About Sara

Twitter- #BaconBeatsBread

A reintroduction, of sorts…

So much has transpired since we last saw each other…. life really is like a leaf on the wind isn’t it? Went off track, got pregnant, went even further off track, had a beautiful baby girl and got back on track after bouncing all the way back up to 300lbs the day my little girl was born. Today I sit here and I’m 242lbs, feeling better and ready for anything. But man, it was not easy. Seems certain things are a bit harder the 15th time you get around to them, that “Golden Shot” theory may be true, we can talk about that some other time though.  I’ve been officially on my game, detour free, in ketosis since mid-January now. Walking more, squatting, crunching and such, trying to get this old show back on the road and headed back to Onederland!

So here I am, back to this sorely neglected place that may or may not have inspired someone somewhere to also change their life. I hope I have and I hope I can carve out the time to continue to do so.

Until next time….. xoxox

“For what it’s worth, it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit; start whenever you want; you can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best of it or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that stop you. I hope you feel things that you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” ~The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Take your measurements!!!

This is another thing I am a big believer in, measure measure measure. Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight can tell you, sometimes the scale is a dick. You’re doing everything right and it just isn’t budging. Well, that’s ok if you measure too because you’ll see that it’s not all about that angry little number staring up at your sleepy, nude body every morning. That number doesn’t get to win, you want to be smaller! So measure! I say every 2 weeks or monthly is good. Granted it’s not an instant gratification thing, but it’ll help you through those times when the scale is not being nice to you. If you’re on plan and doing what you should be doing and the scale won’t budge, I can bet you’re still losing inches.

I started measuring at 243lbs, I really wish I had done it at 280lbs, but that would have been scary. Not really sure I even want to know that one, the 243 numbers are scary enough. Here’s what I got.

1/15/2011- 243lbs                    2/26/2012- 196lbs

Neck- 13 3/4″                            Neck- 12 3/4″
Belly- 47 1/2″                             Belly- 40″
Waist- 45 3/4″                            Waist- 40″
Hips- 54 1/2″                              Hips- 47″
Thighs- L 30 1/2″ R 32 1/4″       Thighs- L 26″ R 26 3/4″
Calves- L 18 3/4″ R 19 1/4″       Calves- L 16 3/4″ R 17″
Biceps- L 18″ R 18 1/4″             Biceps- L 15 1/2″ R 15 1/2″
Forearms- L 11 1/2″ R 11 3/4″   Forearms- L 10 1/2″ R 10 3/4″

That, my friends, is a grand total of 42 1/2″ gone. I’ll tell you, seeing those measurements continue to go down has gotten me through some dark days in a stall or two. So do it.

Recipes for low carb lovin’ Chicken Broccoli Casserole and simple Creamed Spinach

Ok, not really, but they are really kick ass recipes. Mostly from my head, which is scary. I’ve never been much of a cook, more of a baker, I like the exact science of it, just throwing things together and hoping they taste good has always terrified me a bit. Lately though, I’ve thrown caution to the wind and tried it, so far, so good! I made a maple beer ham glaze that I’ve decided to hold off on posting until it’s perfected, but everything else is bad ass.

This  isn’t so much of a recipe, just an idea that turned out really good. I took one of those SteamFresh creamed spinach pouches, cooked it up in the microwave, added 1/2 cup of 4 cheese blend and 1/4 cup of bacon pieces. Heeeeelll yes. It was awesome. So I highly recommend that as an quick and easy low carb side dish.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

  • 1 tub Philly Cooking Cream (I used Garlic)
  • 1 1/2 cups 4 cheese blend shredded cheese
  • 14-16oz broccoli- steamed (frozen is ok, just drain it first)
  • 1 package bacon pieces (real ones)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (optional)
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1 cup water (or chicken broth)
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

OK, cut up the chicken raw, then cook it in a skillet. In the meantime, steam the broccoli and mix everything else together in a pot, melting the cheese and making a sauce.  Mix it all together in a 9″x13″ casserole dish and put in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. I threw some extra cheese on top of mine and put it back for 5 mins to melt it. Came out great! I wish I took a picture… :doh: Next time! Enjoy!!!

And like anything I ever say or post or tell you, make it yours!!! Experiment and find out what works for you and what you like best! Don’t let my tastebuds rule yours ;)

Onederland!!!!!

Well, well, well… Guess who finally made it under 200lbs! ME!!!!!  So frigging excited. I haven’t seen that since… well honestly, I don’t even remember!!! It’s a good feeling. Even at 199.8! :)

I’ve been busy busy busy lately, so I have been neglecting you all, but I do have lots of good stuff for you coming up soon!! I managed to concoct a few recipes in the past few days that I am happy to share!

A low carb maple beer ham glaze, an awesome low carb meatloaf and last night’s chicken broccoli cheese casserole!! Keep an eye out for them!!!

Sorry for the drive by, but I’ll be back soon and it’ll have been worth the wait!

Drumroll please…… The Low-Carb Mini Cheesecake Recipe has arrived!

Well folks, here it is! The long awaited mini low carb cheesecake recipe!! I love this recipe for a few reasons. First and foremost, it’s tasty and really hits the spot if you’re craving cheesecake or just want something sweet. Not only is it good though, it’s easy! Plus there is so much you can do with it since it is a very basic recipe. Be creative!

Or copy off of me and try some things I’ve found to be good :)
-Spread 1tbsp peanut butter on top (Peter Pan crunchy is lowest on net carbs-6)
-Put a glob of sugar free jam or jelly on top
-Make a crust out of crushed up peanuts or almonds and a bit of melted butter and put it in the cupcake panty before adding the batter
-Add some cocoa powder to make a chocolate version
-Make it a pumpkin cheesecake (my favorite- but a little recipe alteration is needed, see the special notes)
-Add more cinnamon or try adding your favorite flavor extract

Really, anything goes! Make it yours! And if you come up with something kick ass, come back and tell me about it!
The exact carb count is going to vary slightly depending on what you add to the recipe, how full the cups are, etc, but mine usually come out to be about 6 or 7 net. Stick with one cup per serving though, you don’t want to over do it, but these shouldn’t stall you at all.
Enjoy!!!!!

You’ll need:

16oz full fat cream cheese

½ cup sweetener (I’m partial to Splenda)

2 eggs

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Soften the cream cheese (leave it out for a bit or pop it in the micro for about 40 seconds), mix everything together in a big bowl, then beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Pour into 12 muffin cups (with liners!), you can fill them most of the way as they puff up when they cook, but deflate when you take them out. Bake for about 20 minutes or until they start to brown a on top.

Let them cool completely, they are better once cooled/refrigerated. Eat!

(For the pumpkin variation- Add 1-15oz can of pumpkin, 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice and 1tsp cinnamon. They aren’t as thick, but still really good! I need to figure out how to make them more dense, suggestions welcome)

This is the first recipe of many as I have lots of favorites! So please check back often to see what’s next! You might discover a new favorite yourself!!!!

Oh, and did I mention I’m a lazy cook and afraid of ingredients I’ve never heard of before? So all of my recipes are simple to make, taste great, are easy to increase/decrease depending on the size of your family, make good leftovers and they all contain very few, if any, weird ingredients!! Also, I tend to stick to induction levels for the most part, so they are all induction friendly!!

For best knowledge absorption- Apply topically

I decided to turn today’s post into a topical post. Hope that’s ok with you all :)

Based on the fact that I’ve been working 60+ hours a week at my ‘regular’ job, I think it’s important to talk a little bit about how to fit low carbing into a busy (read: normal!) lifestyle. It’s actually much easier than you think! If I had one sentence to tell you how to do it, it would be- Always come prepared. But thankfully, I have a whooooooooole bunch of sentences at my disposal, so I am able to elaborate for you. (Lucky you!!)

As you may or may not know, I’m quite the advocate for eating when you’re hungry. Sounds pretty common sense, right? You’d be surprised how many people think that not eating is the secret to losing weight, it’s totally not. It’s actually counter-productive because, uh… it sucks? Who the heck wants to be hungry? That’s where people get messed up. I love food and I love to eat, so if my tummy rumbles, you better bet your ass I’m going to feed it! The key is, in a busy lifestyle when hunger strikes, you have to have planned ahead. If you’re on the go a lot, Atkins bars are a life saver, or those single serving packets of nuts (just regular salted is best, but if you need more flavor, just watch the carb count. I stick to peanuts, but almonds are good too). Keep one in your car, your purse, your backpack, your desk at work, anywhere. EVERYWHERE. Then you know if you need to eat something, you have something that not only fits your life; it fits your ‘diet’.

(Please note: Low carbing is not a diet, it truly is a lifestyle, but for the sake of this discussion not getting too confusing, I’m saying your ‘diet’, but by that I just mean how you eat. But you’re smart, you already knew that.)

Make sense? It should. Seriously, eat. Especially if you’re first starting out while you’re adjusting to everything in your body switching gears. Don’t deprive yourself of food in general, just cut out the white crap (kidding, read the books, but really that’s the jist of it.) Don’t worry about too many calories in the beginning, you likely won’t have to watch those for a while, as you will find yourself being hungry less often anyway (barring you’re eating enough fat) and your body will regulate itself to only wanting enough calories to sustain your activities.  True story.

I, myself, actually do what people call ‘intermittent fasting’ or IF, but not really on purpose. When I stick to a low carb style of eating, my body naturally adjusts to only wanting one meal a day. I drink coffee (black w/Starbucks sugar free syrup) and water all day, if I get hungry, I’ll grab one of the above mentioned snacks or an Atkins shake and then between 6-10pm when I’m actually hungry I make and eat a big ass dinner. It just works for me. Plus I’m lazy and have no desire to plan and prepare 2-3 meals for myself a day, I’m not much of a cook. Just putting a little extra thought into it and you can make this thing idiot proof, I promise.  For example, cook up a pound of bacon on Sunday night; throw it in the fridge in a Ziploc and woohoo! Snack for the week! Or do the same with hard-boiled eggs, etc. 3 meals a day even on a busy schedule is easy!! Exhibit A: Jimmy Dean Omelet for breakfast, ham and cheese rollups and a small salad for lunch, Atkins bar/shake or a pack of nuts for snack and a big old juicy burger with a side of broccoli and cheese for dinner. Sound easy? Yep. Sound good? It is.

So what the hell are you waiting for??????????

Drive by blogging!

Just a quick drive by on dinner last night! Made a new recipe for myself, and decided to share my experience. I saw some of those FlatOut brand light wraps at Publix last week and they were BOGO free, well I can’t resist a sale and they are only 6 net carbs each, not too shabby. So I got them. I tend to do not so well with actual wrap sandwiches, I want to make and eat like 10 of them. Too close to real carbs for comfort I guess, but I figured maybe I could get some traction out of them. And I did!!!! I decided to follow the recipe on the bag, I know, what a novel idea!!!! So, took a wrap, threw it on a cookie sheet for 7 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees to crisp it up, then put on lower carb pizza sauce, added some 5 cheese shredded Italian blend, pepperoni and sausage crumbles, baked for another 5-7 minutes until the cheese melted and Voila!!!!!

It came out great!!! Really tasty!! Definitely hit the spot for a pizza craving.

The bad news? I was up 1.4lbs this morning, surely from the wrap. However, it’s just water weight, so no big deal, but it just goes to show that this is all about trial and error and you have to figure out what works for your body.

Which is why I weigh myself every morning, kind of gives me a gauge on how the foods I ate the day before effected me and teaches me how to improve and what works for me without pesky anal-retentive tracking.

The second coming…

Ok, sorry to tease you all and then disappear, I’ve been struggling lately… But isn’t that what I am here for? To vent and discuss my struggles? Yes, however, I’m still a novice at this whole blogging thing, so you’ll have to cut me some slack. ;)
Alright, back to my struggle. I’ve been dancing around 205 since August. AUGUST!!! Lowest I had gotten was 203, then up to 2…. Uhh…. 223… yeah, holidays. Then back down to 203 when I posted my first blog and back up to 207 after that. Suffice it to say, I was getting really frustrated and starting to lose my drive thinking that I was stuck, that I was doing everything right and I was just doomed to be stuck at 205 forever. Wah wah wah. Well, duh Sara, you’ve been slacking. If you weren’t letting laziness win and letting bad carbs sneak in here and there or just screwing up totally for a week at a time, you’d be fine. {insert face palm here}
One key thing I have learned about low carb is that you absolutely get out of it what you put into it. It needs your complete dedication to succeed in the initial losing phase. I lost sight of that for a while, got lazy, got complacent. Who the hell am I to be complacent when I still have 60lbs to lose?? I’m only halfway there! We don’t quit at halftime folks! No way! So I reigned myself in, decided I needed to do what I know works. I needed to ease up on the drinking, limit my frankenfoods, drink green tea daily and go back to basics. Isn’t that how I lost the first 75lbs to begin with? Duh Sara.
(However, a side note is, that I was able to maintain within a 5lb swing when I wasn’t going hog wild, so that shows I can loosely pay attention and am able to maintain- which will be very important once I get close to goal)
So I re-committed to giving it my all, so it will give it back. And I’ll e damned, it’s giving back already, as I weighed in at 201.6 this morning! WOO!!!!! That, my friends, is what we call ‘virgin weight loss’. I am SO close to my first real goal of being under 200lbs for the first time in at least 13-14 years. That is huge to me and I cannot wait to claim it, my reward is waiting patiently. I have a $50 Marshalls/TJ Maxx gift card that I’ve been sitting on, waiting for it. It’s burning a hole in my pocket!!! I’m a clotheshorse, I am sure to blog about my sale/thrift finds in the future. I love to shop!!!!
Which brings me to goals. They are key. Little ones, big ones, whatever. Just set them and KEEP them. Make sure you schedule rewards for yourself that matter to you. Ones that aren’t food. I personally like rewards that I can use to pamper myself, a manicure, pedicure, highlights, clothes, etc. Or for the man folk, maybe a new video game or a musical instrument? Why not? You deserve it!!!! Pick up a new hobby, go out and meet people, show off your newly shrinking body!! OK, I’m getting ahead of myself a bit, but it will happen. It also can work to have your significant other or some other important person in your life help with goal rewards too, gives you more accountability as well and makes them feel involved in your transformation, which is important too.
Recap: Make goals, meet them, and congratulate yourself. Make it a priority. Today.
Mine?
Under 200lbs- Use $50 gift certificate for new summer clothes and get hair re-highlighted.
100lbs lost at 180lbs- 3 day cruise to the Bahamas with my mom (on her dime- woot!) and I’ll probably do something for myself too, like a spa day or at least a mani/pedi in preparation ;)
And so on and so forth. But one important thing I’d like to mention is that you should NOT put a date stamp on a weight goal, you’re just asking for trouble. I’ve done it and failed miserably and it sucks. This isn’t a race. I know it’s tempting to say “Goal- Be 185lbs by Sally’s wedding”, but when that doesn’t happen, you’ll feel bad about yourself on Sally’s wedding day when you planned to feel great, which blows. So don’t do it. Set goals, work hard towards them, but know your body has a mind of it’s own. Don’t set the pace, set the plan and let it work with you, not against you.

If you’re reading and you like what you are reading great! If not, feel free to provide constructive criticism or ideas for blogs, I’m all ears!
Here are a couple ideas I have planned for future blogs:
Weekly low carb grocery deals (let me know where you shop!)
Book reviews and plan comparisons
Ummm…. And more! ☺