Thursday, February 28, 2008

Product Review: Kay's Naturals White Cheddar Kruncheeze

Kay's Naturals offer a variety of protein enriched snack foods and cereals. These are great snack and breakfast alternatives for the WLS postop. My favorite Kay's Naturals product right now are the White Cheddar Kruncheeze. These are crispy, cheesy bits of goodness! They taste almost like a white cheddar crunchy Cheeto snack! But, unlike those dark orange, messy things, they are tasty and full of protein!
Each serving contains:
Serving size - 1 oz(28g)
Calories 130
Calories from Fat 60
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated fat 0.5g 3%
Cholesterol 0g 0%
Sodium 200mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 9g
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 4%
Iron 8%

When you want something with the texture of a crunchy Cheeto or perhaps Fritos, try these! They would even be "dip-able" and could be used with salsa, bean dip, or any other dip of your choice. Use them in dishes too! Crumble some in the bottom of a dish and top with chili, shredded cheese, and sour cream for a delicious version of Frito Pie. Crumble them on top of your favorite casserole for that crunch that you'd normally get from cracker crumbls. And don't forget the 20% discount! Use the code "newsite" in the additional info box during checkout and they'll apply a 20% discount off your order (won't show in cart but will be applied before card is charged).

Another decent day...thankfully!

Day two of getting my butt back on track!

wakeup--water and vitamins
late breakfast/brunch--chicken noodle soup with 1 1/2 scoops Unjury chicken soup flavor
no snack!
lunch--Atkins Advantage chocolate coconut protein bar
no snack!!
dinner--taco salad with meat sauce and refried beans and veggies and cheese YUMMO!!
evening snack (I will have this one due to low BS at night while sleeping)---either protein bar or nuts and raisins

I have had 3 cups of tea (32 ozs each) plus a 24 oz bottle of water. I'll have another bottle or part of one at bedtime when I take my evening vitamins... With figuring in a protein bar as the evening snack, that brings me to 1300 calories and 112 grams of protein. Carbs are a bit higher than I'd like at 80, but it was complex carbs and only 11 grams of sugar for the WHOLE day total!

Kay's Naturals--great protein products and a DISCOUNT too!

Kay's Naturals offered a 20% discount off of all orders (phone OR internet) for anyone who uses the discount code "mini-challenge." To get this discount, go to their website ( and shop for the items you'd like to purchase. Place them in your shopping cart. Proceed to checkout and while checking out, place the discount code mini-challenge in the box for additional information. Your order will not reflect the discount during checkout. However, their shopping cart does not automatically process the credit/debit card that you use for payment. When they receive your order with the discount code included, they will apply the discount and change your order total before your credit/debit card is processed for payment. You will see the reduced total on your card charges!

If you are unfamiliar with their products, they make a line of awesome protein snacks and protein cereals. They also offer a mixed assortment box of goodies for $12.50 INCLUDING shipping! It is a great way to taste several of their product so that you can order things you really like!

At this time, there is no "end date" for this discount. I was told that the more people who USE it, the longer they can offer it to us! I might add that I am NOT a paid representative of Kay's Naturals! I asked for a discount for our mini-challenge participants as a "prize" of sorts and they graciously allowed us to include everyone (OH member or not) in the discount. Great products at a super discount from great people!
PS--If you have a favorite Kay's Naturals product, please take a minute to comment on this post and share it with us!!

What do YOU count?

Someone asked today about what liquids/fluids you count in your daily intake. I count only clear liquids and don't worry about whether they are caffeinated or not. I get in well over 100 ozs EVERY day of the clear liquids. Yesterday, I had 2 bottles of Propel (20 ozs each), 2 bottles of water (24 and 16.9 ozs), and a 32 oz cup of iced tea for a total of 112 ozs. That was a LOW intake day as normally I'd have 2 or 3 cups of tea (32 ozs each) minimum and still have at least a bottle of water and/or Propel. I am trying to drink more actual WATER right now as I think that it makes a difference in my weight loss lately. When I have a day like yesterday with less tea intake, I have a drop on the scale AND see a difference in my BMs (sorry if that is TMI).

Now I will add that the decision to only count clear liquids is MINE and not my surgeon's or nutritionist's as they allow folks to count milk, popsicles, soups, protein drinks, etc. I just CHOOSE not to count those. Truthfully though, I don't drink milk (just use a bit once in a while for cereal or pudding), I don't usually do protein shakes, and I rarely eat soup (though there is a bowl warming in the microwave AS I type this!). You can't count what you're not eating/drinking, right?? LOL

IMHO, if you have to count things like soup, protein drinks, milk and such, you PROBABLY are not getting in enough fluids! And, you should be careful that you are not getting dehydrated...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A better day today....

After a horrendous day yesterday of eating every two hours and it adding up to TWO thousand calories (UGH!), I did MUCH better today!

breakfast--1/2 cup egg beaters, 1 oz shredded cheese
no snack
lunch--Atkins protein bar
snack--2 slices cheddar cheese and a couple of shoplifted grapes (would have bought the bag, but they were squishy...yuck! glad I tried a couple!)
dinner--beef stir fry made with soy sauce, not a heavy terryaki or stir fry sauce
snack--not sure yet... I will need something but haven't decided what. It needs to have some protein as I'm a bit on the low side for the day.

I drank 2 bottles of Propel, 1 bottle of water and (so far) 32 ozs iced tea. I will either have another bottle of water at bedtime with vitamins OR I'll have more tea. I've been trying to get away from the tea at bed... I also had two of those Citrical calcium chews. I was out and found them at my Rite aid and bought both boxes of the chocolate ones they had. I'm not really sure why everyone is so crazy about them as I think they are sort of nasty! LOL And, they are 35 calories each! So that is 70 extra calories a day. Now I will admit that my fish oil pills are 10 cals each (I take 4 to 6 per day) and my calcium supp is 10 cals per dose (2 to 3 doses per day) and I never EVER count or even consider those. Should I ignore the ones in the chews too? As long as you're not eating them like Hershey kisses that is??

With just this intake so far (including the Propels but not the Citrical chews and no evening snack), I'm at 884 calories, 59 carbs minus 12 fiber for 47 net carbs and 75 protein. If I don't get "hungry," I may skip the snack just to have one REALLY low day and see how the scale looks tomorrow! I think if I do a snack, I'll have part of a protein bar or some nuts/raisins... I spent 6 hours mostly on my feet either pacing at the auto mechanic or shopping several different places... That is the extent of my "exercise" for today.

Here's to a lower number on the scale in the morning!! LOL

Maybe this is contributing to my not losing...

We hear folks who reach goal and enter the maintenance phase say it can not be done. They simply can NOT eat 2000 calories per day without feeling stuffed all day. Well, I am here to tell you that they are full of it! I did it yesterday. I ate 2000 calories. I am not proud of it. It did not feel like an unhealthy eating day. I did not make poor food choices. I just ate like every 2 hours all freaking day! And, until the end of the day when I sat down to chart it all out, it sure didn't feel like 2000 calories! In fact, it was 2000 calories, 140 NET carbs, and a whopping 140 grams of protein. The only (and I mean ONLY) simple carbs the whole day was some bites of potato with the beef roast for supper. ALL the rest of the carbs were from nuts, beans, veggies or milk (and only 8 ozs of milk). SO, I guess I need to start really seriously tracking my daily food intake. Maybe I'm eating more than I realize MOST days. I try to track each day in my head as I go along. After all, after 18 mos of doing this, you have most of those food nutrition facts memorized! LOL But, when a day adds up like yesterday, it is time to do SOMETHING! SO, today so far has been good. I had an Egg Beaters and cheese omlet for breakfast. I had NO snack this morning. I have to get out of here and go do some errands in town, so I'm taking an Atkins Advantage Chocolate PB protein bar with me for lunch. I'll stop somewhere and get an iced tea or another bottle of water. I am pretty good when I'm away from home. I'm too cheap to buy much that won't do me any good! LOL SO, we'll see how today goes!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

stressing over not losing...

I am still stressing over my weight not dropping for what seems like forever. I have been around 205 since early December! Will I EVER see onederland?? I have said, since the very beginning, that a final/ending weight that was ANYthing that started with a one (including 199.5!) would be cool with me. I just wanted a clothing size that started with a one and a weight that started with a one. As I will probably never be able to get plastics without it being insurance paid (yeah right!), I know that 185 (my goal weight) is the most realistic final weight I can have as I have a good bit of excess skin between tummy, thighs, arms and butt area. But, I am really starting to doubt that I'll even see that 199... I have tried SO many things. I've upped my calories on the chance that I was eating too little. I've cut back on calories thinking that perhaps even 1200 was too much. I've cut carbs back. I've upped carbs a bit thinking that when I was exercising a bit that perhaps I needed more. Recently, I've tried to drink actual water at least once per day a 24 oz bottle instead of just my iced tea. I bought myself a Bean for Christmas. I have yet to use it the first time! UGH! Guess I can give that a try next, huh?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Recipe: Meatloaf

Someone asked me for my meatloaf recipe tonight, so here goes... My meatloaf is truly nothing terribly special, but it agrees with DH. It is not greasy and has no oatmeal in it, which he hates in meatloaf. It started out as the meatloaf recipe on the Lipton onion-mushroom soup packet! Now, it pretty much the following:
1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef (usually the 80/20 stuff)
1 packet onion or onion-mushroom soup mix
2 to 3 eggs (more beef = more eggs)
3/4 to 1 cup italian bread crumbs (again, more beef = more bread crumbs)

Break the beef up in your bowl.
Pour in the soup mix packet and bread crumbs. Break in the eggs. Add about 1/3 cup ketchup and about 1/2 to 3/4 cup water. Mix well with a fork OR your hands. Bake at about 350 degrees till just almost done. Take the pan out and pour off any fat/grease (hence why it is not greasy!). Then, top with a nice coating of ketchup and bake again till done in the middle. A 1 1/2 to 2 pound meatloaf takes about an hour to bake completely.

Now I will also note that I sometimes add extra shredded/dried onion. I have also added a bit of salsa when I didn't have ketchup on hand. That makes for sort of a tex-mex meatloaf! And, I've added shredded cheese before too... Just things you can do to switch it up for a change.

We LOVE meatloaf and there is rarely any left after a day or two. We get dinner, lunch and the occasional snack out of it. I sometimes make a really large meatloaf (I'm talking 3+ pounds of beef) and freeze some in smaller pieces so I can have it for lunch once in a while when I'm not planning a meatloaf for dinner any time soon... You can also make it in a few of the little loaf pans or even in pot pie tins for smaller servings. It helps to add a bit of ketchup or salsa when reheating in the microwave if you need a really moist food to go down well.

I've never figured nutrition info on this recipe, so no help there!

Ever just want a bowl of ramen noodle soup??

For whatever reason, I've been craving a big bowl of ramen noodle soup... Who knows why, but it hit me harder this morning, and I stood in the kitchen trying to decide what I should eat to defeat this. Then, my eyes landed on my recently obtained container of Unjury chicken soup flavored protein powder... Then, it hit me! I could have the ramen noodles but I would have them with protein! I put one cup of water into a pan and turned the heat on under it. I added some leftover veggies from the fridge and HALF the dried noodles from the pack. As you don't use the flavoring packet from the noodle soup mix, you could use any flavor. I tossed the flavor packet and the rest of the noodles in the trash can. While the noodles were cooking, I put a cup of lukewarm water into my soup bowl and added 1 1/2 scoops of the Unjury chicken soup protein powder and whisked it to mix it well. Then, I dumped in the noodles/veggies/water from the pot and stirred it up. Wow, that was some good soup AND it had 30 grams of protein! You could even add some leftover or canned chicken to the pot as the noodles cooked... YUMMO!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Recipe: Ricotta Fluff

This is another one of those dessert type recipes, but you could eat it as a snack or just any time you liked. It is a good protein source due to the ricotta cheese.

What you need:
1 tub ricotta cheese (original recipe I read called for a large, 32 oz tub)
1 tub sugar free Cool Whip
1 box cheesecake flavor sugar free pudding mix

How you make it:
Get out the mixer. Put all 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix till well blended.

That is it! Just mix it up and eat it. I added some strawberries (frozen, thawed) to mine and it was yummy. I do think that, though it would lower the protein content, the ricotta flavor was a bit much for me and I think I may make it with either less ricotta cheese (like using the smaller, 15 oz tub) OR with more Cool Whip and/or a second box of pudding mix. The second box of pudding mix may be just the trick to give it more cheesecake flavor without cutting back on the protein per serving.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Walking in a marathon?? Me? Yeah right!

Who would have thunk it? Me, formerly 410 pound fat girl walking in a marathon... yeah right! Well, I am proud to tell you all that I did walk a 5 mile leg of the Myrtle Beach Bi-Lo marathon as part of a 5 man team on Feb 16, 2008. My support group went down in force. We took 14 people. We had two five-person relay teams and some half-marathon folks too! We did great, had a blast, and are all looking forward to doing it again at the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati over the first weekend in May.

One year ago, I never would have considered this and I was already down below 300 pounds with over 100 pounds lost. At NO time during the last 20+ years would I have considered doing something like this. But, during the support group meeting way back in November, our fearless leader (Lori) said to me, "Why don't you go with us??" And, in a moment of insanity, I told her I'd think about it. As I've already pointed out, in my previous way of thinking, "I'll think about it" would translate instantly to "What the freak are you thinking?" LOL But, this new and adventurous me called my hubby and said "Hey, what do you think about me walking in a marathon??" He, in his wonderfully supportive way, said, "If you CAN do it, then go for it!" And, the rest is history. I not only committed to doing it myself, but I also committed my 16 year old daughter to participate too. I walked my 5 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes. She did hers in 1 hour and 10 minutes. We will both be participating in the Flying Pig Marathon as well. We'll continue to participate as relay team members and work up to doing half-marathons hopefully by time for the Myrtle Beach marathon next year.

And, we got MEDALS!!

Recipe: High Protein SF Pudding

This one is a weight loss surgery post-op standard... It is simple and it is good and it gives you a protein boost.

What you need:
1 box sugar free pudding mix (flavor of your choice)
2 cups low fat or skim milk
2 scoops unflavored protein powder (I prefer Unjury, but it is up to you!)

How you make it:
Pour the milk into a bowl that will hold about 1 to 2 quarts. Add the two scoops of protein powder and the pudding mix. Whisk to mix well and chill. That is it! Mix it, chill it, and enjoy!

A really great one is to use the SF cheesecake flavor pudding. I have actually used as much as THREE scoops of protein powder in that one and not really noticed it. You can also use a hand mixer and mix in an 8 oz package of cream cheese (fat free, 1/3 less fat or full fat--you choose) for an awesome cheesecake-filling-like dessert. Sprinkle some graham cracker crumbs on it once in the serving dish and you have a wonderful dessert!

The Ever Elusive Onederland...

I try and I try, wait and wait.... It seems as if I'll never get there. Where, you ask? ONEderland! That ever elusive spot of weights that start with a ONE instead of a two. I've been between 205 and 202 pounds since early December and it just doesn't seem to be going to happen for me! I've been as low as 202.0, but no further. I've also been back up as high as 209 on a normal day and 217 when I started retaining fluid again and had to go back on the diuretic. I'm back off the diuretic and not really having much fluid retention, but still stuck in twoterville for now... I've tried cutting carbs. I've tried upping fluids and protein. I've tried more/different exercise. Nothing seems to work. I did lose more inches though! Just got to give it time I suppose and it will happen when my body is good and ready!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Are we inadvertently lying to ourself/others?

While surfing the other WLS support board, I read a fellow WLS veteran's blog entry about how we all tell each other and our self that we had WLS for our health but how it is really about looking better or more attractive. No, he didn't say it that way. That is just sort of what I took from it. He pointed out how so many of our posts are about how much weight we lost or how many sizes we've dropped or how someone didn't recognize us, etc. By comparison, we see few posts about how many comorbid issues have been resolved, etc. When was the last time you clicked on a WOW moment post and read about someone's cholesterol dropping from 280 to 199? When was the last time you clicked on a NSV (non scale victory) post and read about someone not taking diabetes meds anymore instead of them fitting into a size 6 jean? I'm not discounting the joy to be had in those moments! After all, I have a WLS friend who says "It is all about getting healthy...till that first time you get into a size 10 jean and then it is ALL about you!"

I'm just pointing out that I don't think we celebrate these other things as much as we should. I know that I personally got off of about 8 different prescription medications. I no longer have high blood pressure. My cholesterol was down several points. My degenerative disc disease and bone-on-bone knees are SO much less painful and I no longer require multiple daily doses of narcotic pain meds just to get through the day. I may still be at risk for diabetes, heart disease an stroke, but it is because of my family history and not my current physical status. I can EXERCISE! I don't do it nearly as often as I should, but I CAN. I can park in the farthest parking spot from the door at just about any place I go and not be winded by the time I reach the door. Not only CAN I do that, but I do it often (much to the chagrin of my teenage child who thinks we should park as closely as possible at ALL times). I am walking a leg in a marathon relay this coming Saturday--5 miles. My hubby asked me why I wanted to do it. I told him that I want to do it simply because I CAN and could not have done it a year ago or at any other time in the past 20 years. He supports this thankfully as the trip to Myrtle Beach to do this isn't free! LOL And, my daughter is walking a leg too. We are trying to incorporate more together time into these things I can do now that I couldn't before. Yet another HEALTHY thing that has come from my surgery even though it is an emotional health and not physical health issue.

SO, tell us--why did you have the surgery? And was it truly about being healthier OR was it about feeling/looking better for yourself or others?
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