Monday, December 29, 2008

Not gonna do it...

Weigh in. But the reason is pretty good. I've extended my stay out of town and don't have my scale. I think I gained and the last thing I need to do is add a scale factor in there with the variables that adds.

I don't think I did too badly considering, but far from stellar. Plus as most people have probably realized, I gain very easily. My exercise has been horrible. Two days only.

I am feeling particularly crampy today - TTOTM. And that is definitely having an impact on my desire to do much more than lay around.

Oh well. I have decided that until January 5 when I return to work, I'm not putting pressure on myself.

Exercise - um, does this qualify? ;-P
  • Mon - OFF
  • Tues - OFF
  • Wed - 65 mins
  • Thurs - 65 mins
  • Fri - OFF
  • Sat - OFF
  • Sun - OFF

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekly Weigh In

Let's just say that yesterday I ate like it was Christmas. A whole ton of stuff and a whole ton of salt, so I am not at all surprised that the scale is reflecting a HUGE gain of 3.5 lbs. I have got to get a handle on things. It has nothing to do with restriction. It is me making bad choices and eating crap. Regardless of how tight I am or was - chocolate, cookies, chex mix, frapps, etc. would still go down just fine. Classic eating around the band.

I wasn't going to weigh in and then decided I needed to see the damage. Needless to say I am freaking out. Tomorrow I am leaving town, so it could get worse. I am going to try to do my best to navigate all of this and not obsess as much as I possibly can. I swear it is hardest when you are trying to maintain and all the pressure people put on you to eat 'cause you are so thin'; 'you can have some'; 'it's the holidays'; the litany of these sayings is endless! I do much better when I am losing. How is it that losing is an easier goal than maintaining? I just don't get it. Oh well, cause I am back on the losing goal so that should be easier then, huh? The struggle and battle never ends!

Exercise for past week:
  • Mon - 106 mins
  • Tues - 105 mins
  • Wed - OFF
  • Thurs - OFF
  • Fri - 120 mins
  • Sat - 116 mins
  • Sun - OFF - too busy eating...*sigh*

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


....Of a sloth. That's pretty much what I have and always have had. I was thin to chubby in childhood and pretty much all through my late 20's I was thin to skinny with some maybe 20 lbs variations at the most. But I managed to do that by exercising a lot and being active all the time. In my 30's with some bad things that happened to me, I developed really really bad depression and my activity level changed to pretty much nothing other than going to work, but my sloth-like metabolism did not. So the weight piled on quickly because I would eat until I was full. Sloth-like metabolism + no activity + food = fat.

So what happened? I got even more depressed. Depression so bad that hospitalization was considered, but I was adamant that would throw me over the edge. The band was a last resort for me as I am sure it is for most others and was actually brought up as an option by my shrink. One of my complaints was never 'feeling' full. It took quite some time for me to get over the 'I'm a failure' and all that baggage that can occur with making such a decision. But it was the right one for me and I'm glad I did. That being said, it is also extremely private. I am a private person anyway, so this isn't the only thing I keep 'close to my vest' as the saying goes.

Why I am explaining all this?
  • Cause I want to put my pics out here and had a set that had my head cut off, but showed it to my best friend and she said that where they were taken and what I had on could potentially compromise my identity. So I took the post down. I will try to take some that make me feel more comfortable.
  • I do exercise a lot. Refer back to sloth-like metabolism. Not only for the weight benefit though, but for stress and depression management.
  • Why didn't I lose all the 6lbs I gained the week before and only lost 3.5 lbs? See the post on 'December is Hard'. That same week I did all the exercise I had 1/2 slice of this choc mousse cake; 1/2 slice of cheesecake; and a king size bag of peanut M&M's. To some this might not seem like a lot, but refer back to my sloth-like metabolism. :-)
  • Why so much exercise? Once I get there I enjoy it. I also use this as my free time to watch whatever I want either on the TV there or purchase/rent stuff to watch on my iTouch.
  • Are you working out like a fiend the entire time? The first hour is always 'the workout'. It's hard and is what is probably what burns the 'real' calories. Anything above that is on the treadmill at usually a 4 mph pace. Sometimes with an incline and other times not. Depends on how my legs are feeling from the first hour. (Some days I do get a bit psycho though and do a long jog on the treadmill. I LOVE the rush.)
  • Why don't I weigh 120 lbs? My body is shifting and I think that is messing with my weight. (Shifting - as in shrinking 'cause clothes are fitting differently.) Remember - the scale is only one measure of progress. Does that mean I plan to be 120 lbs. Um, nope. I want to be 134 lbs and then use the Weight Watchers rule for maintenance which is to stay within 2 lbs. either way.

I am going out of town next week for Christmas (yippeee) for a last minute unplanned trip, so I am hoping I can get past all the temptations and stick to 100% bandster rules this week to get back to the 135.5 lbs where I was. It isn't the end of the world or anything and if it doesn't happen, I'll just keep plugging away. I am taking my workout 'stuff' with me and planning to workout while I am at my friend's. My goal for the trip will be to maintain whatever weight I leave with (you know what I mean).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekly Weigh In

Current weight: 138 lbs. Amount lost - 3.5 lbs from the previous week 6 lbs gained (141.5 lbs). Trying to get back to 135.5 where I was. At least going in the right direction. Still a significant difference though, but I'll just try not to focus on that. :-)

As I said yesterday, my exercise was up. Also seems weird too considering I put in nearly 60 miles (58) - love my iTouch for sure.

  • Mon - 125 mins
  • Tues - 122 mins
  • Wed - 95 mins
  • Thurs - 90 mins
  • Fri - OFF
  • Sat - 115 mins
  • Sun - 135 mins

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December is hard...

Man, it's birthday, then parties, then holidays, then stuff at work, then...It is ENDLESS. There is food anywhere and it is so easy to start grazing. Especially when it is yummy stuff that I like to eat. Well, I have changed some goals for the month. I am trying to get back to where I was 135.5 lbs, but other than that my goal is to maintain.

This week was not so good honestly. There were multiple work events and buffets and I sampled a lot of stuff. I didn't eat as much as I wanted to, so I did show some restraint (yeah me!), but I did have more than I needed to. It will be interesting to see my weigh in tomorrow. I am anticipating some sort of drop from the crazy six pound gain from last week and am hoping that I am not setting myself up for failure.

My exercise was awesome. My friends got me an Apple iTouch (seriously) for my birthday. I made a rule that I can only watch it (I already have an iPod and wrote a post somewhere about my love for it) when I am at the gym. So, it has worked out well. I have been catching up on some TV shows that I wanted to see and getting in long workouts at the same time. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To Fill or Not To Fill

I read a lot about people thinking that they need a fill. And, maybe they really do, but I wanted to share my thoughts on fills. The band is a tool. You must use it as such and you must make good choices...

Do you really really need a fill? Or maybe you just need...
  • An eating change
  • A behavior change
  • An activity change
An eating change
  • Are you eating what your provider told you what you are supposed to eat? Or are you eating crap? Be honest.
  • Are you avoiding liquid calories?
  • Are you eating the correct portion size? Seriously, try it. You will likely see that if you measure everything and quit when full or when the food is gone that within about 15-20 mins that you are full. (Brain delay is what I call it.)
  • Are you avoiding soft foods?
A behavior change
  • Are you eating only 3 times a day? Or if truly hungry and not head hungry making a wise choice in snacks?
  • Are you eating breakfast? (Even if a liquid one...My experience anyway was without breakfast of some sort it stalled my weight loss.)
  • Are you eating CONSCIOUSLY? Paying attention to indications that you really are full? (Some people experience a runny nose, a burp, etc.)
  • Are you grazing between meals?
  • Are you drinking liquids while you eat?
  • Are you eating when you aren't hungry?
An activity change
  • Are you moving? Like real exercise?
  • Walk. No excuses not to. Work up the time if you have to, but I'd suggest 30 mins every day or with one day off. If you increase the time, then you can shorten the number of days.
  • Get a pedometer. Walk 10,000 steps a day.
  • EVERYONE has the time. Be honest about how much you sit around or watch TV. You can watch the TV at the gym while you are walking on the treadmill.
Bottom line - if you are or are not doing the things above as appropriate to what I suggested and are not losing weight, then I think you need a fill. If you aren't doing these things and aren't losing weight, then I don't think you need a fill. That's my two cents and I'm sticking to it!

Exercise so far this week:
  • Mon - 125 mins
  • Tues - 122 mins
  • Wed - 95 mins

Monday, December 08, 2008

SIX Pounds??? What the )(#*$)@(#$?

Yep, Monday - official weigh in day and I am up SIX pounds. There is NO way that I ate 21,000 extra calories to make up the SIX pounds, but that is what the scale says today so I am recording it. Seriously, that is what it would take to gain SIX pounds. 21,000 EXTRA calories above what my body needs to stay alive and activity!
  • Did I eat things that were not the best choices? Yes, I was out of town for my birthday.
  • Did I drink alcohol? Yes, but seriously not as much as I thought I would. And, mixer was diet soda.
  • Did I exercise? Nope, not like I normally do, BUT we walked everywhere. So, it wasn't like I was just sitting and eating the whole time. (Only one day last week of 'real' gym exercise.)

Theory: water weight. WAY more salt and other no so good stuff than normal and definitely not enough water/liquids consumed. (Well, except alcohol.)

Let's just say that my behind will be at the gym this week and I will see most if not all of this gain OFF next Monday when I weigh in.

Goals for this week:
  • Gym one day off only.
  • Count points. Stay within them.
  • Drink enough liquids (I don't say water cause I hate water. I drink a lot of tea. And yep - caffeine in it, but don't care. I can't give up everything!)
  • DON'T obsess! I have given myself permission to obsess until 5:00 today. After that - done!
And yes, I did give myself permission and all that other stuff, but as I said at the beginning - my irritation is there is NO way I had that many extra calories. I thought maybe 3 or 4 lbs max - which still seems like a lot to me - but never did I imagine SIX! And, I am venting for all of your reading pleasure! HA!

Current weight: 141.5!!! That's right - back up in the 140's (previous 135.5 lbs). OK, I think I'm done for the moment...gotta catch up on everyone else. :-)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Giving Myself a Vacation

I had mentioned that this weekend is my birthday. I am heading out of town for the weekend with my close friends for a whole lotta celebrating! That's right - drinking and eating. I am giving myself permission for this special time to do whatever. I find that giving myself permission usually tends to keep me on an even keel.

In fact, the vacation has started a bit early. I have only worked out one day this week. :-) I had originally decided that I would work out Mon-Thurs to offset any damage. Well those plans didn't work out so well and honestly I'm a little burned out and excited about going out of town, so I am also going to officially 'vacation' from the gym until Monday of next week.

I'll be back on Monday. I'm heading out tomorrow and most likely won't be back before that. Have a great weekend everyone and I sure hope everyone else is on track for the week!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Weekly Weigh In

Well, I had decided I would be happy with remaining the same weight as last week considering the huge loss (4 lbs.) and I am trying. :-) I am focusing on the fact that what the heck is 1.5 lbs really anyway? I'm just so close to the 100 lbs mark though I can taste it. Plus, let's be real - I worked out a lot this week. Geez...

Current weight: 135.5 lbs. Amount lost - big goose egg.

  • Mon - 111 mins
  • Tues - 95 mins
  • Wed - 90 mins
  • Thurs - Thanksgiving (OFF)
  • Fri - 90 mins
  • Sat - 113 mins
  • Sun - OFF

Saturday, November 29, 2008

For the M&M's...

OK ladies - here it is... :-)

Only difference is the actual tattoo does not have the "doo-dad's" that are around the tree. It's a representation of the tree of life.


I got my first tattoo about a year ago I think. I had been thinking about getting another one because I had a design in mind, but it just wasn't a priority item. So, the original is on my right hip - below the panty line. My NEW one (ha) is on my left hip. Yep, I didn't tell anyone and went and did it last night. Why not tell anyone? Well, a tattoo is with you forever - kinda like your band - so I wanted to make sure it was my decision and that I could 'puss out' if I wanted to and not feel pressure to go through with it.

I figured since I wasn't going shopping on Black Friday - I might as well do my part for the economy - HA! I did go in one store. Let me stress go in though. The line was down one aisle and up another (figure easily 50 people) to checkout. That was enough for me. I figured there wasn't anything there that was worth me standing in that line for! The sales pretty much go on all weekend - it's just the 'doorbuster' ones that are on Friday only. Not so sure I'll even make it out and fight the crowds though.

Other than that - there really isn't much to report. I might skip my workout today as my hip is a bit sore where I got the tattoo. I'll have to see how it goes though cause it really is just an excuse not to go. ;-)

Next weekend I will be turning 40. I was hesitant to mention that as people might think the tattoo was a reaction to this next milestone in my life. I'm not going to lie - I am freaking out a little bit about turning 40. Funny thing is this is the first birthday I have had a reaction too. Not sure why that is, but nothing I can do about it, right? If anything, I sure would like to be at 134. That would be a 100 pounds lost with my band. I'm close, but not sure it will happen. Again, a couple pounds is not life or death, but I sure would like it! :-)

  • Mon - 111 mins
  • Tues - 95 mins
  • Wed - 90 mins
  • Thurs - Thanksgiving (OFF)
  • Fri - 90 mins
  • Sat - ?
I love my new tattoo...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, I didn't end up doing anything today. Good news - eating hasn't been bad. No 'gobble until you wobble' for me! (Although I sure wanted a piece of pumpkin pie and never got around to making the crustless one. Oh well, I'll make it for Christmas...maybe.) Bad news (well kinda) - I didn't end up going to the gym. I just wasn't in the mood. I'll just count it as a day off.

I did stand on the scale yesterday - um, which I'm not supposed to - Monday only! As I expected, the scale showed a gain. It's also TTOTM, so that could be contributing to the scale as well. Who knows! Nothing official until Monday.

Believe it or not, I could actually go shopping (Allen Outlet Mall) at MIDNIGHT! Seriously. I guess last year it was packed with people! Most other stores open at 4 or 5 am. Yes - Americans are crazy! I have to admit it, I might hit a few stores tomorrow as well. I do hope that a ton of people go and shop like crazy. The economy sure could use it.

Exercise so far this week...
  • Mon - 111 mins
  • Tues - 95 mins
  • Wed - 90 mins
  • Thurs - Thanksgiving (OFF)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Crustless Pumpkin Pie Recipe (1 ww pt)

I follow Weight Watchers by proxy of my friends that are doing it. I know how many points I'm allowed and it has honestly turned into a good tool to facilitate conscious eating. I just add the points to my journal along with food I eat and exercise I get in. This works for me and allows me to review it as needed to figure out what works and what doesn't. So, here's a recipe I plan to make for Thanksgiving. I actually don't like pie crust and leave it anyway, so I thought I'd try one that doesn't even start with a crust!

Crustless Pumpkin Pie
  • 3/4 c granular Splenda
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs worth of egg beaters
  • 1 - 15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not the pie mix)
  • 1 cup skim milk
Preheat oven to 425. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Mix sugar and eggs together. Add the dry ingredients, then the pumpkin, and finally the milk.

Spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick stuff of choice and pour in mixture.

Bake at 425 for 12 to 15 mins. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 30-35 mins. Voila! Cool and refrigerate.

8 servings at 1 pt each. (I'm adding fat-free topping to mine!)

Exercise so far this week:
  • Mon - 111 mins
  • Tues - 95 mins

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rules for PB (Zena this is what I commented back to you)

Here's the rules I was provided with when you PB / vomit by my surgeon. As always, you should follow the guidance that your surgeon has provided to you, but I have found these very successful...
  • Some degree of vomiting or regurgitation may occur after you eat
  • This may indicate you are: eating too fast, trying to eat too much, not chewing your food adequately, or eating the wrong foods {addition by Fluffy: you are too tight. Being too tight is not good. You can read about it in my blog as well.}
  • Every person is different and some foods may give you problems and not others. Avoid those foods that give you problems
So what to do when/if it happens...
  • If you vomit solid food

    • Stay NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) for two hours
    • Do not force the issue and try to eat or drink again immediately {Addition by Fluffy - cause you will throw up again}
    • This may induce more vomiting. The more you vomit the more swelling that may occur across your band. This may lead to further obstruction. {Addition by Fluffy - and a whole lotta pain}
    • After two hours try solid food again {Addition by Fluffy - I actually try liquids first. If that goes OK, I try something soft. Then I progress to bandster food}

  • If you vomit again

    • Stay NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) for four hours
    • After four hours try water only
    • If you can tolerate water stay on clear liquids for 12 hours before trying solid food again.

  • If you can't tolerate clear liquids or water without vomiting notify the doctor immediately
  • Prolonged vomiting (more than 12 hours) is not normal - Call the doctor immediately
Additions by Fluffy - freaking out is normal. From what you saw on my most recent post on my worst experience ever, I still freak out after 3 years. Try and remember it is normal and try and remain calm. I've found that getting stressed actually makes the situation worse. One other trick - Try lying on your left side. Strange, but for some reason there have been quite a few times that it has helped. It also kinda calms me down. :-)

Weekly Weigh In

First, I am feeling better! No pain whatsoever. I'm going to stick to liquids this morning and try some mushies later today. I don't like to eat non-bandster foods because it leads to hunger, but am sure this morning will be no problem. WHEW! Talk about relief! :-)

Today is my official weigh in day, but I am not really believing it. I think that it is a 'fake' weigh in and will be very surprised if the weight holds this week. A FOUR pound loss is just too hard to believe as a real loss, but I was not surprised to see a big drop with the stuck experience and being on liquids for a day.

Current weight: 135.5 - Like I said, my fingers will be crossed that this holds. Maybe it will ensure a good week at the gym? And, also help me not eat a bunch of bad stuff on Thanksgiving! - One can hope!

Exercise for the week:
  • Mon - 120 mins
  • Tues - 80 mins
  • Wed - 90 mins
  • Thurs - 80 mins
  • Fri - OFF
  • Sat - 65 mins
  • Sun - OFF (Stuck)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Worst Stuck Experience EVER!

OK - please be warned that I am going to provide all the gory details. If you have a weak stomach, you might think twice before reading...

A couple friends and I went out to dinner on Saturday night. I had steak and steamed veggies. I eat this sort of stuff all the time, so did not expect any problems. We went to a club and I was there about 20 mins and BAM! The worse heart burn I have EVER had! I tried Pepcid - which I carry everywhere with me - nothing. Tried hot tea - nothing. Next thing I know I have to throw up. So, I go and do that. Come back - still miserable. I threw up a couple more times and then decided it was time for me to go home.

I get home and am still just as miserable. I tried everything. At this point my stomach is starting to hurt like it has never hurt before. I am wondering if I have hurt my band. Things are not getting better, but what to do? I decided to try and sleep.

I tossed and turned all night. The next morning (Sunday) my stomach was still killing me. After three years of having my band, I have never experienced anything like this. Since the night before, I had cut off all liquids. I was hoping this would help. In the afternoon, I decided to try some really hot tea. Again - BAM - I threw up. Guess what? From all the previous throwing up, I must have managed to block my opening and that was what was causing all the pain. I could tell because of what I threw up (told you it was graphic). My tummy was still sore, but as of the evening - I started feeling back to normal!

What a relief. Normal lap band reactions occurred - OMG - I've slipped, my band is going to have to come out, I'm going to die from the pain, UGH - make it go away. I'm sure many bandsters can relate to some or all of these feelings.

I have only had liquids today and plan to do the same tomorrow. I want to give my tummy a chance to regroup and resolve any remaining irritation from what happened. Needless to say, I didn't make it to the gym regardless of the post from yesterday, but I think the reason was pretty good!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Exercise Post

This is not an exciting post. I just wanted to get my exercise out here for the week. It was hard to get to the gym today because I have a friend flying in from out of town and I'm excited! Some friends and I will be hitting the town tonight. Should be a good time. I'm hoping that by posting when I really have nothing to say (ha) that it will get me to the gym again tomorrow. Not sure what I'm doing for Thanksgiving, but if I do end up going somewhere, I want to be able to make some bad food choices with no guilt!

Melanie - Sorry to hear about your port. From what you described, it does sound like it may have flipped. Good to go get it checked out to ensure that the pipe (can't think of the right word) from the port to your band is not at risk. I'm hoping that if it is flipped, it's like mine. If it had to do it, mine is the way to go. Can still get fills, no risk to band, etc. So me getting it fixed is really just my call about the sticking out part (which personally is GROSS!).

I cruised around a bit, but will have to stop by everyone's blogs tomorrow. Hope everyone is having a good weekend!
  • Mon - 120 mins
  • Tues - 80 mins
  • Wed - 90 mins
  • Thurs - 80 mins
  • Fri - OFF
  • Sat - 65 mins

Friday, November 21, 2008

Being "Visible" Rather Than "Invisible"

I didn't realize how invisible I had become to men until recently. I think recognition of this took time as well. Here's my observations:

  • Men talk to me at the gym now. To say hi or whatever.
  • Men open doors for me. The other day one even went back and opened the door for me.
  • Men that I don't know at work smile and say hi to me in the hall.

There are probably other things, but these are the ones that have for some reason stuck out to me. I know men are visual creatures and all that mumbo jumbo, but it makes me sad that I was previously so invisible when I am still the same person, just in a thinner package.

I can honestly say that while I might not be attracted to a heavy man, I still treat them with common courtesy (sorry, opening doors and saying hi in a hallway to me is nothing more than common courtesy). Being fat makes you no less of a person than a skinny one...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Made an Appt with Surgeon - Flipped Port

About day 2 or 3 after surgery and seriously following everything that I was supposed to, I KNEW that my port had come loose. I know exactly when it happened and could even kinda feel it rip away. I called the surgeon's office and was promptly told there was no way that could have happened. Um, wasn't that one of the risks? Anyway, I was still recovering and honestly just said screw it. In hindsight, I shouldn't have.

Then came my first fill and YEP my port had flipped. I was lucky that it had done it in such a way that it is on its side and can easily be manipulated. Again, I was told not to worry about it and I listened 'cause there was plenty o' padding on top of it. In hindsight, I shouldn't have.

I was a self-pay lap band person. My insurance doesn't cover weight loss surgery without appealing and jumping through a lot of hoops. I was severely depressed, taking a bunch of meds for the depression, and was getting desperate. So, I decided to just pay for it. (Keep in mind it was three years ago and it was even more expensive than it is now. Double what it costs today in DFW.) Since I was self-pay, I decided to pay the extra to get a low-profile port. I thought it would be the extra investment. (In hindsight, I still think that was a smart move.)

Well, now that I have nearly lost 100 lbs, my port sticks out. You can see it and it kinda looks like a tumor. But what is the worst is it feels disgusting and sometimes kinda gets 'stuck' - it's hard to describe - when I am lying down. So, I called the surgeon's office - guess what - $2400 bucks. Nope, that is not a typo. After all I have spent for this thing, the last thing I want to pay is $2400 more. Especially considering when this happened.

I only talked to someone in the office, so am going to pay the 65 bucks to go ahead and meet with the surgeon in person. It's not until mid-December. I'd like to get to 134 by then in the hopes that a 100 lbs lost might sway him to 'make me a deal'. Plus I am convinced I can maintain that weight where a year ago I didn't think I could. (Self-doubt and let me tell you - losing is hard, but I think maintaining is the hardest and has always been a struggle for me.)

Exercise so far this week:
  • Mon - 120 mins
  • Tues - 80 mins
And good grief, I was so hungry today. Seriously. I think it was a lack of food yesterday. Couldn't eat much. Had one of those dang tight days.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I *heart* Lap Band Blogs

Yep - I'm addicted. I'll search, I'll look at the list that I see on other blogs, and stumble across other lap band blogs. I think they are helpful to remind me where I was, struggles I had, and how far I've come. I thought I'd become a follower of all the blogs that I could find today. So, you may recently have seen me pop up on your blog as one. I have also added all the blogs to my read list. I'm going to see if I can find more to add. I'd like to have a decent list more so for others that stumble across my blog.

The only requirements of being added are there must have been a post in the past 30 days and my preference is that it is not within some site like lapbandtalk or similar. Honestly, I just find them hard to read.

I'm hoping that others that I start to follow will then check out my blog and the long list of reads leading to more interaction among fellow bandsters. Feel free to comment with other blogs, questions, etc.


Weekly Weigh In

I'm working on my next goal to lose 5 lbs by the beginning of December (138 lbs). So the technical starting point was 143 lbs.
  • Week 12 - 11/4 - 143 lbs - GOAL!!!
  • Week 1 - 11/10 - 142 lbs - 1 lb lost
  • Week 2 - 11/17 - 139.5 lbs - 2.5 lbs lost (wow)
I did get weak and weighed in last week, I actually saw 138 on the scale, but figured that was too good to be true and looks like that was the case. I am planning on doing well the next two weeks on exercise and food wise to get me to 138 by Dec 1 weigh in. Since I don't have plans for Thanksgiving, this should be realistic. Only potential problem I see is that I will be heading toward TTOTM.

Exercise - I am cutting back on the number of days I exercise, but the overall time spent is still good---this week it was nearly 6 hours. Even though these are work days, because I always get a good night's sleep on Sunday it is really easy to get a long one in on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday aren't too difficult, but by the time I reach Friday I'm kinda out of the mood. : ) On the weekends, I have just had a lot going on and have decided that I won't stress out about whether or not I am working out. It is going well based on the weight loss, so I figure if it ain't broke don't fix it! ;-P
  • Mon - 80 mins
  • Tues - 90 mins
  • Wed - 80 mins
  • Thurs - 100 mins
  • Fri - OFF
  • Sat - OFF
  • Sun - OFF
lap band bandster fill resstriction

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Yep, it's today. Three years since I got my lapband. I think that I have been extremely successful. Even if I do say so myself. :D I did a non-official weigh in (Monday is my official weigh in.) and assuming it is close or accurate I have lost a total of 96lbs! I had previously posted about common questions, so please look at older posts for that information, but please place a comment if you have any questions at all.

What else? I am still recovering and have been taking it easy. Exercise:
  • Mon - 80 mins
  • Tues - 90 mins
  • Wed - 80 mins
  • Thurs - 100 mins
  • Fri - OFF
  • Sat - OFF
I'm thinking I'll hit the gym tomorrow, but I'll see how it goes. While I would like to take the last 4 lbs off (again, based on an unofficial weigh in), I have to start working on how to switch my mind set from one of losing to one of maintaining. Definitely exercise is one area, but the weight paranoia is another area.

Today I thought that I might try weighing in more often. My paranoia is one that I am constantly putting on weight. I am thinking that if I weigh more often that it will help manage this by showing that I am not gaining weight. I think I would either land on a 1lb shift or a 2lb shift. Weight Watchers uses the 2lbs. I'll have to see about it some more...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Still Sick

Well, unfortunately I am still sick. I am starting to feel better, but have had no appetite at all and am very tired. I have been forcing myself to eat and have continued to do workouts (doctor said I could if I was up to it!). I am hoping that I'll be able to shake it for good by the end of the weekend when I will have taken all of my antibiotics. I do think I'll be bumping back the number of days that I workout and refuse to feel bad about it. I have to work on that a bit. Here's my exercise so far this week -
  • Mon - 80 mins
  • Tues - 90 mins
  • Wed - 80 mins
I was talking to a friend that goes to Weight Watchers. She was telling me about how one of the discussions was that it is very difficult to switch from losing to maintaining. I can't stress how much I agree with that. In some weird way, I guess that losing gives you something to target and achieve and for me obsess on :-). Switching to maintaining is just weird. I think it is part of the reason that I thought what the hell - I'll take a bit more off. I am going to have to think about how I am going to make this shift. It is going to take more thought though than I have energy today, so look for more on that another time.

On the lap band front, I have found that being sick has made me very tight. Even though I am not eating much at a time, I am feeling tight and have even had a couple bouts of heartburn (reflux). As someone that NEVER had heartburn before my lap band, I do attribute it to the band. I am in no way too tight as there is so little in my band, it's just being sick. I don't recall being sick sick in the past 3 years of having my band, so this is a new experience.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Weekly Weigh In...

I was scared when I weighed in. Between not feeling well and not getting in as much exercise, I wasn't sure what to expect. I weighed in at 142 lbs. Yippeee~

I'm working on my next goal to lose 5 lbs by the beginning of December. I'm starting over with the numbering of the weeks - but not sure the number of goal this is or if that even matters. At the end of the day, it is just my next goal.

The other thing I know is that blogging makes me accountable and seriously makes me think more about things than I think I would if I wasn't blogging. Between this and my journal, it really keeps me on track. So, you're stuck with me! Goal is 138 lbs. Only 4 to go, but I'm guessing they are going to be tough ones!
  • Week 12 - 11/4 - 143 lbs - GOAL!!!
  • Week 1 - 11/10 - 142 lbs - 1 lb lost

Exercise - More days off than normal because of being sick. That being said, still over 5 hours in the gym, so nothing to sneeze at. (Get it? Yep, I'm hilarious.)

  • Mon - 90 mins
  • Tues - 80 mins
  • Wed - 75 mins
  • Thurs - 60 mins
  • Fri - OFF / Sick
  • Sat - OFF / Sick
  • Sun - OFF / Sick

Almost 3 years since banding...

I'm 7 days from being banded for THREE years. I thought I would answer questions that I had posed to myself previously around a bandiversary since I'm under the weather and have time to dedicate to writing it. If anyone has any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Official weigh in stats:
Height: 5'8"
Starting weight: 234 lbs
Current weight: 143 lbs
Overall loss: 91 lbs
Lbs to goal: 0 lbs - But considering going for the last 9 to hit 100 lbs.

BMI: 21.7 - (Normal weight = 18.5-24.9)
Clothing size: 6. Sometimes even a bit loose, but I'm a freak and won't try on a smaller size. Shirt: S/M

How many fills have you had?
  • 1st fill – 1.2cc – 12/21
  • 2nd fill – 1.8cc – 1/25
  • 3rd unfill - was just too tight - went to 1.4cc
  • 4th unfill - dilated pouch - complete unfill
  • 5th fill - .6cc
  • I think I went up some from here to about .8cc; then unfill to about .4 cc; then another to .2 cc - that's where I remain.

Are you going to stay at your current fill level?
Yes for now. I am going to wait through a couple more cycles and see how it goes. Also, reduce my exercise. If reduction in exercise and the fact that I do get hungry does not result in weight gain, I'm staying. If I do go get a fill, it will be a very conservative one. I rely on my band as a tool and I don't want it so tight that I can't eat the good foods I want to.

What are you going to do next?
Try to lose 5 more lbs before my birthday in early December. With me getting sick, this might not be realistic. Therefore, I am not going to stress about it and just see how it goes. Like I said, as long as I don't get too thin (what a hoot to type that!) I might target 134 for 100 lbs. lost.

What size clothes are you wearing?
6 pants/dress. Shirt - S/M (boobs still remain, so that sometime causes some issues - not that I'm complaining!)

What do you eat in a typical day?
I always start with weight control quaker instant oatmeal with 1/2 oz of dried blueberries or cherries for breakfast. (Good source of fiber. Keeps me full without being too substantial to feel uncomfortable.) For lunch, pretty much whatever. If I'm tight - which you can tell over time - I'll have something soft. For dinner, I'm loosest then and eat pretty much anything. I pretty much stay away from pasta and bread entirely. When I do eat some, it might be a bit of pasta or crackers---pasta always has a lot of sauce. Dry meat has to have sauce. Chicken breast is tricky some days. Dry meat of any kind is a problem, but as long as what I eat is chewed well and within the amount I am supposed to have - I don't have any issues.

Was it worth it?
Yes, it was. I stress though that I would only recommend it as a last resort. I felt I was there. I could get the weight off, but just couldn't keep it out without exercising and watching what I ate ALL the time. Now, I live a life of moderation on everything and the weight stays off. Other than the gain of 15lbs that was totally MY FAULT and choice (via bad choices and not working out) I have remained the same weight or lost a bit. It was worth every penny and I was self-pay.

Have you had any problems?
Yes. You'll see in the beginning of my blog that shortly after my surgery I swore my stitches in my port popped. Everybody told me no way and not to worry about it. When I went in for my fill, it had. So it is on it's side. I still have not had it fixed, but you can now see a lump from it when my shirt is off and FEEL it. Feeling it is the grossest. I am considering getting it fixed. I have also had some problems with pouch dilation. People being too tight is BAD. The other thing is that your portion size is also very important. It can also lead to stretching of your pouch. Signs? Eating more than you used to and getting heartburn (aka - reflux).

Have you pb'd?
Yep. When I was too tight, a lot. Now, I pretty much know how and what to eat depending on the tightness of my band. When/if I have problems, it is around my period. I have learned sometimes it is best not to fight it and let it happen. This seems to work for me and then does not lead to repeated pb's or irritation. Be sure to follow your surgeon's instructions for when this occurs. I find that I get very tight (swollen and irritated) and need to follow the instructions. I'll stay on fluids for a number of hours and then depending on how bad it is (believe me you get to where you know) I'll put myself on self-imposed soft foods for a day or two. Usually within a day I am totally back to normal.

What rules do you follow?
Eat slowly. Take small bites. Don't eat first thing in the morning. When I feel full - stop. Don't drink with meals. No soda. That pretty much sums it up. There aren't a lot of them. These are pretty much the standard bandster rules. The latest addition is the first bite rule. I am sure to chew well and make sure it is small. There is some suspicion that not doing this may have contributed to the dilation. Again, no one knows for sure. (See the side.)

Do you have lose skin?
Surprisingly, I'd have to say no. I wear a bikini and look pretty damn good for my age. Over time since I hit goal and continued to workout, I'd say that I even look better. Now, that being said, I'd like to have a boob lift. I don't think that has anything to do with the band though. Just age and gravity. Believe it or not, my boobs are THE SAME size they were before banding.

Do you 'diet'?
I guess most people would say yes. I'd say no. The bottom line whether you have a lapband or not is you have to make good food choices. I roughly follow Weight Watchers that my friend gave me all the scoop on. The daily points with the flex keeps everything in check. I have journaled my food and exercise since I was banded - except for the time that I put on the 15lbs. This is very successful for me. Conscious eating is critical.

So what is all this about this 15lbs you gained?
Well, for about 5 or 6 months, I didn't work out, log my food, or make good choices. The good news is that I only gained 15 lbs. In the past, this would have been much worse. I also avoided the scale, so it was my clothes screaming at me that they were tight that woke me up. There were a whole lot of factors that contributed to my not caring - work stress, break up, just not caring - in fact, I think I was in a bit of a depression. Well, I kicked myself in the ass and got things under control. That is what you see referenced in the past 12 weeks or so. In those 12 weeks, with dedication and effort - and following all the rules - I lost 15.5 lbs.

Any questions? Please let me know. Nothing is off limits.

lap band bandster fill

Saturday, November 08, 2008

My Band and Cough Drops

As I've been harping on, I've been sick. My throat has been really sore as part of the loveliness. That sore throat with the tickle, know what I mean? So, logical thing is to suck on some throat lozenges. The ones I started out with weren't very strong. I switched to some others (Halls) and man those worked on the throat great! BUT not with my band. Good grief - the heartburn! I think the 'juice' gets in the pouch and then kinda burbled back up a bit and BAM! Even though everyone's experience is different, I thought this might be worth a mention.

I didn't end up at the gym yesterday and haven't made it there yet today either. It's possible that I don't need to work out as much (I better not!) to maintain my weight, but was still hoping to drop 5 more lbs. before my birthday. Oh well, not the end of the world. Getting better is the priority, but the damn allergies are also complicating things. Texas is horrible right now for some reason. People that say they don't / never have had allergies are even complaining. We need a few good freezes, but weather continues to be unseasonably warm.

lapband bandster fill

Friday, November 07, 2008

Feeling better!

Yep, just like I knew people. It just takes time when you irritate your band. I had some soft food and no issues. Feeling pretty good. Going to stay on liquids/soft foods for the rest of the day, but believe I was doing the 'normal' lap band freakout and everything is fine. So, my UGH has now turned to a *sigh* of relief. :-)

...Even considering going to the gym, but might just take the day off.
lapband bandster fill

Stuck? Irritated? Swollen?

OK - Yesterday I ate something that I think I didn't chew well enough. I'm not sure, but something happened. I didn't really feel like there was anything stuck in my band, but when I tried to eat, I thought that I was just really tight. That might have been it too. Honestly it's hard to know. Regardless, it led to a whole bunch of barfing (what is referred to as 'PB' or 'productive burping', but at the end of the day is really just barfing). It went on for quite some time. I did what I was supposed to and did not eat or drink. After a number of hours, I did have something to drink and it went down fine. Then I went to bed.

This morning everything seemed fine. I was able to drink some hot tea and just felt a little tight. Figured this was just irritation. I recently had some oatmeal, which from a lap band perspective is a soft food. I had a couple bites and while I am not barfing, I feel VERY tight and full. Again, I am hoping it is residual from the episode last night, but most bandsters will tell you that it does a number on your mind and you start thinking bad thoughts. Has my band slipped? What the hell? etc. It's not nice.

I am doing my best to focus on the fact that after all this time, it is highly unlikely that it is anything other than a result of the episode last night and me being sick. (I thought if I wrote about it out here, it might also help!) So, I am going to put myself on liquids today and soft foods tomorrow. I'll see how it goes and post out updates now and then. Man there have been a lot of 'ughs' lately, but this is another one. So, UGH!

lapband bandster fill


I thought it was allergies. Very well might have started there, but yesterday after going to the gym in the morning (60 mins slow pace on treadmill - thought I was going to die!), fever hit. That afternoon I went to the doc and got an antibiotic shot and have been mainlining over-the-counter medicines to deal with the rest of the symptoms. UGH!

Not sure what I'll end up doing today. It might be couch. Right now no fever - which is good news - will check again around noon. Might go ahead and walk on the treadmill later today. Doc said that if I was up to it, no issue.

lap band bandster fill

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Weight Gain Paranoia

Seriously, what the hell is the deal with weight-gain paranoia now that I am back where I want to be? I'm eating right and exercising, so as long as I continue my good habits and make good choices I should be fine and even get to my next stretch goal of 138. Grrrr - It's frustrating, but then good that I recognize it. I find that self-talk is a great tool. Or maybe it is just all the people in my head. :-)

Allergies suck for some reason right now in Texas. People that say they have never had allergies are complaining. I have the worst sore throat! I'm hoping with gargling hot salt water and hot tea that I can get it back in shape tomorrow. It made it very hard to workout this morning, but I did get in 75 mins.

Tonight I made cauliflower poppers. Man they are yummy and very easy to make. I am wondering if I my band is a bit too loose. I am eating more quantity wise, but going to leave my band as it is until I either start gaining weight or after my birthday in early December. I like being able to eat things (healthy) that I wasn't able to tolerate before, but honestly am not sure that me keeping up the level of exercise I am is realistic in the long term. I'd like to get to a spot where I workout 4-5 days a week (1 hour max), can eat reasonably, and maintain my weight.

(FYI - My band only has a fill of .2 in it. That's right .2. So that is practically empty. As I posted some time ago, they wanted to take it all out, but I have a mental dependency to having some fluid in it even if it is hardly anything.)

lapband bandster fill

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I hit my goal! Um, again :-)

Yep, even though I was scared after the weekend, I got on the scale this morning on EVIL Tuesday and the scale read 143 lbs! And that was after multiple weigh ins. Yep, I know there are plenty of you that do it too. Off / On; Off / On...still read the same. So I'm back to where I was and now shooting for my second goal which is an additional 5 lbs. When I get there I might consider the last 4lbs to hit the 100 lbs lost mark since getting the lap band.

Here's the wrap up from when I kicked myself in the ass after eating around my band, not working out, just generally being a bad bandster. Cause that's right people. The band is NOT a magic solution. You still have to make good choices and for most people you also have to work out. Are there exceptions? I'm sure there are, but I'm not one of them.
  • Week 1 - 8/19 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN 3 lbs (My body was in shock. Let's be real. First week, I always see something)
  • Week 2 - 8/26 - 156 lbs - UP .5 lb
  • Week 3 - 9/2 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lb (notice same .5)
  • Week 4 - 9/9 - 155.5 lbs - SAME (drastic measures called for. switch weigh in day.)
  • Week 5 (Switch to Mondays) - 9/15 - 153 lbs - DOWN 2.5 lbs
  • Week 6 - 9/22 - 151. 5 lbs - DOWN 2 lbs
  • Week 7 - 9/29 - 147.5 lbs - DOWN 4 lbs
  • Week 8 - 10/6 - 150.5 lbs - UP 3 lbs
  • Week 9 - 10/13 - 146 lbs - DOWN 4.5 lbs
  • Week 10 - 10/20 - 145.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lbs
  • Week 11 - 10/27 - 145.5 lbs - SAME
  • Week 12 - 11/4 - 143 lbs - GOAL!!!
12 weeks and 15.5 lbs lost. Average of 1.3 lbs lost per week. I'll take it as for anyone - including bandsters - it does get harder the closer you get to your goal weight. (BTW - my goal weight for the band was 149 - I went down further when I hit that point.)

Exercise is back on track after my little vacation.
  • Monday - 90 mins
  • Tuesday - 80 mins

Monday, November 03, 2008

Self Sabatoge?

So, Friday was Halloween as you know. I was planning to go out (dressed up) with a group of friends. I had not slept well the night before and was an idiot and did not go to the gym first thing in the morning (I wanted to get work rolling). Once I finished with work though, I had to get some running around in to finish up my costume. By the time everything was done it was late afternoon. I decided to take a nap instead of getting in a workout. It was a holiday after all, right?

That night I had some drinks, but managed to stay away from food and only had 3 pieces of candy. (Yeah me! Candy is my personal weakness and has no effect on the band.) But on Saturday, I was tired --- we stayed up until about 4am. So, you guessed it - I didn't work out. Then I didn't work out on Sunday either!!! And I had a couple drinks on Saturday AND on Sunday. Sunday I also had 4 buffalo wings and a few nachos. See where this is going????

I seriously had to wonder just a bit if I am self-sabatoging? I am 2.5lbs from my goal weight of 143 where I was previously and for some reason I get whacky when I get close. THEN, as if that isn't enough, I seriously forgot it was Monday today and didn't weigh in! This is no lie. I was on vacation today and just didn't think about it (or didn't want to). When I did remember I had already taken a shower and my hair was wet. No way (pardon the pun!) was I weighing at that point. I have to weigh first thing. I don't care that by the end of the day I probably weigh more. All that matters is that first weigh in.

I have a litany of excuses - I had been working out like a fiend for months with 1 day a week off. My body could use a break. Plus I didn't eat the 29 lbs of candy that I really wanted to. AND I had brought some of the candy home and I GAVE it to my friend the next day. (That's another yeah me!)

Here's the week's exercise...Thinking I'll weigh in tomorrow, but it is the dreaded Tuesday and as I previously posted, I personally decided that Tuesday weigh-ins are evil and changed my official day to Monday. Maybe I'll just wait until next Monday...
  • Mon - 112 mins
  • Tues - 70 mins
  • Wed - 92 mins
  • Thurs - 92 mins
  • Fri - REST - Holiday, Right?
  • Sat - Off - Day After Holiday
  • Sun - Off - Day After After Holiday

lapband bandster fill

Thursday, October 30, 2008


That's seriously what I have at the moment. Just been a week of gym, work, sleep. Oh, and don't forget the crabbiness. I do like Halloween though and will be dressing up and going out with friends. Looking forward to it and hope that we all have some fun acting stupid. Can't remember last exercise post, so here's the week so far...
  • Mon - 112 mins
  • Tues - 70 mins
  • Wed - 92 mins
  • Thurs - 92 mins
It was seriously a struggle to get to the gym today. I didn't go first thing in the morning - BIG mistake. By the end of the day, I just wasn't in the mood and didn't wanna. Then I thought about the costume I'm wearing and that I'll be drinking and said, "self - get going". I really need to try and do it first thing in the morning tomorrow. Maybe I should wear a costume to the gym? Wouldn't that be funny???

lapband bandster fill

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tight Tight TIGHT!!!

Enjoy the flurry of recipes from Weight Watchers. They sound pretty good to me and I plan on trying some of them out. That won't be until I am not so tight though. As usual - miserable. TTOTM I am always tighter, but sometimes I am really tight. This stupid time it is one of those really tight times. UGH! And to top that off, I'm not very hungry. Some might consider this a good thing, but I am a big believer in keeping fuel in your system - just not a lot of it! (It stalls my weight loss.) So, I have been trying to come up with things that 1 - sound good to eat and 2 - won't cause me a bunch of pain.

All I can say is: UGH, UGH, UGH!

Exercise today: 70 mins

lapband bandster fill

Tex-Mex Rice and Bean Casserole - 4 WW pts

POINTS® Value: 4
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Creamy, cheesy Mexican food is irresistible. This one-dish casserole is a vegetarian feast.


* 1 spray(s) cooking spray
* 1 cup(s) canned yellow corn, drained, or frozen, thawed corn kernels
* 1 tbsp canned green chili peppers, chopped, mild or hot
* 15 oz canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 cup(s) cooked brown rice, fresh or day old
* 3/4 cup(s) shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese
* 3/4 cup(s) fat-free sour cream
* 1/4 tsp chili powder
* 1/4 tsp table salt
* 1/8 tsp black pepper
* 2 tbsp scallion(s), chopped (dark green part only)
* 2 tbsp shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese


* Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 2-quart glass baking dish with cooking spray.

* In a large bowl, combine corn, chilies, beans, rice, 3/4 cup of cheese, sour cream, chili powder, salt and pepper; stir in scallions.

* Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese melts and casserole is slightly bubbly, about 10 minutes more. Let stand for 5 minutes to firm up before slicing into 6 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.


* Change the beans or cheese to your liking: white or black beans, reduced-fat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheeses all work well.

If you want to brown the cheese more, place the dish (make sure it's broiler safe) under the broiler for a minute or two.

Grilled Portobellos with Garlicky Herbed Bean Salad - 5 WW pts

POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 25 min
Cooking Time: 21 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

This nutrient-packed meal is really filling. Vary the types of beans each time you make it: Great Northern, flageolet, navy and pinto are all tasty.


* 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
* 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
* 4 large portobello mushroom(s), remove, mince and reserve stems
* 1/2 medium sweet red pepper(s)
* 1/2 medium yellow pepper(s)
* 1 spray(s) cooking spray
* 1 1/2 cup(s) canned white beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
* 3 medium garlic clove(s), finely minced (or to taste)
* 3 medium scallion(s), chopped
* 1 large tomato(es), seeded and chopped
* 1 tsp fresh sage, or rosemary, finely chopped
* 1 tsp table salt
* 1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste


* Preheat grill (or grill pan) to medium.

* Combine 1 tablespoon of oil and vinegar in a cup; brush mixture over top of mushroom caps and let sit 5 to 10 minutes to release juices.

* Grill mushrooms, stem side down, brushing with any extra oil mixture/juices, until slightly tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Turn mushrooms over and grill until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes more.

* Meanwhile, lightly coat pepper halves with cooking spray; grill, skin-side down, until skin starts to blister, about 3 to 5 minutes; coarsely chop peppers.

* Place peppers in a medium bowl. Add beans, minced mushroom stems, remaining tablespoon of oil, lemon juice, garlic, scallions, tomato, sage, salt and black pepper; toss well to coat.

* Reduce grill heat to low or move mushrooms to a higher rack level. Spoon vegetable mixture into mushroom caps. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Yields 1 filled mushroom per serving.

Greek-Style Spaghetti Squash - 3 WW pts

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 25 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

In addition to being a great side dish for chicken or fish, this combo of feta, chickpeas, sautéed scallions and spaghetti squash also makes a fantastic vegetarian main course.


* 2 pound(s) raw spaghetti squash
* 2 tsp olive oil
* 1/2 cup(s) scallion(s), sliced
* 2 tsp minced garlic
* 14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
* 1 cup(s) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* 1 tsp lemon zest, freshly grated
* 1/4 tsp table salt
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 1/4 cup(s) dill, or mint, fresh, chopped
* 1/4 cup(s) pot cheese, or fat-free crumbled feta


* Pierce squash with a fork in several places; place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high, turning squash over every 3 minutes, until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes; let stand 5 minutes. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. (Or to bake squash, preheat oven to 350ºF. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a large baking dish and prick skin all over with a fork. Bake until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.)

* Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes, chickpeas, oregano, lemon zest, salt and pepper; increase heat to high and bring to a slow boil.

* Using a fork, scrape strands of squash into skillet with tomato-chickpea mixture. Cook, stirring, until squash strands are well coated; remove from heat and stir in dill or mint. Top each serving with cheese. Yields about 1 cup of squash mixture and 1 tablespoon of cheese per serving.


* Add a dash of red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

Hearty Tuscan Vegetable Chowder - 3 WW pts

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 25 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

We wrap up Vegetarian Week with our hearty chowder. It's packed with vegetables and TVP (textured vegetable protein) but even carnivores will love it.


* 2 tsp olive oil
* 1 cup(s) onion(s), diced
* 3/4 cup(s) carrot(s), diced
* 1/2 cup(s) celery, diced
* 4 cup(s) vegetable broth
* 28 oz canned tomatoes, diced, in juice, undrained
* 15 oz canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
* 3 tsp minced garlic
* 1/4 tsp dried thyme
* 1 cup(s) kale, frozen, chopped
* 1 cup(s) frozen cut green beans
* 1/2 tsp table salt
* 1 cup(s) dry textured vegetable protein, granules (TVP)
* 1 tsp fennel seed
* 1/2 tsp black pepper


* Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute 5 minutes until onion is translucent. Add broth, tomatoes and juice, beans, TVP, garlic, fennel and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes.

* Stir in kale, green beans, salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes or until vegetables and TVP are tender. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving. (Note: Store in refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for future consumption.)

Provencal-Style Fish Stew - 3 WW pts

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 8 min
Cooking Time: 13 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

This French-inspired stew is so flavorful, it's hard to believe it's made mostly from canned goods. Use frozen chopped onions to streamline the process even more.


* 15 oz canned chicken broth, divided
* 1 large onion(s), chopped
* 15 oz canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
* 6 oz water-packed tuna fish, drained, flaked with a fork
* 15 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
* 1/4 tsp dried oregano
* 1/2 tsp table salt
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 1/4 cup(s) basil, fresh, chopped


* In a medium pot, heat 1/4 cup of broth over medium-high heat; add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

* Add beans, tuna, tomatoes and oregano; stir in remaining broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper and basil; simmer for 1 minute more. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.


* If you can't find fresh basil, substitute 2 tablespoons of fresh, flat-leaf parsley in its place.

Rouille sauce, a garlicky condiment that tops French bouillabaisse, is a delicious optional topping for this stew. For a quick version, blend together 1 slice of French bread (torn into pieces), 1 garlic clove, 2 roasted red peppers (from a water-packed jar), 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne and 1 tablespoon of chicken broth (or enough broth to make a sauce). Add a dollop to each serving of stew (adds 0 POINTS values per serving).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Komen and Weigh In

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I participate in the local Komen race and raise money to hopefully find a cure. Well, the cool people at Lean Cuisine have a really neat deal. For essentially 10 bucks you get a cool lunch bag and 5 bucks goes to Komen. I ordered the block pattern one. Go check it out here.

Weigh In
Well I was right dang it! I didn't gain, but just stayed the same this week. Honestly it is a bit strange when I look at everything in total, but maybe it has something to do with TTOTM. I'll just keep plugging away and see what happens next week. And remember when I said in my last post that I would be happy if I remained the same? Well, I lied! ;-P
  • Week 1 - 8/19 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN 3 lbs (My body was in shock. Let's be real. First week, I always see something)
  • Week 2 - 8/26 - 156 lbs - UP .5 lb
  • Week 3 - 9/2 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lb (notice same .5)
  • Week 4 - 9/9 - 155.5 lbs - SAME (drastic measures called for. switch weigh in day.)
  • Week 5 (Switch to Mondays) - 9/15 - 153 lbs - DOWN 2.5 lbs
  • Week 6 - 9/22 - 151. 5 lbs - DOWN 2 lbs
  • Week 7 - 9/29 - 147.5 lbs - DOWN 4 lbs
  • Week 8 - 10/6 - 150.5 lbs - UP 3 lbs
  • Week 9 - 10/13 - 146 lbs - DOWN 4.5 lbs
  • Week 10 - 10/20 - 145.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lbs
  • Week 11 - 10/27 - 145.5 lbs - SAME
Exercise today: 112 mins. I still feel tight today. Only able to eat 1/2 my oatmeal this morning. I think it is hormonal though. If my eating last week is any indication of where my band is fill wise, I think I need a small fill. Next week will be the test.

lapband bandster fill

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stolen Base = FREE Taco

Get your FREE taco people! Any World Series game that has a base officially stolen means that Taco Bell will give anyone that comes in on a certain day during a window of time a FREE taco. Last night it happened and Tuesday is the day. This promotion will continue throughout the World Series. Pretty cool, huh?

Exercise was excellent this week. Here's the stats:
  • Mon - 70 mins
  • Tues - 70 mins / 65 mins
  • Wed - 75 mins
  • Thurs - 70 mins / 30 min walk at lunch
  • Fri - 110 mins
  • Sat - 120 mins
  • Sun - OFF
The concern I have is my eating. It was OK, but I had a lot of snacks and one day had - let's see - some not-so-good choices. Here's the thing though - I was still within my points because there are 35 flex points in addition to the daily point allocation during the week. But as I know, I don't have the best metabolism in the world and at this point it is very hard to get the weight off. This is all building up to...I sure hope I maintain at a minimum when I weigh in tomorrow and don't see a gain. *sigh*

It is getting close to TTOTM and I am feeling tight today. It has been hard to eat and honestly I just don't feel like it. That's what happens to me - the week before - eat like a pig. The week of - don't like to eat which works out well since my band always gets tighter at this time.

lapband bandster fill

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stand Up Straight!

Remember how your mom used to tell you that? Well, as with a lotta things, my dang mom was right! And this is most important at the gym. As you know, I'm a fan of the elliptical and treadmill on an incline to manage my knee problems. I just have to have a little-itty-bitty rant about how good posture is important.

Good posture will give you a good workout and use the muscles that are intended to be worked out while ensuring others are not being pulled and strained in a way they shouldn't be. Do not hunch over people! I cannot tell you how many people I have seen do this. It isn't good for you and honestly you aren't getting as much out of your workout as you could be.

So, what's the correct posture? Again, not a doctor or a trainer, but here's my thoughts for the elliptical: stand up straight (back straight) with your shoulders back. Pretty much everything else will align where it is supposed to when you do this. Keep in mind your core and tighten your abs. You do this during your workout and those places that the machine says are supposed to be working out (some combination of hams, quads, butt, and calves) will be worked out and I bet you feel it.

Whew - I feel better now! :-) I haven't worked out yet today. Yesterday gym: 70 mins.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jell-O is My Friend

When I am convinced I am hungry, but it is too early to eat - or I've already had a snack - I pull out my trusty friend - Sugar Free Jell-O and eat one of those. I like all the flavors and keep them on hand at all times. Gotta love a snack that kinda fills you up and only has 10 calories!

My other favorite is the Sugar Free Jell-O pudding. When I am looking for something creamy and a treat, I have one of these puddings. A surprising favorite flavor of mine is the dulce de leche. My friend convinced me to try it and it was a definite good call. (It does taste a bit artificial though, so you have been warned!)

I thought I might go to the gym for a second time today, but realized my legs were a little sore and I was over doing it. So instead I am blogging about Jell-O. Go figure!

Btw - the Jell-O is free Weight Watcher wise. The pudding is 1 pt.

Exercise today: 75 mins

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Me and My Phone

OK, I am convinced. I have a problem with my mobile phone. My name is Fluffy and I am a mobile-phone-aholic. Here's the story. I decided to go to the gym and get on the treadmill to watch half of Biggest Loser. Great idea, right? I get to the gym and looked around for my phone. (I text like a tween - about 5,000 a month - yes, seriously. And, I'm old!) Couldn't find it and seriously almost considered driving HOME to get it. That is seriously sick! I was planning on being at the gym for about an hour and I can't be without my phone? Seriously, I need a program...

Exercise so far this week...

Monday - 70 mins
Tuesday - 70 mins morning / 65 mins evening

Monday, October 20, 2008

Comment Responses and Weigh In...

Deb - Please let me know if you have any questions. I strongly believe that there is no such thing as a stupid one. Getting banded is a big decision. Good luck with the doc in November.

Kathleen - First, congratulations on the 150 lbs you lost!

I was actually totally average/normal whatever you want to call it as a child. Had some challenges (minor) in high school, but related to a move in schools. In fact, I had stayed thin throughout my twenties as well. The problems started in my 30's and battling severe depression. I found that if I have a picture taken that I can see my 'real' size. It is very bizarre and the other day I didn't recognize myself in a picture. Like you said, I might never get over it.

Your comments on vanity sizing were so interesting that I am going to post them here...

You're friend is right and there is no such thing as vanity sizing. In a nutshell, designers size their garments to their demography. Contrary to popular opinion, wealthy people are thinner. Therefore, expensive designer apparel is sized smaller ("true to size") than inexpensive items. Even a designer sizes differently according to each of their labels. Ex, Ralph Lauren puts out 7 different lines, each priced to a different demography. His high end purple label is sized at least two sizes smaller than his lowest end line of tees and hoodies. There's more info here if you're interested.

There's links at close to more entries in the series. Btw, I'm a pattern maker in the apparel industry but I'm no apologist, the industry is guilty of many sins but vanity sizing isn't one of them.

First, I've never *met* a pattern maker. That is seriously cool! The information you shared is extremely interesting! Thank-you for sharing it with me. I am going to check out the link you provided as well, but haven't had a chance to do so yet.


Yippeeee! A small loss, but still a loss. Wondering if it might have been a bit more considering my exercise for the week, but had sushi (look out soy sauce!) last night. Note to self: Having a salt-fest the night before you weigh in is probably not a good idea.
  • Week 1 - 8/19 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN 3 lbs (My body was in shock. Let's be real. First week, I always see something)
  • Week 2 - 8/26 - 156 lbs - UP .5 lb
  • Week 3 - 9/2 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lb (notice same .5)
  • Week 4 - 9/9 - 155.5 lbs - SAME (drastic measures called for. switch weigh in day.)
  • Week 5 (Switch to Mondays) - 9/15 - 153 lbs - DOWN 2.5 lbs
  • Week 6 - 9/22 - 151. 5 lbs - DOWN 2 lbs
  • Week 7 - 9/29 - 147.5 lbs - DOWN 4 lbs
  • Week 8 - 10/6 - 150.5 lbs - UP 3 lbs
  • Week 9 - 10/13 - 146 lbs - DOWN 4.5 lbs
  • Week 10 - 10/20 - 145.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lbs

I think this is a very good week for exercise!
  • Mon - 80 mins
  • Tues - 70 mins
  • Wed - 70 mins
  • Thurs - 70 mins
  • Fri - 70 mins
  • Sat - Komen 5K
  • Sun - 110 mins - **OK, yes this is a little excessive. I did my normal workout and the football game was on. I figured rather than going home and putting my ass on the couch that I might as well just walk the treadmill on an incline. So that's what I did.
I've also decided that on my day off from the gym that there is no reason that I can't go for a walk. This week proved that. Komen - while it was a 5K (3.2 miles) - has nearly 40,000 racers (original Dallas race) and you are going at a leisurely pace not necessarily by choice, but by traffic! So far there have been no ill effects from doing it, but if I do feel sore (which I do a bit today) - I'm blaming it on the length of Sunday's workout anyway!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Well, when I had regained this bit of weight - I had complained about my clothes not fitting. I now have the same frickin' problem! My clothes are now too big. I am still 3 lbs from my lowest weight since banding, but I'm smaller. All the working out is doing some magic!

This would not be so bad, but I'm between sizes it seems. An 8 is too big and for me a 6 is too tight. My friend totally disagrees and she says I wear my clothes too loose and that the 6 actually fits. With the economy the way it is, clothes are all on sale. I ended up getting 3 pairs of slacks (nice ones and size 6) for under 75 bucks.

Funny thing is that I don't feel that small, but I guess people are getting concerned that I am losing too much weight????? I'm tall (5'8") so I guess a 6 is pretty small, but I don't believe these are true size 6 pants. I think it is vanity sizing. My friend pointed out the pants are made by 3 different designers. I don't know. What is my deal?

I'm sure that people reading this might be thinking 'what the hell? get over yourself and shut the hell up'. But I guess I'm concerned. Concerned I don't see myself as I really am and need to figure out how to do that. I still look in the mirror and see a smaller version of the fat person I had become, but still fat. Sounds weird, but I am sure some people can relate to this.

I'm going to have to ponder all of this more. I've been feeling a lot of anxiety as well. Hell, I'm a mess. (Remember - my job also sucks.) Maybe I need to consider going to a counselor for a bit again. Or maybe, I am just stressed, anxious, and in a funk....

Gym: 70 mins

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


To my new follower Deb! Seriously, it is nice to know that someone is checking out the blog every now and then. So, thanks Deb! Didn't see that you have a blog. If you do, please let me know.

  • Mon - 80 mins
  • Tues - 70 mins
  • Wed - 70 mins

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weigh In Day...what the hell?

This yo-yo is nuts.
  • Week 1 - 8/19 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN 3 lbs (My body was in shock. Let's be real. First week, I always see something)
  • Week 2 - 8/26 - 156 lbs - UP .5 lb
  • Week 3 - 9/2 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lb (notice same .5)
  • Week 4 - 9/9 - 155.5 lbs - SAME (drastic measures called for. switch weigh in day.)
  • Week 5 (Switch to Mondays) - 9/15 - 153 lbs - DOWN 2.5 lbs
  • Week 6 - 9/22 - 151. 5 lbs - DOWN 2 lbs
  • Week 7 - 9/29 - 147.5 lbs - DOWN 4 lbs
  • Week 8 - 10/6 - 150.5 lbs - UP 3 lbs
  • Week 9 - 10/13 - 146 lbs - DOWN 4.5 lbs
So, I'm totally confused. If last week was a screwed up weigh in from TTOTM, then it's a 1.5 lb loss ignoring the screwed up week. I have no idea and it is a bit nerve wracking. I will just continue to eat right and exercise. The scale eventually shows it.

I went shopping over the weekend as I had snagged up a pair of pants at work. With a coupon, door buster, etc. at JCP, I paid less than 15 bucks for the pants. :-) I figured I would get a couple other pairs - which ended up being about the same price when all was said and done - roughly 45 bucks for 3 pairs.

Anyway, I knew the replacement pair would fit as I bought a size smaller. The other two are actually the same style (um, I wear black slacks to work and that is pretty much it on the bottom. I'm fine with them being the same style if they fit). I tried them on and they fit. Wellllll, I had those damn pants on today and they are too frickin' big. There is good and bad to that. The good they are too big. The bad - I just bought the damn pair and wore them once. No way to return them. Grrrrrr.

Lesson: Be sure to factor in that your pants need to be kinda snug. Cause you wear them and they stretch out a bit from the spandex they are putting in everything. Saggy ass is not so nice.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why the Incline is Your Friend

I have been a big believer in the incline, but decided when I heard reference to this on Biggest Loser that I must not be an idiot! I was super athletic as a kid, teen, and adult through college, so my knees are not what they used to be and there is some cartilage damage and stuff like that. My goal is to not do anything about it until I have to and therefore I have to modify workouts a lot to get the calorie burn, heart rate, etc. that I would if I did more higher impact workers. The rub is higher impact = sore knees. So, for a long time, I have been a big fan of the incline on a treadmill. By putting the treadmill on the incline going the same speed you would if it was flat, you will see a dramatic increase in your heart rate and therefore a dramatic increase in calories burn. All with no running!

Here's an example, let's say your speed is 3.5 - put your incline to the same thing or higher - and then monitor your heart rate. You'll see it go up, feel more exertion, burn more calories, and get a waaaaay better leg workout. I am not a trainer or a doctor, so please ensure you do any appropriate checking beforehand, but please give it a go!

For cardio, if I'm not on the treadmill, it is the elliptical, or the revolving stairs. The stairs are amazing. Don't be scared of them. And, don't be afraid that you are going slow. Anyone that has actually been on these torture chambers KNOWS that they kick your ass (almost literally) and going longer on them is better. Start slow and work up to more time. On these things, I personally believe in a longer workout that a slow quick one - but that's me.

Here's this week's round up...
  • Mon - 75 mins
  • Tues - 60 mins
  • Wed - 60 mins
  • Thurs - 66 mins
  • Fri - 60 mins
  • Sat - REST
  • Sun - 90 mins
Tomorrow is weigh in day. Hoping that I will see a drop closer to the previous number. It has been an up/down, up/down, roller coaster. But must remember to be patient. My smallest clothes are fitting and everything else is too big. So the scale is going to have to catch up at some point.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My New Gadget (Hopefully)

In late December/early January, I should be receiving my pre-ordered fit bit tracker. For those of you watching Biggest Losers, you might have noticed that they are wearing a monitor on their arm. That isn't the fit bit, but is another device that functions very similarly. The biggest differences are the size, the cost, and NO ongoing website payments. It is one cool little gadget and only 100 bucks.

It will help me know: Did I get enough exercise today? How many calories did I burn? Am I getting good quality sleep? How many steps and miles did I walk today? The Fitbit Tracker helps you answer these questions. Sweet, huh?

Here's some other stuff from the website...

You can wear the Fitbit Tracker loosely in your pocket, clipped to your pants, shirt, bra or to your wrist when you are sleeping. You can wear it all day!

The Fitbit Tracker is wireless. Walk within 25-50ft of the provided basestation and your data will be automatically uploaded to the Fitbit website. The auto-sync software runs on both Macs and PC's.

View calories, steps and distance on the Fitbit Tracker itself. You can login to the Fitbit website to see even more detailed data and also participate in collaborative fitness goals with friends, family and co-workers.

I can't wait until it gets here! (My only concern is that they are seeing if they get enough orders to go into production. So, please check it out. I want one!!! Think of how many times you have wasted money on weight loss 'stuff'. This is only a drop in the bucket AND will tell you when you are being a sloth.)

I think I am taking today off from the gym, but not sure. Still plenty of time to go. I could just go and do an easy workout. Workouts so far this week have been good...
  • Mon - 75 mins
  • Tues - 60 mins
  • Wed - 60 mins
  • Thurs - 66 mins
  • Fri - 60 mins
  • Sat -????

Hearty Vegetable and Beef Stew - 3 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 3
Preparation Time:
15 min
Cooking Time:
60 min
Level of Difficulty:

For a hearty, delicious meal anytime make a batch and freeze it in single portions. When you want a quick meal, just microwave!


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium garlic clove(s), chopped
  • 8 oz lean beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup(s) carrot(s), sliced
  • 1 small green pepper(s), chopped
  • 1 small onion(s), chopped
  • 2 tsp canned tomato paste
  • 2 cup(s) canned beef broth
  • 1/2 cup(s) water
  • 1 cup(s) canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  • In a Dutch oven, heat oil. Sauté garlic until golden. Brown veal, about 5 minutes; set aside.
  • Add vegetables and cook until tender, 6 minutes. Add tomato paste, broth and water. Return veal to pan.
  • Cover and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until veal is tender. Season to taste.
  • Add beans; heat through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Yields about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups per serving.
  • Flavor Booster: To enhance the delicate taste of veal, tie 1 bay leaf, a fresh rosemary sprig, 3 or 4 leaves fresh sage and a strip of lemon peel in a muslin packet and simmer with the stew. Remove before serving.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Doesn't good music just make gym torture better? Personally, I think so. I recently added to my ipod (which I love - see post somewhere about that - there's a picture too!) some dance music. It is perfect for getting me going and making sure I get my speed and heart rate up. Check it out!
  • Lady GaGa - Beautiful, Dirty, Rich
  • Lady GaGa - Just Dance
  • Lady GaGa - Poker face
Yes, I know it is all Lady GaGa, but trust me you need to give it a listen. It just makes you want to move!

Gym today: 66 mins. Yep, I count every stinking minute and so should you. This was an evening workout. Normally I do the morning thing. That way 'something' doesn't come up, which for me has been a problem in the past. I was going to take today off and rest, but then decided to go. I am trying to convince myself that 5 days a week is enough, but what happens is that I start thinking well what if I don't want to go on X day? I better just go. Guess when I think about it that is the best use of the what if game EVER!!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I hate my job

Seriously - I don't even think hate is a strong enough word. I don't want to go, of course I do though, and I dread every moment. Even the drive in. It has gotten so bad that even leaving for the day doesn't have the same impact it used to as I'll just have to go in again. Friday is a bit better...until Sunday. I don't know what to do. The economy is bad, company stock is bad, I'd miss out on a bonus...I have to stick it out until at least March of next year. I'll see how it goes, but thought it might help to at least put out here how much I HATE MY J-O-B!!!

AND, of course, it is having an effect on my sleep. Therefore, I am having a hard time getting up in the morning, which makes it very hard to get to the gym at 5:15 am. Yes, I am in a bitchy mood. The beauty is - no one has to read it! So there! ;-)

I will try to adjust my attitude - realize what is in my control, what is in my sphere of influence, what is neither and accept it. A tall order, but I will work on it. Otherwise, I'm not going to make it to March and end up depressed.

Gym: 60 mins. It might have been 65, but not sure - so 60 it is.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Recipe Day

Today is a posting of some good Weight Watcher recipes courtesy of Weight Watchers. Enjoy!

Gym today: 60 mins

Monday, October 06, 2008

south indian curried chickpeas - 3 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Enjoy these chickpeas as a side dish or serve them with basmati rice for a complete meal.


  • 2 Tbsp packaged shredded coconut, unsweetened if available
  • 1 tsp coriander seed(s)
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper(s), seeded, coarsely chopped (or use 1 hot green chile)
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 medium carrot(s), diced
  • 2 medium tomato(es), seeded and chopped
  • 19 oz canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 Tbsp plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped


  • Place coconut, coriander seeds, jalapeno, salt and water in a blender; grind to a paste and set aside.

  • Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add carrot, tomatoes and chickpeas; cook until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in coconut mixture, cinnamon, cumin and yogurt; reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve hot. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Tuscan Casserole - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 35 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
This is a delicious, low-calorie brunch or vegetable dish. Any dark green, such as kale or escarole, can be substituted for spinach.


  • 15 1/2 oz canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup regular egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion(s), chopped
  • 2 medium garlic clove(s), chopped
  • 8 oz mushroom(s), sliced
  • 3 slices reduced-calorie bread, torn in small pieces
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Line 9 x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil. In bowl combine beans, spinach, ricotta, egg substitute, salt and pepper.

  • In nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are almost dry and begin to brown, 10 minutes. Add to bean mixture. Spoon into pan and even out top.

  • Sprinkle bread over mixture; top with cheese. Bake until bread is toasted and spinach is warmed through, 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.