“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” ~ Jonathan Swift

Friday, March 27, 2009

A New Dilemma

So, my magical diet has created a new problem: I'm losing too much weight.  I know some people might think I sound obnoxious.  How can you complain about losing weight? Well, if you are born tiny and every pound is literally more than one percentage of total weight, this is worth worrying about.  At first, it was kind of a novelty to see my little paunch gradually shrink.  But then, I kept shedding the pounds.  

Now, I'm struggling to maintain a weight above 90 pounds and getting worried that I'll dip into the 80s.  I have always been a small person (a petite 5 ft), but I have not been this thin since high school...I can easily wear three shirts without any loss in mobility and today, I had to adjust my skirt which kept trying to turn itself backwards. Oh yeah, I can also slip my pants off with any unbuttoning or unzipping--convenient and efficient, no?  Er, not to mention completely sexy. ;)

But I guess the kicker came when my therapist changed the subject today to tell me she was worried.  I'm shrinking at a rapid rate and "can't bear to lose anymore," she says.  She specializes in eating disorders, and I couldn't help but wonder if she suspected a disorder (story of my life).  So now I'm off to see another medical professional--this time: nutritionist.  Hopefully, I can find a way to still eat healthy and gain weight.  Sigh.  To be honest, I'm tiring of dealing with my health.  I feel like my days are spent shuttling myself around to various health appointments.  I miss the days when I worked my usual long hours and just came straight home...

After my alarming appointment, I came home and proceeded to stuff my face with food.  Bring on the sesame snack sticks, Wasa rye crackers, and a giant bowl of brown rice and cabbage with tofu.  I feel full after my meals but apparently, this is not enough.  

Monday, March 23, 2009

More Recipes

Here are some of the latest dishes I've tried.

Provencal kale and cabbage gratin
(This was quite delicious! Definite keeper.)

Oven steamed salmon with lentils
(Mmm. Savory.)

Vegetarian Dumplings
(These were fun to make...I'm going to make a bunch and freeze them so I always have a snack. Lady-J came over to help me with these; our dumpling party was fun!)

Stir-fried Bok Choy, Shitake, and Tofu
(This was my own culinary creation. I added a dash of black bean garlic sauce for some kick and then served over brown rice. Yum!)

The remainder of last week was spent either at a restaurant (pesto and shrimp pasta; smoked salmon sandwich) or at my sister's (fish poached in a soy sauce base with spinach and mushrooms).

My meals have been pretty tasty so far. I'm frustrated with my yogurt lately--I keep burning the milk and have effectively wasted an entire carton of expensive organic milk. Grumble grumble.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Menu Ideas

When I first started this diet, I had some trouble finding recipes.  I'm going to start posting my weekly menus and links to recipes, where applicable, so newcomers can get ideas of what the heck to eat.  It can be really tough figuring out what to cook, esp. if the new diet changes your current eating patterns.   Hope this helps.

Last week's meals:

Tofu Provencal with Quinoa (surprisingly good)

Foil-baked Cod with Soy-Lemon Broccoli and Brown Rice (dress the broccoli very lightly--otherwise it will be too salty)

Honey-Soy Broiled Salmon with Sauteed Kale and Quinoa (delicious)

Sesame-crusted Tofu with Soba Noodles (too salty; tone down the soy sauce!)

My breakfasts always consists of non-fat plain yogurt and a Chunk of Energy or two.  Snacks include Chunks, nuts, banana nut bread, edamame, and fruit.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A New Beginning

After years of increasing unhappiness with my primary care office, I finally switched practices.  My "new" doctor is actually someone I used to see when I was in high school, until she left the practice and then was hard to locate.  But now I'm reunited--and she even recognized me after 10 years.  Nuts.

I'm thrilled with her.  She was inquisitive and sincere; basically, she treated me like an actual human.  I'm very proud to report that she thinks I'm super healthy, thanks to my super diet.  She remarked on my clear skin (so did my sister the other night!), low blood pressure (I now join the ranks of yogis, she said), and tiny tummy.  She did notice that I'm shrinking too quickly and was alarmed to find my BMI creeping off the low end of the chart.   My new goal is to gain weight while eating healthy...this is a strange spot to be in.  

My doctor also prescribed me pharmacy-grade fish oil caplets which I now take daily.  They are giant yellow horse pills but on my script plan, still cheaper than the lower quality stuff at GNC.  It was also nice to know that these high quality supplements are actually better for me than eating fish directly.  Apparently, there are too many contaminants in fish these days; I also don't like the taste of farmed fish as much.  Anyways, so far so good.  I've heard that fish oil supplements can cause eternal fish breath, so I'll have to monitor that.  

On a slightly bleaker note, she also ordered a full auto-immune workup (ANA sed rate, C-reactive, etc) in an effort to pinpoint my mysterious eye problem.  I forked over three vials of blood and almost passed out.  She also hopes my insurance will cover these tests; otherwise, I will be facing several hundred dollars worth of damage.  :(

Well, mark your calendars for April 13th when I next visit Wills Eye.  We shall see if my dieting and acupuncture have done anything...If anything, according to my sister, my hair is "so nice and black!"  That's worth it, right?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Baking Blues

Even though I have never had a strong sweet tooth, I enjoy baking.  My favorite things to bake are ultra decadent sweets like frosted cakes and candies.  When I began my new diet, I found myself at a crossroad: to bake or not to bake?  These days, I rarely have processed sugar and now find myself missing it in a way that I never had before.  The smell of freshly baked cupcakes sends me over the edge.  This is odd because I don't have a sweet tooth; the smell of sugar, however, is one of the best smells ever.  

I bake weekly, mainly for my students' fundraiser.  I've learned to deal with making and frosting cupcakes, without eating any.  However, these past fews days I have been plagued with atypical sugar cravings.  After downing a container of blackberries in hopes that the natural sugars would help, my craving was still not satisfied.  There had to be a way to satisfy this the good ol' fashioned way.  

Armed with a bunch of uber-ripe bananas, I consulted Dr. Andrew Weil's website for help.  Dr. Weil is my anti-inflammatory guru and I take my eating cues largely from him.  His approach is welcoming and quite varied, so I was pleased to find a Banana Nut Bread recipe that conformed to his anti-inflammatory approach.  Instead of butter and sugar, this recipe relied upon canola oil and honey.  The result: A+.  My loaf turned out moist, sweet, banana-y, and quite similar to traditional banana bread.  I look forward to eating it as a snack or dessert in the coming days.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quick Update

Those who know me personally know that the past few days have been rough, so today's post will be short.  I tried two noteworthy recipes.   For a gluten-free "mac-n-cheese", try Peruvian Baked Quinoa and Cheese.  For the best veggie burger I've ever had, try Mediterranean Burgers.

Today I ate bacon, bread, and white potatoes, and I don't feel bad about it.