Review, Renew and Refocus: 7 days to kick start BSD again.

  • posted by Verano
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    Quite a few of us, especially those of us who have been here a long time, have decided to review our plans and refocus on BSD. So maybe we should spend the next 7 days getting back into the groove. All welcome along for the ride.

    DAY 1 of 7
    Maybe today we should just concentrate on writing down a plan of action and get ourselves back on track.

  • posted by Verano
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    To start my plan I have to review my diet:

    1. Need to eat more protein and fat and eat fewer carbs.
    2. Need to drink more water and no more wine.

    I need to mix my food around a bit. For as long as I can remember now I’ve been having yogurt, berries and walnuts for breakfast. As a first step to renewal I had scrambled eggs and tomatoes this morning. Instead of cheese and ryvita for lunch, which seems to have become a staple, I’m having some smoked salmon with salad. They say variety is the spice of life and so from now I’m going to do my best to vary my diet much more.

    So first step was to look back through the 101 Ways with Cauliflower thread which I’ve summarised below. The full recipes, where needed, can be found on that thread. Just re-reading some of our past ideas is starting to help me to refocus.

    Cauliflower Recipes

    1 Steamed and mashed with salt, pepper and butter.
    2 Steamed mashed with horseradish or mustard.
    3 Steamed together with garlic and mashed.
    4 Steamed and mashed with butter, cream and grated nutmeg.
    5 Roasted steaks with a drizzle of olive oil
    6 Riced then steamed, fried or baked.
    7 Rice with vegetables as in ‘fried rice’.
    8 Marinade with indian spices and yogurt then roasted
    9 Marinade with thai spices and yogurt then roasted.
    10 Cauliflower and red pepper soup
    11 Cauliflower pizza base.
    12 Cauliflower waffles / pancakes.
    13 Cauliflower and broccoli mashed with garlic and chilli.
    14 Cauliflower and chicken biryani from BSD recipe book.
    15 Steamed and mashed with chilli or tabasco, crème fraiche and coriander.

    Then moving away from cauliflower there’s courgetti spaghetti puttanesca and aubergine lasagne to name but a few.

    Now I’m going to look back through the 7 days to renew enthusiasm thread to pick out some of the recipes from there. Looks like I have my work cut out for today!

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Great start there Verano! That list of cauli options is quite mind boggling, it really is about just thinking outside the box a little, to keep things interesting and within the BSD rules. Thanks for taking on the task of gathering together all this valuable info, I’m sure it will be really useful to all of us who recognise that we need to review what we are doing.

    I’m in for the 7 day review and taking back control again, I’ve been coasting too long and need to shake things up. Starting today, I am going into action on a 4 point plan:

    1) Get back to basics and return to weighing, measuring and recorded EVERYTHING I consume at home and be more stringent when eating out.
    2) Continue to overnight fast by at least 16hrs and wherever possible longer.
    3) Set myself a firm mini-goal with a target weight and a time frame. (Think being woolly about it, has been one of the reasons I haven’t pushed hard enough to succeed.)
    4) To move around more and do some sort of exercise EVERYDAY, no matter how little.

    Yes I’ve posted this plan on other threads, but I figure if I really put it out there, I’ll be more accountable. My first target is to get to 8st 6.5lb, which will need a loss of 1.5lb. I’m hoping that will be achievable in the 7 day review and see me on the way to building some wriggle room for myself.

    Look forward to this kick start and all of us getting back on track.

  • posted by Verano
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    Another point to add to my plan….. check the nutritional information BEFORE I eat. I was just about to have some rollmops, fish, ok but no …. 10g of carbs in 100g, too high for me. So another lesson learned.

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Good point there V. It’s an easy one to fall foul of and I’m sure most of us have had nasty shocks like that. I’ve just noticed that I’ve slipped into having a ‘little something’ when I’m in the kitchen – caught myself before taking a little knob of cheese! Think this is something I’ve been almost unconsciously doing recently, so that has to be scrapped. Not surprising I have seen any loss, if I’ve been sneaking little titbits!

    It’s been really quite comforting to be weighing, measuring and recording again today, beginning to feel like I have control again.

  • posted by pod
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    Ok! Lots of good info on here! I particularly like the cauliflower recipes, Verano. I think I too am getting really bored with what I eat, same old same old. So, I will have a trawl through the recipes and see what I can find.
    Then I will come up with a plan!!
    Hope I cope with 2 threads!! Lol!!!

  • posted by Marsie
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    I like the “REVIEW, RENEW AND REFOCUS” idea, thanks Verano.

    I dashed out a plan last week and, on reviewing it a little while ago, it was awfully superficial. Would have earned me a good slap over the wrist by my practicum supervisor lo those many years ago!

    I’ve been hanging around here well over a year now and an honest review (that word again) would show that I stuttered and stumbled my way to a 6kg loss over maybe 9 months, with the rest of the time maintaining at a level still above my goal and still outside my “normal” BMI (at152cm.) Now, I’m only a little over 3kg from my start point and thanks to the wonderful people on these threads that I’m not right back where I started. Still lots of grabbable flab especially around the middle. And a gradual but perceptible increase, gram by gram, until this last week with 1kg up. Took the “carb addict” test and yes, I’m fully back there again.

    I’m so much in admiration of the many folk on this forum who have lost very significant numbers of lbs/kgs and always feel slightly sheepish at admitting that I have so much trouble in tackling 12kgs (approx 26.5lbs). Lifelong problem, been yo-yo dieting since my teens, now in 73rd year. Brother and one sister are obese with many associated problems. I have never been obese, though almost at times, not diabetic, or pre-diabetic, so I let myself argue that it is not so imperative for me to go low carb. Cop out!

    OK, I’ve stopped looking back, being honest but perhaps hard on myself, though I do think that was needed. Looking forward,
    the short version of my plan is :
    : 800/50 or less for 5/7days this week (allow for social events on calendar)
    : only water or herbal tea after dinner
    : 16 hours or more before breakfast
    : drink more water. I used to, I can again. Every time I go near the kitchen bench, drink from my water bottle.
    : weigh+measure+record everything I eat AT THE TIME. Don’t wait and try to guesstimate. When I’m out, make quick notes on my
    phone for later entry on MFP (on my tablet as my phone is too old.)
    : avoid eating when I’m alone, as secret eating has always been one of my “things”.

    I’ve already lost a day as I wallowed today and its past 11pm here now. So my re-focus starts when I re-read this in the morning.

    Verano, I’m sorry for using your thread for my mea culpa, but being public is the only way to be accountable, I think.

    Good night all.

  • posted by pod
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    Marsie, you are soooooo hard on yourself. Luv and hugs xxx

  • posted by Busybee
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    Love from me too Marsie.
    You advised me some time ago to keep on keeping on one day at a time – let’s do it!
    X B

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Well Marsie, that was some tough talking! On the plus side though, you have recognised some issues and put together a good plan for tackling them. Today wasn’t wasted, it was spent reviewing and planning your way forward. You have already proved you can achieve the losses if you apply yourself, so now you just need the focus and determination to put your plan into action and drop those kilos again.

    Best of luck to you.

  • posted by Californiagirl
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    I think you sound very clear, Marsie. And clarity has a way of leading to more clarity and the feedback loop is powerful! And the first rule is “stop doing the wrong thing” and I think you have that one in focus.
    The more we stand up to this, the stronger we get.

  • posted by Verano
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    Welcome everyone it’s so good to travel this road with friends.

    Marsie, where to begin! So glad you are using this thread to vent and start again. Never feel sheepish, never apologise. Yes we need to look forward, looking backwards achieves nothing because it can’t be changed, but we can learn from past mistakes.

    Ok so this thread is to review, and we are, renew, and we will, and refocus, that follows the other two!

    So today my first step was to review breakfast. Instead of my normal yogurt etc at 12/13g carbs I had eggs and tomatoes at just over 2g. So tonight I’m way under my 30g , at best, target just with one modification. I know that eating more protein makes sense just have to carry on doing it.

    Any suggestions for low carb high protein, meat free, breakfasts would be really appreciated.

    How is/was your first day? Hope re-focusing is starting to become a reality.

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Veggie patties/pancakes, which can be made with almost any vegetables, herbs (whatever you like but basil, oregano or thyme works well) a little grate or crumbled cheese if you’re going to have enough scope in your cals and an egg or two (depending on the quantity of veggies being used). Just mix it all together and fry off table spoonfuls of the mixture. These can be made in advance, as they keep well in the fridge and can be eaten hot or cold.

    My other suggestion is scrambled egg and smoked salmon, for a little decadence!

  • posted by Esnecca
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    How about a version of the spicy North African breakfast dish shakshuka? The classic is made with a crapload of tomatoes, onions and bell peppers, but tomatoes and onions are carby so I modify it to use greens as the base. I’ve used various combinations of Tuscan kale, Swiss chard, rainbow chard, rapini and spinach.

    Chop or slice the greens crosswise. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan on medium-low heat. Throw in the greens with a splash of chicken stock, a chopped green onion, some ground cumin, paprika, cayenne, s&p. Sautee for one minute, then cover and cook for 5 minutes until they’re nice and wilted. Make a well or two in the greens and crack an egg or eggs into it/them. Cover again and cook until the whites are set, about 5 minutes. Season the eggs with s&p and a little hot sauce to put some pep in your step.

  • posted by Mariet
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    Hi, can I join in? I’m not trying to lose any weight at the moment though I will in a while when I feel my body’s got used to where it is now. And after my son’s wedding in 5 weeks 🙂

    I started ‘maintaining’ a couple of weeks ago, deliberately, but I don’t seem to have any real idea of what maintaining is. I’m flipping between eating too much of the right thing, a little of the wrong thing and then when my weight goes to the top of my band, fasting as a quick fix.

    I feel like I need to work out how I am going to manage this long term or else the 45lb I’ve lost is going to creep back on. That’s my pattern after all, established over the past 40 years.

    Like Sunny B, I am finding myself picking on something every time I go into the kitchen, whether I am hungry or not. Not necessarily bad carbs, it could be a teaspoon of my home made yoghurt (not making any more!) or a sliver of cheese. Or a square of 86% chocolate. So this has to stop, now! If I decide to eat that food I will have it with a meal, not this mindless topping up. A month or so ago, the sensation of hunger didn’t make me need to eat.

    So my resolve is to go back to basics with food choices, slowly increase calories and eat mindfully. It’s the opposite of what I’m doing now 🙁

    I’ve seen others do it so I can too!

  • posted by Verano
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    DAY 2 of 7 Wednesday

    Good morning everyone. Hope Day 1 went well and got everyone thinking positively. I ended the day reasonably well with the lowest number of carbs I’ve had in a very long time. So for the moment I’m going to have a high protein breakfast. Thank you for the suggestions above. I have some tenderstem broccoli left from dinner last night so I think I’ll add some asparagus and spinach and make some pancakes, probably with some hot sauce!!

    My fear is that I’ll start eating too many eggs. I think I’ll add kippers and smoked haddock to my breakfast menu and smoked salmon, but maybe with some labneh on lettuce leaves.

    I have written out my plan so I can refer to it often. Usually I just put it on the challenge thread and then forget what I’m suppose to be doing. So for today I’m going to concentrate on drinking more fluids. I have some tea which smells like Earl Grey but I think maybe Green Jasmin so I’ll be trying that today.

    Have a good day.

  • posted by Verano
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    Hi Mariet good to have you along. There are some great ‘maintainers’ on these boards and I think the general consensus is to increase calories slowly but I’m sure one of them will post and give you some tips.

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Love the sound of the adjusted north African dish, Esnecca, think I shall be trying that when I break my overnight fast today. I bought a chilli plant at a summer fair last week and the fruits are spicey without being really fiery, so I’m thinking I will use one of those in my mix. Strange you should mention smoked haddock Verano, ‘cos I was thinking about trying to make a BSD friendly kedgeree with cauli-rice – will let you know how that goes when I do it (probably at the w/e)

    I think my Day 1 was a very positive start and I’m feeling like I’m much more in control again already and can once again be positive about being able to achieve my goal. Really, like the idea of writing down my plan to refer to frequently, so I think I will steal that idea and write mine up on a card and put it on my side table.

    My share for the day is almond milk – I’m in love with it! This morning I made a chai latte using 300ml Almond Breeze Milk (39cals/0.6g carbs) a tea bag and half a tsp of mix chai spice (blend bought on amazon, but think I will make my own in future) – it was very pleasant indeed and at almost noon, I’m still not feeling hungry having not eaten since 7pm last night. Trying to push through to 2pm today, further extending my planned overnight fast, but if I need to eat before then I will.

    We are having an unexpected dinner out this evening, but I am determined to keep it very controlled, so hopefully limiting any potential damage. I’m please this is happening early in the 7day challenge, as it gives me time to pull things back together as the week progresses.

    Hope everyone had a good first day and is feeling positive about Day 2. Looking forward to reading the ideas in other people’s post and how people are implementing their personal plans. Keep on going everyone!

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Really enjoyed the shakshuka, Esnecca. I added some avocado to my veg mixture, as I had half a small not-over-ripe one waiting to be used up. Think I could have made the dish a little spicier, but that is a note for the next time. It’s definitely a meal I will make again and so easy to make for one. Dressed mine with a little kefir with a dash of tabasco mixed in. Yum!!

  • posted by Marsie
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    Thank you everyone for your support. I knew I could count on that, and I’m looking forward again, at least.

    Re eggs for breakfast, I don’t because I have them at night several times a week when OH has his grilled meat. I don’t much enjoy beef, lamb, pork but he does and has no need to change. We have fish and chicken on at least 3 nights. If I do a meat sauce or a slow cooked casserole, then I will share.,otherwise it is eggs with veg and these days I often add a serve of either kimchi or sauerkraut for extra flavour.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    Sunny, your modifications sound brilliant. I love the idea of adding some avocado for a creamy note that you then accentuated with the tabasco kefir. Did you use your fresh chilis as well? I don’t think I’ve ever added fresh peppers to greens which is crazy because I put hot sauce on them all the time. Definitely going to try that next time.

    Our neighbors gave us a dozen shisito peppers from their veggie garden and I had no idea what to do with them so I chopped them all up and added them to one of my bulk cooking staples, turkey chili with black soybeans. Because I had poblano and serrano peppers in there too, I thought the shisitos would be overwhelmed, but instead they added a surprising depth of flavor even though they’re not hot at all, barely ranking on the Scoville scale.

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Yes I did put in some chilli from my plant and actually, I think I could have added more. I used two of the little chillis a clove of garlic, a sprinkle each of cumin seed and nigella seeds, about 80g sliced greens, three little cherry tomatoes quartered, four thin stalks of asparagus, one fat spring onion (scallion), 60g avodacdo and one duck egg – oh, and 40 calories worth of olive oil spray. Was a very tasty meal and I will definitely be using this idea and ringing the changes according to the veg I have available. I’m thinking that a little cheese could be added as well – cals permitting. Anyway, thanks for the ideamEsnecca, it’s going to become a fall back for me for sure.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    It’s a fallback for me too. The variety of veg you used is a great example of how versatile this dish can be. I add cheese sometimes, depending on what veggies are in the mix. Feta, parmesan, smoked mozarella, Fontina, manchego, Gruyère, you name it, I’ve crumbled, grated or sliced some on top of shakshuka. It’s all gold.

  • posted by Verano
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    DAY 3 of 7 Thursday

    Good morning everyone. Wow, the ideas for the shakshuka modifications are lovely. Yesterday I just had tenderstem broccoli and a little tomato with my egg mixture. I didn’t realise how much I had left from the previous night. It was so nice I think I will always cook extra vegetables to reheat the next morning for breakfast. I certainly love the idea of adding avocado I only ever eat it ‘raw’. I must admit I do add fresh chilli to lots of dishes but never eggs or frittata but after adding a hot sauce yesterday I will definitely try the fresh stuff.

    I have an unexpected night away in a hotel tonight so no weighing and measuring today, and yet another part of my life that needs a review. I think I may have a good eggy breakfast before we set off and then a BSD friendly fish or chicken meal tonight with little in between.

    I hope you all had a good second day and are still reviewing past behaviour to renew our commitment to this WOL. I certainly feel more energised and enthusiastic again towards BSD hope you do to.

    Have a good day.

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Hello on Day 3 – I agree with you Verano, the shakshuka idea from Esnecca lends itself to almost limitless variation and makes a very satisfying meal. Think I will probably doing it again myself later today.

    Last night we ate out, so I had two small glasses of wine, chicken breast in a cream, tarragon and mushroom sauce with green beans. When I guestimated the damage, things were over on calories but still within the carb limits I set myself, so not disastrous, given I was under on calories on Tuesday which offset some of the excess last night. The scales read the same this morning as yesterday morning which was a surprise – had expected some sort of increase if only from water retention, which seems to be the norm when I drink alcohol.

    So anyway, my plan for Day 3 is to get back to the full on 800/20 regime, extend my overnight fast for as long as possible and drink plenty of water. I’m really finding this review, renew and refocus is helping me to refresh my enthusiasm and the BSD is feeling fresh and exciting to me again. I’m going to make a batch of almond crackers later, as I only have a couple left in my tub, they make a nice little snack with a little cheese, or with hummus, so I like to keep the tub topped up in case of emergencies.

    Oh, one last thing. For the first time, yesterday I felt comfortable enough in my own achievement to recommend the BSD to someone in a face to face situation, she is struggling to lose weight using the normal low fat/high carb format and was bemoaning the lack of result for effort. I explained the principle of the BSD to her and she seemed interested in what I told her, so hopefully she will be inspired enough to give it a go.

    Have a lovely night away V and don’t stress too much about the food and drink, I’m confident you will make prudent choices and you’ll be fine when you get on the scales next time.

  • posted by Butterlover
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    HI All,I would love to join you but this week is totally out of the question. My youngest son is home ,we have not seen him for a year and its party time at our place. 7 or more for dinner every night and a request for all the old favorite dishes plus ‘where is the deserts ‘Mum there’s no Icecream ? whats going on?? we always have icecream.’. So ,I will wait till next week when things are back to normal.
    Best wishes to you all.I will read your posts and keep in touch,cheers Lynne

  • posted by Marsie
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    Good evening, everyone. Such positive feelings here, it’s just so great to read.

    For myself, it is very nice to feel as though I’m thinking clearly again. Have been very conscious of my water intake today, probably doubled and should have a bit more, but am certainly adding extra steps on my garmin with the extra and sudden trips to the loo. Fast walk if downstairs is free, at a run if I have to go upstairs, 🙂 Now, there’s a thought…should take the upstairs option more often.

    Verano, I like the idea of always cooking extra vegetables at night for reheating the next day. On the days I know I won’t be having eggs that night, I could well have them for breakfast and try Esnecca’s delicious sounding shakshuka.

    Looking again at the 16 hours before eating the next morning….That effectively means lunchtime as we don’t eat until 7.00pm or later, always have done this and unlikely to change now. Say finish at 8.00pm, which is when we are routinely tidying away after the meal, that’s 12 noon. Didn’t make it today, felt the need of something before Pilates, so had 60g yoghurt +20g blueberries with my lemon&ginger tea. That was after about 13 hours. Not so bad and will try again tomorrow.

    Good for you SunnyB, hope your friend benefits from your newly recognised confidence.

    Enjoy your lovely break in routine Verano.

  • posted by Californiagirl
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    It is heartwarming to hear the renewed energy and enthusiasm from everyone — sounds like everyone has got their groove back!
    On the maintenance front, I’m still keeping on — summer has been so hot that I drank more wine with ice cubes (how to wreck a good wine) than I might prefer but I started to work on longer fasting periods and that seems to have balanced it out. I am going 24 hours about every third day now — it’s ok but by hour 23 I am sort of mentally “stupid” which tells me I absolutely must eat.
    I think that might be the end of my possible fasting window — but I think that is enough for blood sugar control. I am interested to see that I’m not hungry during those longer fasts so I am clearly mobilizing fat during those hours.
    I’m still keeping low carb — mostly my carbs are vegetables, but I don’t count or restrict vegetables except for corn, potatoes and other starchy ones.
    I have had a few slices of birthday cake because everyone keeps having birthdays (jeez guys, cut it out!) but sugar and desserts don’t happen otherwise — I have a strong carb-monster so I keep him quiescent with fats.
    My basic day would be eggs, a very small amount of yogurt (yogurt activates carb monster), heavy cream in coffee, veg and meat/fish or salad with nuts, cheese and any other good filler with homemade olive oil dressing and then meat/fish and veg for dinner, cheese if I am still hungry. Maybe fruit twice a week, plus wine and a beer if I earned it by hiking.
    I’m making salad dressing with LOTS of whole grain mustard and red wine vinegar and good EV olive oil — gotten hooked on it. The more whole grain mustard the better.
    I like salami for snacks — but they are rare because I am trying to eat at mealtime at the table and with a fork and knife. Just using a fork and knife seems to tell my brain I am eating a real meal — it even helps on salads! Weird but works for me.

  • posted by Mariet
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    Lots of encouragement firm all the posts on here ☺

    I’ve cut out all the snacking and am concentrating on eating only when I am hungry, with the result of 2kg loss in 3 days. Water weight I suppose though I tried on the new dress I bought 3 weeks ago for the wedding and it’s baggy around the midriff. What to do? It was very expensive. And I may need to invest in a push up bra which I’ve never ever needed before. I don’t know if there’s time to have it altered.

    On the bright side I have been doing the plank exercises religiously and my tummy and waist have noticeably firmed up so all in all I’m pretty happy!

    Esnecca’s shashuka sound delish, I’m going to give that a try for dinner when I’m on my own.

    The renewing week has changed my mindset back again so thanks guys!

  • posted by Esnecca
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    Verano, I use leftover veg in shakshuka all the time, even ones that weren’t part of any specific meal. If I get a lot of greens at the market on the weekend, I usually blanch them in batches because then they’re ready to go and they don’t take up masses of space in the fridge. The blanched greens works great in shakshuka because it cuts down the cooking time to practically nothing, just the amount of time it takes to heat them back up with a little broth and poach the eggs.

    Now that you have discovered the great pairing of eggs and hot sauce, you should try combining them with sliced avocado, sprouts and if you’re in a more meaty mood, a slice of smoked turkey. It’s heaven.

    Oh, and I keep forgetting to mention this, but it is a truth universally acknowledged (in the States, anyway) that a bagel, cream cheese and lox (smoked salmon) is one of the greatest breakfast creations ever conceived by the mind of man. The bagels are out for us, but since you had that lovely sounding smoked haddock on lettuce, you could make a version of a little slice of paradise I call the bagel and lox salad. My OH, a bagel and lox fanatic, loves it to an obscene degree and doesn’t miss the bagel at all.

    Take an ounce of cream cheese at room temp or microwave for a few seconds to soften it. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a teaspoon or so of chopped capers, the green part of a scallion (also chopped) and fresh ground black pepper. Mix it all up with a fork. Spread it on a firm lettuce leaf and top with the smoked salmon. If you have good tomatoes in the house, add a slice or two. I’ve also used smoked trout and mackerel for this.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    Marsie, since you already have eggs and veg on nights when your OH grills meat, you could make shakshuka for your dinner. I guess it depends on how you cook the vegetables. If the OH grills them, for example, then it wouldn’t work, but if you make them separately it would be a minor adjustment to do them stovetop.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    Californiagirl, I also love whole grain mustard in salad dressings. If you’d like to experiment with a slightly more complex approach, try this: simmer a garlic clove in a small saucepan of water or in the microwave for 10 minutes until it’s soft. Drain it, dry it and mash the clove with 1/4 tsp of salt. Whisk a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, a tablespoon of mustard into the mashed garlic. Finely grate a dusting of parmesan into the dressing. Toss with a simple green salad of Romaine or green leaf lettuce. That’ll make enough for two servings. In the past I topped each bowl with croutons after serving. Now I use flaxseed crackers. (No need to make your own. Check out Flackers brand.)

  • posted by Esnecca
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    What a satisfyingly immediate result, Mariet. Well done! My poor boobs need structural support these days too. 🙂

  • posted by Inka13
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    Esnecca, just dropping in to say yum! Am going to try that cream cheese recipe this weekend!

  • posted by Verano
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    DAY 4 of 7

    Well we are all in great form so let’s just keep reaching for the sky.

    Great loss Mariet, whatever it is, a loss is a loss! Glad the thread is working and your mindset has been adjusted. It’s amazing what positive thoughts can do.

    Why is it that the boobs are the first to shrink!!!

    Yesterday was certainly one for reviewing for me. We stopped at a supermarket for a bite of something to eat for very late lunch as there was no where else around. So choices ….. sandwiches, wraps, couscous salads and sushi! But they had small snack pots if endamame bean salad and mozzarella and pesto. Both were less than 7g of carbs and 280 calories. So I ended up doing really well despite the choices being so limited. Last night was smoked haddock and green vegetables. However, I did mindfully eat a chocolate chip cookie! This hotel just has the best cookies in the world!

    Bagels! Ah Esnecca one the few pleasures I really miss. I bet if I had one now it would just taste stodgy but I must admit when I make them for they rest of the family on a Sunday morning, a ritual for ever, I am tempted by the smell. I have to tell you that our local bagels are a world away from the American version unless you have a good traditional bakery. Anyway, I digress, I love your idea for the cream cheese.

    Have you ever used black garlic? I was just wondering how that would be in your dressing. I bought some but have never used it yet!

    So I’m just getting back into my protein filled breakfasts and we now have this egg scare! I almost bought the boiled eggs and spinach pot yesterday that’s now been withdrawn! Must admit I am thinking twice about eating eggs from anywhere that uses eggs in bulk. Making me think twice about this hotel!

    Anyway, I’m sure the eggs we buy are fine really.

    Keep reading Butterlover it always good to stay in touch.

    More than half way through our week of renewal now and it looks like we’re all motivated to keep on keeping on.

    Have a good day.

  • posted by Verano
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    Hi Inka13 good to see you! Hope all is well.

  • posted by SunnyB
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    This thread is certainly working for me, thanks to all the wonderful posts from other enthusiastic BSDer’s. Reading all the great advice has helped me become much more focused and am tackling the BSD with renewed enthusiasm. Seeing an improvement on the scales, but reluctant to post any results yet, as I want to see where I am at the end of the seven days, in case there is a bounce back. However, against my four point plan, I can report the following

    1) Get back to basics and return to weighing, measuring and recorded EVERYTHING I consume at home and be more stringent when eating out.
    This is happening, I am religiously weighing, measuring and recording. Ate out one night and did a best guess estimate of all consumed, some feeling much more in control. I confess averaging out over the three days so far, I have been over on calories, however, I think more importantly, I am keeping carbs under control, regardless of whether or not I’m eating out.

    2) Continue to overnight fast by at least 16hrs and wherever possible longer.
    Have been stretching these to 17 to 18 hours and not feeling desperately hungry at any point. Have been drinking an almond milk chai latte if I feel hungry during the mornings and this has worked well.

    3) Set myself a firm mini-goal with a target weight and a time frame. (Think being woolly about it, has been one of the reasons I haven’t pushed hard enough to succeed).
    My aim is to drop 4lb between 8th Aug and 5th Sept. Moving in the right direction at the moment, fingers cross that this continues.

    4) To move around more and do some sort of exercise EVERYDAY, no matter how little.
    Have been making an effort to walk more each day and today I am intending to add in some Pilates. Still planning to build on this small foundation though.

    Hope others are greeting Day 4 with positivity and enthusiasm and are beginning to see good results from using this thread. Adjusting mindset has been essential for me and I’m really feeling like it’s paying off.

  • posted by Inka13
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    Hi Verano! All going well, following my usual pattern of losing weight during the week then putting it all back on at the weekend!
    Ah but I’ve made my peace with it, will do clear runs when I can but am just enjoying this lifestyle so much, maybe I should just call it maintenance and stop stressing! Enjoying your posts as always ( although have I missed a dodgy egg story??) good luck for your last few days on the challenge, you sound like you are doing well! Xxxx

  • posted by Verano
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    Inka …. dodgy eggs in U.K., not sure where you are, to do with fertiliser(I think) which has contaminated eggs from Holland. Would seem that it’s mainly eggs when used in bulk. Waitrose, Asda and a couple of other supermarkets have withdrawn the likes of egg sandwiches. It appears that the eggs we buy from supermarkets etc. are ok. Who knows??

    SuunyB I agree that carbs are more important than calories especially if you have diabetes. I think it’s great to average out over a few days. So if you have a really heavy calorie or carb day then you can compensate over the next day or so and no guilt!

    Well, this morning I had another new experience …. omelet served with watercresswhich I folded in the omelet and it was lovely, crunchy and peppery. Something to try maybe. Looks like we may need a ‘101 ways with eggs thread’ !

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Living in a rural area, I always try to buy local eggs, which gets me comfortably round the current egg problem. Diabetes is thankfully note a cross I have had to bear, but I find keeping the carbs low is definitely more important than the calories, when it comes to my weight loss. Think it is useful to look are averages as well, because inevitably some days are going to be lower than others.

    The omelette sounds good. I had smoked salmon and duck egg on a base of lettuce, all sprinkled with chopped chilli. May be we do need an egg thread, we seem to include them in so many meals.

    Have a good w/e, V. Might not be dipping in very frequently as we have some stuff going on this w/e, but will catch up on Monday – if not sooner!

  • posted by Esnecca
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    Verano, I’ve never tried black garlic, believe it or not. Is there a notable difference in flavor between it and the white kind? I’m sure it would work just fine in the dressing, albeit it might lend it a slightly unappetizing color because black foods when boiled tend to turn grey. The grainy mustard will dominate anyway, so I doubt it’s anything to worry about.

    All, if you like the bagel(less) and lox idea, you should try it as a big dinner salad which is how I usually make it. The OH loves it so much I don’t bother transferring it to a salad bowl. I just give him the whole mixing bowl and he shovels it all down his prodigious maw. 😀 The only real difference is you have to thin out the cream cheese much more to make it a tossable dressing rather than a spread. So for an ounce of cream cheese, add the juice of a whole lemon (about 2 tablespoons), half a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of chopped capers. Whisk it all together. If it’s still a little thick, add some of the deliciously salty brine from the capers or a splash of chicken/veg stock.

    Add whatever salad greens you like. The boy is partial to Romaine. I’m all about the arugula (no sugar!) and green leaf lettuce. Add the smoked salmon torn into strips or coarsely chopped. Add a chopped scallion or two and tomato slices as long as you can find really good ones. I’m very picky about this because tomatoes have enough sugar that they have to be beautiful or they’re not worth the carbs. I’m not bothering with those grainy, pink, watery pieces of junk bred for firm outer flesh but zero flavor that seem to be all you can find at the supermarket these days.

    Toss the salad until the dressing is fully distributed. Top with another teaspoon of capers, whole ones this time. Enjoy the great pleasure of bagel and lox without any of its carbs.

  • posted by Verano
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    DAY 5 of 7 Saturday

    Good morning

    Esnecca black garlic is cooked a very low heat for a very long time until it turns black and soft. I think its a little like balsamic is to malt vinegar. The black garlic wouldn’t need the cooking stage it can be used as it is.

    I am having bagel-less lox this morning for a change but I do like the idea of using it as a salad dressing. I’m a cos/romaine person too.

    So I’ve been away for 2 days with no measuring or weighing and on the scales this morning I’m losing again!!! Four days of concentration, even without the detail, seems to be working for me at last. I’m not reporting until Tuesday but this is the first time I feel completely back in control for months. In fact I may even add a small goal now. On May 25th this year I reached my lowest BSD weight so far. Just need to lose 1.8lb to get me back there again so that’s my short term goal from today.

    I hope everyone is getting that feeling of renewal and refocus again and taking control. Have a good weekend SunnyB dip in when you can.

    Looking forward to more recipes Esnecca. I cant trust myself to make the spicy brazils. Since you recommended them I’ve started eating brazils as a snack instead of almonds and they are so moreish if I made them even better I would be frightened that I wouldn’t stop eating them!!

    Have a good weekend everyone one.

  • posted by SunnyB
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    On shakey ground today, small bounce back on the scales and out this afternoon at a Sausage and Cider Festival. I wasn’t planning to have breakfast, but as I was cooking for OH, I had a large spoon of scrambled egg and one rasher of back bacon, hoping the protein will keep me feeling full most of the day and I won’t be tempered to go crazy while we are out.

    Hope others are doing well and feeling inspired. I’m hopeful of being slightly under target weight by the time we get to the last day of the Review, Renew and Refocus Kick Start. Will check in tomorrow and hopefully be able to offer some foodie inspiration, as I have been a bit slack on that.

    Have a good w/e all.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    Mentioning it in another thread reminded me of a recipe that is very easy to make ahead of time and then use as needed throughout the week. Prep takes a little time but no effort. It’s also the only tofu dish I’ve ever made that is universally loved. Even avowed tofu haters fall for its charms.

    Pan-Seared Tofu

    1 lb firm or extra-firm tofu
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1 cup water
    1/4 tsp dried oregano
    1/4 tsp dried tarragon
    1/4 tsp dried dill
    1/4 tsp dried thyme
    1 tsp garlic powder
    2 tsp sesame oil, preferably toasted sesame oil

    Place the tofu on a plate lined with a clean kitchen towel. Cover with paper towel and another plate. Add something heavyish to the top plate. I use a small glass mixing bowl. This will press the tofu to get it as dry and dense as it can be. Let sit for half an hour. Cut the tofu block into slices between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick, whichever you prefer. I like them thinner because they get crispy all over. If you prefer a crispy exterior with a bit of a creamy section in the middle, go with the thicker cut. Place the slices on a dry towel to drain for another half hour.

    Combine the soy sauce, water and herbs. Submerge the tofu in the marinade and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. If the liquid doesn’t completely cover the tofu slices, baste several times over the day.

    Drain the tofu on paper towels. Place an iron skillet over high heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp sesame oil, let it heat up for a second then add half the tofu slices. Do not crowd the pan. Sear over high heat until the tofu is brown and crusty, about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining slices and serve immediately.

    The best thing about this recipe is the tofu can sit in the marinade indefinitely. I make a pound on the weekend and then during the week grab a couple of slices to fry them up whenever I need a quick breakfast or lunch. The ones at the end of the week can get a little soft (I take them out with a spatula) because they’ve absorbed so much liquid, but they are so flavorful it doesn’t really matter if they crack or crumble a little.

    The herbs you use can also be modified to your liking. I’ve used the ones listed above both fresh and dry. I’ve also used whatever I had lying around in the fridge before they turned to sludge — mint, rosemary, parsley, chives, you name it.

    The number of slices depends on the thickness of the cut but as a general rule, a quarter of the pound of tofu more than suffices per person. A quarter of this recipe will run you 125 calories, 1 gram net carbs, 7 grams fat, 12 grams protein.

  • posted by Verano
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    DAY 6 of 7 Sunday

    I must admit to only ever having tofu once and is not an experience I ever thought I would repeat. Esnecca your recipe does sound good though.

    Last night I made a mixture of green beans, asparagus and tendestem broccoli and tossed them in a mixture of fresh grated ginger, soy, sesame oil and sriratcha(?) , anyway a hot chillli sauce and they were lovely. I have my leftovers ready for eggs this morning for breakfast! I think a sprinkle of sesame seed may have been nice and crushed garlic possibly. Anyway, one to try and certainly amend as liked.

    Just two more days to go now and I’m sure for those of us still here and still trying it will be rewarding in the end. For myself, I have found that I can relax a fraction when away and have an inch of bread with olive and balsamic without guilt. I think I’ve relaxed a little more into this way of eating without blowing everything.

    Hope the rest of this challenge helps everyone reach the new place they wish to be in.

  • posted by dumptynomore
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    Hi Verano – just read your recent posts. Sorry to hear you have been finding it a bit rough. But the good thing is that you are back on track now. You have done so well to lose all the weight you have – that’s a success in itself to have maintained that. Actually, not to have lost weight for a few months is possibly the right way (although you were not intentional about that). The body has a setpoint and I have read that after you lose some weight, it is good to let your body ‘acclimatise.’ So , inadvertently, you have done yourself a favour. And you know it gets easier. Baby steps and build on it gradually – that’s what have I learned after trying for a perfect 8 weeks and just gained. You go girl – we can do this! You picked me up when I was down and I don’t forget that. Good luck to everybody else who struggles.
    Keep your eyes on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Sometimes it rains and gets cloudy, occasional thunderstorms , but that rainbow with its pot of gold is there. (Get me on a Sunday morning feeling positive! :D)

  • posted by Verano
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    Hi dumptynomore

    Yes at last I can say that I feel back in control. I love your idea that my body is ‘acclimatising’ to its new weight. You made me smile because we certainly come up with some great reasons for our successes and our digressions! Body acclimatisation is definitely up there with the best! Hope you are doing ok.

    Had some friends here for lunch today and made BSD friendly foods apart from the new potatoes and chocolate roulade! I didn’t try either… so just polishing my halo but did maybe overindulge is the cheese board and the wine! But, no dinner tonight so hopefully not too OTT at the end of they day.

    Soon it will be our last day hope all is well with everyone.

  • posted by dumptynomore
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    Hehe Verano -that’s funny- but much as I’m glad it brought a smile to your face, acclimatisation is not making excuses for digressing. Honestly, body weight set point is a very valid and scientific thing (she said in very unscientific terms). It’s a big reason why people lose weight only to regain it on occasion,sometimes many times, present company (me) included. I’m sure there’s plenty on the net about it, although I have read it many times in health books.

    But be proud of yourself – you have done so so well and I really believe that the weight loss will be permanent, because this weight is now you’re new set point.It’s another reason why I’m happy for the weight to go slowly instead of by yestsrday – I ain’t going through this again! I’m letting my body acclimatise – haha! It really does sound like maing excuses

    Good luck for tomorrow’s first week weigh in. You’ve put in the work – savour the reward – then rinse and repeat – easy peasy! The wheel’s are in motion – what’s that song – ‘There’s no stopping us nowwww.’

    I’m working tomorrow – depression city – that’s bring me down nicely from my high 😀

  • posted by Verano
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    LAST DAY …. 7 of 7 …… Monday

    Well we’ve arrived at our last day of reviewing, renewing and refocusing on BSD and I hope it has been of benefit. I have certainly taken back control. I can say that I am now aware again of what I’m eating maybe I had just lost my mindfulness. I can’t say that I have been totally on plan but I do know when I’ve eaten too much, as in cheese and wine yesterday, but at least I did it mindfully!

    Maybe you are right dumptynomore. I am now at the weight that was my lowest healthy weight quite a few years ago. I have been less, a lot less, but that loss was due to illness which I think is totally different. Now I just need to know how to tell my body it’s well and truly acclimatised and needs to get moving on down again!!! Any ideas? Hope work isn’t too traumatic for you, the day will be over soon enough.

    I’m going to re-read this thread now to bolster my enthusiasm with all the positive thoughts on here and then go and make some eggs with vegetables and hot sauce! Have a good day.

  • posted by Marsie
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    Hello all, after a busy weekend, family and social, without checking in to the forum I’m pleased to say that, while not strictly to BSD plan, I think not too much damage was done. This review, renew, refocus thread has been valuable, thanks for starting it, Verena, and for the inspiration from all posters.

    I, too, will be re-reading the thread from time to time to help keep me centred. I’ll weigh in with hope on the current challenge thread tomorrow, Tuesday. Have a good day everyone x

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