Monday, February 28, 2011

Being Sick Sucks

So, I've been coughing and hacking since Wednesday night and my band NO LIKEY. I haven't been able to eat solid things very well at ALL and I'm regretting that I did not bring some soup for lunch today because I just haven't been able to get anything to go down like normal. It's all slow and yucky.

I think all the drainage doesn't help and I've been coughing SO HARD my stomach is sore. It feels like I have a colony of hummingbirds living in my lungs...I feel so exhausted from coughing and nose-blowing!

I'm definitely going home early today. I took care of things from my two days out and I'm outta here soon so that I can find some soup! Grrrr....stupid sickness!

I hope all is well with you guys!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Review of Popchips - I am in LOVE with this great new product!

I was in Kroger one day and saw this little bin of chips for $1.00. Looked like a new product and honestly, the nice graphic design lured me over there too. I picked up a couple of individual bags of these because I saw that each bag was only 100 calories and I thought it would be a great little snack if they were tasty!

Let me tell you...I am in LOVE. Mostly with the BBQ ones because BBQ chips are always my favorites. I never have been a big fan of regular potato chips because I find them too greasy. When baked chips came out, I was so excited, but these are even better! They are super light and very crunchy. They are potatoes that have literally been popped like popcorn.

They are low fat (4-5g per serving) and low calorie (100-120c per serving depending on the packaging). They come in single serving bags or multiple serving bags lots of flavors as you can see from the image. I have tried the BBQ, Sour Cream & Onion, and Sea Salt & Vinegar chips! I liked them all!

The great thing about the small single serving bags is that they are exactly 100 calories and you can't eat the entire bag like you could if you bought the multiple serving bags. The large bags only have 3 to 3.5 servings in them for about $3.50 at my local Kroger. The serving size in the multiple serving bags is a little larger making that serving 120 calories.

In my opinion, buying the individual bags is slightly more expensive, but it curbs my desire to eat ALL of them. Which is a problem we are all obviously trying to overcome and sometimes solutions to that problem can come in the form of convenience at a bit of a cost. Which is OK. I'm seriously thinking of purchasing a 24 pack of the BBQ ones on Amazon for $20 thus saving $4 and right now I have free shipping because of an Amazon Prime membership trial.

I feel silly buying in bulk off the internet, but I guess it's no different than going to Sams or Costco!

You guys should seriously try these if you see them in your stores! Check out their website for more info!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What I did to Feel Better

So, yesterday, I was having one of those "Ugh" kind of days where I feel bloated and fat and like I'm not accomplishing anything anymore. My clothes are beginning to look crappy and I just feel blah. I'm sure that my TOM has a lot to do with this, so thanks Mother Nature.

Anyways, all my pants are a size 24, except for my best-fitting jeans that are 22s. So, I went to the store and tried on A BUNCH of 22s to prove to myself that I am, indeed, a solid size 22 now and that it wasn't some fluke thing that the ONE pair of jeans happen to fit.

I didn't buy anything, but it sure made me feel good to be able to do it :)

...and to think that I used to wear a size 32.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Weighing in AFTER Excercise - Bloodwork - HEAVY

Weigh-ins AFTER Workouts
Have you ever weighed yourself AFTER a workout and it be like 2lbs lighter? It seems to be like that for me EVERY time. I guess it's fluid loss from sweating? I mean, because my knees are still in "recovery", I've been doing Wii Fit stepping, I'm sweating, sure, but not like TONS.

Last night after 45 minutes of stepping, I re-weighed in and saw 269 and even though it was probably a "false" weight because I had dehydrated a little from the excercise, it was AWESOME to see that 70's go away. So, I use it as a motivation method even if it's not totally accurate! Wrong? Maybe, but whatever floats my fat boat down the river...ya gotta do what ya gotta do to play with your own mind sometimes, right? hahaha

I had my surgery in August and I haven't had any bloodwork done to check my vitamin levels or anything like that. Isn't it pretty standard? I have been a BAD girl about taking vitamins. I feel OK. I might need to get back on my Vitamin B's...that could help with fatigue, but I've been busy lately too, so it could be natural. I need to ask my surgeon about it tomorrow when I go for my check-in with him.

I have watched two episodes of A&E's new series "HEAVY". I am not a fan of The Biggest Loser, but enjoyed "Too Fat for Fifteen" very much. I like the shows that show realistic goals and help. A&E's show is pretty good. They don't yell TOO much and there isn't TOO much drama. I watch episodes on my cable's on-demand feature while I do my Wii Fit stepping and I find it motivating.  And, maybe it's crazy, but seeing a 500lb person on TV helps me see the thinner person I have become in the mirror. Not that I was ever 500lbs, but I sometimes saw myself as just as big as those people and now I see that I never could have looked like that and that I don't look like that now. It puts things into perspective for me.

I watch with a heavy heart though because some of these folks have a lot of issues. I find that the parts where they deal with a therapist is helpful to watch as well. When they talk more about the emotions and why they eat, I can identify with them to some degree.

It's worth a watch! Check out some full episodes on A&E's website.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

PB2 - A Great Peanut Butter Alternative!

When I decided to break it off with Nutella, I told you guys that I had ordered some PB2 to fill the Peanut Butter void in my life.

What is PB2?
PB2 is a product of Bell Plantation in Tifton, Georgia (If there is one thing Georgia knows, it's Peanuts! Just ask Jimmy Carter). PB2 is made by removing 85% of the oil from dry roasted peanuts and creating a powder. The product comes in powder form and the consumer reconstitutes with a little water.  There are no chemicals involved, so you can rest assured that your PB2 is still all-natural peanuts.

Nutritionally how does PB2 stack up against regular peanut butter?
Jif Creamy (2 Tbs Serving) - 190 Calories • 16g Fat • 8g Protein
PB2 (2 Tbs Serving) - 45 Calories • 1.5g Fat • 5g Protein

You can see that there is a BIG difference in the Calories and Fat department, but you still maintain quite a bit of protein for such a small serving size. This is the kind of snack that is beneficial for WLS patients. Even reduced fat versions of regular peanut butter do not offer much relief from the burden of fat content in peanut butter (reduced fat Jif has 12g fat vs. 16g with the regular). And the reduced fat versions don't offer any reduction in calories.

Does it taste like peanut butter? What does it look like after adding water?
Yes. I was happily surprised by how good it was. It reminds me of the peanut butter you get in an organic grocery store where you grind your own. It has a very nutty flavor without all the sugar that you find in popular store brands.

After reconstituting the powder, it has a thick consistency. You can add a touch more water if you'd rather have it a bit smoother, but I was agreeable with the directions on the jar. Without all the fat, of course, the mixture is dryer than normal peanut butter, but I didn't find it off-putting.

I tried PB2 on celery and just ate little bites off the spoon and I was VERY satisfied with the taste. It would taste great on toast and I even think you could make a good PB&J sandwich with it!

What about the chocoate PB2? What's that all about?
It's no substitute for Nutella. However, it also tastes good. When I mixed it up, I noticed it was much thinner than the regular PB2. I tried it with strawberries and it was good. It was not like Nutella, but it was still satisfying. Over-all, it still had mostly a peanut butter flavor and the chocolate was MUCH more subtle than the flavor of Nutella. Some of the serving suggestions on the PB2 website are to eat chocolate PB2 as a fruit dip, as cupcake icing, with graham crackers... all of those things would be a good snack. With the exception of 1g less of protein per serving, Chocolate PB2 has essentially the same nutritionally values as the regular PB2.

Will I buy again?
YES. I will certainly be buying this product again. I'm not sure how often I will be the chocolate variety, but, I know that the regular PB2 will become something that I will enjoy. I believe this is one of the best-tasting low-fat, low-calorie substitution products on the market.

Where can I buy?
Don't buy this product on Amazon! It's highway robbery at over $11 per jar when the suggested retail value is $3.99. I bought my PB2 at because I only wanted one jar of each so that I could try the product, but you can get a much better deal directly from the PB2 website's store. At the Bell Plantation store you can get 4 jars for $15.98, plus around $6 shipping. PB2 might also be available in your area - you can check the website for stores that carry their products.

Try it out for $3.99!
Everyone's tastebuds are different. You can get a sample of regular PB2 and chocolate PB2 for only $3.99 (which includes the shipping). The samples are 1 serving packets.

PB2 Recipes
Check out the Bell Plantation website for more information and to see several recipes that use the PB2 products. There are lots of ways to use these products other than traditional peanut butter snacks! I'll be trying this recipe for PB2 french toast this weekend. With the low-calorie products I keep in my kitchen, I can make this for 165 calories per serving, easily!

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Perception of Me - Am I too Happy Where I am?

My Perception of Me
I have read that many of you have had that feeling where you KNOW you've lost weight and you look different, but you just don't SEE it when you look in the mirror. I totally understand this. I have lost 5 sizes since I began my journey, yet, when I look in the mirror, I see the same person I've always seen. Either I had a really good self-image before I started this, or I've got a bad self-image now! LOL Actually, I'd like to think that I had a good self-image before. I've never HATED the way I looked. The biggest reason I wanted to lose weight is so that I could be healthier and more active. I wanted to do it for my future, so I could live a longer, healthier life and be more independent when I got older. When I look at my size 22 jeans, I don't see the different between those and the size 32s that I used to wear. That's just wrong! I try on something that is old and it swallows me and it becomes more real, but then I don't SEE it in the mirror.

Every once in a while I'll catch a glimpse of myself - a reflection in a store window - and I'll think "Wow, I can see it!". The other day, I was looking at my face in the mirror and I could see my jawbone so much more clearly and I had a moment of clarity. But, it's few and far between. I think I need to do some comparison photos (which I have not been doing) just to prove to myself that this is working.

Which brings me to my other topic...

Am I too happy where I am?
I am a size 22 right now, which is smaller than I've been in a very long time. I don't even remember buying this size in HS. The last size I remember buying in HS was a 26 (which was probably smaller back then due to so much "vanity sizing" now).

Sometimes I think that I am so amazed at how awesome being a 22 is, that I am not trying as hard as I should because I'm so happy where I am. The upside is that I don't hate myself. The downside is that I hope it's not putting up some kind of subconscious block that puts me in "maintain" mode when I need to get into "lets lose 60 more lbs mode"!

My goal is to be around a size 14. Smaller if I can, but I want to be able to maintain a size 14. That's about as realistic as I can get with myself because anything else seems illogical. I can change my goal one day if I want to and need to, but for now, 14 is where I would gladly be happy to stay.

Have any of you ever felt this way on "the way down"?
Could my positive outlook on my body and my appearance be hindering me? LOL

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

An open letter to Nutella..

Dear Nutella,
I remember the day my husband brought you home. The next morning he smoothed you out across his morning toast and I thought "Oh, gross". I did NOT want to like you. I told myself that I did not like you...I didn't try you for years because let's face it, I do not need a NEW thing to like. I like too many things already...that's my problem. I wish I was a little pickier about what I like, but I'm not... I like BBQ sandwiches from gas stations and Little Debbies...I like low-end nacho corn chips like Tom's and Lance brand...If it's junk food, typically, I like it.

But, back to you, Nutella...I rue the day I put you all over a strawberry. You are TOO GOOD. I told a coworker about you, and their reaction was "Oh, but Nutella is good for you." and I was like "Yeah, if you don't have an eating problem like I do, it's better than Peanut Butter, but I can't inhale the entire jar like I want to!"....

Darn you Nutella for being the first thing on my mind the morning after I first met you. Darn you for making me stand in the kitchen and eat at least 5 strawberries dipped into your scrumptiousness while I waiting for dinner to simmer on the stove. DARN YOU! You came into my life during a time when I really was craving peanut butter. You knew my weakness and you took advantage of me. I won't let you get away with it.

I'm seeing someone new now. His name is PB2. He'll be on his way in 3-4 business days and in a few more mornings, my husband will have consumed the last of you. Your days are numbered as PB2 is also bringing his chocolate friend along.

So, hello and goodbye, Nutella. It's been fun. You're good, but not TOO good for me. I'm too good for you. We're over. I'm sorry.