Monthly Archives: March 2011

Atkins one week in

OK, first week of induction over. I failed only on 2 occasions, and both times is was red wine (delicious, delicious red wine) that let me down. And both times, it was worth it. I lost 6 lbs, but managed to gain back 2 (TOTM?). I averaged 95g of fat a day, 140g of protein and about 35g carbs (less than 20 net carbs). It was easy to do while traveling and eating out a lot (I was at a conference) and amazing to ‘lose’ without doing much exercise. However, I know a lot is water weight, so this had better keep coming off. I am enjoying the food, but skeptical that this much fat will allow me lose weight – even in the absence of any real carb intake. It has also cut down my hunger alot, alot, alot, so I am no longer permanently swigging soda / chewing gum to distract myself. Overall, I do feel better, but overall, I am not sure it is going to lead to the weight loss I want.

Summary: -4 lb
Workouts: 2 resistance band sesssions; 1 dance class; 1 4 mile run; 1 30 min sprint session

Pros of Atkins this week:
-Never felt hungry outside of mealtimes
-Atkins bars are portable and socially acceptable; good to use at a conference
-Easy to eat out without messing up the diet
-Sweet cravings largely went, so it wasn’t difficult to stick to the food choices
-Plenty of energy to finish workouts, including my first sprint session

Cons:
– I guess the food choice is fairly restrictive,
-Lost 4 lbs while away
-I did have one day when I was super tired (again, I think TOTM??).

Fitness model Jamie Eason is trying to persuade me to post progress pictures… I am declining! Bring on week 2!

Atkins Endulge Caramel Nut Chew Bar

“Oh” says Lekki “I don’t write about diet foods, I don’t like them”. Until I tried Atkins Endulge Caramel Nut Chew Bar. Despite a slightly chemically aftertaste and a disappointingly small size, this is a Snickers bar in low carb form. Sweet, great texture – with the gooey softness of the nougat giving way to the sticky caramel giving way to the crunchiness of the peanuts giving way to the crisp chocolate.

Heaven in a bar.

Productive evening

At conference, on time, and registered.

First sprint workout completed – 30 mins of sprinting until heart rate is at 190, and walking until it is back down to 139. Did about 10 cycles. Felt like dying.

Blog updated.

Paper reviewed (2 more to go… boo…).

And wedding dress ordered. No, it is not this one:

Although I would like to see everyone’s face if it was.

Venues and music and cakes and shawls and oh my!

So, we went venue hunting on Thursday. To set the scene, finding a good venue was pretty critical – and we were away that weekend. I mean, a lot hinged on having a venue – everything else could be figured out / bought last minute; even the dress if needs be. You know my attitude: if I don’t fit into the dress on the day – I’ll go get a new one… If the catering doesn’t turn up – it becomes a fancy pizza party… No alcohol? No problem; that is what Sam’s Club is for. But we do actually need somewhere to hold the darn thing and need it stat seeing as:

1)   Many things are ‘on hold’ until you have a concrete date and address “please turn up June the something somewhere in Alabama” doesn’t go down very well;

2)   It is the main part of our budget. We were aiming for $1,500 max, but if it HAD to be $3,000 then it had to be – we’d adjust elsewhere;

3)   People in England really needed to get to booking their flights;

So Wes and I are in the car, desperately optimistic, driving through Jasper – aware that it is not the most er… picturesque of Alabama locales, but is the closest ‘major’ town to the proposed venue. We turn off the interstate, and start wending our merry way through the back roads, and start to get untidy and unkempt and downright neglected and dangerous and they get worse and worse… paved roads give way to dirt tracks which give way to rubble. Dead animals line the sides of the road, and tranches of woodland have been forested leaving exposed sand and a few bare stumps / branches. I plaster a smile on my face. We turn left onto the road (aptly named ‘Dismal Road’… not even joking) and see a dilapidated house next to some murky water. Determined not to be a bridezilla I say nothing. Wes looks at me and says with faux brightness ‘So… baby, if you don’t like this, you must just say, because we can totally find another place’. ‘It’s awful!’ I burst out, and Wes nods grimly in agreement. In steely determination we continue down the road…. Things aren’t getting better and we spy a gorgeous chalet style home with huge garden gently sloping to the lake. Concerned about sorting this out and a little blue, Wes said “if only that were the place”.

It was! Somehow this haven of grace and beauty in the midst of devastation and neglect was the place to rent. Yaaaaaaay! It is a gorgeous 5 BR lakehouse with a huge garden to have the ceremony in. 2 large reception (party) rooms, and nice side rooms for people to relax or have a quiet moment. Also a huge deck all the way around the front. Could not be more perfect. And under our budget. Phew (which is good as we managed to forget to budget for a minister… somewhat of a necessary expense).

Then… more good news. I had some trauma with a wedding band – the ring from Wes was so darn nice that anything less than largish colourless diamonds looked rubbish (but were hideously expensive), and a plain white gold band even worse. It was the last day of a JC Penney 40% sale, with an extra 20% off if you took a card out. Miraculously I was approved… so we got the perfect band of ½ carat colourless diamonds that are eye clean for inclusions (and not bad under 10 X magnification). J C Penney also have a good rep for their cuts, which are done well. So we saved lots and lots on something pretty:

Then, my Ma agreed to make the cake!! I was so excited, we had picked someone to make them (who does make amazing cakes) but Wes and I’s dream forthe wedding was to have it as personal as possible, and as memorable, which means involving our friends as much as possible. Then after some cajoling, Ma (somewhat reluctantly) also agreed to try to go for the full 3 tiers. Woo-hoo! She is worried it will go wrong – Wes and I are utterly prepared for this. Cake stands at T J Maxx + 3 publix cakes (carrot, sponge and chocolate) = an amusing anecdote and memory 🙂

Finally, I was slightly worried about getting BBQ sauce / ketchup on my dress. My friend Emily wandered into my office and said ‘are you thinking of doing the whole tiara / wrap thing… coz if you are, I would love to make your wrap’. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Her husband, Nate, is also playing my entrance music and Wes and my exit music (forget what they call it – precessional and recessional or exitsessional or sessional something-or-other). And Wes’ Mum is making bows for the chairs for the aisle seats.

And so, with the advent of a venue, I could actually ask people to save the date. I have to make all the invites, programs, decoration etc, so I wasn’t sure I wanted to make Save the Date Cards… nor spend lots of $$$ on buying some. So everyone got a save the date email:

So… we’re getting exactly what we want, at a price we can afford, and I feel very blessed. And I promise to write some non wedding / Atkins posts soon. Maybe 🙂

Atkins pancakes

OK, clearly I am going through some kind of pancakes obsession. I do that… lock into certain foods, want to eat them for ages, and then completely go off them and don’t want them near me for weeks. Fickle. Anyway, now I am on Atkins Induction I perfected my Atkins pancake recipe… it is so good. It is very different from the protein pancakes – those are sweet and really like a dessert. These are savoury, much like a slightly less fluffy wholemeal buttermilk pancake.

Ingredients:

1 whole egg (optional: add an extra egg white if you want more protein)

2 tbsp flax meal (I use golden, whether you do this or not is just a personal taste preference)

.3 cup unsweetened almond breeze (optional: use cream instead, this is too heavy for me)

1 tsp baking powder

1 packet splenda (optional: add a tsp vanilla, this will take away the more savory taste)

Blend, and fry. Serve with your usual breakfast fixings, here bacon and a splash of sugar free syrup. For extra brownie points, fry them in leftover bacon grease (thanks Clio for the tip). NB: I cut these out of one large pancake using a glass rim. I found the mixture a little too runny to make individual ones.

I know y’all hate Atkins, but I don’t think these are too unhealthy; the fat is mostly omega 3 and there is lots of fiber (so watch out if you eat them too often – don’t forget to drink water 😉 ).

Nutrition (pancakes only): calories: 159; Fat: 11.32g; protein: 10.6g; carbs: 5.55g; fiber: 4.3g (net carbs: 1.2).

Fat: 64%; Protein: 22%; Carbs: 14%

Daybreak bars – chocolate chip crisp bar

I don’t really ‘agree’ with low carb bars. I think it is a mistake to go low carb and fill up on fake food — I think it stalls weight loss, I think it is bad for you either because I am suspicious of all the chemicals, or because it is taking the place or more ‘real’ natural foods, and most importantly, I don’t think it helps you learn healthy eating habits, which a good diet should do. However, in a craving / travelling / forgotten lunch box pinch, they can be useful. So you won’t see many ‘diet food’ reviews on here, but you will see some.

I thought this was great. Very little chemically aftertaste, and a great texture – the texture was spot on for a rice krispie bar i.e. it was slightly gooey (not crunchy). It also tasted chocolatey. I mean, it’s not Godiva… but it did taste of that cheap waxy chocolate you get a Halloween, which is OK. I have had some dire diet bars in my time – this is a pretty good one and I’d buy a box if them to have on hand. In fact, as I am at a conference next week, that is exactly what I am about to do…

 

Fat-kins here I come

OK, had a mini meltdown when I saw some photos of me in a bikini. By “mini” I do of course mean refusing to let anyone see them, running out of the room and crying about it the next day. Sad as it is, I don’t want to be a ‘chunky bride’. There, I said it and admitted it. But it is OK, Wes has talked some sense into me – he has pointed out that I have very little body fat, but I do have an awful lot of muscle. If you are doing 120 squats & deadlifts and bench pressing 100, you are going to bulk up. Which I like. But the problem is, when you throw a little bit of junk food on top of that the muscle tone sort of smoothes out, and you just look ‘chunky’. He pointed out that I look like what I am – a female body builder in the ‘off season’. It’s not a bad thing, but it doesn’t feel like ‘me’. And my proportions are slightly ridiculous. So after a wee bit of crying, I need – no, WANT – to shed some bulk (fat) and not build my muscles for a little while. I guess it would be a sort of ‘cutting’ regime. The best way that I know for *me* to do this, without going crazy low calories / getting too obsessive / falling into to the yo-yo dieting trap is to do Atkins. And drop the heavy lifting (just do light strength training twice a week + plyos) in favour of more (ergh) cardio. Not excessive – just more jogging / longer bike rides. My goal is to lose ~6/7 lbs before June 4th, and not lose too much muscle. I will drop some, sure, but I want to build up my type IIb fibres for some more tone to it, and less bulk.

 

The plan is:

-Induction Atkins for 12 days; then I will probably move up the ‘rungs’ quite quickly

-1-2 weeks of no strength training – 3 jogs (~3.4 miles) per week, 2 dance classes, one kickboxing class (can’t do my classes this week as I have a conference – boo).

-Then to add in strength training, but go lower weight, higher rep and do full body workouts rather than killing one muscle group per week. By the time I add this in, I should be adding in some carbs to my diet, as I will be moving up the rungs, so I shouldn’t get too tired.

 

In the meantime I am trying to keep my nails and suchlike looking nice, so I don’t focus on feeling like a heifer.

So, here it goes. Of course, I will have to blog my progress and meal plans – that what makes it fun for me 🙂

CHOCOLATE protein pancakes

Due to the emails / comment and likes on my protein pancakes, I thought I would give an update. I have progressed to chocolate protein pancakes – the original recipe but add

1 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 packet splenda

This really does need the chocolate chips, as it makes the inside more gooey and a little brownie like. Without them, the dryness of the cocoa would make the pancakes slightly cardboard like.

Mmmmm… these are awesome. Enjoy.

Kitt-eh vs. Wesley round 1. Kitt-eh wins.

So. The kitt-ehs are kind of annoyed at Wesley. It all started when we were back in Birmingham and packing for the beach. I cleaned out the litter box so it could come to Florida. As I was walking out with the box in one hand, and a huge bag of dirty litter in the other Wes looked at me and said incredulously “Is that coming with us?”. “No!” I said, and promptly put the tub of clean litter in the car.

We arrive at the beach, and I ask where the litter box is. Wes says “I asked you about it – you said it wasn’t coming”. No… no I did not. I said the dirty litter wasn’t coming – I wasn’t talking about the box. “It’s fine” Wes said, “they can pee in a bowl” and produced a small red mixing bowl filled with litter. Hmmmm… thought I upon the ridiculous site of a pissed off cat squatting in a small bowl … Hmmm…. they are not going to like this.

Indeed they did not. I woke up the next day at 5 am to Wesley sleepily going

“My foot is on fire…”

“Oh, the kitteh is scratching to put out the fire”

“Oh, the kitteh is using water to put out the fire… clever kitteh!”

“Oh, Lekki, the cat has peed on me”

Then… nothing. Wes seemed to go back to sleep and I was like ‘well… it is in HIS bed, I am fine in mine… I mean, it would be kinda cruel but I could go to sleep and deal with this later”. No chance. When it sunk in what had actually happened, there was much movement on Wesley’s side of the room. Now I have a pissed off cat and a pissed off fiance.

Not so much ‘I do’…. as ‘I don’t’…

Funny business this wedding lark… full of traditions and superstitions, rituals and mandates. Some, *I* feel I have to stick to; my father will walk me down the aisle, I will wear white, there will be best man, groom and father of the bride speeches. Some I have chosen to stick to; we will have a cake cutting and first dance, my groom is BANNED from any pre wedding dress info. Some, however, I gaily ignore. This is causing consternation among well meaning, but largely unwelcome folk. So, for the record, although I am saying ‘I do’; I DON’T

1. Have a pre-wedding diet. Yes, although I am a permanent healthy eater (to put it mildly), I plan to look as I do. Call it horribly misguided arrogance if you like, but I quite like my shape. It’s not perfect, I would make some changes if I could, but I don’t hate my body. I was trying dresses on, and a lady said to me ‘will you lose some of this muscle [I do have a very broad chest / back in comparison to the rest of me tahnks to a minor bench press obsession – according to dress charts my US sizing goes 10-2-8 for chest-waist-hips…. oooops) for the wedding?’. I said ‘er…. no’. Amidst looks of concern I then heard ‘well…. I am sure some will come off with the pre wedding diet’. I don’t have a pre-wedding diet. I do have a plan to get a little stronger… but that is nothing to do with the wedding. I do also plan to walk down the aisle looking like the girl my boyfriend fell for and chose to marry. Crazy.

2. A colour scheme. Ummm… I just don’t. I can’t think of one. The invitations are indeed a different colour to the bridesmaid’s dress, which is shocking, I know. But, wait, ‘the bride respectfully requests that guests do not bring their invitations and pin them to / hold them against said bridesmaid’. Phew. Solved.

3. A wedding car. I’ll have a nice hire vehicle that my parents drove around for several days and no one at the wedding will ever see. Small chance, knowing me,  I’ll turn up on my bicycle anyway.

4. A bride AND a groom’s cake. One to see and one to eat. People will look at, and eat, the same damn cake. It will look beautiful and taste delicious – a miracle of modern science. The bride doesn’t eat cake anyway.

5. Side dishes. I mean, with a guest list reshuffle, Wes and I have decided we probably could afford to cater the sides for the BBQ, but then we remembered  that our favourite part was everyone bringing their favourite side to share, as this would bring in the personal touch we loved so much, and make sure the food was varied and delicious. Oh, how people have scowled and commented. Oh how common we are. It’s not the done thing (apparently). Well… it will be what is done on the 4th June.

6. A real care in the world. Once the venue & minister are booked (fingers crossed that happens), and my parents have flights and the people I want to be there have agreed to come (little worried about that as it is short notice); eh…. there just isn’t much for us to worry about going wrong / messing up / not working. If the napkins are the wrong colour? Well… umm… they can’t be, there is no set colour. If it rains – we go inside. Mum may agree to make my cake –  if it doesn’t work we go to TJ Maxx, buy 3 cake stands, and cut 3 delicious Publix cakes. See? Not so bad.

I leave you with a pic of chilled we are 11 1/2 weeks before a wedding we haven’t really started yet:

By the way; I fully encourage people to stick to any traditions they like IF they like them, and to abandon any others.