About Wednesday of this week was the point that I realized how much I was struggling to get my calorie ingestion to a reasonably higher level. While I wasn’t entirely hungry after dinner, I added a bowl of ramen to get my calorie count to a more reasonable level.

I think the big problem this week had something to do with us running out of flax milk halfway through the week. Thankfully, this week, I shouldn’t have as difficult a time reaching a calorie count that is low enough to continue losing weight, but is high enough that it’ll be sustainable.

Lunch

1 slice tomato and spinach frittata

Total calories: 190

Afternoon snack

1 Empire apple

Total calories: 80

Dinner

1 serving chicken tetrazzini
1 bowl spicy chicken ramen

Total calories: 330 + 380 = 710

Dessert

1 serving peach strawberry cobbler
1 serving low-fat vanilla ice cream

Total calories: 260

Daily total calories

1240

As I said in my last post, I’ve been craving wicked amounts of comfort food lately. I think part of it is my body trying to figure its way through the jungle that is Weight Loss Lane, and the other part is primarily the changing seasons. Fall always tends to inspire heavenly dishes that can unfortunately be loaded with too many bad things. And I think part of that urge for most people is just simple science: Our bodies feel warmer when we have a decent amount of fat on them, and we needed that fat as insulation for the winter.

I kind of don’t want to be fat anymore, though, hence the reason I’m finding my way down Weight Loss Lane.

Despite this urge for comfort food, I’ve managed to find ways to get that comforting sort of food without necessarily breaking the diet bank to do it. It’s comforting to step on the scale in the morning and see it a good pound down from the previous day, and I attribute that to two things:

  • Eating cleaner and healthier (and tracking things I eat religiously), and
  • Hopping back into exercise

Now, my body is basically killing me because I’m out of shape as hell, but I know from previous experience that the extreme soreness will eventually pass. I’ve got my handy-dandy step/calorie burn tracker and its online tracking system to help me make sure that I’m eating at or under my limit for the day to ensure I meet my weight loss goals (and it gives me my limit, making it easier for me to make sure I’m not overeating).

So lately, we’ve had stuff like chicken tetrazzini to make me feel like I’m getting that comfort food that I want, and I have cookbooks that help put me make these recipes healthier.

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When I woke up this morning, something in me just craved comforting food. Maybe it’s the grey skies. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s getting cooler. Maybe it was the cookie butter that arrived in the mail.

I know that mug cakes are a bit outdated, but damn if something in me doesn’t just love ’em. They’re a great option that I can healthify if I need something sweet in the afternoon, and they’re always there if I underestimate how much dessert I should make for the week — meal prep is on Sundays, and while I almost have it down to a science, sometimes I’m a bit off…or sometimes, the husband (lean as he is, lucky guy) sneaks a second helping.

Most mug cakes, though, really aren’t healthy, especially because the best ones usually use some form of fat to help keep the cake moist. I’m definitely not fat-phobic; a certain amount of healthy fats are good for you! But it really ups the amount of calories in a single serving. For those of us watching our waistlines, there are ways to make sure we end up with that same gooey treat…just a bit better for us.

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This is currently just today’s plan (I’ve only eaten lunch and my afternoon snack); I’m currently looking for another light snack or two that will put me above 1100 calories for the day, so I’ll edit this later to include that information.

Lunch

20 fl oz unsweetened flax milk
1 scoop vanilla meal replacement powder
1 scoop chocolate meal replacement powder
2 tablespoons chocolate PB2

Total calories: 216

Afternoon snack

1 Empire apple

Total calories: 80

Dinner

1 serving zucchini lasagna*
1 slice whole wheat bread

Total calories: 388

Dessert

1 serving spiced peach and strawberry crisp, modified**
1 serving low-fat vanilla ice cream

Total calories: 260

Daily calorie total

944

* Zucchini lasagna made with 1 cup textured vegetable protein prepared with vegetable broth and fat-free ricotta cheese
** Crisp modified from peach crisp recipe, found in Weight Watchers’ What to Cook Now cookbook, using 48 oz peaches, 12 oz strawberries, 1/2 sugar and 1/2 erythritol, and rolled wheat flakes

Update to seed milk trials: Sunflower seed milk definitely has a sunflower seed taste to it, but when paired with meal replacement powder, it’s not entirely off-putting. Definitely good in a pinch.

Worked out today, but didn’t burn many calories in the process (still a bit under the weather), so calorie count is still pretty low.

Also, let’s face it, I’m apparently not a breakfast person. So let’s start with lunch.

Lunch

20 fl oz unsweetened flax milk
1 scoop vanilla meal replacement powder
1 scoop chocolate meal replacement powder
2 tablespoons chocolate PB2

Total calories: 216

Afternoon snack

1 Empire apple

Total calories: 80

Dinner

1 serving chicken tetrazzini, modified from Weight Watchers*

Total calories: 330

Dessert

1 serving pumpkin spice latte chocolate pudding cake
1 serving low-fat vanilla ice cream

Total calories: 351

Calorie total

977

* Found in the 50th Anniversary Weight Watchers cookbook as Turkey Tetrazzini Casserole; modified to use chicken and 16 ounces of spaghetti

Breakfast

None

Lunch

Hummus sandwich on focaccia with cheddar cheese, spinach, mushrooms, and avocado

Dinner

1 serving zucchini lasagna + 1/2 serving couscous with spinach

Dessert

1 serving reduced-sugar spiced peach crisp (from Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary cookbook)

Ran out of flax milk already! Might use this opportunity to make some of my own today. Tried it; was a complete bust. Also tried to make pepita milk and sunflower seed milk; we’ll see how it turns out tomorrow after it’s had a chance to chill, but the flax milk was a bland, bitter mess. Additives or not, the corporate flax milk people are on to something with whatever they do.

For anyone worried about my low calorie count, I haven’t felt like working out (starting to get sick), so my calorie count remains low on the days I don’t work out.

I’m going to start inserting pictures for each post, so the log is after the jump.

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As of posting time, I’ve eaten through my afternoon snack; if dinner or dessert changes, I will update the post.

Breakfast

Nothing – slept in, oops (0 calories)

Lunch

20 oz unsweetened flax milk (63 calories)
2 scoops chocolate meal replacement powder (130 calories)
2 tablespoons PB2 (45 calories)

Afternoon snack

1 slice whole wheat bread (69 calories)
1 medium heirloom tomato (22 calories)
2.5 oz albacore tuna packed in water (75 calories)

Dinner

1 serving zucchini lasagna* (318 calories)
1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted (69 calories)

Dessert

1 serving pumpkin spice latte chocolate pudding cake** (231 calories)

Total daily calories

1022 calories

* Zucchini lasagna made with 1 cup textured vegetable protein prepared with vegetable broth and fat-free ricotta cheese
** Pudding cake made with reduced sugar and rolled wheat flakes

Today’s log doesn’t seem like much, but sleeping in put me far enough back that I didn’t have a chance for breakfast, which means I missed my morning workout, too. I’m actually not hungry at the moment, which is nice.

Because I’m running on little sleep, and because I’m kicking my diet back into high gear, foods are a bit simplistic today.

Breakfast

1 medium Macoun apple (80 calories)

Lunch

20 oz unsweetened flax milk (63 calories)
1 packet Kellogg’s Breakfast to Go breakfast shake powder, chocolate flavor (130 calories)
2 tablespoons chocolate PB2 powder (45 calories)

Afternoon snack

1 slice whole wheat bread (69 calories)
1 medium heirloom tomato (22 calories)
2.5 oz albacore tuna packed in water (75 calories)

Dinner

1 serving whole-wheat gnocchi skillet with chicken sausage and grape tomatoes (391 calories)

Dessert

2 servings chocolate peanut butter bars* (282 calories)

Daily total

1157 calories

* Peanut butter bars were modified to make use of erythritol in place of the white sugar and Smart Balance spread in place of the butter