Monthly Archives: January 2015

Experimenting with old recipes

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I lost .4 lbs yesterday so I would say tomatoes definitely passed. I’m also very glad that I had so much avocado yesterday! I looked at the sodium content for the chicken broth and it was unbelievable! 1 cup of broth is about 20% of daily value! I guess that rules out any possibility of a chicken noodle-less soup. Between the broth and the celery I think I would hit my daily limit!

Omlet Plan

This morning I made a delicious omelet! My husband is a pro at making them and I guess I learned a thing or two from watching him. It had kale, mushrooms and herb goat cheese in it. I also cooked it in coconut oil because Aldi sells that now!

For lunch I knew that I was not having an animal protein for dinner so I decided to go ahead and eat the chicken tortilla-less soup. I had a salad with blueberries and pumpkin seeds. I made a vinaigrette that I modified from a recipe book. 1/4 a cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of apple cider, 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and 1 clove of garlic. (the original recipe called for mustard too, but I haven’t tested that yet.)

Tortilla-less soup and blueberry salad

Dinner was a new take on an old fave. My husband loved the recipe and I realized that with a few changes I could make it for myself too! I substituted spaghetti squash for pasta (for me). I didn’t eat any bacon, but I did use bacon grease for sauteing the onions and mushrooms. I used manchego instead of parmesan (although I would have been fine with parmesan). I plan on making spaghetti squash pad thai tomorrow when my husband is in class and therefore not eating with me :D. I think this is the fun part which is finding exciting and delicious recipes that fit my body’s requirements and my family’s preferences.

Spaghetti squash carbonara Spaghetti squash cooked the right way

I read a blog post which talked about the right way to cook spaghetti squash. Apparently, the spaghetti is in rings so when you cut the squash in half length wise it essentially cuts the rings into halves.

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DIY Coffee Bag Headboard

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I am not really good about taking pictures of every step so to see my inspiration click here. While hubby was building the frame (we checked the measurements, but the tutorial you see is for a queen bed which is what we have), I was busy sewing the burlap sacks together. I opened up one coffee bag so that the front and back were flat. I checked the measurements and discovered that while the length was more than enough to overlap on both sides, I needed a bit more width. I cut a second burlap sack and attached it on the right. I sewed wrong sides together for the seam and used the triple seam on the machine. (it sews each stitch 3 times before moving on to the next stitch). I read another blog on working with burlap and it was suggested that this type of project would need a backing so that the batting didn’t come through the loose weave of the burlap. I have also seen a tutorial for a headboard that used the canvas painter’s cloth as a cheap fabric to cover their headboard. I decided to buy canvas drop cloth from home depot which ended up being about $12 and I have a toooon leftover. I measured and cut it and then sewed it to the back. I wasn’t worried about these seams or how it would look so you can see the seams around the edges. It was all stapled to the back of the headboard anyway.

Sewn Burlap sacks

Hubby made a frame like the one from the first tutorial by gluing (with regular wood glue) the 2x2s onto the plywood (which home depot cut for us). He clamped each plank with three clamps (he just used the same clamps for each one and let them dry before gluing the next piece). He then drilled tiny holes into the plywood and attached screws to the back. He then measured the holes for the bolts, marked it and drilled through the 2x2s. This is where it got tricky because we built this inside of our apt. We had leftover wood from the 2x2s being cut down to size. He put a plank underneath the one he was drilling. Once he got through the first wood he stopped! No accidents yay!

batting foam and fabric Burlap on top of batting on top of foam

We bought a roll of 2″ foam from Hobby Lobby. We had to cut off the the end and add it to the bottom of the frame. Once all of the upholstery was done though, you couldn’t tell. I had leftover batting from Joann Fabrics for another project and we just cut off a little more than we needed to cover the frame. With all of those layers on we lifted up the legs so we could begin stapling the sides. We made sure to pull the fabric from the top of the headboard (the part closest to the ground while we were stapling) underneath and stapled each side alternately so that it would be taut. We cut a small slit at an angle on the parts that wrapped around the post and then stapled everything onto the 2×2. It was kind of like wrapping a gift. We then worked on stapling the bottom and the top. Making sure to pull everything as tightly as possible!

Here is the end project! Made for less than $100 in an apartment! Not bad! It took a few weeks from start to finish so don’t sweat it if you can’t do it right away. There is a lot to the project and of course we had to make 3 trips to Home Depot before we got everything we needed 😀 It’s also a bit flimsy and I’m worried that the wood will split if we bump it too much. We have a bit of leftover plywood that is cut to the right width and is about a foot in height. Hubby may glue that to the frame to give it a bit more stability at the bottom. The entire thing is held up only by 2x2s after all!

Coffee sack headboardFinished product

Materials:

3- 2×2 boards

1- plywood (cut measurements 33″x60″)

3- C clamps

wood glue

Drill

9-15- 1 1/2″screws

4- 1/2″ bolts with nuts and washers

Staple gun and staples

2″ foam

batting

2 coffee sacks

Cloth dropcloth

sewing machine

tape measurer

Scissors (to cut the foam)

New Recipe!

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Today was a good plan day. I lost a pound which was an excellent way to start the day. I had kefir, blueberries and flax granola for breakfast. I finally made it to the grocery store for some much needed salad! I made a carrot and beet salad on mixed greens with avocado and pumpkin seeds. That’s a mouthful!

Beet and carrot salad and rye cracker with goat cheese

I continued the theme of avocado with chips and guacamole because it was going bad. Then I had avocado in the tortilla-less soup I made (recipe found here). I am piggy-backing off of the current fad diets to find recipes. I have discovered that gluten-free searches usually turn up with alternative flours and using cauliflower to simulate grain. I would much rather eat my fill of vegetables and enjoy what I can have than find ways to “cheat gluten.” Paleo and Whole 30 recipes seem much more feasible and in line with the spirit of the plan.Tomorrow I plan on getting spaghetti squash and turning one of my beloved pasta recipes into something I can eat…with a salad of course.

Tortilla-less soup with avacado

One more exciting thing was that my grocery bill this week was $36 and I only needed to go to Aldi! I didn’t have to buy much produce because I already had a lot leftover which saved me a lot of money. Hopefully, I can limit my trips to Kroger to once a month! That would be phenomenal!

Wedding Weekend

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Well I gained 1.6 pounds after this weekend. Between running out of lettuce and therefore not being able to pre-prepare lunches and the parents coming in/going to a wedding, I found it very hard to stick to my diet. I definitely od’d on the sodium content, but I’m hoping that that’s it and not so much the inflammation. If it’s just water retention it should come off quickly.

I still don’t have lettuce (grocery day is tomorrow!) so for lunch I ate at Wendy’s with my coworkers and had a value salad and a frosty. I had stir-fry with sriracha sauce for dinner.  I didn’t manage to drink enough water today either so I doubt I’ll lose weight tomorrow. In any case, I haven’t totally given up nor do I really have a desire to give up. The food frankly doesn’t taste good enough to gain all the weight back. I like my vegetables now. Tomorrow is a new day, and I’m hoping to begin again. I don’t think I’ll be testing for a while anyway because of my luteal phase. I’ll wait for it to pass so I don’t confuse the data.

Sriracha stir fry

Day 22 Stepping out on my own

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Well today is the first day of forever and also the first day of my own plan! It went well I think and I decided to test tomatoes! It smelled like an Italian kitchen again which was great!!!!

I ate an egg and half a pear for breakfast because I still hadn’t made any flax granola. Luckily, that has been remedied now. I also passed my kefir test which means I can add that into the breakfast rotation. I lost 10.6 lbs total if I’m counting this morning’s weigh in. Not bad for the first 20 days! It does divide out to an average of half a pound a day!

For lunch I had the last of that spicy chickpea salad (finally!) and some butternut squash soup with sunflower seeds.

Butternut squash soup and chickpea salad

And of course for dinner I had the healthy chicken parmesan (although the parmesan was really manchego) on a bed of mixed greens and the rest of the vegetable timbale. I should add that Aldi was out of the fresh mozzarella this week so I had regular mozzarella with more sodium. I ate unsalted potato chips and homemade guacamole as a snack to counteract that and left salt out of the tomatoes.

Healthy chicken parmesan

The sad looking chicken tenders without the tomato party are my husband’s. He is very picky about how he’ll eat tomato product. Fresh tomatoes are right out!

Healthy chicken parm on mixed greens and vegetable timbale side

Days 20 and 21 (The end of the beginning)

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I am now on my last day of the official plan. From here on out I’ll have to figure out how to eat for myself. I guess this is where the blog gets interesting. How do we actually keep up with everything?! Anyway I have lost 9.8 lbs total which works out to about half a pound a day. I went from just barely in the overweight BMI to the normal range. It’s a relief to be backing away from the edge of the cliff. I’ve also gone from having digestive issues at least once a week to only having issues if I’ve had high gluten. I reported at one point that my basal body temperature was up a degree, but it’s gone down since then. It is still about half a degree above my old normal (though the synthroid might have something to do with that). I can’t say that what I’m eating has totally healed my body, but I can say that I am not worse because of it. I would like to see what a few months on this diet will do. From everything I’ve read on the internet (which of course could never be wrong :D) the plan has everything I need to gain control of my thyroid function. I don’t plan on stopping my medication any time soon, but I am pleased with the results so far and I’m hoping that in the long run the inflammation will cease totally. My fertility has also vastly improved. My cycle appears to be much more regular, though of course only time will tell.

And now for the fun pictures!

Leftover mixed veggies with salad

This was dinner yesterday with leftover veggies (yes there was potato in it and I guess I’ve passed them) and a salad. I think there was some chicken hiding in the salad.

Kefir the Breakfast of champions

Instead of testing a vegetable today I tested kefir because quite frankly I’m out of flax granola and I had eggs yesterday. I’ve passed all the other dairy so this should be easy as it is very low lactose. It’s like yogurt, but it is much more liquidy. I drank it like a smoothie and it was very filling! If I pass, this may replace coconut milk in the mornings since I can get this at Aldi. Plus it is full of probiotics!

Butternut Squash soup and chickpea salad

This is butternut squash soup with sunflower seeds and chickpea salad. There were still leftover chickpeas from the spicy chickpea “spinach” salad I made. I have a lot of leftovers that I need to get rid of pretty quickly. Luckily, from here I can just add them all in because I get to make up the plans.

Vegetable timbale and salad with chicken

Here is some leftover vegetable timbale with salad and spicy apricot chicken. And with that, my last prescribed meal on the plan is over.

It is a good design because for the last few days, they give you more and more freedom to eat what you want. By that I mean, there is more a template to follow rather than a recipe. They do a good job weaning you away from following rules and showing you how to apply them for yourself. I think it may take a little bit more effort now though because I must figure out my meal plans myself. Maybe I’ll talk with my mother about this because she’s been on the plan for a few months now. In any case, I have the tools to make this successful. I have discovered I am allergic to almonds and sensitive to gluten. These are definitely good tools to move forward with.

Day 19 No test

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So it gets a bit confusing because I added a day at the beginning and I skipped a rest day before the restaurant. I have 2 days left after this before I am left on my own :D. It’s been a good ride thus far. The food tastes better and I really don’t have cravings. I won’t deny though that when given the choice to eat things I can’t have it sometimes appeals, but I don’t dream about ice cream and pizza all day. I don’t feel deprived. I cook a lot of pasta, but it seems to disagree with me strongly. That should make it a lot easier to give up. Bread and cakes are a bit harder. I think that in a few months when my system calms down I may test bread again. Maybe it will be a treat that I can have on occasion. Maybe it will just always be a cheat that I pay the consequences for later. In any case, I do feel better on this thing. My digestion has improved significantly, and I hope it will continue to improve.

I did gain weight this morning, but my rings were sliding around my fingers later today so I feel pretty confident that I was able to lose what I gained. I guess the scale will tell in the morning.

wild greens salad and butternut squash soup

I had chickpeas for lunch and hummus for a snack since I couldn’t have nut butter. I really need to prioritize testing peanut butter.

Rice, broccoli and vegetable timbale with goat cheese

That was dinner. I added sracha sauce to the rice. I spiced the broccoli up too with some red pepper and thyme and cooked them in butter. It really was a good meal. And of course my dark chocolate for dessert.