Monday, November 16, 2015

Weekly Menus

It is getting much colder the last couple of weeks in Seattle.  When I leave for work in the morning I have to wear scarves and gloves, and probably should be wearing a hat as well.  It has also been raining a lot which makes me want to stay indoors where it is warm and dry.  It makes it difficult to fast because I like to cook when the weather turns...Soups, stews, roasts.  Things that warm the house up and smell good.

I have been consoling myself with my daily pot of broth that is always simmering on the back of the stove, or in the crock-pot.  And I am trying out a lot of warm spicy teas like cinnamon chai and Market Spice.

This past week I did not lose any weight, but I had several social events which I made it through safely.  I have one more this week (on Tuesday) which hopefully will turn out well.  Then next week is the big Thanksgiving weekend--I may try to eat just once a day maybe on Thurs-Sat.  Then do a longer fast Sun-Wed.  I haven't had much time to post lately, but I thought I would share my weekly menu again at least...

Sunday (eating day for me):
Pork chops with creamy mushroom sauce, Whipped cauliflower with cheese, green beans with butter + 2 glasses champagne

Monday (fast day for me):
Breakfast/Lunch :  Cooked shrimp with raspberries and carrots + leftover pork chops, cauliflower & green beans
Dinner:  Green salad with chicken, mandarin oranges, cashews, dried cranberries and blue cheese dressing

Tuesday(fast until dinner for me):
Breakfast/Lunch:  Bay shrimp salad with arugula and dill + berries + Chomsky salad with chicken
Milo's Dinner: Italian sausage and peppers
My Dinner:  Out at pub, bun-less burger with bacon, mushrooms & guacamole+ large salad + martini

Wednesday (fast day for me): 
Breakfast/Lunch:  Breakfast casserole with grass fed beef+ sweet potato hash + Italian sausage and peppers
Dinner:  Roast chicken with broccoli and butter

Thursday (fast until dinner for me):  Follow-up meeting with Megan today
Breakfast/Lunch: Curried chicken salad + blueberries + breakfast casserole
Dinner:  Crockpot pot roast with veggies + (roasted potatoes for M) + Caesar  salad with avocado.

Friday (fast until dinner):
Breakfast/Lunch:  Leftover Crockpot Pot Roast and roasted vegetables + salad with chicken, peppers, green onion and blue cheese dressing.

Dinner:  Taco salad with avocado and salsa + champagne

Saturday (eating day for me):
Brunch:  egg and sausage scramble
Dinner:  Shrimp and avocado Caesar salad.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

More cooking...

I wasn't great at sticking to the menus I designed last week, but M got his three meals a day, and I did OK with my meals even though there were some dinners out that were unanticipated...This week I am trying again, and adding more protein to M's meals.  He has been really hungry lately so he eats everything I give him and more--part of that is probably that he is walking a lot more recently.  I need to give him more filling salads I think.

Sunday (eating day for me):
Dinner:  Roast chicken, Just Like Stuffed Baked Potatoes, Green beans with butter + champagne.

Monday (fast day for me):
Breakfast/Lunch (for M) : Savory chicken salad with mixed greens + leftover lasagne.
Dinner:  Leftover chicken with Just Like Stuffed Baked Potatoes, Green beans with butter.

Tuesday (eating at happy hour/dinner today):
Breakfast/Lunch (for M):  smoked salmon with raw vegetables and berries + Grilled steak salad with blue cheese, tomatoes and mixed greens.
Dinner for M:  Large salad with chicken breast, nuts and cranberries, with oil and vinegar dressing.
Dinner for me:  (Meeting Ceradwen for Happy Hour first) 
LCHF Pizza with sausage and mushrooms + salad with avocado and tomato.

Wednesday (fasting today):
Breakfast/Lunch (for M):  Dilled shrimp salad + leftover pizza.
Dinner for M:  Broccoli casserole + green salad with avocado and tomato and blue cheese dressing.

Thursday (eating at dinner today):
Breakfast/Lunch (for M):  Leftover broccoli casserole + salad with chicken breast, peppers, tomato, green onion, Parmesan cheese + Tessa Mae's Caesar dressing.
Dinner:  Pork roast + brussels sprouts

Friday (fasting 24 hours today):
Breakfast/Lunch (for M):  Leftover pork & brussels sprouts+ Chomsky Salad with chicken breast, bacon, jarred red peppers, tomato, green onion, artichoke, blue cheese + Tessa Mae's Green Goddess dressing.

Dinner:  Open + 1 glass red wine

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Low Carb High Fat Recipe: Sara's LCHF Lasagne

My Grandfather's family on my mom's side comes from Sicily, and so when I had the chance to go to Italy a few years ago, (we we living in Germany at the time) I was very excited.  I felt at home in Germany, people there are a lot like me, very particular about food and keeping things looking nice, but since we had moved there I had not traveled much outside Germany, so I wasn't sure what it would be like.

Italy was like coming home in a way I really can't explain.  My husband drove us all the way there from Bavaria through Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and northern Italy all the way down to Sorrento.  By the time we arrived in Sorrento, I had a new found respect for Italian drivers.  You always hear that Italian drivers are terrible, that is absolutely not true.  Italian drivers have their own way of approaching the rules of driving.  Stop signs for example, are totally optional.  But you don't just drive through them and crash into other cars, you honk as you approach a blind corner or a stopping point and let the other drivers know you are coming, then you brake or accelerate as needed.  This driving style is a cultural reflection of Italian personality.  You say hello, and depending on the response you get, you continue in an appropriate way.  I drive like a German.  My husband, however, drives like an Italian so we fit right in.

Once we were on the streets walking among the buildings and the people, taking boat rides to Capri and the train to Pompeii and Herculaneum, I was completely at home. In Germany, I was always afraid I would say something wrong in my terrible German.  In Italy, even though I'm sure I pronounced things with a Spanish accent, people were so nice and welcoming and open.  My grandmother had a music box that my uncle brought home for her when he was stationed in Italy after the war, it was made in Sorrento and plays Torna a Surriento. Maybe it's the sunshine, or maybe some genetic part of me just fits in there, but I will always feel like Sorrento is another home.

When I went to Italy, I was overweight by 20 or 30 pounds, and so was motivated to eat well while I was there.  I remember trying to eat fairly low carb, but having a really hard time with breakfasts.  Our hotel included breakfast, and in order to cut expenses, we tried to eat a large free breakfast and then just eat dinner.  The hotels pretty much had continental breakfasts. My typical breakfast while there was two small whole grain rolls with large amounts of cream cheese, eggs if they had them, and plain whole milk yogurt with honey and fruit.  Not very low carb, although better than American continental breakfasts which rely on pancakes, waffles, toast and cold cereals.

For dinners we would go out to nearby restaurants and eat whatever looked good.  I admit I ate pasta although I tried to eat seafood as much as possible--grilled calamari is so incredibly delicious!  Even so, by the time I got back home to Germany I had lost 10 pounds.  Maybe it was the fasting between breakfast and dinner (often 12 hours), or maybe it was the lack of preservatives and the overly processed foods.  Real Italian lasagna is a simple layering of pasta and cheese with a little sauce cooked in an oven and topped with cheese.  The sauce was very tasty and there wasn't a lot of it.  The cheese was ricotta mixed with herbs, topped with a little fresh mozzarella.  This was very similar to my mom's lasagna.

When I went all-out low carb high fat, I looked and looked for a good low carb lasagne recipe that would work for me.  I found Linda's Low Carb Lasagna which is delicious, but for true LCHF, I needed more fat and less protein.  I loved the addition of the spinach though and the use of cream cheese instead of ricotta and decided to play around with the ingredients until I got the right maconutrient ratios for me.  The result is a vegetarian lasagne with lots of mushrooms and cheese and a moderate amount of sauce.  It isn't a true "lasagne" because there are no pasta-like layers, but I am sticking to the name:

Sara's LCHF Lasagne

24 ounces mushrooms sliced
4 T. butter
24 oz. frozen spinach
8 oz. full fat cream cheese, softened
1 egg
3 cups shredded full fat mozzarella cheese
6 oz. tomato paste
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil

Saute the mushrooms in butter.
Add tomato paste, 12 ounces water and dried herbs, mix well and simmer for 1/2 to 1 hour.
Thaw frozen spinach, and drain thoroughly.
Add cream cheese to spinach and mix well.
Add in egg, and stir until well incorporated.

In 9 X 12 baking dish, layer 1/2 of the mushroom sauce, 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella, all of the spinach mixture, 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella, 1/2 of the mushroom sauce and top off with 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Makes 6 servings

Carrying on

So this week I have slipped pretty easily into the 42 hour fasts. They seem very easy compared to the 7 day fast. I also switched back to Fitday after playing around in MyFitnessPal all week. I really like Fitday better, I just wish the app had totals for each day and that I could sync my fitbit to it. But hey, I'm lucky they even have an app I suppose. Last year they just had the promise of one...

I had my first follow-up meeting today with Megan. There was a small group of us and she asked for our food journals and weight and waist measurement the day before so she could see how we were doing. Apparently I am doing really well.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Well, I made it.  The last two days were kind of anti-climactic.  I was mostly tired, and Thursday was a hard day.  The hunger never really went away, but I didn't binge too much on my return to the eating world.  I had my planned meal with a glass of wine, and went to bed early.  Kind of boring, but still--I feel good about it.

The rest of the weekend, I followed Megan's advice, and ate as late in the day as possible having a snack around 3 pm and dinner around 6 pm on Saturday, then on Sunday a similar plan.  I keep forgetting to write down my food, so I started a new MyFitnessPal Journal.  I was using Fitday to track my food, and I do still like it, but the phone app doesn't tell me what my carb and protein counts are for the day, and also doesn't track my steps with my Fitbit like MFP does.

I have a follow-up appointment with Megan on Nov 5th (Thursday) at 11.  I need to send her my food diary, current weight, and waist measurement.

I lost a total of about 8 pounds, then I ate over the weekend and gained back 4.  I need to remember that weight loss is not the same thing as fat loss...

Today I start my regular weekly schedule.  I fast 42 hours today, so the next time I eat will be dinner tomorrow.  The same schedule is for Wednesday, and hopefully Friday.  I forced myself to make menus for the week because I need to know that I have something healthy I can eat for my dinners, and something healthy to feed M for his lunches and dinners on my fast days as well.

Here is the plan through Friday, the Breakfast/Lunch options are for M--I will just be eating Dinners on Tuesday, Thursday, and maybe Friday depending on how things go...  I left the weekend off my menu because on Saturday I will have time to go shopping and a make a new menu.

Dinner:  Roast chicken, roasted cauliflower with mustard sauce, Brussels sprouts with butter.

Breakfast/Lunch : Savory chicken salad with arugula + leftover chicken, roast cauliflower and brussels sprouts

Dinner:  Salad with shrimp, tomato, red pepper, blue cheese dressing.

Breakfast/Lunch:  Dilled shrimp salad + chicken curried salad with mixed greens.

Dinner:  Salmon with Hollandaise sauce and asparagus + raspberries (plus cook steak for tomorrow for M)

Breakfast/Lunch:  Smoked salmon and berries + salad with steak, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkin seeds, and blue cheese dressing.

Dinner:  Roast pork + Dottie's Green Bean Casserole + green salad with avocado and tomato and blue cheese dressing.

Breakfast/Lunch:  Leftover pork and green bean casserole + small salad with lean pork , peppers, tomato, green onion, parmesan cheese + Tessamae's Caesar dressing.

Dinner:  Low Carb Lasagna (lower protein version of Linda's Low Carb Lasagna)

Breakfast/Lunch:  Leftover lasagna + Chomsky Salad with leftover lean pork , jarred red peppers, tomato, green onion, artichoke, bacon, blue cheese + Tessamae's Green Goddess dressing.

Dinner:  Open (Can have leftover lasagna or something else) + 1 glass red wine