Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 15

This morning I weighed in and saw that I lost another pound!  I'm down about 4 pounds from where I think I started.  I have about 9 more pounds to go to get to my goal "fit in my ski pants" weight. MJ weighed in too.  He gained one pound.  One stinking pound in 15 days.  I'm obviously better at gaining weight than he is.  
I'm still pleased with my accomplishments.  It's nice to know that pizza and mexican food still can equate to a negative weight on the scale.  

Today is leftovers day!  By that I mean I'm using up all the extra stuff that didn't fit into a meal plan for the past three days.  

For breakfast I have 2 egg whites, sautéed spinach, part-skim mozzarella cheese.  I have nothing exciting to say about this breakfast.  Sorry. 

Snack 1 was a slice of whole wheat bread and 1 tablespoon almond butter. Delicious as always.

For lunch I created my own salad: baby spinach, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup white beans, 1/2 cup tomatoes, balsamic vinegar.  This salad was okay.  For whatever reason, I liked it better as a snack yesterday than as a salad today.  Maybe I'm just getting sick of spinach.

My second snack was a 100 calorie pack of cheese; 8 carrots, 2 oz hummus. I decided to go with this snack because it was quick and easy, and the 100 calorie pack of cheese is obviously not going to show up in my meal plan, but I don't want them to sit uneaten in my fridge.

SURPRISE!  My cousin Jamie came to visit.  Jamie is a few years younger and many inches taller.  He was hungry, so I served him chips and salsa and made a little bit of guacamole.  I probably had about 15 chips with salsa and/or guacamole.  It was too tempting.  

Jamie decided to stay for dinner so MJ and I took him to the grocery store.  I can't express how pleasant it is to have two gophers come along for a shopping trip.  I bought food for dinner and another 3 days of the meal plan.  One of the upcoming lunches calls for tofu, and I was having trouble locating the tofu in the store.  I asked an employee for assistance:
"Excuse me, do you know where the tofu is?"
"Toe Food?"
"Toad Food?"
"No, tofu, like what vegetarians eat instead of meat."
"You mean tofi?"
"What? I mean tofu.  T-O-F-U"
"Oh. Let me go ask."
I found the tofu.  I'm really interested to know what toe food, toad food, and tofi are, and whether any of them are typically sold in a grocery store.

For dinner, I served honey glazed salmon and tuna with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cauliflower.  I probably got enough food to serve 6 people, which was fitting when I have two hungry  men eating with me.  I helped myself to a little bit of salmon and probably 4 ounces of tuna with a lot of cauliflower.  Jamie and MJ devoured everything else.  I guess it was good.  

I didn't eat anything for dessert, even though I really wanted to.  I gave Jamie some Reese's Peanut butter cups and sent him home.  Jamie doesn't know that I'm doing this crazy meal plan and even after grocery shopping with us I don't think he picked up on it.  It's nice to know that I can cook a healthy meal and it appear to be a normal and fulfilling dinner.  Although Jamie did question why I purchased tofu.  I question that too.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week 2, Sunday (Day 14)

Today I partially followed the meal plan for Sunday of Week 2.  

Breakfast: Omelette (3 egg whites and 1 egg, 1 cup peppers, 1/2 cup onion, 1 tablespoon part-skim mozzarella cheese)
There is no possible way I could eat 4 eggs in the morning.  I cut the eggs in half and add some mushrooms so they don't go bad before I use them.  I definitely need to work on my omelette flipping skills.  The chefs on TV and those chefs at the omelette stations in hotels make it look so easy!  I'm more concerned about served cooked eggs than pretty eggs.

Snack 1: 1/2 cup white beans, 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, 1/2 avocado, balsamic vinegar and oil
This was a surprisingly yummy snack and definitely worth repeating.  It was also very filling, which I find better than, say, a grapefruit that I can't open.

Lunch: You Pick Two combination at Panera: broccoli cheddar soup and asian chicken salad
MJ and I ended up going out for lunch today, and I made a point to check out the nutrition info before placing my order.  The you-pick-two soup and salad that I got only came to 390 calories, which is really not bad for eating out.  But don't eat the bread or chips it comes with!  I was shocked to learn that the small 2.5 ounce serving of bread they give you with your meal is another 180 calories - regardless of if you ordered the french baguette OR the whole wheat bread!  I gave my slice to MJ and watched as he consumed over 1000 calories (salad, 2 pieces of bread, and a low-cal smoothie).  Attaboy, MJ.  Before I started this meal plan, I would never think that eating a salad bread and smoothie would be over half of the calories I should be eating in one day.  I'm really glad that restaurants are posting this kind of information now so that we can make healthy choices outside the home.  

Snack 2: California Pizza Kitchen: A few bites of the arugula salad, some white corn guacamole with 3 tortilla chips, 1 Mediterranean roll.  
In the afternoon we went to California Pizza Kitchen with the rest of the Jordans for some quick snacks.  CPK is also kind enough to list their nutritional info, but nothing is really good for you.  I had a few bites of each of the appetizers and 1 Mediterranean roll, which is 346 calories!  The roll was MAYBE 2 inches long.  Sigh.  This snack was probably about 400 - 450 calories for me.  More than my lunch and I had less than one quarter of the food!  Why are things that taste so good so bad for you?

Dinner: 1 veggie burger, 1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1 slice tomato, 1 piece lettuce, 1 slice onion, 2 pieces whole wheat bread (really Lunch)
Dinner was supposed to be a Fajita salad (chicken, lettuce, salsa, peppers, onions), but the veggie burger meal that I was supposed to have at lunch sounded a lot more appealing and less effort.  And it was delicious!  I've never thought to use wheat bread as a bun but it was fantastic.  I also enjoyed taking out my new food scale and weighing out a full ounce of cheese - way more than I expected!  Thanks editors!  I'm pretty confident that I will be repeating this meal tomorrow in lieu of going to the grocery store again tonight.  But that's okay because I make my own rules, as evidenced by the fact that I ate out twice in one day.

Snack 3: 1 almond butter cookie
Surprise, surprise.  It's been 4 days for me without a cookie.  I caved an ate another almond butter cookie.  It was just as good as I remember.  I know I can survive on this meal plan if I add these cookies in as treats more often.  I'll have to ask MJ to hide them from me.

Week 2, Saturday (Day 13)

Breakfast: 1/2  cup 5-minute uncooked oats mixed with 3/4 cup 1% cottage cheese and 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
Just when the oatmeal starts to bubble over in the microwave, I realize the meal plan says UNCOOKED.  What? You want me to eat uncooked oatmeal?  Will I get salmonella?  Then you want me to mix the uncooked oatmeal with a cheese clumpy mixture?  No thank you.  Plus, I've already cooked my oatmeal and cleaned the microwave and now I'm late.  And I'm tired.  100 calorie starbucks drink?  That sounds way better than cottage cheese.  Maybe next time.

Snack 1: 1 handful unsalted almonds, 1 grapefruit
I literally brought a grapefruit in a bag with me to a meeting I had today.  How the heck do you eat a grapefruit?  I really should have bought the pre-cut kind from the grocery store, even though it was more expensive.  I google "how do you eat a grapefruit?"  They suggest using a knife and a spoon.  Shoot.  I don't have either of those, so I eat my strawberries from breakfast and the almonds.  Except I really brought the cocoa almonds instead of the plain almonds.  Raise your hand if you're surprised.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  That's what I thought.

Lunch: Citrus Protein Salad (2 cups romaine lettuce, 1 hardboiled egg whites, 1/2 cup chickpeas, 2 tablespoons unsalted sunflower seeds, 1 clementines with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp olive oil); 1 pear
Only upon typing up this blog entry did I realize I was supposed to eat a pear today.  Whoops.  When I went to throw together this salad, approximately 3 minutes before I had to leave, I saw that it called for hardboiled eggs.  Whoops again.  When was I supposed to make those?  How about a little heads up here, editors?  I'm already 0/3 on getting the meals right today.  The rest of the salad is mediocre.  There was too much dressing.  The sunflower seeds and the chickpeas were the only parts I liked.  Salad fail.

Snack 2: 2 low-fat string cheeses, 10 red grapes
Super easy snack for a day on the go, but mark me down as 0/4 today because I never packed the red grapes.  All 10 of them stayed sitting in my fridge (with seeds).  How did I manage to skip all my fruit today?  Maybe I'll be able to open this grapefruit....  Does anyone have a knife?

Dinner: Roasted Eggplant & Kale Penne with Pine Nuts and Feta; 4 oz grilled chicken
Alright, meal plan.  You're telling me to make this fancy meal and there's no corresponding recipe.  What gives?  I do some grunt work and figure out that this meal is really on page 88 of the cookbook.  Thanks for the help, guys.  Perhaps you should consider having an editor edit your work?  I'd be happy to do so for you, for a small fee.  Also, this meal serves 6.  Again, there are two of us.  I cut the pasta serving in half and leave all the remaining ingredients as they are so MJ will have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  The recipe calls for 1 bunch kale.  But how much is a bunch?  At the grocery story they are sold in individual stalks.  How many stalks make a bunch?  I guesstimate and pick 3 big stalks.  Once again, I wish the editors gave some portion guidance.
Besides the standard editing glitch, dinner was one of my favorites so far, which is ironic because my family has a distinct negative opinion about kale generally.  My only complaint was that I had to be doing 300 things at once to make sure everything was ready for dinner on time:
(1) roast the pine nuts (don't let them burn)
(2) bake the eggplant, stirring halfway
(3) cook the pasta
(4) sauté the kale
(5) grill the chicken
No one particular task was difficult, but together I felt like I was Speedy Gonzalez (with my assistant Slowpoke MJ Rodriguez).

We put the chicken on the George Forman and that came out pretty cruddy.  Luckily the pasta salad really didn't need any additions.  Without the chicken, this meal is only 215 calories.  But that's for a 2 ounce serving.  Hmm.  I whip out my new fancy-shmancy food scale and weigh my second helping of dinner.  3.25 ounces.  @#%&! I guess I had more like a 500+ calorie dinner.  Considering how many things I accidentally skipped today, I think my bonus calories are okay.  Better than eating a bonus 500 calorie cookie.  Or candy bar.  Or ice cream sundae.  Ahh I have to stop myself before I eat my foot. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Week 2, Friday (Day 12)

I'm back on schedule to follow the meal plan after a few days of going solo and making up my own snacks and meals.  I can't say that I'm excited, but I can say that eating what the editors tell me to eat rather than what I would choose to eat certainly makes for funnier blog posts.

Breakfast: 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg scrambled, 1 cup sauteed baby spinach, 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese on half of a whole wheat English muffin; 1 cup low fat milk
Yayyyy I get to drink something other than water for breakfast!!! Did I mention that it's been 12 days since I've had coffee?  Milk is a nice change of pace.  My breakfast is big and very filling, although I wonder what I'm supposed to do with the lonely top half to my English muffin.  It's like a salt shaker without it's pepper.  Very, very sad.  

Snack 1: Half a sliced cucumber, half a sliced red bell pepper; handful unsalted almonds
Breakfast was honestly so filling that I didn't eat my morning snack until after 1pm.  During my lunch break at work, I went to a class at the gym and ran some errands, including a quick trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond to purchase my fabulous new food scale.  Totally worth skipping lunch to buy it.  I'm tempted to try it out on my desk but decide that would be in poor taste and my boss would definitely not approve.  I'm also curious how much the stack of things I need to do work for weighs.  Probably more than the number of ounces of fruit I'm allowed to eat.  How is that fair?

By the time I get to the snack I find it overwhelming.  What size cucumber did they have in mind when they suggested I eat half of one?  I mean bell peppers typically conform in size and shape, but is there an average sized cucumber?  Size apparently does not matter to these editors.  I think I have about 12 slices of cucumber, which is half of the cucumber I purchased.  The scientist in me is upset with the lack of standards in the serving size.  The fat kid in me wished I picked a bigger cucumber.

Also, I've been so hooked on cocoa almonds since Jason and Bethany introduced me to them that I replaced my lameo/boring/plain almonds with fabulous/delicious/cooler cocoa almonds.  Upgrade city.  Minus the fact that chocolate does not really go well with cucumbers.

Lunch: 4 oz low sodium turkey, 1 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, 1 slice avocado on 2 slices of quinoa bread; ¾ Low fat greek yogurt with 1 cup frozen strawberries (thawed)
Okay what the hell is quinoa bread?  And why is this the third type of bread that you've required me to buy within an 8 day span?  What happened to the pumpernickel rye you made me by last week, you bully?!  I rebel against the purchasing of quinoa bread for two main reasons: 
(1) my grocery store does not sell quinoa bread.  
(2) I still have 2 loaves of bread (whole wheat and pumpernickel rye) left over from last week.
So, in an effort to save money, I did not purchase the nonexistent quinoa bread and instead used pumpernickel rye.  I refuse to be bullied by these meany editors.
My sandwich is great even though I probably took more than one "slice" of avocado because I'm confused about how one would even slice an avocado.  Plus I really like avocado so I'm going to err on the side of inclusion and use a big "slice."  

I wait a while before eating the greek yogurt and strawberries because when I first took a bite the strawberries were still frozen and tasted horrible.  Once I let them thaw out a bit, the yogurt tasted more like a strawberry yogurt should.  I think this whole problem could have been avoided had I been allowed to use fresh strawberries instead of the frozen ones. What gives? 

Snack 2: 1 cup cherry tomatos, ½ cup chickpeas
I ate this snack right before dinner.  Because it was right before dinner, I only had the chickpeas.  I like chickpeas.  That's why I named my blog after them. 

Ok that's a lie.  I named my blog after them because they rhyme with cottage cheese.  You caught me.

Dinner: Chicken and Summer Vegetable Cacciatore with Polenta
Hmmm where do I begin??  First of all, it took 30 minutes in the store and some time on google to figure out what polenta was and whether the store carried it.  Apparently, polenta is yellow corn meal.  Thanks for explaining that one, editors.  I find the yellow corn meal and finish up my shopping.  I guess I should have known right away this meal was destined for disaster because it is called "summer" vegetables and, being that it is January, it's winter.  The meal says that it serves 6 people.  Awesome.  Thirding everything will be super easy.  Oh wait.  You say I can only make 2 4-ounce pieces of chicken?  8 ounces of chicken is supposed to serve 6 people?  8 is not divisible by three.  I go ahead and make all the chicken because MJ eats triple what I eat and the estimated calories for the entire meal for one serving is only 110.  I decide I can splurge and have more chicken since that won't even put me at a 200 calorie meal.  Making the meal was pretty easy, but definitely was lacking in taste.  I mean I really like squash, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes, but this meal really tasted like nothing.
And the polenta?  It looks vomit.  Yellow, mealy vomit.  It tastes like bland, mushy corn.  MJ is a trooper and eats up his three servings.  We make the executive decision to dispose of the leftover polenta.  This meal is going on the "never make again" list.  

Being that it was Friday night, we met some friends out at the bar.  I politely declined their invitations to try their fried calamari and mac-n-cheese.  But boy did they look good.  No beer for me either.  Can you guess what I ordered?  If you guessed vodka gimlet, you win!  The prize?  Knowing that you are a true fan of my blog.  Go ahead and order on next time you go out.  I bet you'll be hooked.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 11

Today I was back at home but hadn't yet taken a trip to the grocery store, so I was determined to eat only what I already had in the house.  My plan for the future weeks is to not waste any foods. If I have leftovers, I will incorporate them into the upcoming days somehow.  I am not made of money.  Au contraire, I am made of fat. 

Today was the most boring day of blogging ever because I got to pick everything so nothing was bad.  Please brace yourself for the boredom:

For breakfast, I cooked up 2 egg whites, onions, some roasted red pepper, and 1 tablespoon mozzerella cheese.  Yum. I really can't believe I didn't eat eggs before this healthy eating kick - they are super easy.

For my first snack, I ate 6 oz low fat plain yogurt with 1/2 cup granola.  I was definitely right that plain yogurt tastes better with stuff in it.  If I had any fresh fruit I would have eaten that instead of the granola, but overall a pretty filling snack.

For lunch I had some leftover couscous, 3 oz tuna, and 1 tablespoon cheese - a quasi tuna melt.  Kinda.  

Snack 2 consisted of 3/4 cup kefir and a 100 calorie pack of cheese

Now for the exciting part. Buckle up.

For dinner, I flipped to the "Cooking for One or Two" section of the cookbook. I almost spit my water out laughing all over the cookbook because the first recipe listed serves 4.  Jokes on you, editors.  I turn the page.  I happen across a salmon recipe that is served with an orange glaze and decide that the meal is easy and suits my fancy.  But requires a trip to the supermarket.

Boyfriend and I venture out to the grocery store armed with a list of the ingredients we need for dinner as well as the next 3 days of food.  That's all.  I'll go back Sunday night to shop for the rest of the week. I am determined to win this fight against produce going bad.  

I'd like to pause here because I've had a request from one of my readers that I give my boyfriend a name.  From now on, he will be called Michael Jordan.  He picked this name on his own.  He's very creative.  And original.  I'm just going to call him MJ. 

So MJ and I got back from the store and I whipped up some fabulous salmon, served with spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes in a orange glaze.  Now the orange glaze was exceptionally delicious, but was definitely not the right consistency.  The editors suggest the glaze be used on any chicken or fish dish, so I will certainly be trying this again.

I found it very interesting that the orange glaze was made with Smuckers Low Sugar Orange Marmalade - not the Sugar-Free kind. I figured out that the sugar free kind is loaded with artifical crap (i.e. Splenda) that the clean eating editors think are bad for you.  I totally get you, editors. 

So tomorrow I'm back on track with my meal plans.  My apologies for my boring eating life today.  Tomorrow brings more misproportioned embarrassing foods, so get excited.

Shoutout to whoever is reading this blog in Germany. I wonder how you say cottage cheese in German.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Days 9 and 10


Today is a full day of totally, 100% eating outside my own house.  I traveled another hour to spend the day with my brother Jason and his wife Bethany.  I ate a quick breakfast on the go - a slice of whole wheat bread with 1 tablespoon almond butter and 1 banana.   This would definitely be approved by the editors of Clean Eating.  

When I arrived at my brother's house he wanted to go out for lunch at his favorite Mexican place.  I was hesitant to agree until he told me there's a 2-for-1 deal on lunches.  Win.  Nothing beats a cheap meal.

When the bowl of chips and salsa were placed in front of me I was like one of Pavlov's dogs.  I sat in agony watching Jason devour the chips.  I caved and ate 4 chips with salsa.  And I even tried to wipe the salt off them... if that counts for anything.  For my actual meal I was not a good, healthy eater.  I had a mini-veggie burrito (with broccoli, onions, beans, cheese) and a cheesy something-or-other mexican dish.  I did leave most of the beans and rice on my plate and did NOT order a margarita! 

When Bethany came home from work I made Jason and Bethany try my almond butter cookies.  They both enjoyed them and I left a few for them to snack on in the upcoming week.  I ate one as well, so I guess that counts as snack 2.

For dinner I was much better - Bethany was nice enough to make a homemade meal, which totally makes up for my horrible lunch and dinner from the night before.  Bethany made ground turkey with sauteed onions, whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce.  It was so good!  I limited myself to a small helping and made a mental note of the recipe so that I could cook the meal for myself at home.  My favorite part about visiting Jason and Bethany was that they had a scale that weighed the food we were making so it was really easy to portion out how much meat, etc. to make!   I will have to buy one of those for my own home and avoid eyeballing the measuring cup and doing my own math for the fishman.  They seem to be pretty reasonably priced at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  

I thanked Jason and Bethany for dinner, left them some almond butter cookies, and headed back to our friend's place an hour away.  When I arrived, I was sad to hear they hadn't eaten dinner yet and they were on their way out.  We went to this place known for burgers and I felt compelled to have some type of food in front of me so I didn't just eat my boyfriend's french fries.  I ordered a plain side salad - lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots.  Balsamic vinaigrette on the side.  I maybe ate half the salad, but it kept me sidetracked from eating too many french fries or tasting the hamburgers.  Meanwhile, they were downing beers.  I know that I can't have mexican AND beer in the same day, so I resort back to my vodka gimlet.  

Today I probably didn't lose any weight.  In fact I probably made zero or backwards progress.  Ugh I'm going to need new ski pants.

DAY 10

Before we head back home, we go out to breakfast with our friends to say goodbye.  The eggs benedict are recommended to me, but knowing that Hollandaise sauce is probably not on the top 100 list of healthy choices to make, I created my own egg-white omelette with onions, green peppers, cheddar cheese, and 1/2 slice of whole wheat toast.  

We say goodbye and then we were back on the road, ending our mid-week trip.  But first, another 6 hour car trip to get through.  I snacked on 10 cocoa roast almonds.
Jason suggested I try these and they are awesome.  Much tastier than just a regular boring old almond.  According to the Livstrong website, they are really not that bad for you and can make a good snack.  I also had 1/2 of a banana.  

For lunch we were set on not eating greasy, gross, rest stop food.  I held off having to pee for over an hour so that we could find a rest stop that had some type of sandwich place where I could buy a healthier sandwich on whole wheat bread.  After we passed 14 different rest stops, we finally found the holy grail: Quiznos.  We pull over and I sprint inside to use the bathroom. Much to my dismay, Quiznos is closed.  
The smoothie place is closed.  
Even the pizza place is closed.  
What's open?  
Burger King.  @$!*%!@$&* 

I insist that we leave the rest stop without food.  Heck, I have enough snacks packed to feed a very small country.  I refuse to eat the fried Burger King "food."  My boyfriend is understanding and we get back in the car.  He eats a clementine to prevent starvation and/or hating my guts for being picky about our lunch.  Luckily, the next exit had a huge sign indicating they were the proud home of Subway.  The true holy grail.  
Thanks to Jared's Subway diet, Subway makes it so easy to figure out what's healthy and what's pretending to be healthy but is really a fatty, lonely food item that just doesn't want to get picked last for gym class.  Not this time Mr. Mayonnaise.  I order a 310 cal turkey sandwich and I'm pumped.  I'm back on track to being a healthy superstar.

We get back home to our apartment and each enjoy an afternoon snack of 1 slice of whole wheat bread with 1 tablespoon almond butter.  Delicious and super easy to make.  

Now dinner.  You thought I was being really good right?  Did I convince you my bad eating habits from the previous days were over?  If so I am a good magician.  Watch out Harry Houdini.  

For dinner my boyfriend and I went out to celebrate a number of very important things that required a very nice celebration.  Life is full of celebrations and I will continue to celebrate happy things.  This means I had a 1 glass of white wine.  For an appetizer I had 3 steamed vegetable dumplings.  For the main meal I had sauteed chicken with vegetables (onions, peppers, zucchini) and a little bit of white rice and egg.  I'll have to remember to ask if they have brown rice if we go back to the same restaurant.  The meal also came with assorted side dishes - bites of eggplant, broccoli, sprouts and potatoes.  I tried to avoid eating too much rice and focus on the veggies.  The meal was probably not too unhealthy, but the portion sizes were way bigger than what Clean Eating would tell me to eat for a week!  

Oh and dessert.  I had some gelato.  It was very very good.  I was very very bad.  Tomorrow I NEED to go back to the gym.  I had a great mini vacation visiting friends and family and celebrating happy occasions, but I'm glad to be home so I can get back on track...
...and so can my zipper.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 8

I got on the scale today.  I hadn't been weighing myself all week and I think I'm down at least 2 pounds.  I say at least 2 because I didn't really record my starting weight, so I'm trying to remember the last weight that I saw.  I'm please with this success and vow not to weigh myself again until next Monday morning.

Today (and this week really) I'm not following their meal plan because we're traveling and I won't be able to follow their full days until likely this Friday, and it's only Monday.    So I've created my own meal plan...

Breakfast: 2 egg whites, mushrooms, 2 tablespoons low fat cheese
I opted for this breakfast because I wanted to use up the stuff we already had around the house.  I've definitely going to make an effort to use up leftovers from now on - following their food plan to a T will be a waste of food and money.  You don't control me, clean eating editors!  

Snack 1: approximately 1.5 ounces smoked salmon, 2 whole wheat crackers
What better way to use up the remaining smoked salmon that I opened yesterday than to eat the rest of it today?  I cut yesterday's snack in half and left out the avocado.  It was delish and I'm pleased with my selection.

And then we left on our road trip up to see our newly engaged friends.  Estimated time in the car: 12 hours.  
Number of hours away from home: 48
Before we left I packed a huge beach bag full of non-perishable snacks portioned out in the correct "snack" sized bags.  I packed whole wheat crackers, granola, clementines, bananas, apples, whole wheat bread, almond butter, etc. And almond butter cookies (half came with me, half went to the freezer).  I also timed our trip so that I would be eating lunch in the car so I would have something more substantive to eat to prevent me from snacking too much.

Lunch: 2 ounces deli turkey breast, 1 slice tomato, 1/4 avocado on 2 slices of whole wheat bread
Another great use of leftovers - I finished up all the turkey and avocado that we had, and then cut up the rest of the tomato as a bonus snack in the car.  I wrapped each half of the sandwich separately and tried to space out the distance in the car so I had something good and filling waiting for me to eat.

Snack 2: 1 apple, cut up veggies (carrots and peppers) with homemade hummus 
I somehow only snacked on one apple in the car!  6 hours and only 1 apple consumed!  I am thrilled, because I know it's going to be hard to continue eating healthy when we arrive at our friend's house.  

Much to my delight, when we did arrive, my friend made us some homemade hummus and cut up some fresh veggies for us.  This was a nice treat and a great snack to welcome us.  And it was yummy.

Dinner: pizza.
Sigh.  My avoidance of greasy, fattening, unhealthy foods came to a crashing halt tonight.  Our friends insisted on taking us to the best pizza place in town.  When I inquired about healthier options, I was told there really weren't any.  So pizza it is.  Luckily the pizza was thin crust so each piece was smaller than a usual slice of pizza, but probably no healthier.  I'm hoping that I saved enough calories that this dinner didn't totally kill what I've been working for.  But I am trying to live a normal life and normal people eat pizza.  When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.  When life hands you pizza, eat it (in moderation).  

Week 1, Sunday (Day 7)

Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal with 1/2 cup low fat milk, 1/2 cup raspberries; 3 egg whites
I was running late this morning, so I didn't have time to make the egg whites for breakfast.  I scarfed down the oatmeal and raspberries and ran out the door.    If I had to rank the breakfasts that I've had this week, Wednesday's breakfast wrap would be #1 and Thursday's cottage cheese/cantaloupe would be #7.  But I don't have to rank them, so I won't.  

Snack 1: 3 ounces smoked salmon, 4 whole wheat crackers, 1/2 avocado
This is by far my favorite snack that I've had so far this week.  It was a lot of food and it was really good.  Some friends I was with even commented that my snack looked so good and they wanted to have some.  Nay, friends, these snacks are for me and me alone.  I didn't bring any extra calories to share with you.

Lunch: 1 cup edamame, 1/2 cup brown rice, 2 plums
I would define this lunch as awkward.  Is edamame and brown rice really a "meal"??  I take two bites and then make the executive decision to add in my missing 3 egg whites from breakfast to make another quasi-"fried" rice meal. Except without any soy sauce or asian flavoring it tastes nothing like fried rice.  Plums are out of season and not available in the grocery store, so I skipped this part of the meal.  It's football sunday - I'm sure I'll make up for it later.  
As I ate my awkward meal, my boyfriend took out every leftover we had and made them into a superlunch.  Beef, chicken, eggplant, rice.  Man it looked good.  Especially compared with my pathetic edamame/egg/rice mixture.  I thanked him for not wasting our leftovers and plowed ahead with my meal. 

Snack 2: 3/4 cup kefir, 1/2 cup sliced red grapes and 1 kiwi
I FOUND KEFIR!!!!!!! It was right in the dairy section next to the yogurt. 
I bought the blueberry flavor - but it also comes in plain and strawberry.  It was SO good!  I would definitely replace every morning that I'm supposed to have a  smoothie with this liquid yogurt.  Again, I skipped the (seeded) grapes and kiwi because I knew I would be tempted by junk food when watching football.

Dinner: Spice Roasted Vegetables; 4 ounces baked chicken
Dinner was supposed to be some awkward root vegetable meal with a minimal amount of chicken.  
Instead, I sat watching football surrounded by many temptations: Tostitos, salsa, guacamole (out of a bag, definitely not homemade), pretzel twists, sunchips, carrots, hummus, and butterfingers.  On a normal sunday, I probably would have finished 13 mini butterfingers and then have 59 chips with salsa.  But not today!  Today I was on good behavior and had a minimal amount of snacks: about 4 carrots with hummus and maybe 5 chips with the not-as-good-as-my-own-guacamole.
For dinner I got a salad from Potbellys.  I checked the calories online when I got home and was really sad to figure out that getting their "Skinny" turkey sandwich, or even their Regular sandwich would have been less calories than the salad.  However, I figured with the upcoming travel this week I'd be eating plenty of turkey sandwiches and I honestly don't think I'm ready to order a turkey sandwich without mayo.  
Then came dessert.  We were offered some type of pudding/oreo mixture and brownies.  Boyfriend swooped in and saved the day, offering to "share" a dessert with me.  This really means that I have one bite and then he eats the rest and everyone is happy.  I promised myself an almond butter cookie when i got home to reward my good behavior for the evening, but I know the reward is really not having the extra cookie calories, so I just wrote this blog and went to bed.  

One week in.  I feel pretty successful and wonder if the scale (or ski pants) will show any change from just this week.  Either way, I'm ready to continue on this journey for week 2.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 1, Saturday (Day 6)

Breakfast: Smoothie and a handful of almonds
Smoothie again?  I still don't have any yogurt.  And I still don't like smoothies.  

Replacement breakfast:  Week 2's Monday breakfast: 1 whole wheat English muffin, 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, 1 banana

Yum!  This was a personal favorite breakfast of mine from even before I started this meal plan.  I think this was a fair substitution for today's smoothie.  But who's really going to tell me I'm doing this wrong, right?

Snack 1: 4 dried apricots, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup granola
Naw.  I don't do dried fruit.  And cottage cheese?  I only bought one portion that I ate already, so that's a no.  Replacement: low fat string cheese.  Yum.  I also ate my granola, which tasted good and lasted a while.  Almost like eating a bowl of M&Ms.  Almost.  

Lunch: Whole wheat wrap with tofu, low sodium black beans, low sodium salsa, 1/2 oz jalapeno cheese
This was a pretty good lunch.  I couldn't find jalapeno cheese in the store, so I made the smart decision to get a single, 1 ounce pepperjack cheese stick.  Hooray for not having extra food rotting away in the fridge!  One small victory for mankind this week.
I made a major upgrade to this dish though.  I have no idea how to purchase, cook, or eat tofu, so I made the executive decision to nix the tofu and replace it with mushrooms (3 calories per ounce) and 2 slices of cooked eggplant (left over from lunch earlier this week).  

Snack 2: skipped
I skipped this afternoon's snack because we are having some friends over tonight and I know I will be snacking later and consuming alcoholic calories.  I was trying to make a proactive good decision before my impending bad decision.

Dinner: Easy and Elegant Salmon with fennel, carrots, and 1 pear
Easy and Elegant?  Come on.  Here are 4 reasons why I can't make this dinner:
1) That salmon you made me buy on Sunday?  Well now it's been 6 days and that salmon has gone bad.  Thanks for wasting my money.
2) Fennel?  I don't know what that is.  I don't really want to go to the store again.  Please don't make me
3) I'm supposed to make this on parchment paper?  When was I supposed to get that?  That wasn't on my shopping list.  Jerk.
4) A pear?  You want me to eat that pear I threw out yesterday because it was rotting?  No dice.

So no go on the salmon.  It does sound really good and I do plan on trying it, but instead we ate leftover "fried" rice.  My boyfriend added the left over beef to make his meal twice as yummy and filling as mine.  

Bonus Snack: Guacamole and home made pita chips
I decided to serve homemade guacamole - made from avocados, onions, tomatoes, and lime juice.  I love guacamole, and it's made from all natural ingredients, which has to be better for me than eating cookies.  I served chips with them, and also made my own chips.  We cut up some whole wheat pita and  baked them for a few minutes in the oven.  Instant, yummy, healthier chip.  

My boyfriend also wanted to serve cookies, but I asked him not to buy them, knowing that I would be unable to resist and we'd then have them sitting around the house, taunting me.  Calling my name.  Demanding that I eat them all immediately.  

I only had sangria to drink, and I really don't know if it was healthy or sugary at all.  This is probably the biggest "cheating" I have done.  But it's only cheating if this were a diet, which it isn't.  So there.

Week 2 Preview:
This next week is going to be challenging.  I will not be home for dinner until next Friday, and will be traveling as well.  Hopefully I can try to eat my healthy snacks and meals as much as possible.  I'm not upset about this glitch in my meal plan because I want to be able to live my usual life.  I want this type of life style to work for me - it's not a crash course diet like some other people try and then can't realistically follow because they can only eat oatmeal.  That could never work for me.
Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Week 1, Friday (Day 5)

I want to start by saying I can't believe how many hits I've gotten over the past 24 hours.  I'm glad to be promoting a healthy, clean lifestyle.  Feel free to comment or follow my blog and try stuff out on your own.

Breakfast: 1 oz ham, 2 egg whites, 1 Tablespoon Mexican Cheese blend; 1 slice rye toast; 6 oz orange juice

I really enjoy having eggs for breakfast.  I never really cooked breakfast before this new meal plan, but cooking up liquid egg whites is so fast and easy.  This morning I made an egg white omelet - using 2 tablespoons of cheese and no ham.  I ate it on the toasted pumpernickel rye bread as an open-faced sandwich.  Pretty good start to the day.   Except I never bought orange juice.  I've seriously gone to the grocery store 7 times now.  Seven!  For 5 days of food.  I refuse to go an 8th time just for orange juice.  I really need to re-do the shopping for week 2.  I replaced the orange juice with non-fat milk.  No harm, no foul.

Snack 1: 1 Banana, 2 Tablespoons almond butter (Friday's Snack 2)

The almond butter was calling my name, so I replaced today's snack with Friday's snack.  I also haven't had a banana all week.  This snack was delicious - but it is so hard to eat almond butter without having a glass of milk!  
By the way, I haven't mentioned that this whole time I've only been drinking water unless otherwise indicated.  That's right - I haven't had any coffee this week! (Except my vanilla frap on Monday, but is that really coffee?)

Lunch: Turkey Sandwich (3 oz turkey, 1 slice tomato, 1 oz jarlsberg cheese, 1/8 avocado, 2 slices wheat bread); apple; 1 tablespoon natural almond butter

Today I went to a gym class during lunch, which gave me extra energy to get through the day - and postponed when I ate each meal/snack, which left me less hungry come dinner time.

I was so excited to finally eat a "normal" lunch!  A normal lunch that required my 7th trip to the grocery store to get another avocado.  I replaced the slice of cheese with another 1/8 of avocado.  I love avocado and find that it completes a sandwich very well and you don't even need a condiment to make it taste good!  I also ate an apple, but since I had almond butter for my snack, I replace it with..... you guessed it... an almond butter cookie.  No surprise there.  I'm a sucker for cookies and will do whatever possible to add them into my meals.

Snack 2: 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt; 1 cup sliced strawberries

Tricked me again, Clean Eating Editors.  You told me to get low-fat plain yogurt for this week, and then on Monday you made me put it all in a smoothie.  There is no yogurt left to eat today.  I swap it out for my remaining Greek Yogurt.  I added sliced strawberries and the 5 leftover raspberries I hadn't eaten yet.  They really don't taste that good with the greek yogurt.  I guess I just don't like greek yogurt that much.  Oh well.

Dinner: Light and Healthy Chicken "Fried" Rice; Coconut Chai Chocolate Cake (Thursday's Dinner) 

I was very excited for this dinner - essentially its a lot of veggies in a home made "fried" rice that isn't fried.  You make the brown rice first, and then being the intelligent, planning woman that I am, I scooped out the 1/2 cup rice that I will need for lunch on Sunday.  My boyfriend kindly labeled it "Julie's little b!tch cup of rice."  Thanks for rubbing it in, dear.  
I cooked up broccoli, onion, peas, carrots, red pepper, scallions, and zucchini.  We need a bigger wok!  The recipe says it makes 8 bowls, and even though there are only two of us, I don't like cutting down veggies, so I made it all.  Also, my produce is going bad.  It was now or never, so I picked now.  
You cook the chicken, then cook all the veggies, add the rice and then push them aside to cook up some eggs to get that "fried" rice taste.  Did I mention we need a bigger wok?  

The final product looked - and tasted - delicious.  It was hard to resist taking more than 1/8th of the dish, so I ended up eating another spoonful.  Boyfriend devoured at least 3 servings.  But then he did ALL the dishes, so I instantly forgave him.  I mean there were a lot of dishes.  Did I mention I have the best boyfriend?  I think a huge part of living a healthy lifestyle is having a great support system.  I don't think I would have made it past the original shopping list if my boyfriend wasn't encouraging and supportive - and eating this stuff with me.  If you are thinking about trying this out, make sure you have some support - even if that's an online blog!  But seriously, thank you boyfriend!  

Finally, tonight's meal calls for dessert.  But I'm living a normal lifestyle, so tonight we're meeting friends out at a bar.  I skip the dessert in lieu of my pending alcohol calories.

At the bar everyone ordered beer.  But not I!  I ordered Vodka Gimlet - vodka on the rocks with a splash of rose's lime juice.  I got compliments on my sophisticated "adult" order.  I can't seem to locate a good calorie counter online to tell you how many calories that is - but I think the vodka is 64 and the lime juice is 13.  Not too shabby.  When we left the bar some people wanted to get pizza.  I made the smart choice and just went home.  I'm really proud of myself for being able to go out and keep making healthy choices.  Maybe this won't be too bad after all.  

Friday, January 21, 2011

Week 1, Thursday (Day 4)

Day 4!  I've survived 3 days of starvation and ready to plunder forwards in my meal plan adventure.  I've really decided to make this meal plan a choose your own adventure type book (a personal favorite from when I was a kid).    Since it's not a diet, I feel like I'm entitled to some personal leeway here.  It's not technically cheating because the editors have suggested certain foods for the week, and all my foods are coming from this plan.

Breakfast:  1 cup cubed cantaloupe, 3/4 cup 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 cup Kashi granola 

Alright today I'm going to do it.  I'm going to eat cottage cheese.  I've named my frickin blog after the food, I should at least try it, right?  I went ahead and bought the single serving size cottage cheese that comes with fruit on the side.  I've selected blueberries because they are a personal favorite yet are completely lacking from this week's meal plan.  Fingers crossed they show up next week.  

I open the package and try to resist the urge to vomit.  I quickly take 6 bites of cantaloupe.  
*****Shout out to my awesome boyfriend who conquered the cantaloupe dissection for me this morning, like a knight slaying a dragon for his princess. ****
Ok back to the curdled milk in front of me.  Am I really going to eat this?  I'm a brave 20-something, I'm better than this.  

First bite.  

Omg I like cottage cheese.  No, like is a strong word.  I don't mind cottage cheese.  It actually tastes like cheese.  Who woulda thunk?  But why, producers of the cottage cheese and fruit package, do you think cheese goes with blueberries?  What an awful combination.  Sounds like something a pregnant woman would request, and that is certainly not me.  No sir.  

Despite the fact that I don't mind the cottage cheese, it's still a weird sensation to eat this clumpy cheese product, so I only get through half.  No cinnamon.  What is that supposed to go on?  Cinnamon and cheese sounds much, much worse than blueberries and cheese.  What is wrong with you people?

Oh and that Kashi granola?  Forgot to buy it.  Maybe that will be on my 6th shopping trip.  

Snack 1: 1 low-fat string cheese, 1 orange (clementine), 1 oz tuna (borrowed from Friday)

Hooray for a snack that doesn't make me self-conscious when I eat it at work!  Well, except for the tuna, which I left out.  How can you bring 1 oz of tuna to work anyway?  The smell is not worth the effort or the lack of substance from 1 bite of tuna.  Minus the tuna, kudos to you Clean Eating editors!

Lunch: Curried Carrot Soup; 1 handful of unsalted almonds

WHAT?  You have GOT to be kidding me?  Now you want me to make SOUP?  On a Thursday?  I refuse.  Who has time for that?  Fooled me once, shame on you, fooled me twice shame on me.  Not this time, editors, today I will eat your left over Caponata Sandwich since you had me make too much yesterday.  HA!  Take that!

The sandwich was good.  

Snack 2: 1 cup edamame, 1 kiwi

A full cup of edamame is a TON of food.  Really puts Monday's almond bag to shame.  My bag of edamame is like a very, very well-endowed man, and my almonds are like a toddler.  You get the picture.  And you can imagine how cocky I am with my bag of edamame, since size does matter.  It literally takes me over and hour to eat this edamame at work.  Good thing my boss never walked by (he'd probably be jealous at the size of my edamame).  

Kiwi?  Nope.  That's on the "I never finished the grocery shopping" list.  Replacement?  1/2 avocado.  Because my produce is going bad!!  I sent the other half of the avocado with my boyfriend to work.  Along with a bag of red peppers, an apple, a banana, a clementine, and tomato wedges.  Yes, I am jealous that he gets more snacks in one day than I get for the week.  

Dinner: Shrimp with Zucchini and Couscous; Egg Custard with Fresh Peaches (Friday's dinner)

TRICKED YOU!  We really went out to eat.  Let's be honest - no one stays home for dinner for 28 days in a row.  The reality of this meal plan is that I need to be able to live a normal life.  Tonight it was necessary to go out to dinner, so we did.  But we were still good.  Here's what I really ate:

Dinner for Real: Applebees' 550 Calorie Teriyaki Shrimp Pasta

Applebees has this fabulous new menu of all 550 calorie (or less) items.  I insisted this be the restaurant we went to because I knew I could still have a low-cal dinner.  I  selected the Teriyaki Shrimp Pasta and my boyfriend went with the Grilled Dijon Chicken and Portabellos.

I liked the shrimp dish, but I wish the veggies were cooked.  My boyfriend said his chicken dish was also good.  I also "splurged" and got an Applebees Skinny Bee Margarita - only 100 Calories!  It really tastes the same as my ever-loved "fat" margarita, and I didn't feel bad drinking it either!

So today I learned that I can eat cottage cheese and I can eat out - and drink out - and still eat well.  I hope that I can find more restaurants that also have skinny options.  And I hope that I don't gag next time I see cottage cheese.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Week 1, Tuesday (Day 3)

My produce is going bad.  I didn't realize when I was trying to pre-plan my shopping week on Sunday that all the nice, fresh stuff I was buying would be wrinkly and smelly before I was required to eat it.  Considering I have made 4 separate trips to the supermarket to buy more ingredients this week, I definitely should have held off on the produce.  Next week I'm only going to buy 2 days in advance.  

Breakfast: Oatmeal with cinnamon, low fat milk, 1 cut up apple

Sigh.  I'm not an oatmeal fan.  I feel like I start every post that way.  Maybe I am a picky eater.  I suck it up though, for the greater good of science, and eat the oatmeal.  Almost all of it.  Okay more like half but there's really no flavor in the whole bowl.   I threw some apple pieces into the bowl, but really apples taste better not cut up (and take a whole lot less effort too).  I barely eat half of the bowl.  This is going to be a long day.

Snack 1: 1/2 cup raspberries, 1 oz spreadable cheese

Alright I get the raspberry thing, but do people really eat spreadable cheese straight up?  Without putting it on anything?  I'm not one of those people.  I bring 2 whole wheat crackers (the kind that actually tastes like a cracker) to work and eat my cheese that way.  I decide the extra 30 calories are worth it.

Lunch: Sandwich with eggplant, onions, peppers, and tomatoes on whole wheat roll with goat cheese.

You've got to be kidding me.  When I saw this listed on the meal plan today I was so excited because it looked so good.  This morning I cursed loudly as I saw how long the prep time was to cook up all the veggies and prepare this sandwich.  I really should have thought twice about making cookies this morning - I should have been making lunch!  I flip to page 84 where the recipe is supposed to be and it's not there.  Typo.  C'mon editors, page numbers are so easy!  I flip to page 24 to find the real recipe and, low and behold, the recipe serves 4.  Great.  I do the quick math and realize that not only is my produce now old, but I have 3/4 of an eggplant that is totally useless, since it's not used anywhere else this weeks meal plan.  1 hour later I've made my meal, which still feeds two people even though I cut down the quantity.  I was only able to eat half of my sandwich before a 12:45 meeting, and at exactly 1:30pm my stomach started to growl.  Am I always going to be hungry?
I finished up the sandwich after the meeting and I really did enjoy it.  But the amount of time it took this morning was totally not worth it.

Snack 2: 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1 nectarine

I swapped out my nectarine for a clementine, which is the same thing as far as I'm concerned.  I also thought I was supposed to bring cottage cheese for my snack (which was totally unacceptable) so I replaced the yogurt with an almond butter cookie.  I don't regret this decision, but by 2:07pm, my snacks were gone and I was starving.  

Snack 3: Low Fat String Cheese

This was not part of the meal plan.  I cheated again.  But it was 4:36 and my stomach was so loud that my coworkers were starting to stare.  As soon as I got home I had a string cheese.  I'm a little cheater short and stout.  Here is my (love)handle, here is my spout.

Dinner: Chinese 5 Spice Beef and Bell Peppers (Wednesday's dinner)

I've never cooked red meat before, and this was much easier than I thought it would be.  This recipe was fast and simple, and tasted good, considering I left out the Chinese 5 Spice for which the dish was named.   I ended up quadrupling the amount of peppers the recipe required because nothing's better than filling up on a 7 calorie food.  

Dessert: Almond butter cookie

Gosh I cheated a lot today.  I went to the gym after work so I felt justified in my extra calorie intake.  Honestly this last cookie was only so my boyfriend could taste our new go-to dessert.  He was a fan, but disappointed when I informed him the authors don't recommend you drink milk with the cookies because it takes away from any health benefits you get from dark chocolate.  He drank milk anyway.

Overall I probably had closer to 1800 calories today.  I hope the Clean Eating gods aren't cursing me for expanding the meal plan today. Sorry, Clean Eating gods.  I'll try better tomorrow. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This morning I woke up early to make the Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were so easy to make, I was convinced I did something wrong.  The recipe calls for Almond Butter, Sucanat, sea salt, 1 egg, baking soda and dark chocolate (that is at least 70% cocoa or greater).

Well, I don't know what sucanat is.  Add that to my list of unknowns.  There's an explanation in the book the Sucanat is some type of cane sugar.  Well, that's nice, but my grocery store doesn't carry it.  I did find some organic sugar that seemed to fit the same description of Sucanat, so I used that.  

The recipe also requests (I say requests because I really don't like to follow recipes) that you use a dark chocolate bar and cut it up.  I don't have time to spend chopping up a dark chocolate bar, so I opted to buy chocolate chips that met the same requirements.  Except, once again, my grocery store doesn't carry dark chocolate with 70% cocoa.  I settled for 65% and decided that was close enough.

Once the cookies cooled, I resisted approximately 23 seconds before I had to try one (who cares if it wasn't even 9am??).  Let me be frank: these are NOT chocolate chip cookies, that's for sure.  But they were still pretty good and I'm sure the remaining 23 cookies will be devoured in place of the cottage cheese snacks I'm supposed to be eating.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Week 1, Wednesday (Day 2)

Because I only did half my shopping on day 1, I realize I don't have enough ingredients to eat my Tuesday meal, so I make the executive decision to go out of order.  

Breakfast: Breakfast Wrap (egg whites, 2 oz swiss cheese, diced scallion, diced tomatoes in a whole wheat tortilla), 1/2 cup red grapes

Yum!  The breakfast wrap was great and very filling.  I felt really pathetic only eating 10 grapes.  My stupid boyfriend bought grapes with seeds so I had to cut those out too.  Note to self: never let him do the shopping.

Snack 1: 1 slice whole wheat toast, 1 tbl almond butter

Seriously?  How am I supposed to bring toast to work?  I opt not to toast the bread and pre-spread it with the almond butter to make it easier to travel.  I've never had almond butter before and I have to say that I am a huge fan.  No complaints here.

Lunch: Tomato-Tuna Salad (tomato, arugula, red onion, basil, chickpeas, 3 ounces tuna, oil and balsamic vinegar); 1/2 cup sliced strawberries; 3 Ryvita crackers

This was a pretty great salad and much bigger than a salad I would typically make for myself.  I used to only eat tuna if it was swimming in mayo, but it still tasted good with the dressing.  The basil was a nice touch.  Well done, cookbook authors.  Again, I felt silly with my half-cup up fruit that takes up 1/8 of the baggy.  No one seems to notice.  

What is a Ryvita cracker?  Add this to my list of ridiculous foods that I have never heard of.  #1 Kefir, #2 Ryvita crackers.

Snack 2: 8 carrot sticks, 1/4 cup hummus, 4 whole wheat crackers

1/4 of a cup of hummus is actually way more hummus than I thought it would be.  The authors don't specify what kind of hummus, so I go with the pine-nut flavor.  I don't have enough carrots to consume all the hummus so I resort to double dipping.  Good thing I'm not sharing with my coworker today.

I eat some more of those shortbread cookie-like crackers.  I really need to get other ones.

Dinner: Sauteed Halibut with Artichoke Hearts, Cherry Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans; Mixed Berry Crisp with Date Oat Streusel

This is actually the dinner listed for Tuesday but I make up my own rules.  The bean/artichoke/tomato mixture was pretty good.  The grocery store doesn't carry halibut, so we made tilapia instead.  The recipe says I'm supposed to have 4 ounces of fish.  When purchasing the fish, I requested 4 ounce filets from the fishman behind the counter.  He informed me that the fish only come in one size and the scale was only in pounds.  I did the conversion for him and silently cursed stupid people.  

Tonight was supposed to come with dessert, but you can add dried dates to the list of foods I despise.  I was going to make the almond butter chocolate chip cookie recipe from the cookbook, but I got inspired to write this blog instead.  Maybe tomorrow I will finally satisfy my cookie craving.

Today I consumed around 1500 calories.  I went to the gym, so I probably should have eaten more.  I guess if I wake up starving in the middle of the night I can have a grape or two.

Week 1, Monday (Day 1)

I wake up, excited for my new plan and ready to try out these meals.  Each day gives you foods to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks.  Here we go.

Breakfast: Peach Yogurt Smoothie, 4 egg whites, 1 whole-wheat English muffin.

I've never been a smoothie fan, and today was no exception.  I tried to drink half of my smoothie, quit, and elected to go for a Starbucks Vanilla Frappachino instead.  Great, I'm already cheating on my meal plan and it's not even 9am. The egg whites and english muffins are more successful, except I can't possibly finish all my eggs and probably only eat 2 of them.  
My boyfriend gladly finishes my smoothie and eggs.  
I pack up the rest of my day's snacks and head to work.

Snack 1: 1 apple with 1 handful of unsalted almonds, 1/2 cup low-fat Greek Yogurt.

Hard to really go wrong here.  I noisily munch on my apple and hope to not disturb those around me.  I'm pretty shy when it's time for the almonds: I pull out my bag of a measly 12 almonds and hope no one notices.  I almost cry when the girl in the cube next to me takes out a package of almonds that has at least 50 in the bag.  I feel like I'm on candid camera.  I open up my greek yogurt and it's gross.  I cheat and add my afternoon snack (clementine) to the yogurt to mask the taste.  A friend stops by and asks for some clementine.  I kindly oblige, but secretly curse him for eating one of my limited food items for the day.

Lunch: Roasted Red Pepper and Cucumber Tea Sandwich on Pumpernickel Rye, 1 celery stalk, 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter.

I'm embarrassed to eat my sandwich and wait till all my co-workers are away so no one sees me eating an open-face sandwich with cucumbers, roasted red peppers, and spreadable cheese.  I hate celery so I forego that "snack".  Do people really think celery tastes good?  Also, this meal plan was clearly not written for a working woman.  How am I supposed to commute with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter??  Since I don't have any celery as a vehicle for eating the peanut butter, I postpone the peanut butter for my afternoon snack.

Snack 2: 1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese, 1 sliced nectarine, 8 whole-wheat crackers

Ew.  I will not eat cottage cheese.  Since I already ate my clementine, I decide to coat my whole wheat crackers with peanut butter and call that my snack.  I know right away that I probably didn't buy the crackers intended by the meal plan because they actually taste good - kind of like shortbread cookies.  I'll have to remember to buy some yuckier tasting ones that the cookbook authors would approve.

Dinner: 4 oz baked chicken breast, 1 cup steamed cauliflower, 1 medium sweet potato with 1 tbsp whole-grain mustard.

Despite the small quantity of chicken, I was actually pretty happy with this meal. I seasoned the chicken with some of my favorite spices, and used the mustard on everything.  I was only a little sad when my boyfriend had three times as much chicken as I did.  

I'd call this day a success.  The meal plan says I only had 1549 calories, and that was assuming I ate all their yucky cottage cheese.  All I want is a chocolate chip cookie.

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