Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Recipe: New Orleans BBQ Shrimp with Crispy Polenta

Things are finally getting back to normal around here after the weekend's weird events. John is feeling so much better, but I've insisted that he take a couple of days off from work just to rest.

I felt like cooking a good meal for him tonight, and this recipe is so good and REALLY easy. The polenta portion of the meal is literally "slice and sautee". I found it at Whole Foods weekend before last. I'm sure this is just what all the Italian grandmothers use. ;)
The shrimp recipe has quite a few ingredients, but they are easy to throw together.
Here's what it looks like before going into the oven:

My plate:
 I got the recipe from....where else? Pinterest. But the original came from Epicurious.com....one of my favorites. Here's a link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spicy-Baked-Shrimp-1428

Nutrition stats for a fourth of the recipe with 2 polenta cakes:
Calories: 331
Total Fat: 8g
Protein: 19g

I hope everyone is having a great week! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 246
Today's weight: 244
Total loss: 57 pounds

Man…where to begin? Remind me not to complain about the little things in life ever again, will you? Because I've just been given a huge wake up call.

So yesterday afternoon around 2pm… I was about to begin my 7th period class when I got a call from my husband John. It's rare that he calls me during the day, so I got them started on an activity and snuck out in the hall to listen to his voicemail. He was calling to tell me that he thought he was passing a kidney stone. No big deal, I thought…we've been down this road before. In fact, he had a major episode the morning I came home from the hospital after having lap band surgery. That's a whole other, crazy story. Yesterday afternoon when the pain started to happen, he called his regular physician, but found out that he was out of town all week. He decided to head to the local hospital, because they had all of his history from the June episode...CT scans and such.

After work, I headed there to meet him. It's about a five minute drive from my school. I got there just as the doctor was coming in to tell him what he had found. It turned out that it was not a kidney stone at all. His white blood cell count was sky high, and he had a severe kidney infection that was running a real danger of causing him to become septic. I should probably also point out that John doesn't feel pain like a normal person. I was sitting there wondering how this infection has gotten so bad so quickly. Long story short, they admitted him to the hospital and began pumping him full of fluids and IV antibiotics. Now it's Saturday afternoon, and the doctor has advised him that he will probably be staying for one more night, possibly two. His fever has come down some, but he still feels awful.

After all of this, posting about my weight seems like an afterthought, but I ended up losing 2 pounds this week. All of that fretting I was doing earlier in the week was unnecessary, it seems. I was bumming myself out for NO reason. Lesson learned, Universe.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

And then there was that one time...

that I was having sort of a crappy week, and some snazzy new kicks actually DID make me feel better. Retail therapy is a real thing, people.

Treat. Yo'. Self.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Trusting the Process

Well...go figure. Since I announced my "60 pounds by my five month bandiversary goal", the scale has not budged one iota. Still sitting at 246 like I was on Saturday morning. So I'm left to seek out some non-scale victories this week. Because I don't fly on planes too often, this one is kinda like my version of the "airplane seat belt extension".  :)

See this desk right here?
This desk has been my nemesis for a while. Because I couldn't fit into it. At all. We have a lot of impromptu meetings around my school in different classrooms, and I always dreaded them because I knew I wasn't going to fit into the desks. I had to do that awkward "pull up a chair and use the desk as a table top" thing and pretend like it was just fine with me. Guess what? It wasn't fine with me. I was always embarrassed and ashamed that I couldn't fit into the desk like a regular person.

I'm happy to say those days are over. I tried it out last week and I fit into it just fine. Comfortably, even.

So while my weight has remained the same this week, I'm really trying to focus on the positive. I'm eating just like I should, I've just come home from another kick ass workout....number three for the week, and I'm about to make a healthy, delicious dinner.

I'm trusting the process.

Hope everyone is having a great week. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 248
Today's weight: 246
Total loss: 55 pounds

Whew! It was a busy morning here at the ranch. I woke up super early (for a Saturday) to go see some of my favorite 9th grade ladies play in a big volleyball tournament in Little Rock. Our school's volleyball program has really taken off and it is such a fun game to watch. They won their first match easily. I would've loved to stick around to see more, but the next game didn't start until 1pm.

I decided that since I was in already in Little Rock, I would grab a quick Egg White Delight at a nearby McDonald's and then head to Whole Foods. We don't have a WF here in town, so I'm not overly familiar with it. I had a great time just wandering the aisles and picking up some new products to try.

I came home and got all the groceries put up, threw on a different shirt, and headed to the gym. I had a really great workout today. It's always amazing to me how much better my Saturday workouts are than the ones throughout the week. Teaching over a hundred and thrity 15 year olds all day tends to wear one out. :)

Loving the two pound loss this week. I'm starting to future trip a little bit and I'm beginning to wonder....could I possibly be down 60 lbs in time for my 5 month bandiversary on November 7th??? Stay tuned.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Comfort Food: Chicken and Biscuits

As far as comfort food goes, this recipe just might be the comfiest in my arsenal. Comfiest....is that even a word? I'm not sure. Let's just go with it.

When the weather turns cooler, this is the type of food I like the most. Warm, delicious, and most of all...easy to throw together.

I started with three kinds of frozen veggies....sweet peas (2/3 cup), crinkle-cut carrots (2/3 cup), and diced hash brown potatoes (1 cup).
I didn't like the way those carrots looked, so I chopped them up a bit. There. That's better.
I mixed in a can of Campbell's Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup, salt, a shake of poultry seasoning, a little garlic powder, and lots and lots of fresh ground pepper. And most importantly....12 ounces of shredded chicken breast.
I put it all in a 9x9 Pyrex and topped it with 4 Grands Reduced Fat Biscuits.

Here is my portion:
It was so good and just the thing on a cold(ish), rainy day.

Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie, Serves 4
Calories per serving: 354
Total Fat: 9.8g
Total Carbs: 44.2g
Protein: 22.3g

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 250.5
Today's weight: 248
Total loss: 53 pounds

Yes! That 2.5lb loss works for me just fine. And 53lbs in just over 4 months? Have I mentioned to y'all that I love my lap band?

I did something today at the gym that was both a little cliché and a whole lot empowering. After I got done with the elliptical and the Cybex weight machines...I started eyeing the free weights over in the corner. I was the only one in the weight room at the time, so I thought...what the hell. I went over and tried to pick up the 50lb dumbbell. Oh I could pick it up, but it took both hands. And I certainly didn't want to hold it for very long. Hmmmm. So that's what 50lbs really feels like.


Onward and downward. :)

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New Recipe and This Week's Eats

I must confess....it has been WAY too long since I've actually cooked a meal. Oh sure...I've done "meal prep" that involved a bit of cooking, but a sit-down dinner for the two of us? Ha!

Now that school has settled down a bit and the weather is getting cooler, I'm finding myself in a little bit of a culinary mood. And when that mood strikes? I find myself looking at Pinterest for ideas. WAY too much. Because when you get on Pinterest, you often run into things like this:

 So I typed "healthy and delicious" in the search box and I found this one:
Looks good right? And what sealed the deal was I had all the ingredients on hand. I served it with a little broccoli and cheese. Here is my version. Never quiiiiiiite looks like the picture does it?
The recipe (with nutrional info) can be found here: http://www.food.com/recipe/baked-parmesan-fish-151785

My eating this week has been VERY repetitive. Same breakfast every single day.
What has been really different though is that I haven't been hungry for lunch at lunch time. Teachers know we live and die by the bell. I've got to get out of that "I must eat because it's lunch time" mindset. So today I saved my lunch for after school and ate it before I went to work out. Can you believe that's three ounces of ham? It looks like three pounds.

Here are my stats for the day:

 Now....hurry up, weekend! Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Dynamic Duo

When I first began to consider lap band surgery, the very first thing I did was attend a seminar at a local hospital. For me, picking a surgeon was the easy part. I already knew Dr. Wellborn by his stellar reputation. He is a pioneer in the weight loss surgery field, and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. What I didn't know at the time though, was that his office staff is equally awesome and how much I would come to rely on their expertise.

The next thing I did was to scour the internet for lap band blogs. I found Karin, Catherine, and Amy and devoured every one of their blogs like a novel. Yes...I am that person that read EVERY, single post. I wanted to learn everything I could from these ladies and figure out what had made each of them SO successful.

One of the themes that seemed to resurface again and again, was the importance of good aftercare. It's IMPORTANT. Surgery is just the first part. I now know that the care you receive days, weeks, months, even years afterward is going to play a huge part in your ultimate success, or unfortunately, failure.

And that is where these two ladies come into the picture. Look at them...aren't they just as cute as they can be?
The lovely lady on the left is my homegirl Shannon. You know how when you meet somebody and you just know they "get it"? That's her. She is, without a doubt, the most competent, efficient, handle-her-bidness person I've ever met. To put it succinctly, Shannon gets shit done. I wasn't surprised at all when I found out she used to produce a morning TV show. I would let Shannon be in charge of my life if I could afford to pay her what she's worth. Her official role at the office is Insurance Pre-Approval, but she does so much more than that. Shortly after we met, Shannon actually gave me her personal cell phone number and told me I could text her at any time with questions. She may have regretted that in the beginning. :) She has talked me down out of so many trees...I can't even tell you. And then there was that one time, three days after surgery, when I texted her at midnight because I was so nauseous I was throwing up. I had never been more thankful for her than I was in that moment. Shannon has a lap band herself and has been ultra-successful. Obviously. Oh...and did I mention she also has 3 small children? Seriously, people. Superwoman is in the building.

The cutie on the right is the fabulous Gae. My weight loss soul sister. Gae is one of those unique people that has the uncanny ability to make you know that everything is going to be alright. Just her voice alone. Seriously...she could be the Time and Temperature lady. It's just so calming! I call her my weight loss soul sister because her starting weight and my starting weight were verrrrry similar. And look at her now. She is where I want to end up someday. I mean...talk about real life inspiration. Gae is a Bariatric Nurse and also the Nutrition Coach for the clinic. I love her approach because she is a realist. Let me explain. I've been to nutritionists before that never seemed to realize that we don't exist in a world of rice cakes and fresh fruit. Gae is not like that. She KNOWS that Mexican food will be had, parties will be attended, and, dammit, sometimes cake needs to be eaten. She just tells us the way to do that wisely, carefully, so that we don't feel like we are missing out.

Both Shannon and Gae run the monthly support group at Dr. W's office. It's always a fun time and I always learn something new.

The saying "it takes a village" is most definitely true when it comes to a long-term commitment like weight loss surgery. I think back over the past year and cannot BELIEVE how many people have helped me get to this point. I'm so happy that Shannon and Gae live in my village. I wish every WLS patient could have this kind of support.

Have a terrific week and thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Weigh-In Saturday and Social Media Takeover ;)

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 251.5
Today's weight: 250.5
Total loss: 50.5 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Just a pound this week. But hey...that's okay. I'm officially over the 50 pound mark and. It feels amazing.

What also feels amazing? The cooler weather headed our way. John and I are going to take a little trip down to Hot Springs today to get out and enjoy it. Have I mentioned how glad I am that the music festival is over for this year? :)

I also wanted to let you guys know that you can now follow my "daily eats" on Instagram (lapbandeats) and Twitter (@lapbandeats). It's easier to post what I'm eating (with the nutrition stats, of course) in real time. Come find me!

P.S. Rachel is having a sweet baby BOY! Last night's party was so much fun. :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ten Things Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone! It's almost the weekend! Here we go with Triple T!

1. I'm officially over the 50 pound mark. I told myself I wasn't going to weigh until Saturday, but I just couldn't help it. Since I was only a half pound away from my 50 pound goal last Saturday, I cheated and weighed yesterday morning. I had it as an unofficial goal in my head that I wanted to be past 50 by October 7th. That is my four month bandiversary. It feels really good.

2. What feels good and weird at the same time though, is my clothes situation. I'm at the point now where I'm really having to try things on all the time. Some things are reaching the point of being completely unwearable. It's nice, but I also don't have replacements for them just yet. Other things are still a bit too tight. I can't wait until everything in my closet is something that I love, and also the size I want it to be.

3. My eating has been going really well this week. For breakfast every morning, I've been having a boiled egg, a mini bagel, and a wedge of Laughing Cow Strawberries and Cream. I had not tried that particular flavor, and I really like it. Lunch has been ham and Swiss on a Flat Out bread. I know I'm probably late to the party on this one, but I had never used the Flat Out bread before. I had no idea that it had 7 g of protein. Dinner has varied a little bit, but Monday night I had my absolute favorite take-out of all time. We have a phenomenal taco truck in my town called Baja Grill. I had not had anything from there since May. Monday for dinner I got a chicken taco with avocado, salsa verde, cilantro, and onion. It was absolutely heavenly. Tonight I'm having a small chili from Wendy's.
4. I have my husband back!!! John's music festival last weekend was a great success, but the most important thing is it's over for this year! He worked soooo many long hours. In the weeks leading up to the festival, I barely saw him at all. He is off this weekend and we have a date Saturday night! :)

5. No matter how much research you do before being banded, and I did a LOT because I'm crazy like that, it always strikes me how everyone's journey is completely different. While I was driving the other day, I started thinking about all the things that I thought would be so difficult, that have turned out to be no big deal at all. And other things that are just HARD. Two things stand out the most...straws and carbonated beverages. If someone had told me in April that I would not constantly crave Coke Zero, I would have thought they were crazy. Coke Zero used to be my JAM. I never drank a crazy amount of them, but I had at least one a day. I really don't miss them at all. Straws are another story, though. I never realized how many straws people are constantly shoving at you. And also how many drinks just taste better with a straw! My surgeon does not have any hard fast rules about straws, it's just sort of something that I imposed on myself. I burp enough as it is, so I don't need any extra air.

6. Tomorrow is the day my BFF finds out the gender of her baby. I can't wait!  Once I know if it's going to be a boy or girl, the shopping is going to be ON like Donkey Kong. I'm a proud aunt...what can I say? :)

7. Speaking of shopping, I went ahead and bought the perfume for my 50 pound goal reward. You guys helped me decide on that, so thanks! I've been wearing it this week and I just love it. I even had a 30% off coupon from Birchbox, so even better!

8. Exercise has also been going really well. Although I swear someone has snuck into my gym and recalibrated all of the Cybex weight machines. When I went in on Monday, everything seemed way heavier than it has ever been. I was also more sore afterwards. I don't know if this is a figment of my imagination or what, but I sure felt it. The elliptical is also giving me the best workout of my life. It's still not aggravating my plantar fasciitis either.

9. Did you see LapBandGal's super hot photos last week? What she was saying about taking photos along the way really hit home with me. I absolutely hate the camera. In sort of an irrational way. I'm going to try to do better about taking pictures to document my journey. Here is a side by side face comparison! Last summer along with this morning.
10. And I bet you all can guess another reason that I'm excited today. That's right. Scandal returns tonight at 9 PM on ABC!! I can't even fully explain why I love this show so much. I was telling my friend Jordan this morning that I will probably watch it twice. The first time for content, and the second time to just FREAK out over Kerry Washington's insane wardrobe. There is a reason she was named Best Dressed Woman in the World. Just perfection.

I'll be back on Saturday with a weigh-in. Until then, thanks for reading!