Packing a Lunch

I have been packing a lunch to take to work, as part of my lifestyle change. Leftovers and a microwave at work make packing my lunch easy. I just put the leftovers in a soft cooler bag with some carrot sticks and a couple cans of Diet Coke, and I'm done.

Packing a lunch is easier on the wallet and on the scale the next day. I look in the fridge the night before, to see if I will have leftovers to pack. If I won't, then it is simple to whip up some Diet Ham Salad the night before, or plan on packing veggies and Parmesan spinach dip.

It's too easy to fall off the wagon and buy sweets, if I bring money to buy my lunch. It is also faster to just sit down and eat a packed lunch. I don't have to wait in line and I can eat in my car and listen to the radio if I need some alone time.

My weight is holding steady at 195, where I started this keep trim eating period, so I am keeping the weight off! These past few days I have been called in to substitute teach. I get more walking in when I actually leave the house to work.

I did walk my mile yesterday, in addition to the extra walking I did while working outside the home. Here is what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast: 1 cup Special K, 1 cup cut-up strawberries, 1 cup soy milk, 1 cup black unsweetened coffee

Lunch: 6 ounces of Kirkland beef lasagna, 1/2 cup raw carrot sticks, 2 cans of Diet Coke

Dinner: A naked BBQ pork burrito from Qdoba: 6 ounces pulled pork, 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup black beans, 1/2 cup corn and tomato salsa -- with 20 ounces of Walmart Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Scarsdale Diet Plate Percentage Food Chart

Yesterday's drawing showed you my plate on keep-trim eating. Today's drawing shows my plate when I am on The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet. I put "protein" instead of "meat" because it could be any source of lean protein:

Cheese or yogurt from skim milk
Chicken or other fowl
Ham or other pork, fat trimmed
Soy products
Tofu products
Fish or shellfish
Beef or game, fat trimmed

Fruit is allowed on the diet but it is very high in sugar. Other dieters have commented in their reviews of Dr. Tarnower's book that they didn't lose any weight when they ate the allowed lunch of fruit salad with half a cup of cottage cheese and 3 walnuts. My experience is similar, and so I limit my fruit intake to about 10 percent of my daily intake. Also, be aware that most salad dressings are almost all sugar and fat. I only allow myself two tablespoons per day of dressings or most sauces, on the diet.

My weight: 194.8 -- I lost .2 pounds yesterday, on keep trim eating! Yay! I walked my mile yesterday. Here is what I ate and still maintained my weight, which is what I try to do during these two weeks of keep trim eating, between the two weeks I am actually on the Scarsdale Medical diet:

1 cup of Special K with 1 cup of diced strawberries and 1 cup of organic vanilla flavored soy milk and a cup of black unsweetened coffee
8 ounces of lasagna and 1 can of Diet Coke
1 El Monterey beef and bean burrito with 3 tablespoons of salsa (salsa without any sweeteners in it is very low in calories), and 20 ounces of Walmart All Natural Calorie Free Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Scarsdale Diet Keep Trim Plate Chart

These plate percentage diagrams represent how I see the Scarsdale Medical Diet, in my head. The keep trim plate chart I have posted today is how I am eating now. This is how I am keeping the weight off.

I lead a pretty sedentary life. My dogs remind me to walk a mile a day, but that is all the exercise I get. If you get more exercise, then you can eat more fruit, fat, and grains.

5% Fat 

Any kind of non-skim milk product is mostly fat: cheese, butter, cream in your coffee, sour cream, ice cream, cheesecake... Non-skim yogurt and cottage cheese are mostly fat. Make mine a skinny latte!

Oil is also a fat, like in Italian salad dressing. Most creamy salad dressings, such as ranch dressing, are all fat. If they aren't, then they are sugar, which counts against the fruit allowance.

Of course, any fat you leave on your meat counts toward the 5% fat allowance as well.

10% Grains

Grains are cereal, bread, tortillas, pancakes, crepes, injera, rice, cakes, cookies, and noodles or pastas like spaghetti, macaroni, and lasagna. Whole grains have more fiber, vitamins, and minerals, but they still need to be limited to 10% of your daily intake, if you want to keep trim and you're a couch potato like me.

10% Fruit / Sugar / Starch

Fresh fruit is best, with fiber and vitamins. The canned stuff is full of sodium* and sugar.

You can indulge in dessert so long as it is no more than 10% of your meal. I love Costco's cherry-almond-dark-chocolate clusters... Whatever sugar you eat counts toward this 10% fruit allowance. Fat-free salad dressings are full of sugar, as are most sauces: BBQ sauce, ketchup, honey mustard...

Starch is found in potatoes, corn, peas, and non-whole grains. We allowed for the starch in grains in the 10% grain allowance, but keep in mind that corn, potatoes, and peas count toward the fruit / starch / sugar allowance, not as vegetables.

25% Protein

Protein can be beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, tofu... Beans and nuts have lots of fat in them, though. Watch out for processed meats such as sausage and lunch meat. They are full of sodium*. So are frozen dinners, canned food, and fast food meals, full of sodium*.

Non-fat milk products, also called skim milk products, count as protein, too: cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese. Be aware that many yogurts have lots of sugar in them, though.

50% Vegetables or Salad

Vegetables are plants: lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cucumbers... I like raw baby carrots as finger foods with lunch, and steamed broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts with my dinner.

Starchy vegetables count toward sugar instead: potatoes, corn, peas.

*Limit Sodium / Salt

Salt, or sodium as it is listed on food labels, makes your body need more water, so you gain water weight. If you have not been limiting your sodium, then you can lose an easy twenty pounds in two weeks by just not eating any salt / sodium and letting go of all that water. Try it if you don't believe me.

Tomorrow I will post the plate chart of how I eat on actual Scarsdale Diet days.

Want more help? Copy days when I:
I walked my mile yesterday, which may matter even more than what I ate. Here is what I ate yesterday, though, and still managed to lose a pound:

Breakfast: Small bowl of  Special K, diced strawberries and organic soy milk with black unsweetened coffee
Lunch: 6 ounces of Kirkland beef lasagna (from the frozen food section at Costco), 1 cup microwaved broccoli, 1 can of Diet Coke
Dinner: 1 bean-and-cheese burrito with 3 tablespoons of chunky salsa, 20 ounces of Wal-mart Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

I lost a pound yesterday while eating a somewhat normal diet. I did watch my portions. I have noticed that I tend to eat twice as much as a normal portion of any food that I really like. I have started to pay attention to the portion amounts on the packages.

Thank you for asking if I drink enough water and if I am taking in too much caffeine. I do take a break from the caffeine. I don't have any after 2pm, or I can't sleep that night. I do drink water between meals. There is a water fountain in the park where we take our walks. Come winter they turn it off or it would freeze, so in winter we do carry a water bottle on our walks.

Keep Trim with Exercise for the Win!

My weight: 196! I lost a pound yesterday, and it was mostly because I walked a mile and a third. I must have lost that extra pound I gained the two days right before yesterday because I was not exercising enough. Thank you, Mom, for encouraging me to lose as much weight as I can while I am young and can still exercise. I can see where this would be nearly impossible for the handicapped.

When I go on my walks, I take my dog. He keeps me moving at a fast pace. He also gives my arms a workout because he pulls on them in his excitement to be 50 feet ahead of where we are. We walk the whole mile without stopping for longer than it takes him to relieve himself -- 10 or 20 times. Scott and I bought rain coats and snow coats and waterproof boots, so we can go on our walk no matter what the weather looks like.

We usually walk in the park that is a block from where we live. It is a large park and three times around its perimeter is a mile. The park is fenced and grassy. It is open from sunrise until 10 pm. I have no idea why I look like I am making gang signs in this picture. I'm not. Honest. But see how nice our local park is?

OK, here is what I ate yesterday that got burned off and then some by walking four times around our park, or a mile and a third - and lost a pound:

Small bowl of Special K, cut-up strawberries and organic soy milk, three cups of coffee, black and unsweetened

Lunch of 6 ounces of Costco lasagna with meat sauce (from the freezer section), 1 cup broccoli microwaved two minutes and two cans of Diet Coke

Dinner of 1 broiled cheeseburger on the bun with 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce, 2 cups cooked carrot sticks with salt and 20 ounces Walmart Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Thank you for asking me yesterday about if I am counting calories. I'm not. The Scarsdale Medical Diet is about food groups and portion control, rather than calorie counting. I have been using it off and on since 1979, but obviously not as often as I should. I have learned over the years that it is mostly a matter of eating lean protein sources and vegetables, with a little fruit thrown in, during the weight loss periods. During the keep trim periods I can add a little bit of pasta and bread, but not much at all. Dr Tarnower explicitly says to avoid juices and all sugary drinks at all times. He suggests that we satisfy our sweet tooth with diet soda. I am confident he would still be around today if he hadn't been murdered in the early 1980s.

Getting Closer to Zero Weight Gain Day

My weight: 197 I'm on keep trim eating for these two weeks. OK, I came really close to a zero weight gain day, just gained .2 pounds yesterday. If we had gone on our walk, it would probably have been a 0 gain day. We had a family movie day yesterday, and didn't feel like answering the phone, let alone leaving on a walk. Today I am going on a walk even if Scott doesn't feel like going. I need to get to the zero gain day!

I started out the day as usual, with 1 cup of Special K, 1 cup of soy milk and well, OK, a whole cup of cut-up strawberries -- and three cups of coffee, black and unsweetened.

We are trying out two new churches, going to each every other week. Yesterday we went to that church that has the donuts out when you get there. I was good for the first hour; I just had two bites of my husband's maple bar. But during the social time after the service I got coffee and caught a whiff of the remaining donuts. I cut a glazed donut into 4 pieces, and ate two of them over the next half hour. So, all told, I had about 3/4 of a glazed donut. As I said, though, this could have still been a zero gain day if I had gotten my normal amount of exercise.

Having learned from yesterday that two corn dogs were too many, I just had one corn dog for lunch, along with a cup of raw carrot sticks and two cans of Diet Coke.

Dinner was a broiled cheeseburger on the bun with 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce, a cup of steamed broccoli, and 20 ounces of Walmart Strawberry Lemonade.

Keep Trim Day 1

My Weight: 196.8 I gained .4 pounds yesterday, and I didn't indulge nearly as much as I was tempted to! The general rule on keep-trim eating is to stick to three sensible meals a day without snacking and without drinking sugary drinks. Many people who reviewed Dr. Tarnower's book at said they wished the doctor had been more specific on what to eat on keep trim days.

Keep trim eating is meant to be a lifestyle change, though, not just something we do between the two-week periods we are on the Scarsdale Medical Diet. I understand why Dr. Tarnower just gave general guidelines and left the rest up to us. That said, I will be recording exactly what I eat on my keep trim days, along with how much exercise I got and how much I gained or lost or, if I do things just right, if I maintained a steady weight.

I was on my business trip yesterday. I could have been more active, but I unfortunately chose to sit down most of the day. I did get up and wander around for probably half an hour. I got home late and Scott and I went on a walk that was only 1/3 of a mile, instead of our usual mile.

Here is what I enjoyed eating on my first keep trim day!

Breakfast: 1 and 1/2 cups Special K with dried strawberries in it, 1 cup of soy milk and three cups of black unsweetened coffee -- and 1/2 cup of cubed ham left over from making Diet Ham Salad the other day

Lunch of two corn dogs with mustard and two cans of Diet Coke

Dinner at Subway: 6 inch meatball sub toasted on Italian herb cheese bread, with cheddar cheese, marinara sauce, sliced tomato and black olives (YUM!)

I wanted very badly to get a strawberry cheesecake cookie for dessert at Subway, too. A little voice inside my head kept saying, "You can afford to eat a cookie now and then!" Cookies are what got me into the size 20 pants I barely fit into last May, though.

With the information that I gained .4 pounds yesterday, I know I overdid it. Looking back, I should have had just one corn dog for lunch and added veggies to round out the meal. I could have still eaten at Subway, just not eaten the top half of the bun and not added the cheese or the black olives.

I am not going to let this minor setback discourage me, though! Live and learn is what it is all about. These keep trim days allow me to learn how to eat sensibly while I give my body a break from the stress of losing a pound a day and more under the ketosis metabolism. Scott took this picture of me yesterday, in my skinny jeans. I wore them all day! They are actually men's jeans, waist 36 inseam 30. They are a bit tight in the tummy but fit really well everywhere else! Yay!

Business Trip Today

My weight: 196.4 ! I lost .8 pounds yesterday. Today, I am actually going to try wearing a pair of my 36 waist "skinny jeans" all day. They are tight in the tummy, but fit well everywhere else. I am really tired of looking like a teen boy in my saggy jeans, LOL! Instead, I'll leave the button undone on my skinny jeans and wear a biggish shirt, un-tucked.

As I said yesterday, I am starting keep-trim eating today instead of Monday, because I am going out of town this afternoon, on business. I just had my usual breakfast and will have lean meat and vegetables for lunch, so that I can eat a normal restaurant meal for dinner tonight, on my business trip.

I'll let you know tomorrow what that ends up being and if I managed to stay the same weight and not gain from it, which is the idea. I'm convinced Dr. Tarnower put keep trim eating periods in between the dieting periods as much to get me to practice eating right while off the diet as to give my body a break from the ketosis metabolism.

Here is what I ate yesterday and lost .8 pounds, along with walking a mile:

My new usual breakfast of Special K with dried strawberries, organic soy milk and three cups of coffee, black and unsweetened

Lunch of seven beef meatballs from the frozen section at Costco, microwaved for 2:30 minutes then squeezed with a paper towel to remove the excess fat, two tablespoons of pineapple habanero sauce, 1/2 cob of raw white corn and two cans of Diet Coke

Dinner was a cup of raw baby carrots, 2 tablespoons Parmesan spinach dip and 20 ounces of Walmart Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade.

Keep-Trim Eating Tomorrow

My weight: 197.2 I lost .8 pounds yesterday. I love my new digital scale, even though it did point out I was 5 pounds heavier than I thought. Better to find that out at home than in a doctor's office in front of other people! And with the old scale I would not have seen any weight loss until I had lost a complete pound, I don't think.

I did go on my walk yesterday. Here is a picture to show you how nice it was outside, here in Spokane. It was perfect weather, 80 degrees and very little humidity, only a few gnats and no mosquitoes. Scott took this picture of me and Oreo, and he had Raffle on his leash with him, along with the cart for collecting the cans.

I hadn't worn these linen shorts I have on in the picture since our hiking trip to Grand Canyon in 1999. They are men's shorts, size 38 waist, and they are now loose on me.

Here is what I ate yesterday:

Diet Ham Salad for breakfast and dinner. I had leftovers from making it yesterday.

With breakfast and lunch I had two cans of Diet Coke. With dinner I had 20 ounces of Walmart Sparkling Strawberry lemonade.

For lunch I had seven beef meatballs (from the frozen foods section in Costco to my freezer) with two tablespoons of pineapple habanero sauce and 2 cups of steamed broccoli, nothing added to the broccoli.

I am going to start keep trim eating tomorrow instead of Monday. I will be going out of town on a top-secret assignment! It will be more fun if I can eat semi normal food available in fast food places, for dinner. I will be home for breakfast and lunch. Of course I will be reporting on how that worked out! If you know me, you can email me if you want details about the top-secret assignment. I just cannot make that public.

Aunt Susie's Visit

My weight: 198.0 ! Yay! I lost .8 pounds. I knew I would come off that plateau. We even skipped our walk yesterday. Our excuse was a gathering we attended at a friend's house, but we could have walked beforehand. We just didn't. My "Aunt Susie came to visit" yesterday, if you know what I mean. I think that might have had something to do with both the stall in my weight-loss and my reluctance to exercise.

Here is what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast: 1 and 1/2 cups of Special K with dried strawberries in it, 1 cup of soy milk, three cups of black unsweetened coffee

Lunch: Diet Ham Salad, two cans of Diet Coke

Dinner: Seven Italian-style beef meatballs by Costco's Kirkland brand that come in freezer bags, microwaved 2 minutes and 30 seconds on high and then squeezed with a paper towel to remove excess fat; two tablespoons of pineapple habanero sauce from Costco; and 20 ounces of Walmart's Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

I am kind of blessed in that my "Aunt Susie's" visits only last three days, typically. In exchange for that they are intense, though. Still, I am going to exercise today. I know I need to if I want to keep my muscles toned up and strong. Ketosis will erode my muscles much faster than if I were not on a diet. I know that.

From what my mom has told me, seven more years and "Aunt Susie" won't come visit me anymore. I shouldn't wish away seven years of my life, but I can't wait! "Aunt Susie" is so irritating! She gives me cramps, a low back ache and even a mild headache sometimes. And it appears that she makes me retain water, which may explain why I weighed the same two days in a row, even with minimal eating and adequate exercise the day before yesterday.

Weight-Loss Plateau

Same weight as yesterday: 198.8, a weight loss plateau. This stall is not for lack of effort. I went on two walks yesterday. I got the urge to be active just before lunch, so I took my dog Oreo to the park. Scott and I took our usual walk together later, but now we are going before dinner, so that it is light enough for Scott to see if there are aluminum cans in the waste bins. Here are more details on how we get paid to go on our walk!

I didn't cheat on my diet yesterday, either. Like I said, this is a weight loss plateau. I just hope I break through it and lose a few more pounds before Monday. That's when my next two-weeks of keep-trim eating starts. It would be nice to be comfortable in my skinny jeans during those two weeks.

I did a little research on what it takes to break through a weight-loss plateau. On page two of its article, the Mayo Clinic says I have to either exercise more or eat fewer calories, or I won't lose any more. I actually know from experience this is not true. I hit a plateau at 220, too. I diligently stuck to my diet and exercise, and broke through the plateau after three days. I do not think it would be healthy for me to cut my intake any more, and I have increased my physical activity, adding the ballet exercises to the daily walk.

Here is what I ate yesterday:

Small bowl of Special K and organic soy milk, three cups black unsweetened coffee

Lunch of raw baby carrots and 1/2 cup Parmesan spinach dip from Costco with 2 cans of Diet Coke

Dinner of 7 Kirkland beef meatballs microwaved and squeezed with a paper towel to remove excess fat,
2 tablespoons habanero pineapple sauce,
1 cup steamed broccoli with nothing on it and
20 ounces of calorie-free Walmart strawberry lemonade

One of you told me muscle weighs three times as much as fat, so maybe I lost some fat but gained some muscle? I am intrigued by the scale you told me about, that tells you how much of your weight is fat and how much is muscle. I don't understand how a scale would know that, though. I will just keep plugging away at my version of the Scarsdale Medical Diet, and pray for the best. I am really glad I noticed the softening of my muscles in time to start the ballet exercises. I can see the difference they are making.

[Edited on April 10, 2012: Now, I know that those meatballs are chock full of calories and should not have been eaten on the diet. I even avoid them on keep trim eating now. I also know now that a serving of Parmesan spinach dip is two tablespoons, and that half a cup of it has enough sodium to make me retain a pound of water! Live and learn. :)]

Size 16, Waist 36!

My weight today: 198.8 I actually gained two tenths of a pound. More on that in a minute. The good news is I fit into the size 16 jeans I tried on in the store yesterday! I am not going to buy any new clothes until I reach my target weight. I'll just tighten my belt a great deal and look baggy for a while. OK, I might buy some used clothes for the interim sizes. But I fit into a pair of size 16 jeans! Woo hoo!

Also, I have three pair of waist 36 jeans that I bought in 2004, the last time I was size 16. I wore one of those waist 36 pair of jeans on our walk last night. I can walk in them, but I am not yet ready to try sitting in them! LOL!

Here is what I ate yesterday:

Usual breakfast of: Special K, organic soy milk, strawberries and black unsweetened coffee

Lunch of: 3 eggs scrambled in Pam with fried onions, mushrooms and yellow pepper and garnished with roasted red pepper, 2 cans of Diet Coke

Dinner of: 7 Kirkland beef meatballs, microwaved and excess oil squeezed out with a paper towel, 2 tablespoons habanero pineapple sauce, 1 12-oz can of green beans, microwaved, and 20 ounces of Walmart Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade, calorie free

Once again, I suspect this new meal that I tried for lunch yesterday is too caloric for the two-week periods I am in ketosis. I will have to relegate it to the two-week periods that I am on keep trim eating. The next such period starts this coming monday, September 26!

But yay! In a few days, right before I go back on keep trim eating for two weeks, I should be back in my waist 36 jeans! I should be able to go into any store, grab a size 16, and have it fit! That is a victory! Thank you, God!

198.6! And I Resisted Cookies!

My weight today is a record-breaking 198.6! I hated the new scale the other day when it said I weighed almost 5 pounds more than my old mechanical scale said. Now, I am loving my new digital scale. It shows me my weight-loss down to a tenth of a pound. I can see that I lost more than a pound yesterday, I lost 1.4 pounds to be exact! That is really valuable information, and well worth the imagined set-back of the extra 5 pounds, in my opinion.

I resisted cookies yesterday! Nevermind that my husband has Reeses Peanut Butter Cups in the fridge. I brought my lunch to church yesterday so that I could attend the fellowship hour after the service and resist the goodies they serve. Yesterday they served yummy-smelling chocolate chip cookies. The ladies I sat with asked me what I was up to, but they were satisfied once I explained, "I brought my lunch so I don't fill up on sweets." The lady sitting across from me even agreed and said, "Yes, I don't do that, either," (meaning she doesn't fill up on sweets, either).

Here is what I ate yesterday:
Small bowl of Special K, strawberries and organic soy milk
Diet Ham Salad
2 cans of Diet Coke
3 ounces of leftover pulled pork and BBQ sauce from Qdoba
1 cup of lightly sauteed onions, mushrooms and yellow pepper (instead of rice or beans)
lots of ice water the rest of the evening

We did not get our walk in yesterday. The exercise I got was: walking to and from the church to the car, walking down and up the stairs at church and to my basement to do laundry, vacuuming the house and straightening the living room, and ballet-barre-style toning exercises as I described yesterday.

Lost 1.8 Pounds Yesterday

I lost 1.8 pounds yesterday! One of you aptly reminded me there are two routes a person can go, once the pain starts after middle age: eat sensibly and exercise, or start medication. I whole-heartedly choose diet and exercise!

I have noticed that ketosis is starting to loosen up muscles that I previously toned up. If I had access to an indoor pool I would do these exercises that I used to tone up my muscles in the first place. Alas, I don't have access, so I am getting creative. I remembered the ballet I took when I was 4 (thank you, Mom!). I do ballet style leg lifts at the kitchen counter now whenever I get up to stretch my legs. I can feel it toning up the areas that are getting loose from my weight-loss. On top of that I still walk at least a mile a day for aerobic exercise, which is a fancy way of saying I exercise my heart.

Here is what I ate yesterday and lost 1.8 pounds:

As usual I broke my night fast with a small bowl of Special K, strawberries and organic soy milk with three cups of black unsweetened coffee.

Lunch was Diet Ham Salad, yum!

We stopped at Qdoba Mexican Grill again for dinner. I again had pulled pork with BBQ sauce, corn and tomatoes. The way you order that at Qdoba is, "Naked pork BBQ burrito no rice, no beans, corn salsa, tomato salsa, no sour cream, no cheese." 

For those of you who don't know, we each got a gift card good for 52 free entrees from Qdoba, for participating in a store-opening in Spokane Valley.

Thank you so much for the comments and emails and phone calls of encouragement. It helps more than you know, friends and family.

New Digital Scale

My nifty new digital scale says my weight is 201.8. At first, this discouraged me. I was so excited the other day about weighing in under 200 pounds for the first time since at least 2005. I admit, my first impulse was to lie. I thought, "Well, I could adjust for my previous readings and call this 196. But wait, do I really know I lost my pound since yesterday?" I have learned by experience that when I make a mistake (or when I get more accurate data) the least painful way is to admit the error as soon as possible. That way, I can move forward from there.

On the bright side, this means I get to celebrate going under 200 all over again in a few days! Besides, I am still 5 pounds lighter than I was 5 days ago, and that is most of the point. My ankles still hurt sometimes after our evening walk, but I don't have to sit down for them hurting while vacuuming or shopping, the way I used to. My headaches are all but gone. I had the ghost of a headache the other day, but my next meal relieved it.

Here is what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast of Special K, soy milk, strawberries and black unsweetened coffee

Lunch of cubed ham, cooked carrots and canned green beans with 2 cans of Diet Coke

Dinner of 7 meatballs, excess fat pressed out with a paper towel, 2 tablespoons of pineapple habanero sauce, steamed broccoli and 20 ounces of Walmart sparkling lemonade / cherry limeade mixed

I got lots of exercise yesterday. In addition to our one-mile evening walk we shopped at four different stores. I was walking for a total of about 5 hours yesterday. We saw scales that keep track of your last 12 weigh-ins and measure your body mass index with electrical current. We didn't get one of those, though. We got a simple digital scale with a red, 1-inch display. As per Dr. Tarnower's book, I weigh myself first thing in the morning, after I use the toilet but before I shower. I remove everything possible before I weigh. This way I get the lowest possible weight for the day. This means I don't have my glasses on. The needle on the mechanical bathroom scale we had before was getting really difficult to see!

Joan Jett Pictures!

My Weight: 197 I lost 2 pounds yesterday rocking out at the "Joan Jett and the Blackhearts" concert. I know Joan is older than me. She was already out of school and touring in 1979 when I was in high school and snuck in as 21 to see her perform at Madam Wong's West. She was more animated last night than she was back then! She jumped around so much this was the only clear picture out of the 240 I shot.

Joan Jett's music was too adult for this family crowd of 6,000 at the Spokane County Fair 9/15/2011, but they were dancing in the aisles. She knows how to rock. She inspired me. If she can be 50+ and this active and looking this fantastic, then I can, too! On Joan Jett's Facebook page, I asked her how she stays so trim and gorgeous. I really wonder about Joan Jett's diet and what exercise she gets besides being an animal in her concert appearances. I'm not holding my breath for an answer, though, heh!

Joan Jett mentioned K-Stew last night. Joan asked the crowd how many of us had seen the movie about Joan's first band, The Runaways. Almost half the crowd cheered. Joan then said, "Then you heard Kristen sing my song!" So, Kristen Stewart sang at least one of those songs herself; I heard it from Joan Jett's mouth.

What impresses me most is how much Joan Jett's figure resembles Kristen Stewart's, even though Joan Jett is at least 30 years older. Joan's voice also sounded just like it did 30 years ago. She looks and sounds like she resisted drugs and smoking. Rock on, Joan Jett!

Back to the two pounds I lost yesterday! Here is what I ate:
3 cups of black coffee, unsweetened
1 cup of Special K
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup diced strawberries
2 cans of Diet Coke
7 Kirkland beef meatballs with
2 tablespoons habanero pineapple sauce
1 cup of broccoli, steamed
32 ounces of Walmart Sparkling Lemonade / Cherry Limeade
1 cup of carrots, steamed
Qdoba naked pork BBQ burrito with no rice, no beans, corn salsa and tomato salsa (naked means no tortilla)

199 I lost a pound yesterday!

Weight: 199 I lost a pound yesterday! This is the first time since at least 2005 that I have weighed in at less than 200 pounds!
We did go to the county fair yesterday. We had a great time, and I didn't cheat on my diet! I made the fair about seeing the shows, demonstrations and exhibits, rather than about the food.

The coolest thing we saw was a blacksmithing demonstration. Blacksmith Steve McGrew made a corkscrew right in front of our eyes. It only took about 20 minutes.

The next best show we saw was called mutton busting. It was nerve-wracking to watch. Kids of 3, 4, 5 and 6 years of age rode sheep for as long as they could. We also saw antique tractors, grain grinding, can crushing, 4-H projects, rope-making, juggling, and fat belly dancers.
What I ate yesterday and lost a pound:
My usual breakfast: Special K, organic soy milk and cut-up strawberries -- with three cups of coffee, black and unsweetened
For lunch we split this Chinese-food booth entree called Sesame Chicken (See Photo Above). We each ate half the chicken and I picked the broccoli, cabbage and carrots out of the chow mein.
I also ate a handful of raw carrot-sticks that I had brought, as a snack. I drank 20 oz of Diet Pepsi and lots of water.
Dinner was 7 Kirkland beef meatballs with no sauce and a large cucumber, cut up and topped with 2 tablespoons of Bernstein's Restaurant Style Italian salad dressing. I drank 10 oz of Walmart Sparkling Lemonade mixed with 10 oz of Walmart Sparkling Cherry Limeade.


Weight: Still 200. I did not lose my pound yesterday. Just keeping the weight off is not enough right now. :( Looking back on what I ate in the past and still lost my pound, I guess the dinner I had yesterday has to be just for keep trim eating, and not for the two-week stretches that I am trying to lose a pound a day. [Edited to add: At this point, I was using a mechanical scale that only registered a pound or more of weight loss.]

I would love to stay in ketosis longer than two weeks at a time and lose the weight more quickly, but Dr. Tarnower tells us several times in his book not to do this, and so I don't. I have recently done some research online about ketosis. From what I have read, it is dangerous for the liver if you stay in that metabolic state too long. Interestingly, I also read that low carbohydrate diets were the primary treatment for diabetes throughout the 19th century. They avoid the diabetic state, rather than trying to manage the diabetic state.

Scarsdale is a low-fat diet, in addition to being a low-carb diet. It does allow carbohydrates from fruit and encourages us to eat lots of vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables, so I think Scarsdale is much healthier than other low-carb diets that are high in fat.

Yesterday, I ate:

My usual breakfast of 1 cup Special K, 1 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup cut-up strawberries and three cups of coffee, black and unsweetened

A lunch of one cup raw carrot sticks with 1/2 cup parmesan / artichoke / spinach dip from Costco

My dinner, which I think is what disallowed me to lose my pound yesterday, is one of my favorite recipes that I made up: low carb fajitas. As I said earlier, I guess I have to reserve this for my keep-trim eating weeks and not use it during weeks when I am trying to lose my pound a day.

Edited months later to add:

Actually, half a cup is way too much Parmesan spinach dip. Two tablespoons are one serving. It has way too much sodium in it to eat half a cup in one day! I probably retained a pound of water from eating all that spinach dip in one day.

Will the Fair Ruin My Diet?

Weight: 200 I lost a pound again yesterday! Yay! Nothing really significant happened. At first Scott wanted to go to the county fair, but he decided he would rather go tomorrow, Wednesday, so that we can go for a few hours in the morning, come home and walk the dogs and eat lunch, and then return in the evening.

On one hand, I am a bit concerned that I will be tempted to cheat on my diet at the fair. I don't like cotton candy or hot dogs, but I am partial to pies. On the other hand, I am likely to walk at least two miles while we are there. Probably more like 5 miles, so that should help.

If I do cheat at the fair, at least it will be inside my rules of only cheating away from home and only doing a planned cheat on my diet. Those rules have protected me pretty well except when we went on vacation for most of the month of August, I gained 5 pounds.

But yesterday I lost a pound! We walked a mile. I ate:

My usual breakfast of Special K, organic soy milk, strawberries and black unsweetened coffee

A lunch of seven Kirkland beef meatballs with 2 tablespoons of Robert Rothschild Farms roasted pineapple habanero sauce (comes in a bottle at Costco in the spring and summer only, really yummy on meat, kind of Hawaiian) and one small ear of corn on the cob, raw. Two cans of Diet Coke.*

Dinner was seven more Kirkland beef meatballs with habanero sauce and two cups of cooked carrots with nothing on them, not even salt. I had 20 ounces of Wal-mart Sparkling Cherry Limeade with dinner.

*I know, I know, I did say months ago that I was giving up Diet Coke. I quickly gained ten pounds after I said that, though. So the Diet Coke is back, but I make myself quit all caffeine intake at 2pm so I can fall asleep easily at 10pm.

Edited May 23, 2012:

Yay! They have habanero sauce at Costco again! I bought a bottle yesterday. Here is a picture, at last! It is not particularly spicy. It is a little spicy, I guess, but mostly it is just tasty! You have to like pineapple to like it. Sometimes they let you sample it at Costco, which is how I got hooked on it. I love these meatballs with habanero sauce even better than with spaghetti and tomato sauce. Yum, this sauce is good! Stay to small amounts, though. A serving is two tablespoons, and that is 70 calories.

If I had to lose 90 pounds all over again, I would not use this as a diet meal. These meatballs are actually quite full of calories. But, I am leaving this here because this is how I did start my diet. I probably wouldn't have started it without something so tasty to eat. Who knows?

Yay Walmart Calorie-Free Sparkling Lemonade!

Walmart's all-natural and calorie-free sparkling beverages were Godsends for me while I lost 90 pounds and went from a size 20 to a size 8. I crave sweet stuff after dinner, and these did the trick while I was dieting. They don't have any caffeine, so I could drink them right up until bedtime. My favorite flavor is Walmart sparkling blueberry lemonade. They also sell plain sparkling lemonade, sparkling strawberry lemonade and sparkling cherry limeade.

They used to be just 58 cents for a two-liter bottle, but it has gone up to 85 cents for 2 liters.

Most of the time, they are in the candy aisle, which is really mean of Walmart! When the candy aisle is full of extra stock for holidays, the sparkling lemonades are sometimes in a black stand at the end of the cookie aisle. Other times, Wal-mart shelves its all natural calorie-free sparkling lemonade with the bottled water, which in the store near me is down by the dairy case. 

I have not seen any of the sparkling blueberry lemonade flavor here in Spokane. We only saw it on our trip through New York, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota and North Dakota. One of you nice readers asked a manager about it, and we found out Walmart only stocks calorie-free sparkling lemonade during warm weather. Here in Spokane, that is only in summer. Other places, it might include spring and fall.

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Weight: 201 I cheated a little more than I thought I should, but I still lost a pound for the day! I thank Wal-mart Calorie-Free Sparkling Lemonade. More on that later. Our new church had donuts out when we got there. I am proud to say I limited myself to one bite of my husband's maple bar. They also had a potluck lunch after the service.

Yesterday's pound loss may have been just water weight from the salty broiled chicken I bought for our Labor Day picnic and just finished off on Friday. It was one of those chickens they have in the little warming stands in the supermarkets. This one came from Wal-mart, but I have seen them at Costco, Safeway and most of the supermarket chains. I stayed at 203 all week and finally was 202 yesterday.

Yesterday I ate:

Small bowl of Special K, strawberries and vanilla soy milk
1 bite of a maple bar
half a dinner plate of tossed salad with
2 tablespoons of low-fat Italian dressing
2 deviled eggs
1/2 cup of spaghetti with sauce and meat pieces
1 cup of corn bread
2 bites of lemon cake with frosting
7 Kirkland Italian-style Beef Meatballs, microwaved, excess fat paper-toweled off
2 tablespoons of Robert Rothschild Farm Roasted Pineapple & Habanero Sauce, added to the cooked meatballs
1 cup of steamed broccoli, nothing added


I have taken to drinking just water or unsweetened herb tea in the evenings. My favorite caffeine-free tea is Good Earth Tea in the Original Sweet and Spicy flavor. It is basically cinnamon tea with some cloves and nutmeg. Wal-mart also has sodium free diet soda in the flavored water section. My favorite flavor is peach. Sodium makes me retain water weight, so I have become much more aware of the sodium in everything I put in my body.


I have been completely off diet soda since Jan 8, 2013. I have become convinced that diet soda is unhealthy. However, it really did help combat my sweet tooth while I lost those 90 pounds. Today, I drink mostly plain tap water.