First Weigh-In After a Long Hiatus

September 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Frustrated.  After and HOUR of typing a new heartfelt post, WordPress deleted it. This will be a very abbreviated version, just enough to keep me accountable.

So i did it. I went to my first weigh-in since July 5 and the results were astonishing. False. I was not astonished. I was expecting a giant gain and I got it.

last weigh-in July 5, 2012: 174.4 lbs

Sept 28, 2012 183.2 lbs (+ 8.8 lbs)

PS it’s a big effing deal that I just listed absolute numbers.  I am obsessed with the personal value that numbers carry, from grades and board exams to my weight.  Please don’t judge me by my numbers.

This will be a better week.

Starting Over. Again.

September 26, 2012 § 5 Comments

I have a wedding dress that I have to fit my ass into in  just EIGHT short months!!!! YIKES!!!

The last time I blogged I was adamant that I had established a sound plan and that I was determined to lose weight for my wedding.  I failed.  I tried making the little “to-do” boxes that work so well for me in other aspects of my life.  They worked for a while but I got tired of working out.  It made me so tired.  What was happening?  I usually feel so good after a good work out, so why do I feel completely run down and lifeless now?  I may never know the answer, but I know I still have that awful feeling.  So long story short, I’ve actually GAINED several pounds on top of the mound that i weighed already. Makes me so unhappy.

I feel like shit. plain old shit. I feel like a failure everyday. And what’s not so interesting is that I feel like that at work, too.  Clearly, my major depression is back and this time it’s BAD.

I saw these changes in my mood, behavior, and saw that I was just falling apart.  I’m up one whole dress size and essentially back where I was when I started my weight loss journey in March of 2010.  I feel disgusting. Only failures let this happen to themselves, I thought.

I am on vacation and decided to work on the depression and spend more time reading about POSITIVITY.  In addition, my new therapist has given me an excellent book that I’ve been working through, which is chock full of life learning points that he actually reinforces in my sessions.  I know these changes take MONTHS but I’m ready to clear the fog and make way for brighter days.  I’m so tired of feeling pity, feeling angry, being a slug, feeling like a nothing, and perpetually feeling like a failure at everything I do.  I know a large part of this is my depression and another part of the proverbial pie is that i’m NOT EXERCISING.  I’m not giving myself time to clear my mind.  I’m not giving myself time to enjoy the air, wind, colors, and smells of my favorite time of year.  I’m not giving myself precious ME time. I’m spending days on my couch waiting for motivation to strike.  Motivation’s not gonna strike if I’m comfortable.  I’m breaking out of my comfortable shell.

Just yesterday I was at my wits end.  I was feeling hopeless about my lack of motivation and I reached out to a few twitter supports, and here’s the advice I got…..

Alan ‏@sweating_it_off :@MSFitMint if you want to talk it out let me know, we can Skype or google hangout or something

  @MSFitMint I know it hard, especially when feeling depressed. Often times I try no to “think” about working out I just get dressed and head out the door and hope for the best.

@MSFitMint No planned mileage or plan to run. Just walk. & if I run a little, so be it.

Susan @SuziStorm : @MSFitMint My therapist last night told me to put on my running clothes & go for a WALK.

  

@MSFitMint for me doing something I love (water exercise) is key! Its therapy for my body & mind!

@MSFitMint I attribute getting active to curing my lifelong depression. Activity helps your mood/mental state so much. It’s my therapy

 Sheryl Yvette ‏@bitchcakesny : @MSFitMint The toughest part is getting dressed. Srsly. Put on your clothes and start. You *will* feel better for having done it

THE COMMON DENOMINATOR HERE: 

Put on your clothes and start!!!!

That’s all I freaking need to do! I need to throw my clothes on and get out of the door.  No more dwelling about who will make dinner, how hot and sweaty I’ll get, how tired I’ll feel, how long I’ll be out and will this leave me with enough time to read for work. None of that crap has helped me.  I seriously need to get my shit together and take care of myself because no one else will.  I can’t expect health and fitness to fall into my lap, or for my depression to magically disappear.  It just won’t.

Another list of things I need to do while I’m on an easier month of residency:
1. get weighed in EVERY SATURDAY, no exceptions.  Things will change with my next rotation but that’s okay. I’ll find another day and it’s okay if I don’t go on the same day every week.  As long as I put my clothes on and show up. To keep myself accountable I will post a blog update with each weigh in, regardless of what the scale says.
2. cut out coffee.  First of all it’s disgusting. I drink it for social reasons.  I love walking into starbucks but I actually cannot tolerate the taste of their burnt coffee.  I do, however, enjoy the green tea lattes. I will get one occasionally, and allow myself to sweeten it. No more coffee. Not even from Dunkin’.
3. I really need to get dressed and walk three times per week.  I will come up with some sort of reward system for myself if i do this. Manicure, pedicure, etc, at the end of the week.
4. I really need to, and will, limit my sweets. At least one small amount per day is okay and is healthy.
5. continue tracking on weightwatchers
6. yoga or meditation at least once per week
I really think these are doable.  I wish my blog was more popular so there was more accountability to the masses, but so be it.  I need to make myself a happier, healthier person.  I can’t keep on with the incessant cycles of guilt and self pity. Time for some action.
Finally, a HUGE thank you to the twitter folks who helped me out the other day.
-M

Time to Revamp

December 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Since the last post may changes have come about; great boy, progressed to second year of residency, travelled to California for the first time, and gained an S-TON of weight.  Gained NINE lbs!!  Was working nights only, discontinued weightwatchers because of cost and basic lack of commitment, and haven’t set foot into a gym in almost 2 months.  I feel like crap, my clothes don’t fit, and my face looks bloated.  I need to start looking and feeling better in my clothes. It also wouldn’t hurt to feel more confident naked.

Goal is to lose at least 10 lbs by March, when Z and I go on a cruise for vaca.  That gives me 3 months, paced, that would allow about one pound per week.  I want to look the way I did at this time last year.  I was hot and in amazing shape….not so much anymore.

Changes I’ve made over the past two weeks and those to come:

(1) gradually started working out.  Starting light with hot yoga several times per week, accompanied by co-residents to keep me motivated. I’m paying an exorbitant fee for these classes but I’m banking on the team effort and peace it brings me, to make it worth it in the long run.

(2) started using SparkPeople to track my food.  I am throwing out the weightwatchers POINTS mentality.  It’s practical for longterm loss but doesn’t come for free and I also feel like basics will always be basic – why pay to use a site that counts my calories?  Regardless of the “research” behind their methods, weight loss will always be about calories in < calories out.  I don’t need a site to limit the fats/proteins/carbs I’m eating because calories will add up just the same.  Despite this, I will start doing my best to limit my carbs, but I won’t replace that with more protein or fat….just more veggies and a but more fruit.  Best part – it’s FREE!

(3) Brought my work-out DVD’s to Z’s apt and he wants to start working out with me.  I suggested P90x together, he agreed. It won’t be a daily activity but we’ll do it when it’s convenient and works with out schedules.  We’ll see how that goes.

(4) My parents got us an elliptical for the apartment.  My gym is close to my parents house so I haven’t been able to make the daily drive an quite frankly haven’t had the motivation to go.  I’m discontinuing my gym membership when it expires in Jan, and will use the new machine as often as I can.  Will really miss the way spin class made me feel but perhaps I’ll find local classes to attend periodically – which will probably become way too pricey in addition to the hot yoga fees.

(5) limiting the amount of artificial sweeteners, Starbucks, and dessert. Holidays are going to be less exciting without the treats but hopefully a slimmer waist will make up for that feeling.

(6) revisiting Twitter as a motivational resource. I need it now.

(7) using that technique I used several months ago of documenting my work outs on a calendar.  I need to show myself that I’m doing this and that I’m sticking with it.  Worked great in the past and I know it’ll work this time.

What do you think?  How have you guys revamped your habits after a huge set-back?

A pinch of success along the way

March 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

It was a refreshing week for several reasons, allow me to share what I’m proud of. I feel in control of my weight, I feel better control over my clinical decisions and am developing some incredible confidence, and I’m totes proud of myself for finding time to work out regardless of the hell that is bestowed upon me at work daily. I also made time to get together with co-interns not once, but TWICE…a rare occurrence for us girls.  I always like to make sure that my topics intra-post are related, so I should explain that my post this week integrates my weight loss, my time spent working off a few calories, and a recipe I concocted while taking some much needed MSFitMint time with my dear friends.  Yay me!

My Calm in the midst of a torrential storm

Here’s one of the ways I’ve maintained my peace in the chaos at work – my co-intern and I slip away almost daily for a skinny latte with one of Starbucks’ new Mini’s.  Crap, I just realized I was grossly underestimating the punch in WW points of the caramel squares….whoops!

Weightloss:

Weight watcher’s update: LOST 1.2 lbs this week!

I thought I’d review what I did, logged my workouts on paper AND eTools.  Writing my work outs on paper allows me to visualize how much effort I’ve been putting in, notice patterns (which I love, b/c I’m a compulsive ‘trender’…I like to see progress and crave a positive trend) and forces me to work out so I have something to write down.  I’ve been logging on my P90x work out sheet which I never really found useful…pretty useful now!  Not only did I log workouts, I also noted whether I was on, over or under WW points….and of course if I was on call.  Four to five days of work outs per week ain’t too shabby for a crazy intern!

Recipe

For over one week now I’ve been craving pizza – crispy crust with an oozing topcoat of fresh whole mozzarella…

Had a girls’ night with a few of my darling co-interns, one of whom (the hostess) made a mouthwatering white pizza which really got my recipe creating mind in a swing.  I thought I’d make a lighter version, add more veggies, and add a sweet tanginess with sundried tomato pesto instead of generic tomato sauce, keeping with the “white pizza” requisite.  OH! And while I made this gooey/healthy piece of perfection, I was drinking a STRAWBERRY ABITA, which is the bees knees. Light and fruity beer, one of my new favorites, and better yet, with only 11 carbs per 12 oz. serving it’s only ONE POINTPlus!

Flatout White Pizette 

PointsPlus™ Value:  12 (one serving is 1/2, so SIX points plus). Note* if you use recipe builder and add the veggies this turns out to be 8 points per serving….go figure.
Servings:  2

Ingredients

1 item(s) Flatout Carbdown Italian Herb Bread
2 Tbsp alfredo sauce, light
1/2 breast of garlic Rotisserie Chicken, torn to pieces
2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup(s) whole milk mozzarella cheese (of course you could sub part skim for a fraction of the points) 

handful of baby spinach leaves

4 grape tomatoes, sliced in half, lengthwise

2 button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin

1 tbsp sundried tomato pesto (I splurged and bought a fancy brand but classico works just as well)

Instructions

  • spray a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray
  • spread pesto and alfredo sauce on flatbread
  • arrange torn chicken
  • layer veggies and feta
  • pinch of black pepper
  • add mozzarella and add a few light touches of the sundried tomato paste on the cheese
  • Bake for approx 10 min

Reason I’m showing off all of this unhealthy food?  B/c I ate like this and still managed to lose weight.  I have a strong suspicion it was b/c of the work-outs.  Glad I’m tracking.

What are you proud of this week?

Missing in Action

February 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

(a beautiful platter I made for a visiting friend…pieced together some medjool dates, brie, manchego, smoked gouda, marinated and roasted garlic, and olives)

I can’t even remember the last time I posted, but I can almost guarantee that I was closer to my weightloss goal than I am right now.

Residency –

Residency has been pretty hectic/bizarre.  I’ve been at the VA for the past two months so it’s been relatively easy going, but if you’ve ever worked at a VA medical center (God help you if you have or currently work there) you’ll understand why I’m having a hard time describing it.  It’s the most inefficient medical system, hires rather inadequate performers (at least this one does) and stresses DOCUMENTATION rather than sound patient care.  There are hazing rituals that occur here which would never occur at my home-base training site, namely abusive M&M’s (morbidity and mortalities – where you talk about flaws in patient  care), VA CPRS documentation “police”, and harassment (luckily I haven’t been the abusee of any of these wretched people yet but my time is coming shortly as I advance to second-year) by completely incompetent attending physicians.

Monday afternoons are likely the most stressful periods for my senior residents who have to present our morbidity and mortality cases; luckily in the ICU we’re pretty damn strong, but some of the other residents REALLY get the mental pummeling of a lifetime for their so-called “piss poor care”.  It’s a hairy and malignant system, abusive, abrasive and quite frankly I can’t stand it.  It really wears you down to hear your seniors get beaten down for simple oversights made by their supervisors but such is malignant medicine – if your supervisor practices poor medicine, you’re bound to be treated and trained  poorly, taking the brunt of the consequences from both the families and peers.  Because of the intense nature (and unfortunately minimal patient care superseded by endless hours spent SITTING and DOCUMENTING your “patient care” at a computer all day) I haven’t left work on time for the past few weeks…leaving very little time for me-time, and most importantly…catching my much needed sleep.

All of that being said, I’ve been doing my best to maintain a sense of calm and the only ways I know how are to

1) partake in as much outdoor activity as I can; i.e. snow-shoe-ing with my very out-doorsy amiga, Laura

2) dancing around my kitchen with my itunes and a wooden spoon, revamping some of my favorite recipes, and

3) working out when i have the time which has been hard as HELL this month.

4) meeting up with my tight knit group of incredible co-interns (which, surprise – none of them are internal medicine interns…if that tells you anything about my personality. PS – this will also be the focus of a future post – how I’m itching and scratching to switch residency programs because i’ve grown very weary towards internal medicine)

5) shopping – as pathetic as it sounds, I’ve been meeting my sister for many-a-shopping sprees lately b/c it’s been such a wonderful release.  Mind you, I haven’t purchased much and most of these meet-ups are at the local Fresh Market, but the thought of buying FRESH produce to cook with or a brand new cast iron is very exciting and brings me peace.

Residency and my Gut –

I haven’t been to a weightwatchers meeting in months or a weigh-in for a few weeks. my weight has increased by about six lbs and it’s not muscle and I’ve been pretty down about this. Just last month I was about five pounds from meeting goal and thats when my second VA month started and that’s when the real fatigue set in.  I had been incredibly successful combining P90x LEAN with a few classes at the gym (body pump and Spin), as well as cross training – but lately I’m just dead by the time I leave work at 10pm  and barely even have the energy to throw my gym clothes on.

My appetite has also been CRAZY.  I know that the new PointsPlus system allows you to eat most fruits without the weight of extra daily points, but I’ve been eating fruit galore (waaaay more than I had been on the old plan) and my weight is just compounding.  On the average day I’ll have 1-2 bananas, 1 pack of raspberries or blueberries, and at least one cup of grapes in between meals.  My meals, on the other hand, have been upsetting as I’ve been craving salts and of all things, pulled pork.  Being that I can’t have pulled pork for every meal I’ve been gorging on other salty and usually fattening meals, such as frozen lean cuisine and SmartOnes – check out the sodium in those bad boys!  They’re quick and fuss-less so they work well for the VA.  If I don’t take a frozen brick, I typically take some left over small portion of the previous night’s dinner which usually consists of bulgar or soup.  The weekends can be messy though – I typically use my weekly points here or I even go overboard and have EXTRA points, which make way into my exercise points. Hence, I’ve been over points each week for the past month, thus making my weekly at-home weigh-in very stressful.

Luckily I recently found out that a fellow local foodie also goes to the same location for weekly WW meetings so this has been a motivator.  Food PLUS weightloss PLUS friends is usually a win-win game.  I’m hoping to get to more meetings for some real motivation, and get back on my exercise regimen….wish me luck!!

How does you all deal with a period of weight gain and legitimate lack of exercise time?

Odysseus and his Sirens; a tragic story of cupcake meets ass/waist

November 16, 2010 § 1 Comment

Residency:

Work is great these days.  I’ve been in the Critical Care Unit on a cardiology service that’s busting at the seams.  There are days when we are above our max census yet days when we have time to canoodle with our RNs and adored co-interns to plan our next luxe facial. I’ve been busier than ever; frequent 27 hour calls days, relentless pages, patients so sick I fear leaving their bedside, the sound of telemetry units sounding with each abnormal rhythm, but I’ve been happy.  I’ve reached the point where I’ve found my co-intern niche, I’ve come to adore them and consider them my peripheral family.   This whimsical flluffy feeling I have may dissipate in the coming weeks but I can say that at this juncture I’m satisfied.

Weight/Fitness:

Doing my best to stay/improve my shape.  My most current feat has been toning and weightlifting.  BodyPump has been a physical challenge for me.  I look forward to the demanding endurance every week, yet leave with exquisitely painful legs, weak for days, wondering if everyone else feels the way I do afterwards.   I considered a few solutions:

Maybe I needed water?  Drank several bottles over days.  That didn’t work.

Perhaps a banana or two?  After two of these in one sitting I felt I might vomit. I am not a fan of these phallic fruits.

It finally dawned on me that I likely have a severe vitamin D deficiency, hence the 4 days of myositis, nausea and profound fatigue following any weight lifting (or nights of moderate drinking).  Started taking supplements and wa-la! Myositis dissipated!  Now I can go back to weekly weight training and feeling bad-ass when I put on a tank top for the gym. 🙂

Spin class continues to be my go-to pick-me-up.  Although finding a class that fits my odd work hours is a challenge, co-intern guilt over my propensity to quickly morph into PMS-cranky bitch face if I don’t spin/work out at least 3-4 days a week has been fruitful.  Being that all of my current co-interns are men, they relent – I leave on time and get my work outs in to keep me “compos mentis”.

Cupcakes:

Like the Sirens to Odysseus.   When they’re around they taunt me – poking their creamy heads out when I’m most vulnerable after my 4th 16 hour work day prior to my impending long call; midget frosted cakes.  My miniature vices.  They are a warning that my guard has been let down and my ass/waistline is about to encounter a defeat. They dissipate my WW points like a college kid with a trust fund,. They’ve added a  road block to my weight loss but baking them keeps me grounded and keeps my cardiology attendings/fellows smiling after grinding through admissions/double rounds all day.

Tonight’s new recipes were ones that I made up; a pureed raspberry and vanilla cake with rum and raspberry frosting.  The next dozen was a brownie with a reese’s in the center and Godiva liquor frosting.  They’ll be the perfect accoutrement for the fellow’s bday party on the unit tomorrow. 🙂 (pics to follow)

What other ways could I sabotage my POINTS? Working with men, one is sure to encounter the ravenous appetite and feel the drag force. After pre-rounds my co-intern sends me one of my favorite texts of the day; “breakfast in cafe, see you in 10”.  I already had my Vanilla Whey Protein/Starbucks Via shake, probably shouldn’t go. But I do. Not just for the sake of being my social little self, but for the sausage, egg and cheese english muffins with a carton of Tropicana Pulp Free OJ.  Yet again, bolstering my POINTS, which I haven’t been tracking much at all.  I’ve come to crave this love affair for the risk involved.  Fully aware of my new addiction,  I meandered over to the frozen foods section at the market this weekend and was happy to find this little guy: is this the Siren to my breakfast sabotage? SmartOnes

Weightwatchers:

Shameful. I haven’t weighed in in almost 2 months. WW doesn’t appear to have a copy of my erratic work schedule, not even for a drop in weigh-in, let alone a meeting.  I’ve My weight has gone down so I’m not terribly concerned.  I am, however, worried that my anxiety may be getting the best of my eating habits. Since halloween weekend I’ve consumed more mini peanut butter cups than I care to share, more lean cuisine’s and smart ones than my self imposed sodium restriction allows, more cupcakes than my gut can handle, and more alcohol than is appropriate for a lady. It’s been an all-out warfare on my Points.  But as long as my waist is slimming I’m staying on my current path, happy, skinny, fat, pudgy, whatever my current weight status, I’m happy.

How have you let go to in efforts to stay sane and what has been keeping you happy these days?

How do you do it?

September 23, 2010 § 4 Comments

This post will be sort of a hodge-podge but the meat and potatoes are in the middle…it’s my deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie, if you will.

Luckily I’ve had plenty of time to blog over the past few days.  It’s given me an alternative way to unwind in ways that exercise and my daily prancing around the stove have been (unusually) unable to.  Somewhat of a side note – I had initially planned a flight to Sacramento which would allow me about 3 days in Lake Tahoe and 3 days of wine tasting in Napa.  The plan was set but man, I had a VERY difficult time parting with money that I had saved.  So much time, sweat and sleep deprivation had gone into making that money that I couldn’t part with it.  I know, I know. This seems foolish because I know I’ll burn out before my next vaca, but I’ve developed a little bug in me that already wants to start saving for my childrens’ education (mind you, I have ZERO children/pets/nieces/nephews/godchildren/not even a pet cockroach and no potential to have any in the next few years). So I’ve spent some time doing a little local travel and mainly spent my time put-sing around the kitchen, trying out new recipes and taking in as much of the local fare I can.  Festivals and farmer’s markets galore!  With all of this free time and writing also came time to read some blogs that I had never read…

On to the meat

Being a sort of successful weight watcher’s gal, I tend to stick close to home and read the blogs of fellow WW girls.  I can commiserate with their struggle, get ideas on snacks and healthy lunch or dinner items, and get some fab work out ideas.  Overall I find this soothing in a way; knowing that I’m not totally alone in this battle of the bulge.

This time off from work has made me curious  and I’ve been able to read through the blogs that I’ve never visited…I won’t name names – they’re excellent blogs), but what I’m finding is….they’re pretty impressive!  There’s an astounding number of people who can challenge weight loss on their own.  How do they do this?  How/where do they find the motivation?  How do they figure out what’s right for their body and what limitations to set?  In other words, how do they do this on their own?  Many of these “independent” fitbloggers don’t point this out.  I’ve tried elucidating this from the “about me” sections but they seem to be similar to mine – meaning that they basically felt some sign or urge to make a general change and just moved forward.  What made one turn to weight watchers and the other turn to him/her self?

now the potatoes

Eating healthy and exercising seem incredibly simple if you have a little motivation and time but in reality, it’s really not.  Not at all.  I’m sure you’re reading this thinking “Good job, little doctor.  Your 1/4 million dollar education seems to have really paid off (giant eye roll).”, but here’s the thing, medical school doesn’t teach us HOW to be healthy, it actually does quite the opposite.  I will rant about this in a later post.  In all of my years of schooling I of course knew that calories burned must exceed calories consumed, but I could not practice this for a multitude of reasons.

  1. No motivation,
  2. Literally never took the time to take care of myself because I’m disgustingly competitive and felt the need to study for 10-16 hrs/day (and FYI I was no where near as successful as most students who were just as intense and obnoxious as I was…probably because I never took care of myself – didn’t sleep more than 4 hours, didn’t eat well at all, ever, and was just miserable…you get the ugly picture).
  3. I didn’t have a supportive network by any stretch of the imagination,
  4. I wasn’t willing to take the time to prepare healthy meals.  **Message to pathetic old Me, how much time does it REALLY take to make and pack a sandwich, as opposed to the daily nonsense of stopping at Panera/subway/Moe’s, etc  for almost every meal?  Hello – waste of $$$$ that you don’t have!**

Back to my original thought….

If I didn’t pay someone to basically teach me what I already knew about health and wellness, to weigh me weekly, or  to set limits for me in terms of exactly how much I was allowed to eat daily, I would not have lost 35 lbs. I know it.  Not on my own.  I just don’t know if I have that determination in me.

How do you self-propelled people do this?  What triggered your mind to become structured and to stick with it? How did you determine (aside from the clear calculations of kcal/kg/day along with carb/fat/protein breakdowns) how much and what to eat daily? How do you not just give up when you don’t have a monthly WW bill hanging over your head? (Mind, I know WW has helped me to this point and it’s not only about paying to lose weight..some days it is, but 90% is wanting to be healthy and to look/feel like $4 x my tuition).  I really give you all a lot of credit for being so successful on your own.  I wish I could harness an ounce of that determination to succeed on my own.

Another thought. I wonder if long term success rates differ between self-propelled and weightwatchers people.  I wonder if I would have stuck to a plan this long if I hadn’t been shelling out $40/month to get my self in gear.

Any feedback or thoughts? (about that pesky topic of medical school and nutrition, more on that in another post)

Now for something fun and random

Also, I thought if I had time I’d start posting new recipes in the body as opposed to a separate recipe page.   I love my new camera and have been making great use of it (in the kitchen) so why not share the photos and the food?

I had some left over potatoes from a previous meal along with some carrots and a new BAG (hangs head in shame) of butternut squash.  I had been craving butternut squash soup as it’s healthy and nicely accents the new seasonal changes underway.  I typically only use squash and potatoes but having the carrots on hand was a great change.

Spiced Butternut – Carrot Soup


  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen (preferably fresh) butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 cups carrots (or parsnips), chopped
  • 1 cup peeled boiled potatoes
  • 1 cup LIGHT cream
  • 1 and 1/2 cup fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger root
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • s/p to taste

*hand held mixer or food processor

My Method

In a 5 quart pot, heat oil and add onions and carrots.  Once onions develop translucency, add squash and potatoes and heat until squash becomes soft.  Add cream, stir to incorporate, and add broth.  Allow to simmer for approximately 15 min.  Carrots should become soft at this point.  Now either remove mixture and add to food processor or blend with hand held.  Consistency should be that of farina o…or to your liking.  At this point add herbs and sugar. Allow to simmer for another 15 min.

I garnished with toasted Thomas’ Bagel Thin (cinnamon raisin- with a light spray of light olivio and sprinkle of cinnamon/sugar) crostini, a dallop of light cream cheese and chives.  It definitely hit the spot.

I also found a great deal on some organic figs and figured the best way to celebrate the season was so preserve them to enjoy all week month long.I ended up making a cinnamon fig/apple/walnut jam as well as a raspberry/nectarine jam infused with orange.

Such beautiful figs

decorating a piece of Manchego

Grub

September 19, 2010 § 2 Comments

Not sure about you guys but I find it helpful to see what other WW members eat.  I’ve been practicing with lighting as I prepare random quick meals.  Thought it would be useful to post some pretty pics that also give a glimpse of some of my eats.  They’re relatively quick (<20 min).  The recipes for anything I’ve baked is on the Recipe page. Check ’em out!  Check out EatingWell for incredible FALL recipes for all of those fresh fruits and veggies you buy at this season’s local farmer’s markets. Also, I’ll post some pics from the farmer’s markets and various Fests I’ve attended. Enjoy 🙂

Breakfast

Red Quinoa cooked in Almond milk and vanilla, topped with 1/2 banana, chopped mixed nuts, cinnamon, and honey

whole farm fresh egg in sliced red bell pepper

slice of onion and tomato filled with low fat cheese and egg beaters, with sauteed mushrooms and spinach

Lunch

Buffalo chicken salad. Chopped celery, grape tomatoes, matchstick carrots, and blue cheese yogurt dressing. Served with morning star buffalo chicken and two zucchini pancakes

turkey chili (see recipe page) with salsa con queso, low fat colby jack, 1 tbsp guac, tomato and cucumber salad w lime spritz

Dinner

Whole wheat garlic penne topped with asparagus tips & red pepper flake and coarse salt


eggplant parm (boxed – will check freezer for brand) on a 100 calorie submarine roll, Alexias roasted sweet potatos and carrots, garden salad w blue cheese yogurt dressing

Turkey chili – see recipe page

Lean Cuisine Chicken alfredo, Alexia’s mixed veggies, 2 sweet potato patties

“Cowfredo” Vermicelli with 2 wedges of melted Laughing cow cheese (garlic and herb flavor), shopped Quorn chicken patty

Desserts

Almonst Fat Free blueberry Key Lime Pie


Sweet potato fries with spiced reduced fat maple sour cream

Red Velvet cupcakes with buttercream frosting…made these for ‘baby’sister

These were incredible! I tweaked a few recipes to perfect a very low fat Pumpkin Spice/walnut cupcake with pumpkin spice reduced fat frosting, topped with toffee and dusted with cinnamon. These were a total hit with my sister’s housemates!

EVENTS

My favorite Saturday AM farmer’s market


Getting back on track, again.

September 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Gist – short

I’ve had a rough time balancing life and my health for the past few months.  It’s a work in progress. So is my fitness.

Recap – long and full of details.

It’s been a rough few months.  With the start of residency came not only job performance stress as a newbie intern, but very little sleep, very little energy, and nearly no time to sit down to a healthy meal.  I wish I could say this was a gross over exaggeration. My days consist of pre-rounding at 5am and working until anywhere from 4pm(rarely) until 6 or 9pm.  After work all I ever want to do is come home and prep a dinner that the food pyramid God’s would admonish, read a few pages from Harrison’s or NEJM, and spend at least an hour on the elliptical with my favorite punk bands.  Instead, much to my chagrin, I somehow have about 6-7/10 energy level when I leave work and progressively decline to outright sleepy on the way home.  Driving has always been a sedative for me -yeah, watch out 😉 -and I think it might be from the subtle vibration of the car.  Neither here nor there.  I feel exhausted when I finally reach the driveway. I’m left eating from a 4 – 6 pt Lean cuisine or Smart Ones box, reading a few poorly written clinical summaries on UpToDate, and maybe finding time to do a few push ups before I throw myself at my giant cozy bed with every intention of reading a few review articles…..but my eyes are too heavy.  I’m sure this schedule isnt’ that far off from many other folks out there, but it does get a bit tricky with 24 hour calls and overnight shifts thrown in the mix.

Don’t get me wrong, I can say with pride that I love every minute of my job. Every stinking minute.  I love teaching, I love examining my patients, that my mentors LOVE to teach, that I’m grateful to Vishnu, Shiva, Jehovah, Allah, what have you -that I’m in this particular residency program which I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, I love meandering over to radiology to talk about some obscure CT, practicing a slight smile all day to show my appreciation for work, socializing with my co-workers in the halls with the occasional wink or high-five, really, I love it all.  I just don’t love the fact that it does terrible things to my metabolism, patience, emotional capacity, cognitive abilities, and above all; my waistline. Worst of all, I was getting so frustrated over my crappy schedule because I wasn’t finding time to make it to a weight-in.  No bueno. This started to make me resent my choice of occupation and I would find myself getting less motivated to stick with Weight Watchers because JUST as I’d get ready to leave work for a weigh-in, I’d open my giant mouth to ask someone if he/she needed help with something and I’d land myself a new patient admission.  Again, no bueno.  This is my ASS we’re talking about people, my hips, my thighs and my gut!  And it was all seemingly larger than a few weeks prior.

I gained nearly 4 pounds during that time period and potentially a bit more, ahem, “subcutaneous tissue” around my midsection.  I know what this is attributed to.  It took a few Twitter exchanges with Christina Williams and lots of head scratching while pouring over my food log to figure out why I had veered off my climb to Mount Everest and landed on the Oregon Trail.   Minus one sheep.

What I learned about myself

So here I was thinking that it was simply the lack of time and energy that was crimping my success on weight watchers.  It dawned on me that while my life has changed significatly over the past few months, there is no reason for me to lose control over it. I don’t have an excuse not to eat well. Not at all. I carefully select my groceries weekly, scrutinizing labels and separate portions. So why was I letting myself become lazy – buying lunch from the cafeteria (did I tell you we have a giant SUSHI bar??) or grabbing lunch at a local bar or festival with fellow interns on the weekends (which by the way I refuse to stop doing because my sanity depends on it)?  I was not making terribly poor choices but what I was doing…….was tracking AFTER I ATE.  SUCH a poor idea for me.  This is exactly the opposite of (1) what I should be doing (2) what I had been been doing.  I let the EXCUSE of my hectic schedule get in the way of holding myself responsible for my points.

I had gotten in the habit of using my 35 Weekly allowance points every day…of course not all at once, but I was slowly chiseling at them daily.  Prior to this, I had been saving my points for a dinner out or special occasion.  Well that control was trampled.  The scale was moving up and I was feeling more an more miserable.  I sat down that night of my ( for lack of a better word) revelation, and wrote down exactly what I was going to eat the following day. I also decreased my daily points allowance by 2pts.  I needed to not only give my giant butt a kick start, but I had to re-train myself to stick to a daily regimen.  The following day it worked.  I resumed packing my lunch and making my coffee at home (with my beautiful new Keurig – just to save money thru the year), leaving my wallet in the car so I wasn’t tempted to buy what I didn’t need around my waist. I didn’t go over points AND I had my skinny COW dessert. Win – Win.  This is exactly how I’d been running the show since March and was pretty successful, and here I was again, finding a way to save myself from falling back into old behavioral patterns.

While I need a regimented menu, I also struggle as a fatty-bo-batty who loves…… (sorry I was distracted by the ridiculously hot guy walking his dog down my street)…both quality and quantity in food.  Hence my need for weight watchers to begin with.  Keeping my new regimen in mind, I do allow myself to go off schedule for 1-2 days per week, usually when I’m going to a community event with friends, and I will enjoy a beer or three with some sort of ethnic treat. So that issue is settled. I need to live with my regimen but I never lock myself into it for the sake of my sanity and social life.

Much Ado About My Giant Ass

So now that I figured out how to control my food again, now it was back to square one with my exercise. What the hell was I going to do about my energy and time?   This is one I haven’t quite figured out yet.  I have been lucky enough to have been on vacation and outpatient clinic for the past 2.5 weeks so things are nowhere near as hectic as they had been, so I’ve had ample time to work out multiple times a day.  The question is how I’m going to handle this once vacation is over and I head back to the hospital.

My favorite work outs involve Spin Class every other day, yoga/Bikram, Pilates, elliptical, occasionally running (I had been working on the couch to 5K and hit week 6 but had to tone that way down b/c of my hips, knee and shin splints…despite having a gait analysis for proper sneakers and orthotics) and, as of this week – the 30-Day Shred.  I’m also waiting to get that P90x video in the mail that I was supposed receive back in July…we’ll see how that works out. I’ll hammer something out soon.

What’s my motivation (rewind to late 1990’s Sprite commercials)

Not to add a whole new level of creepy to the blog, but I not-so-recently started following (god, not literally) Bitch Cakes and her blog that feels like a big shoulder to lean on.  Better yet, what I really wanted to write was that she ALSO follows me now…I know, lame…but she’s BitchCakes and rides her HK cruiser AND has made LifeTime, so yeah, I got a little excited.  After having many days feeling that I was just bound to put all of my weight back on, I’d occasionally flip through one of many blogs I read for my little desperate moments of motivation. It was a breath of fresh air to see that like me, all of these fine ladies have struggled to stay on plan and incorporate activity in their life.  They’re all had ups and down’s.  This is not easy. Never has been and I don’t think it ever will be, but it’s a work in progress.  I’d have to say that’s why I’m stoked about Twitter. For as annoying as it is to keep up with 140-character blurbs about everyone’s lunch (including my own until my POS Blackberry’s phone chose to revolt against me), random updates about where everyone is (ahem, me at starbucks all of the time), what they’re drinking (my non-stop mentions of the #PSL), the weird and random sarcasm, who they hate, (hmm, sounds so much like my twitter feed), and loss of productivity, the aspect I find most useful is the fine group of fitness tweeters who help get me back on track.  High-five, you sexy bitches! You helped me get back on track.  Cupcakes for everyone!

So where has all of this thinking, tracking and tweeting led me?

My schedule switched over on September 1st and it’s been much less hectic b/c I’m in an outpatient clinic.  I’ve been back at my previous level and frequency of exercise. This consists of 60-min of spinning every other day (>78% max HR and an average of ~450 cal/session), with 60 min cardio and weights in between. I’ve recently started the 30-day shred but I’m definitely not doing this every day – maybe every other day.

I’ve lost exactly 5.2 pounds since sept 1.  Talk about ecstatic and satisfied.  I haven’t used all of my additional weekly allowance points and I haven’t felt like I’m starving, despite decreasing my points allowance by 2.  I’ve lost a total of 24.4 lbs total Since march, but this has included ups and downs with the occasional 5-lb fatty bastard that sneaked into my plump physique.  I somehow lost 10 pounds prior to WW so I’m at a grand total of 34.4 lbs so far AND I’m about 10 lbs from goal but I think I’d like to push beyond that.  One day at a time. (Side note* here’s an article I posted on Twitter recently that I thought was a beautiful representation of everything we go thru on our journey towards fitness)

Food – Oh is there ever food.  As ya’ll know, I LOVE to cook.  Details aside, I love food so much that I read about it, subscribe to several foo-foo shi shi cooking mags, and even received a Canon Rebel xs  for graduation because everyone knows that I love me some food photog.  And as my life goes, I, of course, have no time to sit down to read those mags more than 2x/month anymore, ergo, I don’t cook anything fantastic anymore.  At least nothing from Bon Appetit or Food and Wine anymore…it’s somewhat time consuming.  But boy do I miss the aromas and the relaxing little place it takes me.  All that nonsense being said, I have taken a few photos of my half-assed lunches, dinners and other crap I’ve made while working on lighting…and seasoning.  I’ve mainly been figuring out a way to make a boxed meal (low points) into a fab meal.

Lunch #1: mixed salad, mixed fruit and, of course, a Kind bar for snack.

Breakfast: Red Quinoa, almond milk, banana, mixed nuts, almond butter, and honey.

Snack: Heirloom tomatoes I picked up from the Farmer’s market. Pricey little bastards, but so delicious with squeeze of lime and pinch of salt 🙂

Dinner: Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, spinach/cucumber/tomato salad w dijon-lime-dill vinaigrette, and boiled potatoes. yeah, I pretty much rocked the house with this meal.

These were just little tid bits of my daily meals…I’ll post recipes on another page.

This is all a balancing act, complete with successes and failures.  Some may come in the form numbers on a scale, an ill fitting outfit, over indulgence but in the end there are all things we can learn from.  While I’m sure I’ll trip and fall again, but I’m sure I’ll find a fellow twitter friend who can help me brush off and get to my next goal post. My failures have helped me succeed thus far. (Side note #2* While This article from Success Mag is about Bouncing back in the business world, it’s important to realize the essence of the article is about making a comeback in life.  Getting back on your feet once you’ve hit the proverbial wall.

A few random notes that are not in any way related to my post

1. Eat Pray Love – shouldn’t we all?  – My current read. I relate to it on so many levels…most of which I’ll keep to myself. Read it if you have a few hours to spare and I’d love to chat about it with you.

2. Latest rump-shakers – I have a tiny obsession with music and constantly revamp my work out lists.  I have a tendency to make mixes that are on-the- spot with the intervals I’m doing – I mean to the second!  To spare you my obsessive compulsive mannerisms from henceforth, I’ll just list some of the songs on my two latest mixes.  There’s some over lap but I think you can handle that.  Let me know if you like this stuff 🙂

Mix 1: This is for either elliptical, running, walking – when I’m feeling ridiculously ghetto.  I’m ususally in the >75% Max HR with this mix

  1. rapture – Alicia Keys
  2. Memories ft Kid Cudi – David Guetta
  3. Supernova – Jason Darulo
  4. Dynamite – Taio Cruz
  5. Krazy – Pit Bull
  6. Feel it – Thee-6-Mafia
  7. poker round (fristy remix) – flo-rida
  8. Bad Romance – Gaga
  9. Come Fly away – Benny Benassi
  10. Up – the Saturdays
  11. The Fame – gaga
  12. Cyber Love – Jason Derulo
  13. break your heart – taio Cruz
  14. gettin’ over you – David guetta
  15. Forever – Chris Brown
  16. Turn it up – stereos
  17. la Musique – Riot in Belgium
  18. Meet me half way – Black eyed peas
  19. the way I are – Timbaland
  20. Sweet dreams – Benny Benassi
  21. Satisfaction – Benny Benassi
  22. Can’t stop me now – pitbull
  23. gettin over you – david guetta
  24. shots – LMFAO
  25. sex, lies, Audiotape – DeadMau5
  26. Love is gone – david guetta
  27. Hey! – Laidback luke
  28. Sleepy Head – passion Pit
  29. Finger Food  – Benny Benassi
  30. Satellite – Lena
  31. Beat dat Beat – Dj Pauly D
  32. I need a miracle – fragma
  33. take it off – kesha
  34. calabria 2007 – Enur
  35. you make me sick – pink
  36. thong song – sisqo (you know you love it)
  37. remedy – little boots
  38. outta control – peter andre

I admit, a lot of these are annoying but, hell, if you listen to the beat and ignore the lyrics you’ll be OK and survive. there are a few others but I’ll spare you.

Mix #2: Hotter and better. Love it. I also occasionally listen to this when I feel like a bad ass. I’m usually at <75% max HR with this list. Elliptical and walking.

  1. Heads will Roll – yeah yeah yeahs
  2. Good ol’ Fashion Nightmare – Matt and Kim
  3. magic – B.o.B
  4. Kill me Carolyne – The Whigs
  5. Dashboard – Modest mouse
  6. I can talk – two door cinema club
  7. Whoo! alright – the rapture
  8. This is your life  – The killers
  9. Clark gable – The postal service
  10. Sleepy head – Passion pit
  11. Memories – david guetta
  12. supernova – jason derulo
  13. Bad romance – Gaga
  14. Break your heart – Taio cruz
  15. rebellion – the arcade fire
  16. dog days are over  – florence and the machines
  17. what ever you like (single version) – anya marina
  18. DJ Got us falling in love again – usher
  19. Use somebody  – Kings of leon
  20. Until we bleed – Lykke li

In closing, thanks to all the fine ladies who have helped me past my pity party a few weeks ago. You rock my socks off. Truly.

How do you guys push past through plateaus or those rough patches?

up

August 30, 2010 § 1 Comment

I finally went to a weigh in after 5 long weeks. Up 3.6 lbs. Left with a curled lip and almost a tear in my eye. Let myself go so badly. Can’t wait to start working out again.  I suppose I can’t emotionally abuse myself too badly for this one, after all, I’m still down multiple pounds and I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been in my life so a few pounds will be easy to take off if I readjust my POINTs and pep up my work outs during this month “off”.  I’ts ok.

Might start it off with spin class tonight and some Yoga. I need Bikram so bad.

Some Goals:

I really want to be a foodbuzz Blogger. Unfortunately I don’t think I have enough entries on food or recipes so I guess this month I’ll be experimenting with healthy versions of the recipes in this months issues of Bon Appetit, Food and Wine and sticking with what I find in Cooking light.  I think I’ll also describe more of my restauranting, post pics of me and my cohorts enjoying our rare bits of time off, and post more pics of the upcoming Mount Snow Brewer’s festival on Saturday as well as the Saratoga Food, Wine and Ferarri festival.

Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make this  a more interesting read and bulk my visit numbers. 🙂

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