September 19, 2010

Yummy Yummy Pancakes

I apologize for the lack of photos today, but I forgot to charge my camera - in any case these look like pancakes - so no big surprises!

I adapted a pancake recipe from the Joy of Cooking and it was my best attempt at lower-carb pancakes so far - the family loved them, and I honestly couldn't tell the difference betwen these and regular pancakes. They are very filling for me - I ate one pancake and a half slice of bacon and was pretty full - but even if I had been able to eat three, I think the stats would be ok (Haven't done a nutritional analysis, so caveat emptor)

Multigrain Protein Pancakes (Yields 18 medium pancakes - about 6 regular person servings, 9-18 WLS person servings)

Ingredients
1/3 cup Stone-Ground whole wheat flour
1/3 cup Soy flour
1/3 cup corn meal
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
Sugar Free equivalent of 2 Tsp sugar (I used some sugar twin and some splenda)

Whisk dry ingredients together

2 eggs
2 cups greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
2 - 4 Tbs melted butter (Optional)
1/2 almond or soy milk

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well with whisk.

Proceed in the usual fashion and cook your pancakes over medium heat.

These are no doubt carbier than my usual meals - but pancakes of any type are a once a week treat for me. I do start the day with a cup of protein coffee (27g protein), so this meal works well in terms of my overall stats for the day.

September 15, 2010

Quinoa and Acorn Squash Pilaf

I had planned this week to use up some Arborio rice that is sitting in the cupboard and make some risotto - even though I couldn't really eat much, my husband loves it. When it came down to cooking however, I decided to make quinoa instead - healthier for all of us, and something I can eat. I served the quinoa (recipe below) with pork cutlets and creamed spinach - and I thought it was all really delicious. Here is a picture of my husband's plate:






Before you start the quinoa you will need some roasted squash. I just cut up an acorn squash (prefer butternut, but the grocery store didn't have any yet...), tossed the slices in olive oil and roasted at 400 until cooked through and slightly caramelized - then removed the rinds and cubed the squash.



Ingredients
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons minced sage
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1/4 c dry white wine or vermouth (optional)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups cubed roasted acorn squash (Or pumpkin, or butternut squash, or any other winter squash)
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Saute the onion in the olive oil until softened
Add the chopped sage and saute for another minute or two
Add the rinsed and drained quinoa and saute for another couple minutes, until it is fragrant and slightly toasted
Add the wine and reduce until it is syrupy
Add the chicken stock, all at once, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is almost tender
Add the squash, and continue to cook until the quinoa is tender and the sqaush is heated through
Add the parmesan and stir until combined
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7 month update

Today it's been 7 months since my surgery. This month I lost 9 pounds - a lot more than usual and have been stalled for about 10 days at 198 pounds. I am noticing that my clothes are getting looser - the size 16 work trousers that my mother-in-law gave me in August are pretty loose, though still wearable, and I tried on a size 14 skirt at Old Navy and it fit. So, I am hoping to soon be solidly into a size 14, with an ultimate goal of a 10 or 12. To be honest, I can't even imagine being in single digits, although lots of people who have had this surgery end up there...It would be really nice to be able to shop pretty much anywhere without worrying whether they carry my size...

This has been a busy month... school started and I also was offered, and accepted, a part time teaching position at a local college. This means that I am working as a research assistant, as a teaching assistant for two courses, and as an instructor for one course. I will also write my comprehensive examinations for my PhD this fall, so October and November look like they will be pretty crazy. I have been able to stay on track in terms of eating with no problem - now that my food plan is pretty much a routine, I just pack a lunch and bring it with me, or find something WLS friendly to order if I eat out with colleagues.

Exercise, however, is increasingly a challenge, unless I work out in the evenings after dinner - which I REALLY do not like to do, as this is family time. Last week and this week I was booked from morning to evening with the meetings that are typical of the beginning of the school year, plus my classes ... and did not get to the gym AT ALL. My plan is to get back this evening for a water aerobics class and try to get back into the routine. Next week looks a lot better in terms of my schedule so I am optimistic that all is not lost.

I've been feeling mildly discouraged with this recent brief stall - I lost weight really rapidly for a couple weeks at the beginning of the month and was hopeful that maybe a new rate of loss was kicking in. Although my overall loss this month was higher than usual, it doesn't seem so far that I'll be losing much more rapidly than has been the case all along. I was REALLY pleased to see my picture for the month ... I look much closer to average, and although not slim, I'm more proportionate and not notably obese (although I still need to lose 2 pounds before I am technically overweight instead of obese).

 Before

7 Months Post-Op

It feels FANTASTIC to walk out the door every morning feeling confident about my appearance!

September 4, 2010

A milestone achieved!

This morning, for the first time in at least 20 years, I weighed less than 200 pounds!


This is sort of an artificial milestone, because really - I don't feel any different at 199 than I did at 200 - but still, it is exciting. Even better, I am just a few pounds (3!) away from being at a BMI designated as "overweight" rather than "obese". I hope to reach THAT goal before the end of this, my 7th post-op month. I am now just 34 pounds away from my surgeon's goal for me, and 39 from my own goal. I'm not sure where my body will settle out at then end of all this. I think I would be pretty content anywhere between 150 and 180 - I would like to be solidly within misses sizes - a 12 would be ideal (just to make shopping that little bit easier!)

Life with my sleeve has been both easier and different this month. For one thing, I had gone through a short period of having a lot of trouble keeping vitamins down, and that seems to have resolved. I still need to try to add the fish oil capsule back in, as that seems to have been the primary troublemaker, but for another week or two I will continue to enjoy the lack of nausea.

Another thing that I did not expect is to feel much more restriction over the past month than has been the case since starting solid foods in March. I am able to eat very little solid food at a time this month - and I have much less hunger as well. This has been really a surprise to me, as I expected my capacity to continue to get a bit larger for a while yet. It is also weird not really feeling hungry - not that I am complaining!

My rate of weight loss has seemed to pick up a bit too. I lost 7 pounds in 14 days - something that I haven't seen since a month or two after surgery. I figured that I would probably next have a big long stall, but, as I mentioned, my weight dropped again after a 5 day break, so it looks like things are still shifting.

I have been feeling REALLY good about how I look in clothes. I was unexpectedly contacted last Monday about a potential teaching position at a local college and it felt SO good to know that I had clothing in my closet that fit, that was flattering, that was appropriate for the interview, and that I felt good wearing. When I was heavy, I always tried to have nice things, but there were many days when NOTHING fit (or felt) right.

Also - I got the job - so starting next week I will be teaching at the college level - my first teaching job and I am really excited! Now I NEED to wear nice clothes most days of the week!

Tonight I made a yummy salad with flank steak and broiled mushrooms;

 Husband's plate

I used the following ingredients:

Flank steak, pan fried to medium rare and sliced thinly
Portabello Mushrooms, sliced, tossed with olive oil, salt and crushed garlic, then baked at 425 until browned and cooked through
Homemade croutons (Made with low-carb bread, tossed with olive oil and garlic powder, and baked at 425 until toasted)
Herb salad mix
Cherry Tomatoes
Diced Red Bell Pepper
Black Olives
Shaved Parmesano-Reggiano Cheese
Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

It was a really tasty dinner, perfect for a sunny Saturday.