Confessions: Non-Usher Style

Last week, I went on a diet hiatus.  I basically ate like I only had that week to live and my body seriously hated me for it.  Not to mention, now my body is too ashamed to go back to the gym.  I haven’t been since last Monday! Just the thought of making the effort to go tonight made me cringe.  I couldn’t even say the words out loud.  THAT, people, is what happens when you go on a health and fitness hiatus.

So today, I took the first step towards recovery.  I knew that if I started eating well again (although, let’s be honest, how many of us go a week off the wagon? At least it was only a week this time…), my body would start communicating with my head again and things would go uphill.  Today, I started out with my standard breakfast:

1/4 cup of egg whites (and you know it was an off morning because I forgot to spray the pan and totally scorched the heck out of the “crust”)
2 Bob Evans brand turkey sausage patties (I have vowed to try every single brand to see which is the tastiest yet least salty)
1 small Publix deli sandwich bun (normally I do a whole wheat English muffin or some Ezekiel bread, but in my hanger yesterday at the grocery store, I grabbed a bag of these and they whispered all sultry-like to me in my sleep deprivation)

All with a massive cup of coffee sprinkled with soy milk.

Around my third batch of students, 10:45ish, my tummy reminded me that it had been a few hours, so I re-energized with a piece of string cheese — yum yum! I know I’m technically avoiding dairy due to Ultra fit and because I’m hella lactose intolerant/allergic/all kinds of poorly matched with dairy, but I’ve found string cheese to just be the smidgeon of dairy, salt, and protein I need around that time of the day.

For lunch, I did a poor job of packing deliciousness.  I brought what I thought was a roasted piece of chicken breast, but it turned out to be a fatty fatty piece of chicken thigh.  I muddled my way through some of the meat, but ultimately paid more attention to my tiny 2 ounces (no joke) of mashed potatoes and a decent amount of green beans.  Truly and honestly, these were take-out leftovers, so neither tasty nor clean eats. I paid dearly because I was le starving soon thereafter.

Fortunately, I brought some TJ’s turkey meatballs (3 to be exact) that I microwaved and chomped on while I waited for my after-school girls to come in. (With another cup of black coffee because, let’s be honest, this daylight savings crap is for the birds.)

Even with the meatball snack, though, my lunch was so unsatisfactory that by the time I got home around 5:30, I was ravished and inhaled a plate of leftover spaghetti with meat sauce.  Not my most shining moment.

This did, however, help my hanger calm down enough to do a little food preppin’.  I made The Fitnessista’s kale caesar salad dressing and massaged it into Trader Joe’s “cruciferous crunch” mix and holy canoodle, it was delicious.  I packed up two lunches worth with three meatballs a piece and a separate little bit of roasted sweet potatoes for each.  I also put some chicken tenderloins to marinade with some garlic, lime juice, and various spices, and I made up a huge batch of beef vegetable soup.  For the beef veggie soup, I just find the leanest ground beef I can (or ground london broil) and I toss it with a bag of frozen stew vegetables (okra, tomatoes, zucchini, lima beans, and tiny white potatoes.. maybe a few others but I can’t discern them) and some salt-free chicken broth and a few spices.  I packed two days’ worth of that up, too.  It feels good to have a little meal prep done because it leaves a lot less room for effin’ up.

I didn’t really eat a legit dinner, but I heated up two more meatballs and ate a hefty dose of the kale caesar salad.

Oops, I also forgot to mention the half ice cream sandwich I sucked down shortly after the spaghetti.  I must have still been suffering PTSD from the hanger.  I was actually pissed because it was from the gas station (I know, I’m completely trashy) and it had clearly been there for a decade or two, so I threw away half of it because it tasted entirely of frostbitten grossness.  Probably for the better.  It was divine intervention for my ice cream sandwich addiction.

In non-food news, I finally called a tow truck to come get my sister’s sad little car that’s been sitting in our driveway since Christmas because it’s a 91 Honda Civic and it’s been gradually dying since its hot clubbin’ days in Miami.  We’ve been letting my sister borrow my hub’s car, but it’s getting to be a real pain in the bum bum so we finally got took a sec to send it off to the car hospital. It felt gooood to pull all the way into my driveway.

Also, remember how I’m under formal evaluation by the state department of education cause that’s the silly little thing South Carolina does to second-year teachers? Well, I’ve been observed the max six times now and I’ve received 5 of the 6 evaluations, all positive.  I hope the last comes in as positive and shiny as the others and that when it comes to the consensus meeting (the end-all meeting), there are no surprises.

Now, I am curled up on the couch with a puppy around my shoulders (she likes to do this, like she’s some kind of mink) and Criminal Minds on the tv.  I can’t believe it’s already 9PM.  Where did my day go!?!


Coffee Anecdotes and a Weekly Menu

Happy Monday to you all!

First things first: let’s talk about coffee.

Now, GBP patients are not supposed to drink caffeine.  It’s hard enough to consume the daily required intake of water without the dehydrating effects of caffeine, right? Right.  Well, I’ve never been a big caffeine person in the first place, so when my nutritionist made it known that caffeine was frowned upon, I never looked the other way.

I do, on occasion, have a mug of very very lightly caffeinated tea or a glass of iced (unsweetened) tea at a restaurant, but never sodas or regular coffee. If I ever consume regular (diet) soda, I pretty much bounce off the walls for about thirty minutes.  It’s insane!

Now, I do confess that I have a deep love for iced coffees.  I first discovered this the summer after my surgery, when I was working at the hospital as an interpreter.  I would come in to work and pass the Starbucks inside the hospital and look longingly at the people with their sugary, frothy, delicious caramel frappuccinos, something that had been an evil pre-surgery vice of mine.

Something about that sweet, creamy coffee taste takes me back to my childhood… you see, as a child, my great-grandmother would take care of me and my brother while my parents were off doing their grown-up thing.  For a quick breakfast, Iñita (her real name was Margarita, but she was always affectionately called this) would saddle me up with a big mug of cafe con leche (something that probably very much propagated my sweet tooth) and a big hunk of pan de agua (similar to Cuban bread), and I would dip the bread into the sweet liquid and eat it. Oh me.

Of course, I had to find a way to experience that in a healthy, gastric bypass-friendly way.

Enter the sugar-free caramel, decaf, soy iced latte from Starbucks: the culprit.

The sweet nutty creaminess of that expensive cup sucked me in.  Every since then, I’ve been a victim of the iced coffee syndrome.

There are two problems with this:

One, I now live less than a mile away from a Dunkin Donuts, which, as we all know, has the best coffee ever.

Two, on occasion, I forget to ask for decaf.

This morning, I forgot to ask for decaf.


Y’ALL, it has made me a different person, this vast amount of caffeine.  Granted, I have a 1.5 liter bottle of water that I’m working my way through to supplement my hydration levels with, but still. I now completely understand why people drink this stuff! It’s almost 11 o’clock and I don’t even remember 8:45AM-now!

Do you drink coffee? How do you feel without it in the mornings? Do you feel plenty hydrated if you do drink it often?

In addition to the coffee problem, I am a recovering bagel and cream cheese-aholic.  I very rarely eat them because of the ridiculous amount of calories and the lack of positive nutritional content, but when I do, I pretty much delight in every second.

On to this week’s menu!

We kind of cheated since we didn’t follow through with two of our meals from last week.  This happens often, since we sometimes just eat off of our leftovers instead of preparing a whole new meal, hence the repeats:

Monday: Portobello Sandwiches + Sweet potato fries

Tuesday: Homemade pizza with Trader Joe’s dough

Wednesday: Chana Masala + TJ’s garlic naan

Thursday: Black bean burgers + Roasted broccoli

Friday: Leek and Goat Cheese Tart

Saturday: Soup + Grilled cheese sandwiches*

Sunday: Leftovers & restaurant meal

*We might be having Robert’s birthday dinner on Saturday night with his family, so, this is tentative! Also, for the birthday boy, I’m making Jessica’s Peanut Butter Stuffed Dark Chocolate CupcakesUm, I know, right?

We semi-cheated with the groceries (due to repeats), so we bought a whole slew of snacks for the week and ended up spending a grand total of $45.98 on groceries out of our weekly allotted $55:

At Fresh Market:

Honey tangerines (2) – $1.72
Garlic clove (1) – $0.44
French mini baguettes (3) – $2.37
Pillow cookies (4) – $2.00 (YUM, shopping treat)

Total with tax: $7.10

At Walmart:

Vitamin water – $1.18 (was thirsty)
Cream – $1.68
Dannon Greek Yogurt (2) $2.00

Total with tax: $5.01

At Aldi:

Milk – $2.89
Applesauce – $0.89
Granola bars – $1.79
Paper towels – $1.89
Snack fruit crisps – $1.69
Eggs – $1.19
Baking soda – $0.45
Granola – $1.99
Trash bags – $2.29
Toilet paper – $2.49
Buttermilk – $1.69
Cinnamon graham crackers – $1.39
Brown sugar – $1.49
AZ Green tea – $0.79

Total with tax: $23.88

At Publix:

Goya drink – $0.99
Pie crust – $2.99
Bananas – $1.37
Hot fudge – $2.69
Pears – $1.23

Total with tax: $9.99

I’m looking forward to a yummy week!