Rib Eye Steaks

A simple, delicious steak.
A simple, delicious steak.

On almost any diet I have ever done, I found it pretty hard to have a nice big steak. So many calories, I thought.  Since calorie counting is my lifetime plan, I approach things like steaks, quite differently now. After all, I want to have steak in my life.  So I better learn how to make it work with calorie counting.

Tonight, Glenn grilled some mouth-watering rib eyes!  They were quite large, we got them from Sam’s Club.  About an inch thick. At first I thought, I would just have steak and nothing else.  Then I thought, we won’t do this too often. So I just won’t bother with calorie counting tonight.  Finally I realized that I have a great little electronic digital scale.  And I could weigh out my meal in nothing flat.

I had saved up my calories almost all day in anticipation of our meal. I decided that I would eat my whole steak, not just half.  And I would have all the trimmings.  So my plan was to weigh my meal and enjoy it.  I would look up my totals afterward. I was not sure exactly what I was getting myself into, and I decided that if I went over, I would deal with it.

So I got the potatoes ready and Glenn brought in the steaks.  Here is how I weighed out my meal:

  1. I got out a clean plate, set it on my scale and turned it on.  The scale set to 0, and I set it to measure in grams.
  2. I cut the end off of my steak, to give to Valentine, my dog.
  3. I lay my portion on the clean plate and with pen and paper handy, I quickly jotted down the number on the scale.  Then I tared the scale, which set it back to 0.
  4. I left my steak on the plate and added my potato, wrote down the number, and tared the scale again.
  5. I dipped up an enjoyable amount of butter, wrote down the number, and tared the scale.
  6. I added a nice dollop of sour cream, wrote down the number.
  7. Then I put Valentine’s piece on my plate.

It probably took a total of about 1 minute to do all that.  And now I had the valuable information I needed to see what it all came up to.

I sat the numbers aside and enjoyed my nice, warm meal.  It was delicious, and so satisfying!  I cut Valentine’s portion in very small pieces, so that I would not get it mixed up with mine.  And I just dropped her a little piece on the floor every so often.  We all ate together 🙂 I thanked Glenn for the wonderful steaks, then afterwards, I did my calculations.

I went to Google and typed in “beef”.  They have fabulous nutrition information, right there on the search page.  They had a way to count rib eye and I was able to get a very close idea of the calories in my steak.  I followed by typing “potato”, “butter”, and “sour cream” into Google.  I had numbers listed by grams for everything I ate and I was able to know exactly how many calories I had consumed.  

It turned out to be about 840.  Not bad at all!  I actually have calories left over tonight. I’ll eat some veges and fruit, as to get my requirement of fiber.  I’ll have to take a small calcium pill, in order to get enough for the day. Of course, I have plenty of protein.  I will still have almost 400 calories left, and I think I will have a Snickers and Dr. Pepper.

I love calorie counting!  It is a wonderful way to undo that old diet mentality, and learn how to eat again!  If you are in the market for an electronic, digital food scale, I can get you one of premium quality, at a fair price.  Just comment on this story and let me know.

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Keeping Track

When I first started counting calories, I had an aversion to the idea of weighing and measuring my food.  And I didn’t want to write anything down, either!  It all just seemed like too much bother.  I strung a few days together by just estimating. Then it occurred to me, I was doing all this hard work and I didn’t even know if I was eating the right amounts that would cause me to have a good weight loss! At that point, I knew I was going to have to do better, but I still wanted to keep things simple.

I needed to keep a temporary record of my calorie consumption each day, and I chose to use a 4×6 index card to do this.  I like the index card because it is small and has body.  So it holds up well throughout the day, and there is plenty of room to write everything on there that I need to put down.

I always begin my day by writing down the day of the week on the upper, left corner of the front side of my card.  Then, in the remainder of the space, i just jot down numbers, no words.  I use 2/3 of the card to write down calories and subtotals.  When I have a subtotal, I draw a square around that number.  And I use the remaining 1/3 of the card to total everything up.

index card - front view
index card – front view

Not long after I began counting calories, I became interested in eating a balanced diet each day, as well.  On the back side of my card, going the long way, I make 3 columns, and I just jot down the number of grams of fiber and protein and the percentage of calcium that I find on the nutrition label for my serving, of the things that I eat throughout the day.  This helps me decide what to eat as the day goes by.

index card - back view
index card – back view

By the end of the day, the card is used up and I have usually come within very close range of my daily allowances for calories, fiber, protein, and calcium.  Now I can throw it away, knowing that I really have done well that day, or how far I went over, if I did.  I don’t like to write down words, because that can get tedious.  This needs to be a quick thing that just helps me keep track of the numbers.  And it really works well.

Weighing my foods and writing things down is important.  If I do not keep up with what I am eating, I doubt I would be having much success.  It insures that I am getting the right amount of calories, fiber, protein, and calcium.  And it is also teaching me what a normal portion looks like.  So if I get in a situation where I cannot count my nutrition, I will at least be able to make a good estimate.

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Thinking it Through

Be Your Own Good Parent
Be Your Own Good Parent

Last night I had a hard time sleeping and stayed up very late.  After awhile I got physically hungry, but I had no calories left, and I found myself craving all kinds of rich foods.  

I did ok by just ignoring the cravings for awhile.  And to help with the hunger, I ate a can of sliced beets. I really like beets.  The pickled variety contains a lot of sugar, but these were just plain sliced beets. They are a relatively low calorie vegetable, loaded with good nutrition.  For that reason, I did not worry about the few calories that they do contain.  Eating them helped my hunger pangs.  But I was working on technical stuff, and some things were not going my way. That added a little stress to the equation, so the cravings returned with a vengeance.

I started zeroing in on all the good things we have to eat in the house and my focus settled on the Fritoes Scoops and a small amount of Hot Bean Dip that was left in the fridge.  Again, I had no calories left for that at all and after the beets, I can’t say that I was really, physically hungry anymore.  Still, they were calling my name.  I almost got them out and ate them, but mentally, I was trying to talk myself out of it.

Finally, I like to think I took the leadership role with my inner child. First I said, “Ok, just go stretch out on the couch and think about this for a few minutes”.  That was a really helpful tactic.  Because while I was lying there, I thought of things like, what all I had eaten that day, and how I have already lost 11 – 1/4#, and how I wanted to see a loss on the scale tomorrow morning,…  So it refreshed me a little and kind of balanced my mood.  Then I said, “Ok, you can have the fritoes and bean dip in the morning.  Right now, have a glass of tea, and in the morning, have the fritoes and bean dip for breakfast”.

Interestingly, this few minutes of rest allowed me some time to settle down, so pretty soon after that, I just got up and quickly cleaned the kitchen.  Then I went to bed.

The adult in me did prevail.  And the scale showed a 1/4# loss this morning, which I am very happy about!  For breakfast, I enjoyed Fritoes Scoops and Hot Bean Dip 🙂  I suppose I could have bribed my inner child if I had needed to.  “Put this off until morning and you can order a book from Amazon”. Something like that. Whatever works!!

Calorie counting requires a little bit of self-discipline from time to time. Sometimes you just have to gently put your foot down and be your own good parent.  I’m beginning to realize, it is important to love and care for yourself as you would, your own child.

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Fighting Back on Tough Days!

healthysnacksAt 7:00 this evening, I had only 50 calories left for my day.  That’s not good, because I usually have about 500 left at that time of day.  But I was busy at 7:00, so it really wasn’t a big deal.  The problem came around 10:00 pm, at which time I am accustomed to sitting down to a nice, late supper.  I knew it was going to happen, and sure enough, it did.

There are several good things to eat in our house right now.  We have zucchini bread, Fritoes and bean dip, pimento cheese and Wheat Thins, Sunchips,… to name a few.  When I have the calories to spare, I Iike to include a couple of things off that list, but tonight I had nothing!!  And I was seriously considering that zucchini bread.  After all, i was probably going to blow it, anyway!  Then I thought about how I have stuck my neck out pretty far on this whole calorie counting thing, and that gave me a little desire to try harder.  I guess accountability is a good thing!

Instead of blowing it, I decided to work on this Calorie Crusader email, which is kind of like journaling, it helps me a lot!  I usually write it on Friday mornings, but I thought now would be a good time to get busy doing something, since I am not extremely tired at the moment.

First, I looked over my notes that I have accumulated throughout the week.  Then, I sat down at my computer with a bottle of cold water and 3 slices of Oscar Meyer boiled ham. That’s 70 calories worth of ham.  And the reason is, I have noticed that pure protein not only makes me feel better when I am so hungry that I feel kind of sick, but it  also kills unwanted cravings.  So I ate the ham,  and I am sipping on the water as I write this.  I can still have fruits and veges tonight too, because I never count those.  I now  feel like I am out of the woods!!  I was just having a pity party, I guess.

You wouldn’t believe how many times in the past I have “chosen the zucchini bread”.  And then the chips and everything else would follow, because, “oh well”!  That’s the wrong attitude and I call it a “diet mentality”.  Fighting through this evening has given me a fresh focus on my goal.  And my goal is, to make a permanent place for calorie counting in my life!  So it’s good to be learning some tricks that work.

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Calorie Counting and…

An Important Calorie Counting Tool
An Important Calorie Counting Tool

Hope y’all are having a good week!! It has gone pretty well for me. The plumbing disaster is resolved, now. My mom had her 88th birthday and we had a family party. That presented some challenges but I came through it ok and actually lost weight this week.

For the party, my sister brought everyone a hamburger from Dairy Queen and potato salad and Tres Leche cake from HEB. I partook in all of it and planned to not eat anything else that day, hoping not to go over too far.

After I got home, it occurred to me that Dairy Queen would have their nutrition posted online. So I googled “dairy queen hunger buster nutrition”. It took me right to a nutrition page for everything on the dairy queen menu. So I did get my proper count on that. HEB did not have the nutrition info on the cake box. I googled that too, “HEB tres leche cake calories”. Again, it showed me right away, what I needed to see. I googled “HEB mustard potato salad”. 3 for 3, I got all the information I needed. Very easily, I might add. It turns out that I did not go over on calories, but it was close, the rest of the day I just ate vegetables and drank tea. Woke up the next morning, and the scale showed a loss!! Calorie counting with google is awesome!!

Type the word, “egg” in the address bar, and right on the search page, google has placed some wonderful, reliable nutrition facts all about the egg. Including the calorie count. Type “apple”, “avocado”, “cheese”, “milk”, “butter”, “sugar”, “beef”, “rice”, …. Any natural food will give you a similar result in google. Fabulous help for calorie counting. Google was able to help me get through Mom’s party and I use it daily to look up one food or another.

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Staying Focused

Stay Focused on your Goal
Stay Focused on your Goal

In times of stress, it is difficult for me to stay focused on calorie counting. I may get in a hurry and not count my calories, or not weigh or measure my amounts. I may crave foods that tend to eat up my calorie allowance too quickly. That’s kind of how the last couple of days have gone.  I believe however, that taking a day off from calorie counting, really is not a terrible calorie counting problem.

What I do think though, is that it is important to get right back with it. I can think of all the many diets I have ever tried, and if I ever got off the diet, that was pretty much the end of that diet. But I am taking another approach here. I am learning how to live realistically with calorie counting.

There are always going to be stressers in life. So yeah, I might take a day off from calorie counting. But the important thing is that I get back with it right away. And try, try not to get off track very often!! Since this is a lifestyle change and not a temporary diet, I have decided that I may not be an “A” student at this every day. some days I may be a “C” student. I’m still going to graduate, though!!

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Healthy Feet

Healthy Feet are Important
Healthy Feet are Important

I just figured out something that works really good for me and might work good for you too. At this juncture, with my weight being what it is and just with being older, I am unable to clean my feet very well. And they get really dirty sometimes.   So it occurred to me that a dish brush might work well for that. I had an extra and I tried it just now. It helped a lot . Did an excellent job!! This one I got at Wal-Mart. It is white with blue and white bristles and a long handle. Kind of a medium soft bristle. It did the trick and I am sitting here staring at my nice clean feet. Which I have not been able to do in a long time. Hope this will be a help to you.

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