Posted in A Day in My Pouch, daily, filler, life, VSG, WLS

“So, Like…What Do You Actually *Eat*?”

If you only knew how often I’ve been asked that question since having my surgery last year. And the answer is, honestly, anything I want. Within reason of course. I try to focus on protein and healthier options, obviously, but there have been days where I’ve…made less than stellar choices. I have binged on snacks, both salty and sweet, and there was that one time I was leaving Job 1, headed to Job 2 and *needed* a quick lunch so I said to hell with it and got a double cheeseburger, and boy howdy, did I pay the price. Dearly.

I’ve decided to – occasionally – start sharing my daily intake, A sort of “Day in My Pouch” type of deal – should anyone who is considering having a VSG stumble upon this here blog and wonder exactly how much and what type of food someone a year out of surgery can eat – well, here you go.

Coffee, 7:15 am: I was scheduled at our new scanner in the Allentown office today, so I brought my coffee from home instead of making it at work. One coffee, three Splendas, fat free half and half (Yes, I KNOW. Save the lecture, naturalists. I like it.) Pre-surgery I was a two or three cup a day person, but now a second cup is rare for me – maybe on Mondays, or I’ll have a cup of this chai tea in the afternoon if I want to warm up. I stick with water all day (I shoot for 8-9 glasses, but it doesn’t always happen), and will have the occasional diet iced tea at home.

Breakfast, 9:45 am:

1/2 cup Fage 0% fat greek yogurt, 1/4 cup Bear Naked Honey Almond Protein Granola

Greek yogurt is my usual breakfast. On my days off I’ll do scrambled eggs and candian bacon. Yogurt is much easier for work days, especially if I do a little food prep on Sundays – then it’s just grab and go in the morning. On work days I tend to eat breakfast late, even though I’m not “supposed” to. I find myself more snacky in the afternoon at work, so lately I’ve been saving my snacks for between lunch and dinner, lest I go trolling for mozzarella sticks from the hospital kitchen at 4 in the afternoon.

I’ve learned that my stomach can’t tolerate some foods as well as it used to, and since those foods are the majority of what I’m not “supposed” to be eating anyway, it’s easier just to cut them out of my life entirely. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t still bake. I do. I made cookies and macarons aplenty this past holiday season, and I’ll be damned if anyone else is going to make birthday cupcakes for my coworkers. Do I still partake of these goodies? Of course. Just much much less than I used to. If I bake a batch of cupcakes, I’ll have one. I log it in MyFitnessPal that day, and I’ll try to atone for it the rest of the week.

Lunch, 12 pm:

1 Arrow Everything Flatbread with 2 oz. Wegmans Honey Roasted Turkey and 1/2 oz. Adams Reserve White Cheddar Cheese and dijon mustard, 1 oz. Good Health Veggie Stix snacks (from the vending machine at work). 

These flatbreads are good but I’m rethinking using them regularly – I might switch it up and do lettuce wraps for lunch instead of sandwiches. I don’t usually do snacks with lunch but I was craving something crunchy today. I could have stopped after half the bag, however – I was pretty full after this. Another thing I’m still actively learning – head hunger vs. actual hunger, or Just Because It’s There Doesn’t Mean You Need To Eat It. Jennifer.

I’ve struggled, absolutely. I’m in the midst of a plateau I’ve been experiencing since mid-January. Am I giving up? Absolutely not. I’m re-evaluating my habits, making meal plans, making sure I get my water and exercise (even just a little) in, and I. Keep. Going. I did not go through this surgery to lose 90 pounds and stop. I’m not getting complacent. Complacency is what got me where I was in the first place.

Snack 1, 2:30 pm:

 Blue Diamond Toasted Coconut Oven Roasted Almonds, 28 pieces. 

Almonds are another go-to for me, especially the different flavored ones that are available now. These are super tasty.  

Snack 2, 5:15 pm: 

1 Bartlett pear, 1 Cabot Seriously Sharp white cheddar cheese stick. 

This was a little late for my second snack due to a shit storm at work, but I think in the future I might try to keep it as such, so I’m not wolfing down dinner as soon as I walk through the door — which usually results in me snacking the rest of the night away at home.

Dinner, 7:45 pm: 

1/2 cup homemade turkey chili with fixings.  A little heavier than my other meals, but it’s rich and satisfying, perfect for the cold and snowy week we’ve been having. I had been craving chili for a while so I made a pot on Sunday and it should last me through Saturday. And yes, that is full fat sour cream and shredded cheese. Since I’m only using a little I figured the splurge was worth it.

Snack 3, 9:30 pm: 

Dole dark chocolate banana Dippers, 1 pack. These were a welcome discovery at my local BJ’s – just that perfect sweet little bite before bed.

I’m usually in bed by 10, so this will be the last thing I eat tonight. Late night mindless eating is definitely a problem for me – especially the Saturday nights I work at Job 2. I’ll buy one or two healthy snacks at the local Wawa before I go in and I try not to keep cash on me so I don’t hit the vending machines. Drinking a lot of water helps, too.

So there you have it. A day in the life of my surgically-altered tummy. Next week? Who knows, maybe I’ll show you how I put on my socks. You should be so lucky.

Posted in cat lady, daily, filler, life

Eccentric Feline Female.

It’s been a couple months since I’ve posted, again. I blame myself.

The holidays came and went. I spent time with family and friends. I cooked and baked and partied and celebrated and I am ridiculously glad they’re over. Holidays are fun and all but they’re also exhausting as shit.

Having two cats in the house with a Christmas tree and all my other decorations was a real experience. The first night was an experiment in “What the hell is rolling around on the floor NOW?”, followed quickly by “Cats stay in the basement whenever mom’s not home or asleep,” so that was a trial. I felt bad for doing it but I ultimately slept better knowing things weren’t being knocked over and batted around the living room. Besides, it was only for three weeks. I took all my decorations down New Year’s Day, mostly because I was tired of looking at everything and the tree was dropping needles every time I breathed near it, but also because I was missing my morning snuggles with the boys.

Ugh, I’ve become one of those cat people. How did this happen??

Oh, right.

Posted in cat lady, daily, filler, la familia, lack of common sense, life

In Case You Missed Me.

The past few months have gone by in such a blur I don’t even know where to start. Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first.

I definitely worked too much. Between extended hours at Job One and almost every Saturday night shift at Job Two, I hardly had any time to myself from June til September. The extended hour deal at Job One is over but I’m pretty much stuck with the Saturday night thing at Job Two for the foreseeable future, should I want to continue earning that lovely second paycheck. I’ve resigned myself to it, honestly. I do give myself one weekend a month off (sometimes two, depending), but those weekends are usually crammed full of so much awesome I barely have time to breathe. I don’t nearly see my parents as much as I should, and it’s a damn shame, considering all my mom’s health issues this year. They’ve done so much for me I wish I could reciprocate and help them out too. I visit when I’m able and run errands (mostly picking up prescriptions and the like), but it still seems like so little to me.

Daughter guilt is a sonofabitch, I tell you.

Anyway, the Saturday night shifts aren’t always bad. Some nights can be rougher than others, but I don’t exactly work at a Level One Trauma Center, so there is some down time. I leave Sunday mornings, go to Wegmans and get my weekly groceries, go home and nap, and it’s all good. Mondays I might be a little tired and draggy but that’s a price I’m willing to pay for per diem rate work.

Onto more fun news:

I won a trip! Well, okay, not a trip, but I did win a free flight. Round trip, domestic flight from Jet Blue, all thanks to Birchbox. I have until July 2015 to use it. I’m thinking about San Francisco and wine country, probably mid to late spring, depending on the blackout dates and cost. If California doesn’t work out I might just do a few days in New Orleans instead, but no worries, mom, I won’t be trolling for beads.

I became a drag queen fan girl. It all started with this year’s season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’d watched the show in the past, but always forgot when it aired so I missed the past couple of seasons. My friend Sara mentioned that this season would be featuring a queen who was called “The Don Rickles of Drag” and I should check her out. I can safely say it wasn’t even ten minutes into the first episode and I was in love with Miss Bianca Del Rio. So glamorous (obviously), so hilarious, and so super sweet in person.

Because, yes, I’ve met her. Twice!

My queen.

That photo was taken after her appearance at Lehigh Valley Pride Fest in August and is probably one of the best photos taken of me in my lifetime. It’s a shame the quality is so poor.

I also met another RuPaul season six alum, Miss Congeniality herself, Ben DeLaCreme.

Me and the fabulous Ben DeLaCreme!

An absolute treasure. Also, hello, there’s my bad side.

I have plans with Sara to see Bianca again later this month in New York, for the first show of her Rolodex of Hate stand up tour. We might have VIP meet and greet passes for that one, I’ll never tell.

I embraced the fact that I need physical activity in my life. Ever since my surgery in January, I knew it was coming. The day I’d have to suck it up and start exercising. I joined the gym all the way back in March but after one or two trips where I felt awkward and out of place I sort of avoided going. My weight was still coming off at a good rate so I talked myself out of not going back. After a few more months, however, it became increasingly obvious that something more was going to have to be done on my part. I started slowly, just walking at my local park a couple times a week. However, in August and September a few times a week turned into a few times a month and I actually saw a one or two pound gain the week of my birthday. Damn it, Cake. Damn it all to hell.

So with a renewed purpose I started walking more and more. Not just at the park, but around the neighborhood too. And when the temperatures started dropping in October I finally dragged my ass back to the gym that I’ve been paying ten bucks a month for. It’s not so bad anymore. I go two or three times a week, hit the treadmill, the bike, or the elliptical, work on my legs or arms, and I’m out in an hour. I can deal with that. Oh, and as of October I’ve lost 85 pounds.

I can definitely deal with that. I’ll talk more about my experiences and struggles post-surgery another time. This late summer/early fall recap has gone on long enough. But not before I tell you the biggest news of all!

I’ve become a mama again. Let me introduce you to the Winchester Brothers, aka Sam and Dean.

They have legs, I swear.

Yes, I decided my house had been too quiet for too long and jumped back into pet ownership. As much as I wanted a dog in my life, however, my schedule just would not allow it, so I went with a more low-maintenance option. I get all the snuggles, and I don’t have to worry about getting home at a certain time. Plus…

Snuggle time.

I mean…

COME ON, WITH THE CUTE.

So, there you have it. I think I kept the bitching the a minimum, right? Maybe next time.

Posted in blogging, daily, dessert, filler, food porn, links, recipe

Recipe Round-up: Summer At Jenn’s

It’s June 20th, which means summer is here! And this year after such a miserable winter and a spring that was spent doing not much more than work, I’ve been looking forward to warm, sunny days and floating away the afternoon in the pool all the more.

Along with the sun and warmer weather comes recipes I love to dig out when it’s just “too damn hot to cook”, and I figured I would re-share them in case you needed some summertime inspiration.

Like this spinach and strawberry salad with goat cheese and citrus vinaigrette.

100_1250 by you.

Quick, easy, and perfect for Meatless Monday.

Or this Watermelon “Plank” salad with feta and balsamic glaze.

Wonderful as a main dish or as a side.

Here’s a ‘non-recipe’ post for a grilled chicken and smoked mozzarella panini with store made pesto and sun dried tomato spread, and a mango, black bean and quinoa salad. So easy, and great to take for a summer picnic, or tailgating at the drive-in, perhaps?

Can I get an amen?

This roasted parmesan zucchini is perfect if you’re a gardener with superfluous squash lying around.

Culinary OCD, that’s me.

And since you can’t have a “summer food” post without mentioning the holy mother of summer foods, here’s an Heirloom Tomato Crostini that is the best no-cook meal for the hottest nights of the season.

Gosh, I can’t wait for good tomatoes.

This kicked-up gazpacho is also perfect for all those fresh garden “‘maters”, and it makes a TON of soup. No worries about what to take for lunch for a week!

100_1297 by you.

And finally, since I can’t finish a post like this without a little something sweet, here is a peach blackberry crostata with honey-ginger glaze and cardamom spiced fresh whipped cream that is sure to impress any of your summer dinner guests.

I’m itching to make that one again, in addition to experimenting with some other summer crostatas.

Hope your summer is a fantastic one, kids. Spend time doing everything you want to do, or doing nothing at all.

 

 

Posted in daily, filler, la familia, life, personal stuff, weight loss surgery

Busy Bee Has a Numbered List.

Because talking about my life in a fluid and comprehensive manner is for professional bloggers, and I am not that.

1. I finally re-took and passed my Cat Scan board exam. I’m “officially” a licensed CT tech, hooray! This means I was able to go back to work in the CT department at job number two, which means I’m working more, which means more money, which means yay! Because my car is on its last legs, my kitchen floor needs to be redone, and I needs to get the hell out of town this summer, even just for a weekend.

2. Momma C had back surgery in February, and is healing nicely. Unfortunately, she’s got some other health issues going on, so we’re trying to deal with them as best we can. My poor momma has been through the wringer this year! (Good thoughts appreciated, y’all.)

3. I’m doing wonderfully after my own surgery – I’m 12 weeks out this Friday, and I’ve lost just over 50 lbs. I cannot put into words how much happier I am, how much this has affected me. It’s literally a weight lifted off my life. I was talking with a coworker I hadn’t seen since before the surgery, and she said I looked like I was “all lit up inside”, and it certainly feels like it. I still have a long way to go but every day just gets better and better. I’m not tired any more, my body doesn’t ache like it did, and I just feel better. As far as what I’m eating, I’m pretty much back to “normal”, diet wise. I’m obviously sticking with good-for-you kind of foods, and I still don’t get much in after my protein, but I have partaken of the occasional treat here and there. (I’m not a saint, for crying out loud.) The only thing I’m still trying to work on is the whole exercise thing. It’s more a matter of just getting off my ass and doing something, but you know what they say about first steps and all.

4. Hoping to start posting recipes again, real soon. I have a few from the fall that are collecting dust, and now that I’m eating more solid foods (and spring is here – hooray, fresh veggies!), I’m slowly getting back into my kitchen. Which makes me happy, because I’ve missed it so.

That’s it for me today, kids. Have a great week!

Posted in daily, filler, recipe, simple suppers

Steakhouse Style Wedge Salad

This is another ridiculously easy recipe; I made it as a side to another dish I’ll be writing up soon-ish, and I figured what the heck, I’ll write this up too. Plus I want to keep the habit of posting regularly and it’s almost bed time and this was the best I could do short notice, so.

I love the flavors in a wedge salad. The “salad” part is just a big hunk of iceberg lettuce, but it’s the toppings you add that make it really special. I see it once in a while on a menu when I go out for dinner and I always consider ordering it, but then I think “Why would I pay twelve dollars for it here when I can make it at home for half that?”

So that’s what I did.

For this I had scallions, crispy onions, bacon, blue cheese dressing, and crumbled blue cheese. I made it easy on myself by buying the precooked bacon. Just one less step and ten minutes faster to salad perfection.

You can make it your own with chives, diced tomatoes, crispy prosciutto instead of bacon (ooh, yum), a different dressing…you get the idea.

Steakhouse Style Wedge Salad

Iceberg lettuce, quartered

3 slices of bacon, cooked and sliced thinly

3 scallions, thin sliced

2 TB blue cheese crumbles

2 TB blue cheese dressing

2 TB crispy salad onions

Top lettuce with bacon, scallions, dressing, cheese, and onions and serve. Goes well with a medium rare steak, but don’t let me tell you what to do.

See? Stupidly, ridiculously easy.

But hey, it counts as a blog post. BAM.