Day 29: Where Has the Meatlover in Me Gone?

Because I “overate” yesterday, naturally my instinct is to catch up and adjust. That’s me following the Law of Averages. It helps that today is one heck busy writing day -deep in research for another project I’m working on.

At the end of the day, I didn’t realize I ate a scanty set of 904 calories. Way below my 1200 goal, and even below the minimum 1000 calories.

Here are the figures for today:

July 5, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 904 calories

+Exercise: 99 calories

=Remaining: 395 calories

It’s almost a month since I began this weight loss project. So far, so good. No regrets. Logging into MyFitnessPal app was tedious during the initial weeks, but eventually I got the hang of it. It’s so easy, I highly recommend it!

Here’s my simple menu for today:

Breakfast: coffee

Lunch: Brown rice, sardines

Afternoon Snack: coffee

Dinner: Brown rice, Sinigang na Hipon (Filipino Style Sour Shrimp Soup)

Water: 1000ml

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I have lots of shrimps available in my freezer! Well, goodbye shrimps. The last batch just went into this shrimp soup. I cooked a batch and froze it. Perfect for those days when I don’t feel like cooking. And yes, today was one of those days.

I peeked into my Macros: 60% carbs, 21% protein and 19% fats

Managed to limit my saturated fat consumption to 6g, which is less than my 14g limit. And yup, no trans fat whatsoever. Zero. According to my app.

Another good thing that’s been happening to me: I’m getting more veggies into my diet now. This shrimp soup? It’s packed with good stuff: eggplant, water spinach, tomatoes, onions, radish, and string beans.

Where has the meat-lover in me gone?

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Day 28: Why I Now Pause Before I Act

Jeez. Burned just 9 calories today? While this may be inaccurate, it does paint a picture of a sedentary me. A very sedentary me.

MyFitnessPal app (linked to my iPhone’s digital activity tracker) tells me I walked 1,506 steps = 9 calories. No points today for cleaning nor cooking as I didn’t do them today. Driving does not count.

Here’s how I fared today:

July 4, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1398 calories

+Exercise: 9 calories

=Remaining: -189 calories

It’s the 28th day of my weight loss project, and I’m telling you, each day presents a new challenge. Today, it’s about eating out.

I had a scheduled 5:30pm meeting at Starbucks. My first challenge: what to drink.

Here’s how my mind flowed from one idea to another:

“I’m at Starbucks, I should get coffee.”

“Naah, they have a lot of non-coffee drinks.”

“How about some hot green tea like what you had the other night?”

“Naah, it’s too boring. I want something I enjoy drinking. Like maybe a Caramel Macchiato?”

“But milk has so much fat!”

“But I can have it non-fat, right?”

“Yeah, but it doesn’t taste good.”

“True. How about one of these bottled fruit juices? It says, “no added sugar”.”

“Naah, it still has sugar. It’s a fruit.”

“Fine. How about this soy milk? I love soy milk! It’s been a while since I had one of these.”

“Oh yeah, this is something I would enjoy.”

“Soy milk is healthy. It’s a good source of protein.”

“Great, I’m getting the Vanilla.”

Turns out, this is the nutritional content I got from my Silk Soymilk Very Vanilla:

Silk Very Vanilla Soymilk Nutrition Label

So I finally had something to drink. I looked around and there were no available seats left. Had to move to the cafe next door, which was virtually empty: J.CO Donuts & Coffee.

My next challenge: what to eat.

Whenever I am at a J.Co store, I only buy Alcapone. It’s the one with almond slivers on a blanket of white chocolate. Happens to be their bestseller too. So I got a piece.

After paying, I realized they also sell J.Cool Fat-Free Frozen Yogurt.

“Oh, yogurt. I need probiotics in my body!”

“Hey, not all frozen yogurts are health. Haven’t you read all the myths online?”

“Nope, but I think this is better than a donut. Don’t you think?”

“Well, yeah. Maybe.”

“Oh, and I get a free topping. What should I get?”

“Forget those KitKat bars. Get some fresh fruits.”

“How about strawberries? They’re sexy AND healthy.”

“Just order.”

You see, conversations like this happen in my mind many times a day. And more often than usual whenever I’d eat out.

But I guess what’s important is the act of pausing before acting. Don’t just let impulse take over, but take that pause to reflect and think a bit. I’m sure you’ve read all the stuff out there about nutrition, what to eat, what not to eat. Ultimately, the choice is yours alone.

Finally, here’s the rest of what I had today:

Breakfast: coffee, cheese bread

Lunch: Brown rice, mackerel in turmeric oil

Afternoon Snack: Silk Soymilk Very Vanilla, J.CO Alcapone, J.COOL Frozen Yogurt with strawberries

Dinner: Brown rice, mackerel in turmeric oil, homecooked Gambas Al Ajillo, Starbucks Banoffee Pie

Water: 1000ml

After 28 days, I feel like the same person who has a voracious appetite. But what I notice is I now tend to pause before I decide on anything food-related.

It allows me that fraction of a second to use my reason, along with my heart, in making decisions.

And for me, that’s progress.

Day 27: The Last Cornmeal Muffin

Today is a historic day in this weight loss project. Thank goodness I finally wiped out the last 2 cornmeal muffins in the fridge!

And for sure I won’t be making another batch soon. It’s just coming out of my ears! :p

Anyway, I had to “force” myself today to eat a little more just to hit the minimum 1000 calories. It’s that kind of day when I don’t feel like cooking, just grabbing leftovers here and there.

Managed to hit these figures:

July 3, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1072 calories

+Exercise: 39 calories

=Remaining: 167 calories

Since I began this weight loss project, I started replacing my food staples with healthier versions. Like cheese, for instance.

I am crazy about cheese. Like, major crazy.

It’s not hard to figure out why my cholesterol level spiked up many moons ago. I’ve been eating and tasting a lot of goat, sheep, cow and buffalo cheeses!

So I did my “cheese pause” and skipped the mozzarella, brie, camembert, gouda, emmental, blue cheese, parmesan, manchego, and fontina for several weeks. But today I gave in, welcomed cheese back into my loving lips in the form of Bega Super Slim cheese slice.

The cheese package says it’s 65% reduced fat, with only 2g of fat per slice. Plus, it’s 62% real cheddar cheese. Let’s not talk about the 38%. At least it’s “mainly”cheese. This nibbler is quite happy.

Here’s the rest of what I ate today, mostly leftovers:

Breakfast: coffee, gluten-free cornmeal muffins

Morning Snack: some Philippine anchovies (a.k.a. dilis) fried to a crisp

Lunch: Brown rice, scrambled eggs and lite tuna

Afternoon snack: coffee, green tea, a slice of Bega Super Slim

Dinner: Clam soup with some homemade whole wheat basil croutons, and gluten-free cornmeal muffin (I swear, the very last piece!)

Water: 2000ml

I wonder what I’ll be cooking again tomorrow. More shrimps?

Day 26: Ole for Spanish Food!

As I promised, today I’ll be logging in how much I now weigh: 136.1 lbs

I’m targeting 125 lbs so I only have about 10 lbs to go. Woohoo!! 🙂

The thing is, I haven’t even done any major exercise yet. I just watch what I eat, and make more deliberate choices when it comes to food. I’m not even too strict to myself. I enjoy the process and don’t stress over it.

When someone offers me ice cream, I eat some, enjoy it, and adjust my food choices afterwards. It’s really quite simple.

Anyway, here’s what I scored today:

July 2, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 925 calories

+Exercise: 164 calories

=Remaining: 439 calories

As usual, I did a lot of cooking today (60 minutes = 125 calories), cleaned my apartment (15 minutes = 39 calories), and did a lot of driving (too bad there’s no driving in the choices in MyFitnessPal).

Today I prepared some Seafood Paella (using brown rice, since it’s what’s available) using the shrimps and clams in my freezer.

As an appetizer, I made some pan-fried tofu cubes with some spicy sweet soy sauce. I combined some honey, red pepper flakes, lite soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, minced garlic, minced ginger, and sesame oil.

Made some clam soup too, just the basic. Clams, garlic, ginger.

For dessert, some leftover ice cream.

Lunch is served!

Here’s the entire meal for the day:

Breakfast: coffee, gluten-free cornmeal muffin

Lunch: Clam Soup, Pan-Fried Tofu with Spicy Sweet Soy Sauce, Seafood Paella, Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Afternoon Snack: coffee

Snack while driving: Boiled sweet potato, 1/4 cup of vanilla milkshake, 1 piece of Filipinos chocolate-covered biscuit (made in Spain)

Late evening drink at Starbucks: Teavana Emperor’s Clouds and Mist Green Tea

Water: 1000ml

Oh by the way, today I added a new beverage to my usual, aside from coffee. It’s green tea! A very highly-recommended drink for weight loss. So when I stayed for some minutes at Starbucks to write an article, I ordered their green tea. It’s Teavana Emperor’s Cloud and Mist Green TeaIt was okay, not a huge fan of green tea.

They served it with a pack of honey on the side, but I skipped it. Drank it unsweetened, zero calories. Next time, I’ll have it on ice.

Day 25: Ugh, Fast Food!

It’s the brand new start of a month, so I’m quite hopeful, excited, and slightly wondering if I am indeed losing weight.

If not, I sure hope I am not gaining weight.

Here are my metrics today:

July 1, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1369 calories

+Exercise: 171 calories

=Remaining: 2 calories

As you can see, there’s a li’l bit of increase in my activity today. Well, I did incorporate some walking (aside from my usual cooking and food prep) so that somehow added extra calories.

It just kinda balanced off the calories I gained from grabbing some brunch at Jollibee. There wasn’t much healthy options to choose from anyway. So I ordered the tapsilog, which is tapa + sinangag + itlog.

Tapa is a dried beef, but this version is more saucy and dry. Sinangag is fried rice, and Jollibee’s version is that of a garlic fried rice. Lastly, itlog means egg. It’s cooked sunny side up.

And that’s not the only fast food item I had today: I also did a KFC drive-thru. When it’s almost midnight and you’re still on the road, hungry and tired, a drive thru is the next best thing.

As a result, I had a total of 415mg of cholesterol today, 115mg beyond my 300mg target. Ugh, that’s it. I’m not eating from a fast food in the next 30 days!

Here’s the rest of my meals today:

Breakfast: coffee

Brunch: Jollibee tapsilog, half a cup of hot chocolate that comes with the meal

Afternoon Snack: coffee

Dinner: Brown rice, tortang talong (eggplant omelet)

Mdnight Snack: KFC Hotshots, french fries, half a cup of Sprite

Water: 1500ml

Tomorrow I’ll reveal if I did lose weight or (gasp!) gained some more.

Day 24: Achieving My Mission One Day at a Time

It’s the last day of June. That time of the month when you feel like wrapping things up, and prepping for the next one.

I look back at the last 24 days of my weight loss journey, and feel a sense of mission to respect and take care of my body.

I learned to strive for balance between rigidity and reward, and to focus on the essence of what I’m really trying to achieve.

Here are my calorie counts for today:

June 30, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1092 calories

+Exercise: 126 calories

=Remaining: 234 calories

My body has adjusted to this level of food consumption on a regular day. If I feel hungry in between meals, I learned to reach out for my water bottle first.

If I still feel peckish, I’d grab some roasted almonds, or a piece of fruit. If not, I’m happy with my afternoon coffee which I slurp more than sip, as I do my usual writing.

Here’s what I had today:

Breakfast: coffee, gluten-free cornmeal muffin

Lunch: the last batch of beef chili, plus another gluten-free cornmeal muffin (God, how many muffins did I make?)

Afternoon Snack: coffee

Dinner: Brown rice, grilled chicken breasts (marinated in Greek yogurt and spices), shrimps and squash in coconut milk, and salted caramel ice cream

Water: 1500ml

As you can see, I’m desperately trying to finish off these cornmeal muffins! I baked a dozen of them, and gave away 3. So I was left with 9 to finish within the week. No wonder my carbs are spiking up!

And there are my shrimps over there, along with some Kabocha squash, stewed in some coconut milk, ginger and garlic. To add crunch to the mushy dish, I added some crisp-fried dilis (Philippine anchovy) for a bit of contrast in texture.

The ice cream was part of last night’s mini party (which I skipped) and now I reward myself with half a cup.

By the way, the ice cream brand: “Nestle Temptations.” Aptly named indeed.

Day 23: I Had a Feeling This Would Happen

There’s a dinner party at home today so I kinda expected that I’ll be enjoying food more than it’s “required”.

My cooking exercise didn’t save me today from a negative remaining calories.

So, for today here are my metrics:

June 29, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1426 calories

+Exercise: 151 calories

=Remaining: -75 calories

I did a lot of cooking today (still with lots of shrimps!), so I logged in an hour of cooking as exercise, equivalent to 125 calories. Plus some 10 minutes of light cleaning (26 calories).

At this point, I visualize the desired result of this weight loss project:

I weigh 125 pounds.

My BMI is normal.

I feel lighter.

I move faster.

I have normal cholesterol levels.

I need to refocus my attention to the very reason why I am doing this daily blog. It’s all about feeling good about myself and my body. I’m happy now that I am able to move about, but I will be happier knowing my risk for cardiovascular diseases is lower because I am not overweight.

The challenge for me now is to add more activities into my lifestyle. I challenge myself to make changes in the next 14 days, and really put in the effort to exercise more.

I’ll keep you posted.

Before I go, here’s the menu for the day:

Breakfast: coffee, gluten-free cornmeal muffin

Morning Snack: roasted almonds

Lunch: Brown rice, beef chili

Afternoon Snack: coffee, an apple

Dinner: Spicy Linguine Arrabbiata, Yang Chow Fried Rice, Sparkling Wine

Water: 1500ml

I raise my glass of sparkling wine…cheers to life, love and good food! ❤

Day 21: So Cooking is an Exercise?

Today I discovered from MyFitnessPal app that “cooking or food preparation” can be logged in as an exercise.

An hour of this activity is equivalent to burning 125 calories.

So now I present to you my metrics, after I logged in 60 minutes of cooking:

June 27, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1323 calories

+Exercise: 187 calories

=Remaining: 64 calories

I cooked another batch of chili (this time with beef instead of chicken), baked some gluten-free cornmeal muffin, and a Filipino sour soup broth with shrimps and vegetables called “Sinigang na Hipon.

Sometime what inspires me to cook are the leftover stuff in my pantry. I found some cornmeal a.k.a. polenta so I thought I’d bake some corn muffins. Made it gluten-free since I also happen to have a stash of gluten-free flours at home.

All from Bob’s Red Mill.

I have the following:

  • Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour
  • Stone Ground White Rice Flour
  • Premium Quality Potato Starch Unmodified
  • Finely Ground Tapioca Flour

Here’s the recipe I follow to prepare a gluten-free flour blend, from Minimalist Baker. She said it’s not her original recipe but only shared to her by a friend. Whoever that friend is, thank you!

1-1/2 cups (240g) brown rice flour

1/2 cup (96g) potato starch

1/4 cup (40g) white rice flour

1/4 cup (30g) tapioca flour

The Sinigang na Hipon was fairly easy to do. It’s the kind of dish that you just simmer/boil the ingredients one after another. It’s a traditional Filipino viand, best eaten with steaming-hot cooked rice. You can change the protein to pork or fish, instead of shrimps.

Here’s the entire loaded menu for the day:

Breakfast: coffee, a slice of toasted whole wheat bread + unsweetened peanut butter

Morning Snack: roasted almonds

Lunch: beef chili + Chippy (it’s almost like nacho chips, which go well with chili)

Afternoon Snack: coffee, gluten-free corn muffin, another slice of whole wheat bread, and some more roasted almonds

Dinner: Brown rice, Sinigang na Hipon

Midnight Snack: strawberry shake with greek yogurt

Water: 1500ml

Such a happy day spent entirely on cooking, baking, writing and lounging.

What about the macros?

52% carbs, 31% fat and 17% protein.

Eating healthy may take some effort at first, but eventually you’ll get the hang of it. Your body won’t be craving much of the junk food, as long as you don’t go for deprivation.

It’s all about moderation.

Day 20: Meet My Low Carb, High Protein Diet

For the last couple of days, I’ve been trying to mix-match my food choices to help lower my carbs intake and increase my protein. Google has been my constant companion as I research for more high-protein, low-carbs food — thanks Google!

So today I managed to do that as I increased my intake to 64 g of protein, 4 g more than my target 60 g. As for my carbs, I only consumed 127 g of my 151 g limit.

In terms of percentage, my meals consisted of 47% carbs, 30% fat, and 23% protein.

And yes, I ate enough to reach the minimum required 1000 calories.

June 26, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1092 calories

+Exercise: 4 calories

=Remaining: 112 calories

As you can see in today’s menu, I am getting a lot of grilled chicken breast, both for lunch and dinner. Can’t get enough of it as it’s so easy to prepare ahead, and grilling takes only a few minutes. You’ll never run out of ideas for marinade, so it’s never a boring dish.

Here’s one site that offers 16 different marinades for grilled chicken breast. I’ve bookmarked it, I’m ready to try some of the recipes within the week.

For today, here’s the low carb, high protein combination:

Breakfast: coffee, a piece of banana

Lunch: Brown rice, low-salt tuna chunks, grilled chicken breast

Afternoon Snack:  coffee, a slice of whole wheat bread

Dinner: clam soup with spinach, grilled chicken breast

Midnight Snack: roasted almonds

Water: 1500ml

As I completed my food diary today, MyFitnessPal reminded me:

If every day were like today… You’d weigh 133.5 lbs in 5 weeks.*

*Your projected weight loss is an estimate based on your total net calories for today. Actual results may vary.

Day 19: Is Today My Cheat Day?

When I began this weight loss project last June 7, I didn’t even think about scheduling a so-called Cheat Day. I mean, who am I kidding? I don’t need a specific day just to cheat, right?

Seriously, my approach to this weight loss project is to eat whatever I like and never to deprive myself of a certain food.

So today, my “Wonder Woman Day” (I finally got to catch this in the cinema!), I ate a record-high 1400 calories.

June 25, 2017

Goal: 1200 calories

-Food: 1400 calories

+Exercise: 124 calories

=Remaining: -76 calories

It was a date night so I had better things to do than count calories 😉

This is what I had today:

Breakfast: coffee, a slice of toasted whole wheat bread, a little strawberry jam, and a banana

Morning Snack: another banana

Lunch: Brown rice, kimchi, blanched broccoli, leftover chili and chicken kebab, a few pieces of Chippy

Afternoon Snack: coffee, french fries (half of the bowl was flavored with cheese powder, half with wasabi flavoring)

Dinner: Spicy beef noodle soup, a slice of whole wheat bread, and an orange-flavored soda

Water: 1500ml

Instead of analyzing my food choices, I wanna share another highlight of my day:

I finally bought a digital weighing scale!

I almost decided to just buy this online (as I never seemed to get it done) but while strolling in the mall today I saw this Korean store called Mumuso. Love this store! This is where I once spotted a nice, pink weighing scale, and now I bought it once and for all.

After dinner, I stepped on the scale, and updated MyFitnessPal.

Tonight I weighed 138 pounds. Now I have a reference to this weight loss project.