and they are MUCH tastier this way - this salad has chopped steamed sugar snap peas, a couple of roasted baby carrots, and a couple strips of roasted red bell pepper. The little bits of crunchy sweetness are delicious!

Spring Has Sprung

And that means we unwrapped the barbecue and grilled for the first time this season. At the request of my daughter, hamburgers were on the menu. I don't know what I was thinking - VSG amnesia I suppose - but I fixed myself a plate of food on a regular dinner plate. Needless to say, I ate only a tiny portion of the grilled burger with Emmentaler cheese and sauteed mushrooms, and a bite or two each of corn and butter lettuce salad with ranch dressing.


Not to worry - my husband took care of all leftovers...

2 Month Report

Sent the following to my surgeon's office:

Today it has been 60 days since my surgery and things are continuing to go really well. I weighed in this morning at 235 pounds, so that is a total of 17 pounds lost this month. I did my measurements yesterday and have lost another 3 inches each from my bust, ribcage, waist and hips, plus small amounts elsewhere (neck, thighs, calves). I am now fitting easily into a size 20, having gone into surgery at size 26 (28 at high weight).

My doctor still has me on a half dose of my water pill for blood pressure, but I suspect we'll just finish out the prescription and then discontinue, as my pressure has decreased significantly (this morning it was 106/68). Prior to surgery it was around 135/75 even with medication.

I have continued to weigh and track my food intake and my average nutrition stats for this month are:

Calories: 729.1
Fats: 31.7g (37.1% of total calories)
Fiber: 9g
Carbohydrates (Including fiber): 35.7g (18.3% of total calories)
Protein: 84.1g (45.3% of total calories)

It's been a couple of weeks since I have thrown up, so I am hoping that I have learned how to eat solid food, and how to tell when I am full.

Continuing with my supplements and planning to replace chewables with regular tabs as I run out from now on - this will also help reduce my carb intake by about 14g a day (or at least allow me to have more veg and maintain same carb intake.) I continue to avoid white flour and caloric sweeteners. I have enjoyed 3 or 4 slices a week of a low carb whole sprouted grain bread with 12g protein, 13g carbs, 12g fiber per slice - it does not seem to stimulate cravings or slow down my weight loss, so I will continue with this as I think the fiber is beneficial and it is delicious! (www.julianbakery.com)

I am collecting my new fins, goggles and swim cap from the post office this week and will start swimming right away - my thighs and arms are looking rather flabby and horrible!

Here is a face shot from the 15th:


And a pre-op comparison:

April 12, 2010

Roasted Vegetables

Tonight we had Flank Steak with Sauteed Mushrooms (this is ALL of it NOT my portion -which was about 1 slice plus a few slices of mushroom). It all came out pretty good - I usually don't cook flank steak much past bloody -and this was more medium - medium rare - but it was very tender - the first beef I've had since surgery and it went down and stayed down, which I count as a success! I tossed the mushrooms into the pan while the steak rested, once they were about cooked I poured in about 1/4 cup of Marsala wine, let that reduce a bit, squeezed in a teaspoon of anchovy paste (Yes it sounds weird, but I promise the mushrooms didn't taste fishy - just more-ish) and then stirred in a tablespoon of butter. Husband LOVED it, and barely left me enough to take a slice to school tomorrow in my lunch box.


On the side I made up a platter of roasted vegetables: Green beans with garlic, broccolini with sesame oil, crushed hot peppers and soy, fennel with olive oil and sea salt, and red peppers with olive oil. - and I really, really loved the fennel, which is good because the rest of the family isn't so into it.


All in all a successful dinner - and it didn't take all that long to make either!

50 Days Out

So, last week (April 6) I sent in my 50 day update to my surgeon. Thought I would share it here too for those going through the same process, or those with more curiosity about my eating habits than most!

My weight is down to 241 (from 247 at my last report - 10 days earlier).

Weight Loss Progress
Highest Weight: 282
At start of Preop Diet: 274
Surgery Weight: 269
Current Weight: 241

I have continued to track my calories etc - here are the stats:

Average calories: 745
Average protein daily: 80.6g 9 (43% of calories)
Average carbs daily: 34.1g (17% of calories)
Average fiber daily: 9.9g
Average fat daily: 35.2g (of which 9.8g is saturated) (40% of calories)

I just ordered fins and goggles for swim workouts starting next week. Might also try the aquasize classes. I do have to avoid any impact exercises or exercises with squats and lunges due to previous injury/surgery to my knee.

I am finding that eating fish is easiest / least likely to upset my stomach in terms of protein and have been having a lot of halibut and salmon, baked, with fresh salsas on top. I also eat tuna sashimi a couple of times a week. I bought some frozen sashimi fillets - tuna, wild salmon and barbecue eel - from a local Asian grocery store, and I just shave off a couple of ounces before my morning shower, and eat it for breakfast once it has finished thawing (about when I finish getting dressed). I even bought chopsticks, wasabi, pickled ginger, and that little dish for mixing the soy sauce and wasabi paste together. It is WAY cheaper than going out for sushi - which to be honest has lost its thrill a bit now that I can eat about 5 bites before I am done.


On Friday it will be two months since surgery and I'll post stats and photos!

Easter Sunday

This Easter I made a leg of lamb with roasted veg and some homemade, low-carb mint sauce. Here is all of it, ready to go into the oven:

The lamb was from a local butcher, who got it from a local farm - organic and delicious. I now have a bunch of cooked lamb in the freezer and need to come up with some ideas to use it up - stay tuned for the results. This was a really easy dinner - I just poked the lamb with a sharp knife about 15 times and stuffed the slits with slivers of garlic, then tucked rosemary here and there under the ties (done by the butcher). The potatoes and asparagus were roasted also, after being tossed with olive oil and Maldon sea salt. The mint sauce consisted of 1/2 cup cider or malt vinegar, a handful of chopped mint leaves, and a packet of splenda - briefly simmered together. Easy peasy - and very tasty - though I only managed a bite each of the potato and asparagus.

For dessert I cut up some strawberries and tossed them with a bit of splenda, then made a sauce from plain yogurt, vanilla, a spoonful of sour cream, and yes, more splenda (to taste of course, for those with less of a sweet tooth.)

Sadly, my camera ran out of juice before I could take photos of the finished dishes - Sorry!

April 3, 2010

What's been cooking?

A lot of fish mostly - with fresh fruit and/or vegetable salsas.

I roasted some cherry tomatoes for use in things like frittatas, salsas etc. Just halve the tomatoes and place on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil (I used an orange infused oil that I love these days), and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for a couple hours. Cool and store in fridge.

Peach Salsa
This was delicious served on some baked salmon. Alongside we had roasted asparagus and some quinoa pilaf. To make:
1) Dice a peach (I actually used one of those "Fresh Pak" tubs from the produce section. Note: we had planned mango salsa, but all of the mangos at the store were hard as a rock - same recipe otherwise!) I added a bit of the peach juice to the salsa for flavor
2) Add 1/2 diced red bell pepper
3) 1/2 - 2 diced jalepeno peppers (according to the level of heat you prefer)
4) 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
5) Handful of cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
6) About a tablespoon of white wine vinegar
7) Salt to taste

Mix it all up and use to top fish or chicken

Husband's Plate 
(I ate 2 ounces fish with salsa, and a bite each of asparagus and quinoa)

Halibut with Roasted Tomato Salsa
Bake your halibut for 15 - 20 minutes at 400 degrees. I just pop it into a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Salsa
1 handful roasted (or fresh if you prefer) cherry tomatoes, halved
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
2 tsp capers
Handful of fresh basil, chopped coarsely
One clove of garlic, minced or put through garlic press
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together and use to top baked halibut.

We also had something new I tried today and it was fabulous!

Cheesy Cauliflower Bites

Slice as much cauliflower as you would like to eat - I do this by cutting large florets, then slicing these, about 1/4 inch or 1cm thick.

Beat one egg in a small dish or bowl
In another bowl pour about a cup of shredded cheese (your choice - I just used the leftover pizza blend in the fridge)

Line a baking tray with parchement or spray very well with non-stick spray

Dip the cauliflower pieces in the egg, then coat with the cheese, pressing it with your fingers to make it adhere.
Place in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Bake about 30 minutes at 400 degrees - or until crispy and browned a bit.


 Hot out of the oven.

Husband dove right in before I could get the camera ready!

Some Small Successes

I'm almost 7 weeks out from my surgery today and things are going really well!

Some cool stuff:

Inches are melting off - will do my full set of measurements again in a couple of weeks - but my waist and bra band size are down 6 inches each since surgery.

Yesterday I took my daughter to the movies and was standing in line, waiting to buy her popcorn and agonizing about whether I was going to get something for myself. I decided to get a hot dog  and not eat the bun - figuring it was protein at least - and to have a few bites of her popcorn if I wanted any. We sat down, I had three PIECES of popcorn and was done, then I took two bites of the hot dog, figured out that it wasn't tasty enough to be worth the fat and calories and preservatives, put it down, and didn't give it another thought until I took it to the rubbish bin after the show. I love me some popcorn - so this was amazing for me!

Today I tried on a couple of pairs of shoes while out shopping and I have dropped sizes from size 11 to size 10. THIS is fantastic, because it is hard to find size 11's at regular retailers here - so being a size 10 makes my life WAY easier. A miracle happened also - although I tried on some shoes that fit in size 10 - I did not buy shoes today. (Waiting to visit my dad in California next month so that I can get a better price!)

I did buy a pair of inexpensive white crop pants in size 20 - (I last purchased clothes in size 26) - for the spring/summer. Although they are too tight at the moment - I was able to get them on and zipped without difficulty - I am guessing that they will fit well in a month or so.

The sensation of hunger has diminished significantly - a couple weeks ago it seemed like I was hungry / thinking about food pretty much all the time. The last 10 days or so I have felt really mellow about it - though I still struggle at times to get in enough liquids, this pattern of eating seems more "doable".

Finally, today I went through my closet and drawers - tried on everything and I have a pile of clothes that covers half of a queen size bed, stacked about 18 inches high. Will post on Craig's List / Freecycle today and see if I can get any takers so that I don't have to haul it all down to the thrift store. (Picture below.)