Monday 31 August 2009

Quark & Scan Bran

Just for a little help for anyone wanting to cook with some of the recipes in my recipe blog that use the ingredients Quark and Scan Bran (also many recipes in the cookbook in my give-away use it), I looked up some information to help you understand what those ingredients are and how you can either make them or find them to buy.

Scan Bran
Most bigger Holland and Barretts sell it at about £1.05 per pack here in the UK. It is called GG Scandinavian Bran crispbread. Here's a link to it at a shop in the UK. I'm guessing it can be ordered in the US from health food stores. It can also be bought on-line here in the US.

To me, Scan Bran tastes awful as it is, but I turn it into a powder and add it to chilli and curries for added fiber or make low carb cakes and muffins using it. At first, I had to get used to the grainy texture it produces when used to make cakes, but the cakes are very filling, and I enjoy them now. Robert actually likes to eat Scan Bran like a cracker just as they are. Sometimes he adds some tomatoes and lunch meat on top of them too.

Low Carb Banana Blueberry Muffins

Quark: Wikepedia entry about Quark (cheese)
and how to make Quark and another recipe for making Quark cheese and here's where you can buy Quark on-line in the US

Quark is a very soft, fat-free, high protein cheese that can be used to make cheesecakes, or as filling for things like ravioli. I find it tastes a little bitter by itself, but I love using it in a variety of recipes. I even use it as a healthier substitute for frosting by adding artificial sweetener and either cocoa powder or vanilla extract to it.

No Bake, Mini Lemon, Lime & Ginger Cheesecakes

Sunday 30 August 2009

Cookbook Give-away!


I decided to have another give-away in honor of today being my son's 3rd birthday.

"Slimming World's 100 Comfort Foods" is a book Robert and I have enjoyed cooking from, so we bought a new one for this give-away. Anyone can enter, as I'll be shipping this myself, but the recipes are from the United Kingdom, so it might be difficult to find some of the ingredients in the US or other places. (I can help with telling you the closest substitute ingredients for some of it.)

100 Comfort Foods book

The way to enter is to comment on this blog post AND one other post in my blog. Everyone gets one entry. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator, and I will announce the winner on September 15th. Entries can be recieved up until September 14th.

Nine Pound Gain?

I won't have my official weigh-in until tomorrow, but as of today I'm up NINE POUNDS! I could cry! On Friday, that number was FIFTEEN! I'm hoping some more water weight will come off by my weigh-in tomorrow and I'll give you the number, no matter how much I dread it.

I knew it was going to happen. My weight loss kept slowing down, and I'd respond by doing more exercise and eating less, until I was eating way too little and exercising for too many hours in a day. So my body was effectively in starvation mode.

This was my week to try and get my body back in a normal mode. I spent the first four days eating lots of junk. I weighed myself Friday morning and cried for a while when I saw how much my weight had gone up in just four days, and then started eating healthy again but without limiting the amount of healthy food. I've also barely exercised this week.

I'm hoping that, in the coming weeks, my body will allow me to lose weight without starving myself and killing myself with exercise. It's okay to exercise, but I really was doing way too much.

But yah, even though I knew I was going to gain this week, I had no clue how MUCH it was going to be. *sigh*

My goal is to be HEALTHY, not just to lose weight.

Thursday 27 August 2009

Eating Sugar Makes Me Feel Sick

I've spent two days indulging in "treats" from the US. It adds up to a lot more sugar than my body is used to. I have not weighed myself, but I'm sure Monday's weigh-in will be a bad one.

What has eating all of that sugar done? The effects of all that sugar on my body are not good. I feel bloated, crampy, a bit sick to my stomach, really tired and sluggish, and the irony is that all that sugar just makes me crave more of the same!

I haven't felt this awful in a really long time!

The worst part is that I am also forcing myself not to exercise. I am CRAVING exercise.

Why am I living in an unhealthy manner, you ask? Basically, I put my body into starvation mode by being overly strict with my eating in the past seven weeks and over-exercising. (I spent all of last week consuming less than 1,000 calories daily and exercising 3 to 4 hours a day.) This is also unhealthy, and my goal is to be healthy, not just to lose more weight.

So this week, I am eating a lot of food (although the rest of the week, the food I will be eating will be healthy food, even if I eat a lot of it), and I am laying off of the exercise (except for an hour or so of walking).

Next week, I will be eating healthy, but not limiting the amount of food I eat. (With Slimming World, you can eat as much as you want of the good stuff.) And I will add in a bit of exercise, but not the crazy amount of exercise I have been doing.

I expect a gain on the scales this week. I'm terrified it is going to be some huge amount, but whatever it is, I'll deal with it. And hopefully, the following week or the week after, I will be able to see my weight start moving down again without my having to over-do anything.

I'm having to retrain my thinking. Putting my body into starvation mode where it fights to hang on to every ounce of food I consume, and then increasing my efforts continuously, is not a healthy way for me to lose weight. It's counterintuitive to eat more and exercise less in order to lose weight, but, in my situation, it really is the right thing to do.

Eating the junk food these past couple of days was just an experiment of mine though, and I can honestly say that it is not something I want to repeat. Bleh!

Monday 24 August 2009

Weigh-In & Squishiness

I lost one pound this week despite being very strict with my eating and exercising tons. (I've now lost 116.5 pounds.) I'm being told over and over that I am doing too much exercise. This coming week will probably see me gaining weight, hopefully not too much though. I am going to lay off the exercise for this one week only (except for a few bike rides which I'll be doing because it's fun). I am even going to let myself indulge in a few of the treats my parents sent back with my teenage daughters from their trip to the US.

I am hoping that my body will decide, with this week "off," that it doesn't need to hang on to my body's stores of fat and then the following week, I can start losing again without overdoing the exercise.

It might not work, but I am hoping it will, and either way, I know I can lose whatever weight I put on this week.

Our Slimming World group had its Woman Of The Year Competition. It was between me and a woman named Eve. Eve had been in the competition in a previous year and had lost to her sister. This year, she won. She has lost a total of 53 pounds, and she looks great! This is her second time losing the weight because she had a child after the first time she lost it and put the weight back on. However, she was determined to lose it again and did. Congratulations to Eve!
SW Woman Of The Year 2009 SW Woman Of The Year 2009 1

It was a "Bring & Share" night, so we got to try lots of different dishes. I brought Chocolate Nest Buns, my own variation on a recipe in my Slimming World's 100 Best Desserts book. Robert brought High Fiber Scotch Eggs and Chocolate Gingerbread Squares. He also made some healthy homemade Potato Chips ("crisps" of you live in the UK), but he forgot to pack them to bring with us. There were a lot of desserts brought and a few savory dishes too. It was a fun evening.

I brought along some before pictures to show people. (I still can't believe how big I had gotten and how fat my face was just a little over a year ago.) When I was printing the photos up from my computer, Gabby (my 6 year old) walked in, looked at the photos on the computer screen, and asked, "Mommy, are those pictures from when you were squishy?"

So I've now decided that I was never "fat" or "morbidly obese." I was just squishy.

For those of you who still have a lot of weight to lose and are still squishy, and you feel you need a little inspiration to get you losing, let me just say that I can't even describe to you, but I wish I could, how wonderful it is to feel like a normal person again. I still have 21 pounds to lose, but I already feel like a normal-weight person. I'm no longer lumbering along, tired and energy-less, encased in over 100 pounds of fat. And it feels fabulous!

Sunday 23 August 2009

Like Riding A Bicycle

Robert took my 16 year old daughter's bike which was not being used and fixed it up for me to use. I hadn't ridden a bike in about 20 years. I used to love riding my bike. As a teenager, I rode my bike everywhere. But it had been so many years since riding a bicycle that I was a little nervous.

Fortunately, bicycling is something you never forget how to do. And I loved it! We rode around our park near our house just for me to get back into the swing of things, and then we went for a proper bicycle ride. It was really fun!

Maybe next time I get on my bike, I'll be brave enough to let Robert take a picture or short video clip to share with you all. (When I weighed a lot more, I hated having my photo taken, and it's really hard to get out of that mindset, but I'm working on it.)

Friday 21 August 2009

Trouble On The Horizon

Two of my teenage daughters just spent a month in the USA with my parents, cousins, siblings and their families. They just got back today. I have really missed them, and I am so glad they are home!

They left with 2 big suitcases and 1 small suitcase. They came home with 2 big suitcases, 2 small suitcases, 3 HUGE suitcases and a large box - all full of goodies from the US that cannot be found here in the UK.

Yep, my diet is in trouble.

All I'm allowing myself until Monday's weigh-in is the Diet Mug Root Beer they brought for me (my favorite). After that, I'll have to figure out how to work a treat into my daily menu on occassion without destroying all of my healthy-eating efforts. (The urge to binge is strong, but I am stronger than it!)

Wednesday 19 August 2009

I've Been Interviewed For A Podcast

Skinny Scoopers interviewed me about my weight loss for a podcast. You can find it here, and the written story in their Scooper Stars section. It was fun to do! They have a great site and they are two really likeable ladies.

Sigg Bottle Winner!!!!


Summer Flowers Sigg Bottle

I had 141 entries to go through and add to a numbered list before I ran the random number generator. Thank you all so much for commenting and entering the contest! If I was rich, I'd send you all a Sigg bottle, but I'm not so the winner is limited to one. The winner is DieselMonkey!


DieselMonkey, you now have 2 weeks to contact me with a mailing address for your Sigg Bottle or the random number generator will be used again and the prize will go to someone else.

Because the winner announcement was delayed, I've had the random number generator pick two more winners who will win inspirational magnets. Those two winners are: Barbara and Lyn. Please e-mail me (my e-mail link can be found on the right sidebar of this blog) with your mailing addresses so I can send you your magnets! (A couple of the choices are below, but go to the link for inspirational magnets above to choose the one you would like sent to you, and let me know in your e-mail which one you have chosen.)
Inspirational Magnet
Inspirational Magnet1

Monday 10 August 2009

A Meager Weigh-in Victory

I lost half a pound this week. I know I should be happy that I lost any weight at all, but I worked so hard this week that I had really been hoping for a better loss than just half a pound.
I’m going to give up coffee this week. Actually, I will still have one coffee a day, but I won’t have the other three or four coffees I would normally have. I’m still having the one coffee a day in order to, hopefully, prevent the headaches I usually get when I give up caffeine. I don’t have any diet sodas in the house so there isn’t anything else for me to replace the caffeine from the coffees with during the week. I just want to see whether or not, if I still drink the right amount of fluids while not drinking any coffee, it will have any effect on my weight loss.
I am still unable to get on-line. My husband is posting my posts for me by cutting and pasting while he is on his lunch break at work. I am still unable to get to my e-mail and do the random number generator to choose the winner of the Sigg water bottle, but it won’t take more than a week before things are back up and running and I will be able to announce the winner. Thanks for being so patient with me!

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Sigg Bottle Give-Away Glitch

I am having difficulty in accessing my e-mail, which is where I have everyone who posted during the give-away time period saved so I can run a random number generator to decide the winner. Because of this, I am unable to select the winner today as planned. The give-away is now closed, and there will still be a winner, but the winner will have to wait to be announced once I get my e-mail problems sorted. Hopefully this won’t take long. The Sigg bottle will still be mailed to the winner this month. So sorry for the delay!

Sunday 2 August 2009

Weigh-In & Inches

I had my official weigh-in tonight. I lost another 1.5 pounds for a total loss so far of 113.5 pounds (8 stone 1.5 lbs)! I now weigh 159 lbs. I have 24 pounds left to lose to hit my goal weight.
Because I started this healthy lifestyle while I was pregnant, I didn’t take my measurements until I had been living it for 8 months already. In late January, I took my first measurements, and a week ago, I took my measurements again. In just the past 6 months, I lost:
4 inches from measuring just under my breasts
6.5 inches from around the smallest part of my waist
7.5 inches from around my belly button area
9.5 inches from around my hips
2.5 inches from mu upper arms
4 inches from my upper thighs
I can’t wait to see how many more inches come off with the next 24 pounds lost!