Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Shout-Outs!

Okay, I love Jimmy Fallon. And one thing that I love and laugh at is Thank You notes on Friday. Let's be honest, it's really the ONLY night I stay up to watch Fallon--because I have a job that makes me get up early.

So, this week, I am doing Friday Shout-Outs! It's kind of like Thank You notes--without the whole copyright infringement thing.  And if I figure out how to use this whole Twitter thing--I might do them there, too!

1. Shout-out to my work friend who not only treated me to a Nachos Supreme for lunch yesterday, but also bought me 4 chocolate dipped macaroon cookies from Wegmans as a Friday morning surprise--because she knows that I've been under uber stress lately.
2. Shout-out to Hollee who not only scored a new awesome employment opportunity this week--but also reached her lowest adult weight! You Go girl!
3. Shout-out to CFlick who always leaves me nice comments on my posts, and is following me on Twitter!
4.  Shout-out to my NordicTrac Pathfinder elliptical, who even though you yell at me to go "FASTER", you can't really MAKE me go faster. So there. And thanks for waiting around and collecting dust for the past 5 years while I figured out that in order to get an ROI, I need to actually invest some time in using you!
5. Shout-out to The Bloggess who's blog updates make me laugh my ass off, and who makes me wish I was as acerbic/funny/weird as she is!
6. Shout-out to Jimmy Fallon for being awesomely funny (I don't CARE what the critics say--Taxi was one of the funniest movies EVER). Even though I can't stay up to watch the Tonight Show every night, I DO watch the segments on YouTube on my phone while I'm on the elliptical.
7.  Shout-out to the Polar Vortex, for making me realize just HOW much colder you feel when you lose 80lbs--and for showing me that now I can actually wear thermals under my jeans without fear of splitting them open!
8. Shout-out to Unjury for making awesome protien powder that, when mixed with coffee, makes a wicked good cafe mocha!
9.  Shout-out to thick knit boot socks--whom I have worn more this year than ever before. You keep my feet warm, and you look cute with jeans and Birkenstocks. Sometimes, it makes me feel like I just stepped out of the pages of an LLBean catalogue--circa 1994!
10.  Shout-out to the ELB, who has been amazing this week at being my biggest cheerleader as I delve back into the world of interviewing. I love you!

So, welcome to my innaugral Friday Shout-Outs! (patent pending). Feel free to join in and do your own--or if someone has already come up with this idea and I snarfed it--well, I'm sorry, and don't forget-imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Breaking up is hard to do

Dear Corn,

We've been friends for a really really long time. You have always been a part of my life.

But lately, we've grown apart. You don't make me feel as good as you used to. In fact, without even realizing it, you hurt me sometimes. It's not you,'s me. I take responsibility for this.

I know it's going to be difficult, especially since I like to add you to so many delicious recipes, but I think it's time that we move on....apart. Don't cry for me, Corn.  You will find others who will love you as much as me...those who can still love you.  But I will never be able to replace you.

I will always love you, but I can't be with you anymore. I hope you understand, dear sweet Corn.

Au revoire, Corn. Au revoire.

Love, Luka

I will functions that include food

Yesterday, there was a huge company wide 'retreat', held offsite at a fancy schmancy country club. 

My biggest fear with these events is the need to eat to appear 'normal' in situations where I am with alot of people who know me--but none of them know about Donny.

The worst thing about these events is that everything is served buffet style--and to a food addicted person who can't eat much because of a surgically implanted device--this is a NIGHTMARE! My brain tells me "FREE FOOD" and to take as much as I can....while I know that it's going to be a disaster.

But I survived by employing some tricks I've learned over the past few months...Basically, make your plate look 'messy' so that it appears you've eaten more than you actually have. Noone seemed to have noticed that I ate hardly anything, and if they said something, I just told them that I didn't care for the ___________.

Of course, my brain sees things like Coke, and candy and cookies and junk and wants me to go balls to the wall. I felt pretty crappy yesterday afternoon--probably sugar crash because I sipped Coke Classic all day (I had 24 oz of Coke! I usually only have about 1/2 c at any given time when I do allow myself a treat). I had it over ice and was allowing it to deflate before drinking--but I think it gave me a sugar headache.

And today, I'm all bitchy and anxious and on edge and want to cry--which are CLASSIC signs of sugar/caffiene withdrawal for me.

I am back on track this morning, and have plans to stay there until Saturday when the ELB and I finally get our *special* dinner at our favorite burger place in DC. Mainly, because I am a seriously broke ass bitch right now. I'm allotting money for our meal that day, and then no more eating out for the next two weeks--everything else we will have to eat at home. I forgot my lunch today, and I'm trying to tell myself that I want to go get nachos from Taco Bell--but I'm trying to stay on track and adhere to the no eating out rule--by pulling out my 'emergency' soup from my desk drawer. But Lemon Orzo soup (bought before Donny) isn't sounding that great.

Sigh. It's seriously a CRAPTACULAR day!

Hope your day is better than mine!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Learning Curve

One thing that I'm learning with Donny having proper restriction is that the desire to eat and the ability to eat are two ENTIRELY different things.

Sometimes, I really really really want to eat something. I get in my head that I really need __________, and in my former life, I would go out and obtain said item, and consume it...sometimes in vast quantities. If I was craving a Whopper, why stop at just one, when TWO was better! Want a donut? Might as well get a half dozen--it's cheaper! Why stop at a 6-inch sub when a footlong was cheaper--and I could get a combo with chips and a drink, and yes, please add on 3 cookies! Hell, There was a time in my life when I could cook and eat half pound of pasta, a pound of turkey burger, and entire jar of Ragu--for ONE meal!

I have a problem. I can't shut off my brain when it comes to food. I don't know if this is what is classified as an addiction, but that's what I was. That's what I am.

I wake up and I want to eat breakfast. I have to remind myself over and over and over again while I'm drinking my one cup of coffee with protien powder and soy milk, that breakfast is NOT an option for me right now. That if I try to eat breakfast, then I won't be able to eat lunch or dinner--because I will surely get stuck, PB, and then have to stick with liquids and mushies the rest of the day.

Sometimes, for dinner, although I know I'm eating healthier, my mind keeps the idea that if it's healthy food, I should be able to consume vast quantities of it in one sitting. Instead of one piece of Talapia, I'll make two. Instead of one cup of chili, I'll try to eat two. When I go to a restaurant, I'll study the menu and critique the merits of one meal over another--trying to figure out which one will give me a bigger bang for my buck--the largest portion that will cause me to have less food envy with my fellow diner(s).

This is a battle that I fight against EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Having Donny has helped me TREMENDOUSLY. She reminds me that there is no way in HELL that I can eat one whole whopper, much less two--so why even get one? She tells me that if I really truly want a donut, I can have one--but I'm taking the chance of having a PB episode because of it. She has trained me that pasta is the devil and something that I would love to eat--but which is no longer an option. It doesn't stop my brain from going, "hey, lets stop and get a donut. C' KNOW you want a donut (insert other unhealthy food here)". Donny just reminds me of what I can and can't handle.

I know myself well enough to know that if I really really REALLY want something, I'm going to go out and get it....and I will try to eat it until I give up and either give it to the ELB, or put it away for later.

Is the solution perfect? No, but then again, it's better than the alternative of not having made this choice to have surgery. 81 lbs ago, I was having trouble with tying my shoes. My blood sugar was out of control. My blood pressure was high. Nothing fit. I was always hot and sweaty. And yet I was still eating...but I was eating in secret. At home with the ELB, I would eat good healthy foods..but during the work day, I would go out to lunch, eat in my car so that noone could see what  I was eating, making trips through the drive thru with an order written out on a post it note so that it looked like I was picking up for more people than just me.

I have a problem---and yet, I am the solution. Me. I have to solve my OWN problems. And I am working on it. It's a work in progress--but every day it gets easier.

Every day, I realize that if I don't finish something right this minute, it's okay--it will still be there later, if I want it. I realize that if the ELB and I get a dozen of donuts, that if I eat one right now, that I can go back later and have another one if I want it--it's still going to be there. It's okay if I have leftovers that last for more than a day. I find myself eating things three or four days later--when before, I could have eaten the whole meal in one sitting. Now I actually GET three or four meals out of something that was actually supossed to be thee or four meals.

I will never regret this decision. Ever.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday, Monday--gotta get down on Monday!

First of all, congratulations to Hollee for getting some AWESOME news this morning! I wish her the very very best of luck!
My weekend was rather unproductive. I took prescription pain meds Friday night/Saturday for my aching teeth. Combined with my Aunt Flow visit, and a headache that would NOT quit, I literally did not get off the couch and out of pajamas all day. Except when I had a manic episode and decided to drag out some bins of old work clothes to look for potential interview outfits. I fit into some things that I haven’t been able to fit into for years—two button down dress blouses, two skirts (knee length), a pair of khaki pants (the style is kind of dated but might be still wearable), and a cotton knit casual sweater for jean days. Nothing like shopping in my OWN closet. I don’t know how keen I am on the skirts—they would require tights and I really don’t like my legs and there’s still that whole chaffing issue—but still, I fit into them.
Sunday, the ELB and I took a 3 mile walk (thank you for the beautiful blue skies and sunshine!), and then stopped for milkshakes at the PotBelly. I know, it kind of defeats the purpose, but they were delicious! Of course, afterwards, I was SO stiff and sore. W.T.F. Seriously, I don’t get this sore after doing the elliptical! But it was still a good day.
I hope that everyone had a great weekend, and that you are off to an great start to your week!

Friday, February 21, 2014


It's overcast. It's rainy. It's blah. There's snow mist--you know, when you have tons of snow and it gets warm and then the snow melts but also evaporates and makes it look super foggy? Snow Mist.

A co-worker and I decided to go to Chili's for lunch. We had planned to do dessert and chips/salsa (I know, SO healthy). When we got there, she decided that nachos sounded good--and they did--but what Chili's considers nachos and what the rest of the world consider nachos are two entirely different things.

I consider an order of nachos to be a plate piled with chips, and then covered with things like cheese, beans, beef, jalapenos, sour cream, etc. Chilis considers a large order of nachos to be three taco size tortillas topped like little pizzas and cut into 4ths. So twelve little tortilla corners. For a LARGE order that costs almost $8! W.T.F.

To top it off, she didn't want to split dessert--she wanted her own--so we each ended up with a dessert (totally not the plan!). I had the molten peanut butter cake. It was okay, but not awesome. It was hard and chewy in places where it was overcooked. The peanutbutter didn't look very peanutbuttery.

The grand total for this little excursion? $27 for one appetizer, two sodas, and two desserts. I about to hit the floor! And the service SUCKED. I felt bad, but we only left a $3 tip on a $27 bill. Our waitress was non-existent. We will not be back for a while.

My teeth still hurt, even with the vicodin script my dentist called in. I think Aunt Flow is eating all the pain meds before they make it back up to my head. Bitch. So I'm feeling no pain in the ovary area--but my gums are throbbing.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My new favorite color

So, my new favorite color is.....GREEN!

I know that I mentioned it yesterday, but in two months, despite the chocolate and cookies and all the other junk I've been eating, I still had a loss of 7.8 lbs over two months.

My surgeon is happy with my averaging 1lb per week loss. I'm happy, because for the first time in almost 6 years, I'm UNDER the 350 mark. This was actually the first real weight loss 'goal' that I set for myself--to get out of the 350's and into the 340's.

I still plan to only weigh at the surgeons office.  I am afraid that if I start weighing at home, I'll become scale obsessed.  Besides, I can just show up any time during office hours and get on the scale--no appointment necessary--if I really really really want to know.

Today, I went to a (dessert) reception for someone leaving the company. There was a SPREAD of cookies (at least 4 kinds!), two cakes covered with that delicious sugary fat butter cream frosting and filled with mousse and covered with those huge technicolor icing flowers, red ripe strawberries with dark chocolate for dipping, a soda bar, brownies, and water.

I had two strawberries, a slice of cake (minus the cake--I just ate the frosting and filling), and two bottles of water.

I'm having some pain issues with my dental work, and it's kind of hard to eat anything that requires tons of chewing right now.

But I got two compliments about how good I look from people that I don't see very often, so that was nice.

So, I'm going to set myself a goal to register at least a 10lb loss by next surgeon appointment in April. That's totally doable. Secretly, I'm going to be shooting for 19lbs, but officially, the goal is 10.

I'm going to make the conscious effort to walk more now that the snow is *finally* melting, elliptical more on days that I can't walk, and eat less sugar. Those are simple goals, and easily obtainable.

So, here's to continued days of Green---green for spring, green for grass, and green for the happy band place I think that I am.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The choices we make

Last night, I had the opportunity to catch up with a good friend that I haven't seen since last July.

We had our weight loss surgeries one day apart. She had RNY. I chose to get a LapBand.

As my blog has shown, the Band is not the easiest way to lose weight. Can you be successful? Yes, but it takes alot of hard work. Am I even halfway to my goal at almost 1 year out? No. I knew going in that weight loss with the Band is slower, and that it typically takes two years to reach your goal. My goal was to lose 200 lbs in total, from where I started (428lbs). I am about 19lbs away from losing the first 100lbs of my overall goal--the majority of which I lost prior to surgery. But it all counts in the end--weight lost is life gained!

My friend started a bit smaller in size than I did (she was in a size 26 when she started the pre-classes). By the time she had surgery, she had lost so much weight that she had to stop before surgery so that her BMI would remain high enough for her to still be eligible.

Now, she's in a size 6.  From a 26 to a 6 in 11 months. She looks amazing. And deep down inside, there is the tiniest little part of me thinking, I could have had that kind of success and be at/near goal right this minute, if I had made her choice.

Do I regret the choices that I have made to go with the LapBand over the RNY? No. I have my reasons for the Band. And so far, it's working (better now that I think I have proper restriction). Will I reach my goal by 3/25/2015? I don't know--maybe. It's not impossible. I know what I need to do, it's just a matter of finding the time and money to be able to commit to a gym. It's a matter of making the right food choices.

My surgeon is happy with my progress. He says that being consistant is more important that huge dramatic loss with the Band. I'm averaging about 1lb per week. I lost 7.8 lbs from December 18 to today. And considering that I'm bloated from my Aunt Flow showing up tonight, well, I'm very happy with the scale today.

When I texted my friend this morning and told her how much I had lost, she texted me back, "FANTASTIC, Luka! I am so flippin' proud of you (although I couldn't NOT be proud)! You are doing this the right way, occasional milkshake and all. Above all, keep listening to your own intuition and feelings. Can't wait to see you again in March or April!".

Sometimes, I forget that even though I chose to tell only a few people about my surgery, the support that they give is priceless.

Here's to sunny days and good friends...and a scale that continues to inch downward!  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I'm beat like a dead horse today. I stayed up late to watch the Ice Dancing finals, then decided to stay up to watch Jimmy Fallon. When you get to bed after 1am, a 5:30 wake up call comes WAY too fast!

I had to run an errand at lunch, and ended up stopping at 7-11 for their make your own nachos. You know, the ones that come in the container that you put cheap liquid cheese and hot dog chili on? Yeah, those. Sigh. I feel like I have absolutely NO restriction today. But I didn't finish them! #smallNSV

I'm meeting a friend after work today to catch up. She is the one that was most instrumental in me choosing to go forward with getting surgery. Because of her, I started my OWN journey. Although she went with the RNY and has had massive success--she is gorgeous by the way--I'll always be thankful for her for inspiring me to do this, also. It will be nice to talk since I haven't seen her since she moved to NJ last July.

My mouth is still sore from dental work. Thanks to my totally gross and unhealthy lunch choice, I'll probably not eat anything at Panera tonight--maybe just stick with a cup of tea. But maybe a bowl of onion soup won't be too bad. Plus it would be protien. I'll see how I feel at 4:30.

Pensive about my appointment tomorrow at the surgeons. Will post when I get to work with updated numbers!

I'm having BABL (broke ass bitches lunch) with my work girls tomorrow. The one girl doesn't know it, but me and the other girl planned a little birthday party for her with pizza and cupcakes. I hope that I don't have any PB issues.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday....with some Sun!

So, the weather has cleared out again for the day--just in time for another storm system to roll in tonight and hit us with more snow/sleet in the overnight hours--sure to make my commute tomorrow a HUGE PAIN.

Thanks, Mother Nature! I just LOVE not knowing from day to day what I will and won't be able to eat.

Guess what? Today, I'm tight again. Seriously, it's like I'm playing Jenga with sadistic little moles called Mother Nature (weather), and Mother Nature (period). I just can't win. Since I was able to eat solid protien last night, I had some chicken with cream of chicken 'gravy' and mashed potatos. Yummo!

Today, I struggled to get down protien coffee and runny Cream of Wheat. I have a dentist appointment this afternoon in which THREE teeth are being ground down and molded for crowns. Yeah, fun. So, I'm pretty sure that after that trauma, I will not be up to eating anything solid tonight, temp crowns or not. All three teeth are consecutive--results of my grinding grinding grinding at night.

In other news...well, I guess that's really it. Anticipated mouth trauma. Impending weather. Impending period.

My pants feel looser--but I didn't mean to schedule my surgeons appt during Aunt Flow week. I try to not, since I gain from bloating--and I don't think I get an accurate weight reading when I do. Oh well. Maybe I'll have a good loss and even with bloating it will still show on the scale.

My thoughts of getting an unfill are null and void. On days when the weather is good, my restriction is fine. It's only the past few days that it's been wreaking havoc on my life.

I will keep my restriction where I am, go get weighed, and then schedule my next appointment at two months out. I will be at 11 months post-op on next week. Countdown to the 1 year Bandiversary!

Happy Monday!  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

And now it's gone...

And just like that, the storm clears out and the sun comes back and my super tightness is back to my normal restriction.

I had my protien mocha with no issues. I had 1/2 cup black bean soup with no issues.

The ELB did bring me a strawberry milkshake last night and I enjoyed every sip. But now I should be ok for solid protein.

Everyday is a learning experience with a band.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

BAM! It's back!

Yesterday was good. The sun came out and the weather cleared. It was gorgeous. I had solid protein...beef and turkey. I had some mushrooms and onions. Restriction was there but not so tight that I slimed on liquid...but I did have a closecall with the fewFrench fries but survived.

This morning, I'm tight again. Another storm system moved in today. I got stuck on my Unjury cafe mocha. WTF. Its warm protein. Nothing solid. Sigh.

Aunt Flow will be here Tuesday. She always tightens me up. But the weather is really doing a number on me.

Fingers crossed that I don't gain from slider foods. I know what the issue is if I gain.

I'm staying away from solid today. I have the black bean soup from the other week in the crock pot (from the freezer) for later. If that doesn't work I'll stick with chicken Unjury.

I also woke up severely congested with massive ear pain. Suphedrine is helping but it was hard to get down. The drainage wake me up with a huge coughing fit this morning.

Happy snowy crappy Saturday.

Update: I made instant mashed potatoes and McCormick brown gravy for dinner. OMG. So good. And I was able to eat them without any issues. The black bean soup made me slime and pb immediately. Funny why things like peanut butter crackers and cookies have no issues  when you have massive restriction but one bite of healthy soup is bad.
I seriously don't understand my band sometimes.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's day!!

I'm sending all of my lovely supporters rose scented wishes and chocolate dreams today.

Happy days to you all!

I spent today with the ELB. We slept late. We went to lunch at Boardwalk fries where I had 10 fries and half of a double cheeseburger. I've eaten two boxes of Sweethearts and two macaroon cookies. It's been a great day. I hope you all enjoyed your day no matter how you chose to celebrate.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Low barometric pressure

I'm super tight. I go for my follow up next week for my surgeon. I wonder if I should get a tiny unfill. I've been at the same restriction since November but lately I've noticed that I'm struggling to get down 64 oz of water a day. I'm waking up with reflux at night. When I get tight like this I'm having trouble eating soup. I'm sliming on soup.

I'll wait till next week at my scheduled appointment. I won't starve. And maybe when the low pressure system moves out which is hitting at the exact same time as aunt flow showing up in 5 days I'll be back to happy land and hopefully showing a loss. And all thoughts of getting an unfill will be unnecessary.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The things we do when we are tired

Last night, I didn't get to bed until after 2am.  I wake up at 5:30.

Today, I am not doing too badly, but then again, I convinced myself that to get through the morning, I would need breakfast. More specifically, a McDonalds McGriddle with coke breakfast.

I did not get said McDonalds breakfast--but I did get a bacon/egg/cheese biscuit from Chickfila and a medium Dr. Pepper.

I KNOW that I can't eat solid food in the mornings. And yet I continue to think that some days, I should be able to. I WANT to. It took me over an hour, but I ate my biscuit bit by tiny bit.  I had a few close calls with sliming when I took a sip of my drink (I know, cardinal band rule #1), but I was able to not have any episodes.

Soup is on the horizon for lunch--if I'm even hungry at that point.

The snow is coming hard and fast and should be here tonight and all day tomorrow. How much will we get? Who knows.  The latest predictions put us in the range of anywhere from 6 inches - 14 inches. It's all just a crapshoot. The only thing for relative certain is that it will definitely arrive--unlike the two storms over this past weekend that kind of fizzled out without any real impact.

I'm ready to get this day done. I want to go home, do my elliptical, and then hunker down with the ELB for snuggles on the couch.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy new week!

Sorry for the non-post yesterday--it was a cray-cray day. I was out of the office more than I was in it, thanks to some scheduling done by people higher than myself that had me off-site twice.

I read an article over the weekend in the newpaper about how people tend to lose more weight during the week than on weekends. I think that this ties back into my theory of M-F it's easier to stick with healthy eating, mainly because of the structure of a work day, as opossed to weekends where you tend to have free time and get off schedule. At least, this is true for me. It also said that people shouldn't freak out about seeing a small gain over the weekend, as long as their healthy eating habits were back in place on Monday.

Anyways, I've been rocking some mad (good) restriction since yesterday. I had my protien coffee for breakfast, and then didn't eat anything until 3:30pm. And even then I wasn't really 'hungry' but I knew it was time to eat. I had a chicken salad wrap, minus the wrap, and then dinner was a chicken breast. I tried to eat some grits, and I did--but I wished I hadn't. I love me some grits, but I just wasn't feeling them yesterday at all.

This morning, I'm sticking with coffee only, as I am supossed to go to Noodles with my coworker for lunch. However, as I have learned, I can't EAT noodles any more. I'm wary of going for this reason, but it's really more for the time to catch up than for the food. I'll order something and then just pick out the veggies and protien and hope she won't notice. Well, that's the plan, anyways. Fingers crossed I don't have any PB or sticking issues.

I made cheesy chicken enchilada soup over the weekend. The base was pretty much the broccoli cheddar soup recipe, but I swapped out broccoli for onions, green/red peppers, a can of diced chili's, and a can of drained shredded chicken breast. And I tossed in a can of Northern white beans for protien. It turned out pretty good.

Anyways, it's Tuesday. Hope you're having a good one!

Update: I did exactly what I said I would do at lunch. I ordered a meal (Japanese pan noodles with shrimp) and I used chopsticks to 'play' with my food. I hate some very small pieces of vegetables, and even with chew chew chewing I could feel the sliming start. I stoppped eating, just played with my food, and then packed it up to go. I have massive selfcontrol to not start spewing slime--I literally forced myself to swallow it back down and I PRAYED it would stay down. The impending weather has really tightened things up today, so I'm just lucky I got through that.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Vegetarian Lasagna

Was a TOTAL hit! If you make it, I hope you like it!

Lukas Totally Rad Totally Vegetarian Noodle Free lasagna!
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
3-4 cups of Vegetables of your choice, chopped
--I used Onion, Red and Green Bell Peppers, Carrots, Celery, and mushrooms
1 can of diced tomatos
1 spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded (if you need the recipe for this, let me know)
Olive Oil
1 c Fat Free Ricotta
1 c Fat Free Cottage Cheese
½ c Shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese (finely shredded allows more even distribution)
2 eggs
Italian herbs (optional, to taste)
Salt/pepper/garlic powder (to taste)

Beat eggs and mix in ricotta, cottage cheese, and parmesan cheese until blended. Set aside in fridge.

Cook your spaghetti squash, and then shred. Place in a strainer over sink or bowl to allow excess water to drain out. You can also put on a layer of paper towels on a plate. You might also want to gently squeeze any excess water out before adding to the dish

In large skillet, sauté your vegetables (except squash) with olive oil and a pinch of salt until tender. Make sure to cook out as much liquid as possible. I had about 3 cups of vegetables total going in. Once cooked to your desired consistency, add the can of tomatoes, jar of pasta sauce, garlic powder and Italian herbs if using. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce heat and let cook until flavors meld.

Allow sauce to cool slightly, and then begin the lasagna assembly process. I used an 8x8 glass Pyrex dish.

Spray lightly with Pam. Layer from the bottom: Sauce, thin layer of mozzarella, egg/cheese mixture, spaghetti squash, more sauce (I added the top layer of mozzarella 15 minutes before I took out of teh oven to keep it from getting too browned).  This pretty much came up to the top of the dish. I placed on a baking sheet (to catch drips) and baked on 375 for about 1.25 hours (75 minutes). Remove from Oven, and allow toset up for at least an hour, if not longer.

Both friends absolutely LOVED it. And I think it was pretty darn good, too! An 8x8 pan will make 9 perfect portions.  It may get a little watery if you don’t drain the squash enough.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

What is up with this restriction?!?!

My brain is telling me to eat. Alot. Like, I wanted to stress eat yesterday. My tummy goes, "back away from the cake, bitch". Yeah, me and Donny have that kind of love/hate relationship. She loves it when I follow the rules. It makes her happy. It makes me happy, too--but sometimes, my brain is like, "WTF, why can't you eat that?" And Donny is all like, "Not on MY watch!".

The constant shifting from high to low to high pressure systems is really wreaking havoc on my head and tummy. One day, I can eat a slice of cheese pizza (not the crusty end, though), and the next, one small bite and I'm sliming and PB'ing.

Yesterday, I had trouble eating soup at lunch--but was able to eat two hawiaan rolls for dinner with no trouble.

Yeah, I'm all over the place with that. Very frustrating.

Today, I'm feeling restricted. I knew it when I woke up. So, going to try to stick with as much soft and liquids as possible to take the strain off while we count down to the huge impending weather system slated to hit this weekend.

I know that my restriction really gets amped up during the week of my Aunt Flow. That seems to be pretty common. But does anyone, other than me, have restriction based on barometric pressure? I get barometric pressure migrains, usually in the summer, but I don't see alot of people talk about their bands getting tighter with impending weather changes.

In other news, I made vegetarian noodle-free lasagna for my girls lunch tomorrow. I was also requested to make bread pudding. I did both last night, since I'll be out late tonight. If the lasagna turns out as good as I hope it will, I'll post the recipe. :)

Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

That worked *crazy* good!

So, my recipe turned out AMAZING. I ended up adding just a little bit of cornstarch for thickening, and some corn. So. Good.

Here's the recipe if you want it. I used a crock pot and cooked it for a crazy long time on low. However, you probably don't need to cook it as long as I did.

Luka's Crazy Good Black Bean Soup
2 cans of black beans--one with juice, the other rinsed and drained
1 can of Rotel
1 can chicken broth
carrots, onions, celery--I used 3 stalks of celery, 1/2 of a medium onion, and 6 baby carrots but you can really use as much or as little as you want--if you want to use at all
1 pack of taco seasoning
garlic powder
1 TBSP corn starch
1/2 cup corn (either canned or frozen)
1 tsp sugar (optional but I used it to offset the acidity)

Saute carrots, onions and celery until slightly tender. Add black beans, Rotel, and chicken broth. Use a potato masher to smoosh up the beans. Add taco seasoning, garlic powder (to taste), a pinch of salt, and sugar. Cook on low heat, or put in crock pot. I cooked it for about 18 hours on low, but you could achieve the same results by cooking on the stove top with a low simmer for a shorter period of time.

The broth will remain kind of thin, but you can mix the cornstarch with a little bit of cold water until blended, then stir into the soup. I would suggest doing this 30 minutes to 1 hour before eating. If you are cooking on a stovetop, you will want to stir more often after this step to prevent it from burning. This is also when I added the corn. Continue to cook until you are ready to eat. The cornstarch will thicken it up beautifully.

I topped it with a dab of greek yogurt and a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese.

If you try it, let me know how it worked for you!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Crazy Weather!

We are *supossed* to get anywhere from 3-6 inches of snow today. Right now, it's pouring down rain. To the north of us, they are getting hit hard with snow. My boss, who lives north, has already left for home since there was 4 inches at her house already.

Still waiting to see if we will get any actual snow, or will just get the rain. I'm fingers crossed for rain.

I put the blackbean soup in the crock pot last night on low. Of course, I didnt' follow the recipe. I never really do. Recipes are just suggestions. I change them around all the time, and sometimes they work out awesomely, and sometimes they are good, but not a keeper.

The Panera black bean soup that I had for lunch one day last week was delicious. But as I was making it from the 'knock off' recipe I got online, I was thinking of things that I could do to make it more hearty. So, instead of just using chopped red pepper, I used red and green bell peppers. I also added onion, carrots, and celery. The recipe called to use two cans of black beans, in juice. Do you know how much sodium is in the juice on canned beans? So instead, I only used one with the juice, and the other can was rinsed and drained and I used a can of chicken broth instead. I also added a can of Rotel tomatos with chilis, and used half a pack of taco seasoning since I don't actually have chili powder or cumin on hand. I smooshed up the beans with the potato masher so that they would help to thicken the soup without having to add corn starch--but I will probably have to add a little to get the right consistancy--or maybe I'll add some uncooked quinoa instead as a thickening agent. I haven't decided that yet. I will be eating it for dinner tonight. I'll let you know how it turns out, and whether or not to post the entire recipe (well, I kind of already did, didn't I?).

Happy Monday.