sugar

Diet Update #1

I’m about 2 weeks in to the low carb diet reboot. I wanted to do an update, but first, wanted to thank everyone who left comments and facebook messages about the diet. It was nice to hear what worked for other people!

When I started this blog, it wasn’t a weight loss blog. I just wanted to share my story of how I lost 110 pounds and kept it off. There aren’t a lot of maintenance blogs out there. A lot of the healthy living blogs I used to read diligently either don’t really blog anymore, or I’ve seen them kind of spiral into very disordered practices, or regaining all the weight back. I don’t dismiss the fact that maintenance is hard–you have to work at it every day–but for me, maintenance has been easier than losing this time around.

Quick recap: when I tried this lower carb diet back in the Spring, I lost 7 or 8 pounds right away. It was very encouraging. Then it stalled and I kept gaining and losing the same 2 pounds for the next few months.

So when I started this diet again a few weeks ago, I was around 170. I lost 2 pounds the first week! That was awesome!

I weighed in on 10/18 and was really happy to see another loss! I was down another 2 pounds! 166.6 pounds (does that number mean something?!?! LOL), which is the lowest I’ve been since I got pregnant! That means I have 9 poundsย to lose to get back to my pre-baby weight!

 

What I’ve Been Doing

  1. I cut out sugar snacks and treats. Not 100% but close. I’ve had a few things here and there but I’m really happy that I’ve been staying strong and either skipping dessert most nights or having fruit or yogurt instead.
  2. I’m logging everything. I’m pretty good at tracking–I’ve done it for 15+ years and it’s just second nature now. But I am recommitted to being accurate–that means tracking the snacks and nibbles, too!
  3. No bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc. The carbs I am eating are from fruit and my Greek yogurt and coffee creamer (never cutting the creamer out!).
  4. Trying to drink more water. I am okay at this during the week at work but at home on the weekends and in the evenings I am NOT good at it. ๐Ÿ™
  5. No alcohol Monday-Thursday nights. I wasn’t really in a habit of drinking during the week but some weeks I’d find myself having a glass of wine on a Tuesday when I didn’t really need to. I don’t necessarily see that as a larger problem but I do think it was a waste of calories. So I am limited my 2 glasses of wine to weekends.
  6. Trying to eat smart. Eating a lot of protein and veggies and trying to eat more healthy fats.

 

Challenges

It’s definitely felt easier this time around to try low carb. Maybe because I knew what to expect, maybe because I was seeing immediate progress, not sure. Other than feeling like total shit that first week, it’s been pretty easy this time. I don’t feel deprived. I don’t crave bread too much.

  1. I am getting sick of salads for lunch. I have been trying to come up with other ideas but I need something that’s fast and easy to prep and often times that’s just a protein and a salad.
  2. It’s been a challenge to get more fiber in my diet since I’m limiting fruit (I used to eat an apple every day and that’s pretty high in fiber, for example) and eating only certain types of veggies.
  3. I do miss bread. I am not craving it like mad, but I do miss it.
  4. I HATE that soup is so high in carbs!!! Why?!??! Even a vegetable beef stew is high in carbs! I live on soup in the colder months and I’m bummed I can’t seem to find any options. ๐Ÿ™ If you have ideas, tell me!
  5. I miss buying stuff at Trader Joe’s! There were a ton of things I’d buy every time I’d go but they are not on the diet now so…

The biggest challenge so far? Running on a low carb diet freakin’ sucks. ๐Ÿ™ I have no energy, it feels like a slog, I sometimes feel light headed, I totally crash from hunger afterwards…I need to figure out an alternative on days I run. Maybe I try carb cycling and eat more carbs before I run. I don’t know…

I am doing a cheat day/meal once a week or so. I think this is important so that I don’t feel 100% deprived, which can lead to a binge.

Week 1 cheat meal was our taco and beer date. ๐Ÿ˜€

Week 2 cheat meal was pizza!

Cotton Candy & Toro Bravo

Last week I had a date night with my honey at the Blazer game. They played the San Antonio Spurs–and won! It was an exciting game and it was nice to leave with a win (unlike the last game we went to).

blazergame

While we were there, I noticed that the woman sitting next to me ate your typical stadium foods. She started with a huge order of nachos (with all the fixings), then donut drops, then cotton candy. This is in no way a judgment, just an observation. I glanced over at her as she ate the huge package of cotton candy and I started to wonder.

ConversationCottonCandy3

Is there any chance that cotton candy is as good as it was when we were kids?ย No way.ย There are a lot of things that I used to like as a kid that I’ve been terribly disappointed by as an adult. Somehow, I think cotton candy falls into that category. Either way, a walk down memory lane is not worth the staggering amount of sugar to me:

“It may look pretty with its light texture and pastel colors, but cotton candy is far from light in the sugar department. This carnival candy treat has an astounding 56 grams of sugar in a single 2.1 ounce serving. That’s 200 calories full of sugar, artificial flavoring, and artificial colorings. If you don’t destroy your pancreas in the struggle to produce enough insulin to tame all of that sugar – it’ll surely decay your teeth. This is one sweet treat to stay away from.” ย (source)

Wow. 56 grams of sugar in a 2.1 ounce serving. How many servings are in a stadium package of the treat? I have no idea. I’m guessing it’s more than one serving, though.

What strikes me the most is that there is absolutely no nutritional value in cotton candy. It may be a stretch, but at least with ice cream there’s dairy in it, chocolate contains good things for your body, a Snickers bar has SOME protein in it….Like I said, a bit of a stretch, but all of those things are probably a better choice than cotton candy that has absolutely nothing in it but pure sugar.

What are your thoughts on cotton candy? Have you had it as an adult?

Toro Bravo

Before the Blazer game, Michael and I went to Toro Bravo for some snacks. Toro Bravo is one of the top five restaurants in Portland and weย finally made it there! I’ve heard the wait to get a table is long and that’s always discouraged me from trying to go. We arrived there about a half hour after it opened, coming straight from work, and the place was packed but we lucked out with getting a table immediately.

Toro-Bravo

The vibe of the restaurant was very cool: trendy, hip, dimly lit, atmospheric music, pretty people everywhere. The kitchen was out in the open and from any table in the restaurant, you could watch them work. But there wasn’t any frenzy in it, just perfectly paired chefs creating masterpieces without breaking a sweat. And boy, did the food come out FAST!

I ordered the bread and oil ($1) and they refilled the bread at no charge. The first tapas dish came out within 10 minutes: the pork and apple filled empanada with a flaky, buttery crust and topped with a peach (I think) chutney.

empanada

Next up: the jumbo shrimp in sweet and spicy chili oil. (I did not get a photo of that.) The show stopper: the dates wrapped in bacon with smokey honey drizzled on top.

dates

I’ve had the dates before, at their sister-restaurant Tasty n’ Sons. I liked the ones at Toro Bravo much better, though. Instead of maple syrup, it was honey and the bacon and honey were so smokey, that was all I tasted–but in a good way! They were so good. I wanted two more of those suckers.

I loved Toro Bravo and would definitely go back. The tapas were fantastic and the prices were reasonable. My only complaint: it was so loud you couldn’t really have a conversation, certainly not a romantic or intimate conversation.

It was a nice place to relax and snack before the game. After we finished our last bite, we headed down the street to the Blazer game.

Enjoy the rest of your day. ๐Ÿ™‚