Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Well, crisis no longer averted.  Crisis is head on!  I hate it when you have a constant sick feeling in your stomach.  That is how I feel right now.  Everything will work out in the end I'm sure, but not before a lot of fighting and turmoil.  It really and truly sucks when you can't eat or sleep properly...and you have to worry about someone you love being taken total advantage of.  Basically, I have had to agree to something I don't support at all just to keep the peace.  And someone is being VERY selfish and only thinking of himself.

On a much nicer note, I started getting off my butt and doing some actual exercise.  Thanks to Enz, I began to get out on the weekends which adds to my daily exercise of always taking the stairs.  Just to be clear, I take the stairs in every situation.  So even when I'm not in the office and say in a parking garage, I take the stairs.  Even if I have to visit a government building with a client and go to the 7th floor, I take the stairs.  Nine times out of ten my client doesn't join me, but that's okay.

I made a delicious pork tenderloin over the weekend with garlic roasted cauliflower and breaded and fried eggplant.  I'll post pictures and instruction in my next post.  Just wanted to let you all know that I am alive and well.  My heart just hurts.  My weigh-in is on Friday.  My second last one!  We'll see what the scale says. I have not eaten well at all (meaning very little) over the past week.  This isn't necessarily good because historically, the less I eat, the less I lose.  Things are not good when your metabolism slows down which is what happens when you don't eat enough.  Hope everyone is having a good week.  I have been reading blogs, just not commenting as much.  Sorry about that.  I really like to reciprocate the support.  I'll check in again after my weigh-in.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Phase 1 friendly Moussaka & Meatballs and Cabbage

Life has kept me from blogging.  There were some tense family moments this week, but everything has been ironed out and the world is right again.   Crisis averted:)

I meant to post this days ago, so here goes.  This is my low carb version of moussaka.  It's also Dr. Poon phase 1 friendly.  Moussaka is a traditional Greek eggplant casserole.  It is made with ground beef, eggplant, tomatoes, and bechamel sauce.  I can't eat tomatoes or bechamel sauce (right now), so I've improvised.  It's not a traditional moussaka, but still was tasty.  It's easy to add your own preferences as well!

First I started with:

  • ground beef (1 lbs)
  • mushrooms (8 oz)
  • garlic (1 tbsp)
  • onion powder (1 tsp)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • half salt (1/2 tsp)
  • low sodium beef stock (1 cup)
I browned the ground beef and drained all the fat.  Then I added the rest of the ingredients and cooked it until the liquid evaporated (about 15 mins).

While the liquid was evaporating, I placed a layer of sliced, salted (to remove moisture), rinsed and dried eggplant to a casserole dish.

I spooned the finished meat mixture on the eggplant.  Over the meat I added chopped, frozen spinach, and another layer of eggplant that was first sliced, salted, rinsed, dried, then fried in olive oil.  Over the layer of eggplant and in place of the bechamel sauce, I whisked together a tub of Allegro 4% ricotta cheese and 2 eggs.  After I whisked it smooth, I poured it on top of the casserole and baked at 350 for 45 minutes.  I let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.
It was good.  I'm not a huge fan of eggplant, but it was something different and was an easy lunch for work.

Another meal I ate this week that was actually quite yummy (because I really like cabbage) was meatballs and cabbage.
I know this would not be to everyone's taste, but I sauteed the sliced cabbage in a skillet with olive oil, half salt, pepper and chopped garlic.  Cooked it until tender.  I made the meatballs ahead of time and just added them to the pan to heat up.  I served it with yellow mustard and it was YUMMY!

I just realized that I eat A LOT of red meat.  Part of that is because I am anemic and have been since being pregnant with my son.  I haven't had my blood tested since beginning my lifestyle change, so maybe things are different now.  All I know is that I eat red meat like it's going out of style.  I actually crave it.  It's not good to eat as much red meat as I do, so I'll have to start using ground chicken and turkey more in my ground meat recipes.  No sense in exchanging one health problem (obesity) for another (heart disease).  Have a good weekend all!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Phase 1 friendly Portabella Mushroom Cap Burger with Eggplant Fries

I promised a burger and fries, and I'm delivering.  This is not just any burger and fries, but a very low carb version.  There is not a "bun" per say, but instead two grilled portabella mushroom caps used as the bun.  And my fries are made from eggplant instead of potatoes.  My husband, who swears he does not like eggplant, finished eating the ones left on my plate after declaring that they were "ok".

For the fries, first I salted the eggplant to get the moisture out.  To do this you just sprinkle salt on both sides of a sliced piece of eggplant, let sit 30 minutes in a colander, then rinse off and pat dry.  Cut into fries. Drizzled with olive oil, half salt and pepper, the eggplant fries were fried in a non-stick pan until crispy.  I used Walden Farms Chipotle Ranch dressing to dip them in.

This is how I made the burger patties. Adding a bit of water to the mixture ensures that the patties stay moist as they cook to well done.


  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) dry bread crumbs (I used the mix for the phase 1 friendly Flax Rye bread mix
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp half salt
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef, chicken, turkey...
  • 8 portabella mushroom caps


In bowl, beat egg and water with fork; mix in bread crumbs, onion powder, mustard, half salt, Worcestershire and pepper. Mix in ground meat. Shape into four 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick patties. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Or layer between waxed paper in airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month; thaw in refrigerator.)
Place patties on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and cook, turning patties once, for about 10 minutes or until no longer pink inside (I used and indoor grill). Place on portabella mushroom caps.
These were my toppings.  Mustard Ketchup and roasted green onion sprigs.
To roast portabella mushroom caps:
  1. Wash your Portabella mushrooms in a colander. Since they grow in dirt, it usually takes several washings to remove all of the silt. Give them a good rinsing once you get them home from the grocery store, and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees on the "bake" setting.
  3. Spread a layer of foil over your baking sheet. (This will save you a messy clean-up when the Portabella mushrooms are cooked.)
  4. Scatter your Portabella mushrooms over your foil. 
  5. Drizzle olive oil over your mushrooms. 
  6. Add salt and pepper to on your Portabella mushrooms.
  7. Place the mushrooms in the oven, and allow them to roast for 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, and they are ready to serve.
What I did was make a couple of burgers and used the rest of the ground meat to make meat balls. I made a double batch, using 2 pounds of ground meat so I could make enough meatballs to freeze and use as I need them for another meal.

I did not miss using a traditional burger bun for this burger.  Be inventive and add your own favourite toppings.  I love mustard, ketchup and onion on a burger. That's it.  You could also grate some Allegro Cheese and make a cheese burger.  Hope you enjoy:)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Breaking up is hard to do

That looks nothing like Dr. Stephen or Jillian Michaels!
If only either one had such a prominent chin, or blue hair.

So, it's official.  Dr. Stephen and I have decided to part ways.  And not because of issues I have had with him in the past, but because the clinic I go to is closing.  It's the closest clinic for me, and the other 4 are waaaaaay out of my way.  So we are breaking up at the end of February on amicable terms.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.

On the one hand, he's made me angry more than once because I felt criticized and not supported a whole lot.  We did have a heart to heart today and he knows how he made me feel and I know that he was just trying to be supportive.  He called me a mystery because I loose the same amount of weight every visit and the amount of fat vs. water weight always fluctuates which confuses the hell out of him.  Even though I never change my eating habits or do anything different week to week.  I told him today and I told him before, I don't care if the 5 pounds I loose is fat or water.  It's five pounds lost!  Since starting the diet, I have not ever gained, which I think is testament to the fact that I have in fact, not cheated.

On the other hand, I like going in for "official" weigh-ins because it keeps me accountable.  So what to do?  Well we discussed and decided that I would see him 2 more times, then I would continue to be monitored monthly by my family physician Dr. Pitt.  I love Dr. Pitt.  He got excited if I lost a pound a month.  He's gonna wet himself when I visit him in March having lost 55+ pounds!  The only thing I'm not looking forward to is having the LONG wait.  Sometimes it takes over an hour to see him.

Well regardless, I feel good about being able to continue this diet on my own.  Dr. Stephen did build up my confidence today and told me that he knows I can do this on my own.  He was very sweet to me today.  And if I start to falter, I can go back to the clinic, I just have to drive farther.  When I go to the clinic every other week, I just get weighed, get yelled at for not bringing my urine (I always forget it on the back of my toilet-gross), get my blood pressure taken (which is normal by the way and I'm no longer taking meds), and sometimes get into heated discussions with Dr. Stephen about how I'm not cheating.  I think I can give that up:)

I've also broken up with Jillian Michaels.  This was a more abrupt and "I'll call you when I'm ready" kind of break-up.  I learned three things last night:

  1. That Jillian Michaels is a sadist.
  2. That I am the least flexible person I know.
  3. That yoga should not be attempted by novices.
I still really want to learn yoga...properly.  I will take a "gentle" yoga class this spring when it's offered through my local Parks and Rec centre.  Gentle yoga is pre-beginner yoga.  The beginner yoga tape that Jillian Michaels put out is for the beginner with 5 years experience type of beginner.  I will use her tape, 5 years down the road.

So that's my update.  I lost another 5 pounds, joined the Running Room, and will be signing up for the Chocolate Race this weekend with my pal Enz.  I was texting my sister-in-law earlier today.  She's been a HUGE support to me and just wanted to wish me luck for my weigh-in.  She mentioned that she couldn't believe I joined the Running Room (and neither can I).  I told her about the marathon too and I said that I was either really motivated or really stupid.  I'm gonna stick with motivated:)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Phase 1 friendly Taco Salad

This is my easy go to recipe.  If I'm short on time, I can make this fast and it fills me up.  I also do this exact same thing and call it Lettuce Tacos.  For the tacos, I just use romaine leaves as the taco shell and spoon the filling on the romaine leaves, fold and enjoy.

For Taco Salad you will need:

  • extra lean ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey), all are yummy!
  • low sodium taco seasoning
  • Allegro 4% cheese
  • mushrooms (sliced)
  • green peppers (diced)
  • green onion (sliced thin)
  • iceburg (or any kind) lettuce (shredded)

Cook ground meat until browned, drain off any fat.  Add taco seasoning and sliced mushrooms to skillet following taco directions.

You add one cup of water and the package of taco seasoning to the  ground  meat.
Let it simmer for 15 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated.

Meanwhile, shred cheese, dice and slice peppers,
onions, and lettuce. Set aside. Once the taco meat has cooked, assemble the salad, leaving the cheese for last.  Enjoy:)                                          

Stay tuned, this weekend I'm going to make a Phase 1 friendly Burger with Fries, and Phase 1 friendly Moussaka! Phase 1 friendly means carb free and very low fat!   On a side note, I joined the Running Room and was talked into registering for a 5k marathon in Port Dalhousie on April 29th.  I haven't registered for the marathon yet, but I will.  Tomorrow is my weigh-in.  Wish me luck:)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The running (wo)man

Yes folks, that will be me:)  This past Saturday I went to meet a blog friend, Enz from Downward TrENZ.  She was incredibly lovely and has been a HUGE inspiration to me.  She began running in July and completed the Couch to 5k running program.  She can run 5 freaking kilometers.  She is my hero. I know, I know, many of you can also run 5k and are probably wondering what is the big deal.  You are all my heroes!

I have not made it a secret how much I hate exercise.  If I had to choose an exercise though, running has always appealed to me.  I picture myself running with the wind blowing through my hair and being so great at it, that I'm barely breaking a sweat. OK seriously, I know I am going to DIE while I learn to run through the Running Room clinic that I am trying to talk myself into registering for RIGHT NOW.  Registering for it RIGHT NOW means I can't back out.  We'll I can, but it would cost me almost $80 to back out.  I'm very cheap.  Once I pay the fee, I have to go...even if it kills me!

I know I need to exercise.  I even ventured out on the weekend and bought a Jillian Michaels yoga DVD.
All I can say is I  better lose "up to 5 pounds a week"  or I want my $8 back Walmart!  She has a pretty kick-ass bod that I wouldn't mind having.  I'll keep dreaming because I know deep down that I will never become so committed, that I will end up with a stomach that looks like that!  I'm going to start with the dvd, and Enz has graciously offered to go to yoga classes with me at our local community centre starting in the spring.  Yoga is flipping expensive.  The ones offered through Hamilton Parks and Recreation are a third of what they cost at a Yoga studio.

So I'm very excited but nervous at the same time.  People learn to run all the time, so why should I be any different?  I'll tell you why, because I am accident prone.  Ask any of my girlfriends whom I have vacationed with and they will tell you that I am the queen of un-coordination and it's not related to the drink.  Well, truth be told, I haven't fallen in a long time because I have learned to balance better.  However, that's for walking!  What if running means I have to reteach myself the balance thing?

I haven't run since I was forced to run the track in high school.  It was painful and humiliating.  The gym teacher should have done a learn to run clinic with us instead of just telling us to get at it.  I, being the biggest, was always last.  Not one of my finest moments.  I was more jealous of athletic people in high school than I was of the popular kids.  Even then I knew that if I could just be more athletic, I would be normal size.  I skipped 3/4 of my grade 11 gym classes...and got away with it!  I was a supreme liar when it benefited me.  Ended up doing some bogus assignment on nutrition and got a passing grade.

While I'm writing this, I'm emailing Enz.  She has confirmed that she is indeed going join me in the Running Room clinic.  So I seriously gotta run:) I have a registration I gotta take care of!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Phase 1 friendly Curried Chicken with Garlic Broccoli and Cole Slaw

So as promised, here is my Sunday dinner this week.  I love Curried Chicken.  I love my curried chicken with potatoes and served on rice.  Not allowed in Dr. Poon's diet.  So I had to make a version that I could eat.  Here once again in vivid detail, is my VERY low carb, VERY low fat version of Curried Chicken.

The best way to make Curried Chicken, is to start it the day before.  I thawed 2 packages of chicken thighs, took off all skin and cut off all fat but left the bones intact (that's where all the flavour is). Mixed up the marinade and chicken and left it over night in my fridge.  I used my slow cooker again, but you could use a dutch oven and cook this on your stove top just as easily.
It's hard for me to give measurements for the ingredients because I have always eyeballed everything.

All mixed up and ready to go in the fridge overnight.
For the marinade you will need:

  • Canola oil (3 tbsp)
  • minced garlic (1 heaping tbsp)
  • onion salt (1 tbsp)
  • crushed chilies (approx. 1 - 2 tbsp, depending on preference)
  • Curry seasoning (about 3 tbsp)
  • half salt
Again, these are just guesses on my part, you may have to tweak to meet your needs.

The next day, you will take the curried chicken from the fridge and in my case, I placed it in my slow cooker.  I added low sodium chicken stock to it (to almost cover the chicken) then set it on the 6 hour setting.  You can also bring it to boiling on your stove, then turn it right down to simmer for several hours.
Just to show you how much chicken stock I added.
After the chicken has cooked for several hours, you can add green onion and cauliflower to it.  I added these about 1/2 an hour before it was ready.  The onion was because I love onions period. And the cauliflower was to mimic the potatoes that I would normally love in Curried Chicken.

During the last half hour of cooking, I made a couple of sides to go with it.  For the coleslaw, I used the store packaged kind (you find it with the bagged lettuce).  There are carrots in it, but relax Phase 1 Pooners, it's not enough to jeopardize you in anyway.

For the coleslaw you will need:

  • one 16 oz pkg of cole slaw, or 1/4 head of a large cabbage finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. of Splenda
  • 2 tbsp of canola oil
  • 1 tsp of half salt
  • pepper to taste
Put the coleslaw in a bowl, mix all ingredients with your hands to incorporate everything really well.  Let sit 20 minutes.

My second side was Garlic Broccoli.  Basically, I just put broccoli, half salt, pepper, minced garlic and crushed chilies into a large skillet with a touch of olive oil and sauteed until al dente.
Broccoli getting ready to be cooked up!
Once the curry was done, I plated everything and we chowed down.  I of course used some Tabasco and I also used a touch of half salt on the chicken.  It was delish and the cauliflower had the same consistency that potatoes would in a curried chicken.  Yum!
This really was quite yummy:)
And I have left overs for lunch tomorrow!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Phase 1 friendly Lazy Cabbage Casserole

I grew up in a Polish/Scottish home.  My mother (Polish) was an excellent cook.  She cooked everyday, run of the mill North American fare, but also some kick ass Polish dishes.  Pirogi, Cabbage rolls, sauerkraut with kielbasa, borscht...You get the idea.  My favorite dishes were of course, the Polish ones.  Once in a while my parents would indulge in some Scottish fare as well.  I absolutely hated blood pudding...and what in the hell is haggis?

One of my favourite Polish dishes was Cabbage Rolls.  Due to the strenuous activity of making Cabbage rolls, we only ate them for holidays.  If my mom made a cabbage/ground meat dish any other time of the year, she would make Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole.  It basically tasted the same as the real thing, but only took a fraction of the time to prepare.  So how do I make a Phase 1 friendly version when I'm not allowed to use rice or tomatoes (in any form)?  I came up with this dish and my human guinea pig (aka my husband), said it was darned tasty!

Phase 1 friendly Lazy Cabbage Casserole

You will need:

  • 1 pound each of extra lean ground beef and pork
  • 1 bunch of green onions (about 6 chopped)
  • 1/2 head of large cauliflower (shredded)
  • 1/2 large head of cabbage (sliced thinly)
  • 2 packages of low sodium taco seasoning
  • Worcestershire sauce (1 tsp)
  • Tabasco sauce (optional, to taste)
  • onion and garlic powder (about 1 tbsp each)
  • less sodium soya sauce (2 tbsp)
  • low sodium beef stock (2 cups)
  • half salt to taste


  • Brown ground meat in a large skillet.  Once the meat has cooked, drain any fat (I use a colander).
  • Once meat has drained, add 2 packages of taco seasoning, shredded cauliflower, green onion, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, onion and garlic powder and less sodium soya sauce, and 1 cup of low sodium beef stock.  Mix thoroughly and cook until liquid has reduced (about 15 minutes).

This is everything added to the pan before cooking it down!

  • In the meantime, slice cabbage thin and put half on the bottom of a deep casserole dish, or your slow cooker. 

  • Once the meat has simmered for an additional 15 minutes, pour it on top of the cabbage, then add the rest of the cabbage on top of the meat mixture.  Add the remaining beef stock. Cook on high in your slow cooker, or covered tightly at 325 for 2 1/2 hours.  If using an oven, be sure to stir every 45 minutes.

The casserole assembled.
Four hours later.
Ready to eat.
I gotta say, my intention was to pig out on this because it really was tasty.  After one serving I was stuffed:) You could actually follow the same recipe and actually stuff cabbage if you felt so inclined.  Not as good as mom's but nothing ever is.  Tomorrow I'm making Phase 1 friendly Curried Chicken.  Stay tuned:)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Not fade away

Have you ever done something in your life that you regretted?  I don't regret too much about my life because I think that each mistake/error in judgement I have made, has taught me something and made me the person I am today.  And I think, despite my anal retentiveness, that I'm pretty awesome.  Ask my husband.  He would concur...or else!

There is one teeny, weeny thing that I absolutely, 100% do regret though (and my mother is frowning at me from heaven right now, saying "I told you so").  When I was 28 (1998), and enjoying my recent (and only for a short time) 100 pound weight-loss, one of my girlfriends (who shall remain nameless GA) talked me into accompanying her to a tattoo parlour so that she could do something wild and crazy since she had turned, or was turning 30.  So I went, I supported, I got bored and suddenly, I thought it was important for me to get my own tattoo.  So I did.
This was my randomly chosen tattoo. Her name is Heloise.
Notice my newly emerging collar bone as well:)
Beauty, isn't she?  No seriously, it was the worst, in a moment decision I ever made.  Not only did I randomly choose a picture (to spend eternity on my body), but I also randomly chose a sight.  Really didn't give ANY thought as to where I actually got tattooed.  If only I wasn't so modest, I should have gotten it on my ass.  No.  Instead I got it on a place where my mother was most definitely going to see it.  Believe it or not, I did dodge her for several months.  When she finally noticed and commented on it with a shrill, "Now why did you have to go and do something so stupid?", I simply shrugged and said, "What?  This old thing?  I've had this for years."  She never actually knew when I got it.

So this tattoo has been the bane of my existence for many years.  I tried to but couldn't cover it for my wedding.  I spent the whole church portion clutching a shawl around my shoulders so it couldn't be seen by my already disapproving priest.  I was married in a Catholic church and he knew that my hubby and I were living in sin prior to our nuptials.  Sight of the tattoo would have further cemented his opinion that I was nothing but a wanton hussy steering my husband into Satan's clutches.  Throughout my wedding day, there was a little voice inside my head saying "You shouldn't have gotten the tattoo".  In actuality, the voice wasn't inside my head, but my mother's constant whispers during photos, leaning into talk to me at the head table, assisting me in the bathroom.  You get the picture.  And she was absolutely right!

But I do have it, so what do I do?  Well many of you are probably thinking I should go for laser removal or perhaps try the new tattoo removal cream available at Walmart and other fine stores.  I am doing neither.  Instead, another girlfriend has talked me into actually getting it made bigger.  What?  That's right.  Since I don't want to undergo laser removal, and am not going to risk using a cream that could make it look even worse, I have instead opted to go the route of making my mother completely turn over and jump out of her grave.  I am going to get my tattoo touched up with a banner and a lovely flower added to it which will incorporate the butterfly motif.  Inside the banner will be my son's name.  If I have to have my body permanently scarred, the scar might as well be beautiful.

I have actually gone for a consultation with a tattoo artist who whipped up a drawing for me that was really quite lovely.  The banner and flower are about three times bigger than my current butterfly.  It's gonna cost $140.00, so I had to talk to my husband about it first.  I was nervous beginning that conversation and he must have sensed my unease because when I blurted out what I planned on doing, he let out a HUGE breath and said, "Whew, I thought you were going to say you wanted another baby."  He was quite supportive about me permanently scarring my body further, and thankful that we are not having another baby.

So the only thing left to decide is when to get this master piece permanently etched into my right pectoral.  Well, after taking all things into consideration, I have decided to get this tattoo when I hit my Onederwall.  I have not given myself any kind of weight-loss incentives to date.  And honestly, I'm not sure if this really is an incentive.  I mean, I have sensory issues and my first tattoo was mighty uncomfortable.  The forty minutes it took to get the tattoo done was like nails on a chalk board for me.   By my calculations, I have until spring to get my head around this.  My conscience, AKA my mother (yes we still speak regularly), tells me that maybe I should rethink this, but my heart tells me that this is the way I want to honour the love and devotion I have for my son.  My conscience and heart constantly fight, and nine out of ten times, my heart wins.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sunday Dinner

The weekend is when I do most of my cooking.  I usually cook enough to last me for a week of lunches and dinners.  I'm still eating the Sheppard's Pie that I made last weekend.  It's great for lunches and very filling.  I also always use my crock pot on the weekend.  Sunday is my grocery shopping day and my meal prep day.  Sunday is when all the magic happens!

People on the Dr. Poon diet tend to have a hard time coming up with meal ideas.  Breakfast is the easiest meal for me.  Every Sunday, when I get home from the grocery store, this is what I do:
That's right, I hard boil a dozen eggs and eat two while commuting to work every morning.
That's my breakfast everyday of the week, and let me tell you, it wasn't easy getting used to eating hard boiled eggs every morning.  I'm not really a fan.  But it's cheap and easy (the eggs, not me) and I need the protein for energy first thing in the morning.  And it only costs me $2.67 for 6 days of breakfast.  That's a deal!

For lunch on the weekends, I usually make a salad with grilled chicken and olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing.  It's simple and mindless, but it keeps me satisfied until dinner.  And dinner is usually a big production that includes a huge slab of meat and several vegetables. Sooooooo...A nice cut of meat (done up with some nice spices ie: garlic, onion powder, half salt and pepper) + low sodium beef broth = a really yummy dinner and left overs for the week!

As you can see, I really love garlic:)

I make at least two sides to accompany my roast.  Last weekend I made Garlic Creamed Broccoli, and mushrooms with green beans sauteed in olive oil.  To make the mushrooms and green beans, I put them, along with chopped garlic, half salt, pepper and olive oil in a large skillet and cook until the green beans are tender but not mushy.

To make Garlic Creamed Broccoli, you will need Broccoli, garlic powder, half salt, pepper, Light Philadelphia Herb and Garlic Creamed Cheese Spread (1 tbsp) and a touch of 10% cream.  Boil the broccoli until it is very soft (mushy). Drain it and put it back in the pot adding the remaining ingredients.  Mix until it is incorporated well and enjoy:)

So after everything is said and done, this is what we are left with...a delicious Sunday dinner, Monday dinner, Tuesday dinner, Wednesday dinner...you get the gist:)
You could add some of the au jus to the meat if you want a little extra moisture:)
I know that some of you may think that my eating must really dull if I'm eating the same dishes everyday.  I've been off carbs and sugar for so long now, that I just don't crave things anymore.  When I'm hungry, I just want to eat and will eat whatever is available without much thought.  I am no longer a slave to carbs and sugar!  I am in control and if I want to eat the same thing everyday, than dammit I will!!!!!! Thanks for reading:)

Monday, January 9, 2012

And after all, you're my Onederwall

I got a lot of feedback in regards to my post I did it my weigh.  I was overwhelmed by all the positive support.  I will talk to Dr. Stephen about how he makes me feel at my next appointment with him.  He really is a lovely man, and I know that he is trying to be supportive, but he needs to hear that I am doing the best that I can and I think I'm doing pretty damn well.  If he has quicker weight-loss aspirations for me, then we will have to agree to disagree.  I am not comfortable with losing more than 10 pounds per month.

Something I am still neglecting BIG time is my exercise regime.  And by neglecting, I mean I don't have one.  True, I take the stairs at work (always), and walk, even when it's uncalled for (ie: going with co-workers to get coffee so I can get the exercise and do the stairs), but I have no fixed fitness routine.  I need one.  The main reason why I don't exercise?  I hate it.  And by hate, I mean it is worse than having to give up all the food I love for the rest of my life!  Maybe that's a bit too harsh, but you get the gist, I don't like to exercise.  I hate the gym, hate team and individual sports...pretty much don't enjoy anything that is going to make me sweaty.

So I guess I am just plain lazy.  I agree 100%.  How do I work myself out of this funk?  Well, I do want the body of someone who does yoga.  But truth be told, I have looked into yoga classes, and until my weight goes down some more, I am not stepping foot into a beginner yoga class.  Oh the humiliation!  The closest I come to yoga right now is the yoga pants I wear on the weekend.

So what to do, what to do?  Well, a big moment for those of us over 200 pounds who are losing weight is getting to the all important milestone of Onederland.  For those of you who don't know what Onederland is, it's when your weight goes under 200 pounds.  In my ever ending quest to be different I have decided to call my Onederland the moment I hit my Onederwall (Wonderwall according to the Urban Dictionary means, an object of fascination), because I am now obsessed with reaching my goal weight.  Once I hit my Onederwall, I will enroll in beginner yoga.  

That's my promise to myself.  In the meantime, I will continue to climb the stairs and walk as much as I can.  Honestly that is way more exercise than what I did the last time I lost 100 pounds!   Happy Monday!  And here for your viewing pleasure is the total image of cuteness:)

My inspiration and wonderwall:)  The band aid is just because.
He loves wearing band aids, especially Transformers!
The scar on the other eyebrow? Split open by our old coffee table:(

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Phase 1 friendly Shepherd's Pie

I decided to start blogging a bit about what I eat.  I know there are other Poon dieters out there who read my blog (and I post it on Dr. Poon's FB page), and the question I get asked most often is, "What do you eat?"

So here, in some detail, is what I made for dinner yesterday.  My husband loved it:)

Phase 1 friendly Shepherd's Pie:

You will need:

  • 500 grams (1 pound) extra lean ground beef, or chicken, or both (I used both).
  • 1 pkg. each of spinach, mushrooms (or other veggies of your choice...nothing that grows underground though).
  • 1 head of cauliflower.
  • Low sodium taco seasoning 1 pkg.
  • Tabasco to taste (optional).
  • Light Philadelphia Cream Cheese (I like herb and garlic) 1 tbsp.
  • Canola oil 1 tsp.
  • Garlic powder or minced garlic to taste.
  • Half salt and pepper to taste.

Dr. Stephen looked at the nutritional info on this taco seasoning and told me it was fine to use.


  1. Brown ground meat in a skillet, add taco seasoning following direction on the package.  I also add some Tabasco, but I like things spicy.  Once this is cooked, spread into the bottom of a casserole dish.
  2. In the same skillet, saute mushrooms in a bit of canola oil with minced garlic, half salt and pepper to taste.  When the mushrooms are almost cooked, add fresh spinach to the skillet and cover.  
  3. When the spinach has wilted, mix with the mushrooms and use a slotted spoon to remove it from the skillet.  Add it to the casserole dish, layering it over the ground meat.
  4. Cut the cauliflower into flowerettes and put in a large pot to boil.  boil on high for about 15 minutes, until well done.  Remove from heat and drain well in colander.  
  5. Once the cauliflower has completely drained, add 1 tbsp. of light cream cheese, half salt and pepper to taste and mash until smooth with a potato masher.
  6. Add mashed cauliflower to the casserole dish, layering it over the spinach/mushroom mixture. 
  7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Yum!  This is really easy to make and was quite tasty.  I doubled the recipe and made 2 casseroles and will take it for lunch throughout the week.   Here are some pics of the finished product.  Enjoy:)

Fresh from the oven.

All the layers.
Ready to eat.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I've been tagged!

The beautiful Hyla has tagged me.  Thanks for the holla Hyla:)

Here are the rules:

  1. Post these rules.
  2. You must post 11 random things yourself.
  3. Answer the questions the tag­ger set for you in their post.
  4. Create 11 new ques­tions for the peo­ple you tag to answer.
  5. Go to their blog and tell them that you've tagged them.
  6. No stuff in the tagging sec­tion about ‘you are tagged if you are read­ing this.’ blah blah blah, you legitimately have to tag 11 peeps!

11 Random Things:

  1. I was adopted at birth by a Polish mother and a Scottish father.
  2. I met my birth mother in 2010 for the first time.
  3. I am Native Canadian.  I'm half Ojibway and half something else (my birth mother says she doesn't know).
  4. I read trashy romance novels.  The trashier, the better:)
  5. I have 2 adopted brothers, 1 adopted sisters and 6 biological half-siblings.
  6. I have a dog named Finn, and 2 cats named Baby and Smitten.
  7. I went to high school with my husband.  We met when I was 16 and he was 15.
  8. Before I worked in social services, I went to school (Loyalsit College in Belleville Ontario) to be a photojournalist.  It really was not my calling but I met one of my best friends there:)
  9. Even though I'm excited about my new lifestyle, it scares me to think about reaching my goal weight.
  10. I used to travel (pre-husband) all the time.  I went on a plane about three times a year.  I haven't been in a plane since 1997.
  11. I've been to South Africa twice.  My brother used to live there and I went once for his wedding and once for Christmas.

Questions for me to answer:

1.How do you plan on meeting your goals this year?  Are they realistic?  If so do you have high hopes of meeting them and surpassing them?

Since I made really, really basic goals, I am quite confident that I will meet them this year.  Surpassing my goals could mean that I reach my goal weight.  This may or may not happen and I'm okay with that.  The only reason I want it to happen sooner than later is so I can stop buying clothes in different sizes and be able to work on my permanent wardrobe.

2.Are you looking forward to any big events this year?

This November will mark my 10th wedding anniversary.  My husband and I are hopeful that we will renew our vows.  Even if nothing official happens, I will still have a party and wear a dress of my choosing (see Love of my Life).

3. Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?  LOL, I meant where would you like to be?

My husband constantly talks about relocating and we already relocated to Hamilton from Toronto.  He talks about Vancouver and he's really dreaming.  I like where I am now...but I would like to visit Vancouver, Scotland, Alaska, Europe, Fiji...

4.What is your favorite piece of comfy clothing?

Yoga pants.  They are my weekend staple.  

5. What is your favorite piece of "I feel hot!" clothing?

Not quite there yet...but I do like my size 16 jeans that I just bought at Walmart for $12.

6. Honestly, what are your thoughts on Facebook?

I used to be addicted.  I still go on daily, but rarely leave a "status" and can't stand it when people I'm friends with change their statuses hourly.  That's what Twitter is for people!

7. Have you ever done anything daring?  If so, what?

Although I knew my husband since high school, we didn't see each other for years and our union was quite unique.  We really rushed our courtship and basically lived together a couple of months after getting together.  

8.  What is your favorite book and author?

I have sooooo many favourite books.  My favourite author is probably Wally Lamb.  He only writes a book every few years but "I know this much is true" is definitely one of my all time favourites.  That and "To kill a mockingbird".  I never read books twice but I've read "To kill a mockingbird" more than twice.

9.  What is your favorite movie?

Two movies I can't switch from the TV if I stumble upon them are "Gone with the Wind" and "Grease".  That's right, I said Grease.  I still act like a complete fool when I watch it:)

10.  What is your favorite Disney princess or other princess?

I'd have to say Rapunzel.  Only because she's the most current one and I don't really want to think too hard about this question.

11.  Do you dream?  What about?

I dream about retiring with my husband.  We can relocate then.  The Muskokas are real pretty:)

This is a CRAZY amount of work!   Now I have to pick my tags and my questions to them.  Sheesh!

My 11 tags are:

11 questions for my tags:

  1. What was your favourite food when you were a child?
  2. What is one of your favourite quotes?
  3. What is your favourite body part?
  4. If you could stay a certain age forever, what age would it be and why?
  5. If you could chose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
  6. If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be?
  7. What celebrity do you get mistaken for?
  8. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
  9. What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
  10. What was the last experience that made you a better person? 
  11. What was the last movie, tv show or book that made you cry or tear up?