(essentially Jan 2 – Jan 15)

I stayed on my money budget and on my calories budget for 2 weeks straight. I am so proud of myself…and so happy. I have never stuck to our expense budget for longer than 3 days until now. I would curb my spending for 3 days and then out came the credit cards for a sushi lunch here, an ebook there and before I knew it, I would have spent more than $100 on unnecessary purchases in a single week.

And did any of it make me feel good? Not really. Not even the lunches. I ate out almost out of a destructive compulsion of habit. And then, when the bill came, would think that the meal was hardly worth the $18 I just paid for it. And when Friday came around and K sat there with his notebook and laptop going through our week’s spending I’d feel both guilty and defensive.

So, you see, I have reason to be proud. Here is my report card for the month so far.

The Good:

  • I have lost 1 lb of weight. (2 lbs actually but one of them was losing the weight I had put on in the last week of December)
  • I have eaten more plant matter than animal matter (and my twin pimples are now gone). I was eating too much meat and not enough vegetables. I wanted to fix that in 2015 and I am happy so far.
  • I packed lunch from home every day. It not only allowed me to control the calories that I consumed but it was also the only way I could stay on budget.
  • I cooked dinner at home almost every day. This saves us a lot of money and helps me keep true to my diet.
  • I got rid of all my magazine subscriptions that weren’t already pre-paid because I really don’t have time to read them anyway. The only subscriptions I have now are to Bon Apétit and Cooks Illustrated.
  • I have cooked a nice assortment of Ottolenghi dishes from his three cookbooks that I own: Plenty, Plenty More and Jerusalem.
  • I stayed on budget. I think I’ve talked about this enough already. 🙂
  • I baked 3 new types of bread and my breads. 

The Bad:

  • I am not meditating nearly enough times.
  • I cannot stop thinking about the new DSLR we will be buying at the end of the month. The end of the month is not coming fast enough, if you ask me. We are not going to buy the expensive Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.6-5.6G lens yet anyway, just the camera body and the 35mm lens. But that should be enough to get me started.
  • I still spend far too much time obsessing over that person I dislike intensely. It’s a waste of time and completely unproductive, but there it is.

So what do you think? How did I do?


Weekend Food Log: September 6 and 7

Nutrition-wise, I had my best weekend in a very, very long time. I did not overeat — not even once! And, we ate most of our meals at home (I cooked, of course), so it was also the cheapest weekend in a long time.

We did get mall food yesterday (Sunday), and I got some greasy Chinese food. HOWEVER, instead of rice or noodles, I chose to get steamed veggies as my main. And I finished that part of my food. I loaded up on broccoli, carrots and Chinese cabbage, and had some cornstarch-coated-fried-sauced mango chicken with it. And spicy chicken and peppers. It felt amazing to not feel bloated afterwards.



  • Herbalife wedding cake smoothie
    • 1.5 cups fat free milk
    • 2 scoops Herbalife cookies-n-cream Formula 1 powder
    • 1 Tbsp Jell-O sugar-free cheesecake pudding mix
    • 1 Tbsp Jell-O sugar-free white chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 farm fresh fried egg

Continue reading “Weekend Food Log: September 6 and 7”

Weekend Food Log: September 6 and 7

Food Log: September 3, 2014

Today was a good food day too, I thought. I am certain I ate less than 1300 calories today. I wanted to snack more, but I stopped myself and told my brain to find something else to amuse itself with besides food.

Had to do a lot (53 minutes at a very brisk pace) of walking because I missed my stop on the bus and there wasn’t another bus for an hour and a half. I was already so sore from yesterday’s gym workout. And an added bonus is that I drank way more than the recommended 64 oz of water. 🙂


  • 1.5 Scrambled Eggs (scrambled 3 eggs; shared with Keith) (130 calories)
  • 3/4 Tbsp butter (70 calories)
  • ½ slice toast (40 calories)


  • 1 cup cauliflower-peas-gourd curry
  • 1 cup steamed whole edamame beans

Continue reading “Food Log: September 3, 2014”

Food Log: September 3, 2014

Food Log: September 2, 2014

Yesterday was a genuinely good food day. And…and, I went to the gym on top of that. I just need to remind myself how happy staying on track with my nutrition and exercise plan makes me feel. Workout consisted of 30 minutes weights, 30 minutes cardio. I think I burned about 450-500 calories through my workout yesterday.

Of course, there’s still work to be done. Next time, the wontons are getting steamed rather than fried (Keith would definitely not have eaten them if I had steamed them — not the first time, anyway). The pineapple rings are just going to have to go, or I cannot eat more than one half of a single ring on any single day. I don’t know how I will summon up the willpower to do that though. I should just toss them.


  • Herbalife banana-cookies-n-cream shake (250 calories)
    • 1¼ cup fat free milk
    • 1/2 large banana
    • 1 Tbsp PB2 peanut butter
    • 2 scoops Herbalife cookies-n-cream powder

Continue reading “Food Log: September 2, 2014”

Food Log: September 2, 2014

Food Log: August 28, 2014

Yesterday was also a gym day and I was ravenous for dinner. Ate a whole extra skewer of kebabs but it was lean, white meat protein so mostly just protein. That Starbucks fruit-n-cheese box is a lot of calories though!

Tomorrow Traci and I are supposed to go out for lunch because it’s restaurant week. And for dinner, the Mansellas have invited us to their new condo in West Roxbury. I hope I don’t do too much damage to my diet tomorrow. I will try to make good choices (i.e., not take seconds) at the Mansellas.


  • Cookies-n-cream+Peanut Butter shake (295 calories)
    • 2 scoops Herbalife Cookies-n-cream powder
    • 1.5 Tbsp PB2 peanut butter
    • 1.5 cups fat free milk


Continue reading “Food Log: August 28, 2014”

Food Log: August 28, 2014

Food Log: August, 27, 2014

Yesterday I attended the start-of-year faculty meetings for Oak Hill Middle School where I am doing my National Science Foundation (NSF) teaching fellowship where I will be bringing some real science (projects) to 7th grade classrooms.

I didn’t know what my schedule would be, or what to expect, so I didn’t bring lunch with me…which, turned out to be a mistake, because I didn’t get any lunch (I’m proud to say I passed on the free supermarket cookies) until 3:00 PM. I was starving by then. It took every ounce of willpower to walk past the wonderful Jewish Barry’s Village Deli at Waban with their delicious and fatty pastrami and corned beef sandwiches to the Russian supermarket for stuffed cabbage rolls.


  • 1 chicken gordita (from local Mexican place, Antojito’s Cafe on Moody St)
  • wedding cake smoothie: 1 cup non-fat milk + 2 scoops cookies-n-cream Herbalife powder + cheesecake and white chocolate no-sugar pudding mix

Lunch: Continue reading “Food Log: August, 27, 2014”

Food Log: August, 27, 2014

Food Log: Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Off to a good start. I was shocked to find out from the back of the box that each piece(!) of Haldiram’s frozen paneer tikka contains 210 calories (and 7g of protein). I unhappily put 2 out of the 4 pieces I had taken out for my snack away.


  • 1 fried egg
  • ½ cup black bean-tomato-cilantro salad
  • 1/3 avocado


  • 2 cups lentil soup (with spinach)
  • ¾ cup black bean-tomato-cilantro salad


  • 2 pieces paneer tikka kabab (420 calories)


  • ¼ cup cornbread
  • 1 Tbsp honey butter
  • 5 fries
Food Log: Tuesday, August 26, 2014