Category Archives: Whole Foods

Is Sparkling Water Bad After Weight-Loss Surgery?

I had one long stall pretty quickly after surgery, and, once again, the scale isn’t moving. I’m tracking my intake more closely now than I have been, but I’m also looking for things that I could or should be doing differently.

Sparkling water is my favorite beverage by far. Sometimes I drink flavored ones, but my absolute favorite drink is unflavored La Croix. I love it more than I used to love cake. There’s nothing more satisfying (in the way of food things) than starting the day or going home and enjoying a sparkling water.

Some people enjoy a glass of wine or a beer. All I want is a glass of bubbly…bubbly water.

Earlier this week a good friend who had lap band surgery was surprised to learn that I was drinking sparkling water at dinner. (I don’t usually drink anything during my meal, but I drink before it and after.)

She said that she saw someone put a carbonated beverage in a ziplock bag only to watch the bag expand due to the bubbles. She was told that the same thing could happen to our stomachs if we drink water. I immediately stopped drinking the sparkling water and started looking for answers.

I tried calling the dietitian I met with at my surgeon’s office, but they’ve never seemed interested in giving guidance beyond the 8 weeks after surgery. I hope she calls me back, but I asked people about it all day.

One of my co-workers, whose career is based on health and wellness, said that the difference between our bodies and a ziplock is that our bodies allow air to escape.

Everyone else I discussed this with recognized that it’s unhealthy to drink sodas (regular and diet,) and I agree. I haven’t had a soft drink of any kind since April 2, 2009. It’s been almost 8 years since I drank a Coke. Obviously, that garbage isn’t good for you, but does that same go for carbonated water?

Has anyone reading this had the gastric sleeve surgery? Were you told not to drink sparkling water?

Is sparkling water getting a bad rap because it’s unfairly being linked to soft drinks?




I read a quote that inspired me recently.  Actually, it did more than inspire me….It has impacted my thoughts and actions over the last several weeks, and it has had a powerful affect on my choices.  I’ve already shared it, but I have to share it again.

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.”

I’ve been doing things differently around here, and it seems to be working.  I’ve forgiven myself for maintaining my weight last year (as opposed to losing.)  I’m refocused, back in school, and I’m doing what it takes to live a healthy life one day at a time.  And for me, that means making better food choices.

I exercised regularly last year, and while my heart/blood pressure/etc benefited from it, my weight stayed virtually the same (until it spiked a little over the holidays.)  So far this year, my workouts have been solid, but I’ve been much more conscientious of what I’m eating.  While exercise is important, what we eat – how we fuel our bodies, is important too.  My eating habits have not been perfect, but they’ve been better overall.  And I’m still trying to improve.

Yesterday, I completed a short, early morning workout at the gym before the sun came up, and I did a longer workout at home in the afternoon.  I snacked on spinach and kale and ate foods that were high in protein along with fruits and vegetables and copious amounts of water.  I’m even trying to get more uninterrupted sleep!  It’s amazing how alert I feel when I can sleep without distractions for 5 to 6 hours so I’d like to work up to 7 or 8.  We’ll see if that happens…

That’s really all I have to say at the moment.  If my food and exercise choices came together perfectly everyday, I’d have very little to discuss here.  But today, I’ll just be thankful that I’m healthy and strong, and I’ll worry about the rest of the week/month/year as it comes.

How’s your week progressing?  Are you struggling?  Is it a breeze?

Sex and Cupcakes

I spend a lot of time reflecting on my relationship with food, my daily habits and my self-worth.  I constantly remind myself that I’ve come a long way…that I’m strong enough to do this…And yet, after all this time, I still don’t understand why (or how) food consumes my mind so much from day to day.

I constantly crave cupcakes – constantly. Sometimes I want to look at them (cupcake shaped items like candles, cookie jars, etc.)  Other times, I want to wear them (note my apron or the Tiffany cupcake charm on my bracelet.) Sometimes I want to bake them, but I always want to eat them.  I do not eat cupcakes (and/or other sweet snacks) nearly as often as I day dream about them, but I do want to figure out how and why my mind lusts after  rich, decadent, cream cheese frosted mini cakes of deliciousness on such a regular basis. (See? I’m doing it again!)

I love this little charm...:)

Is it my love for new York (the place in which I developed my cupcake habit?)  Is it because cupcakes are so often associated with happy events like holidays, birthdays and parties?

For many years, I assumed that my love for sweet treats and other junk food came from a lack of romance and physical affection…I assumed that I was using food to compensate for the things I wanted and didn’t quite have, but I had a realization recently (yep, facing facts again) that it’s not true.  These days, I’m struggling with my food intake.  We all know that.  But I’m not eating because I’m sad…I’m not eating because I’m stressed or because I feel like something is missing.  I don’t really know why I crave more than I need, but I still do.  I’m still chasing my personal “a ha moment!”

Since I started dating Cal a few months ago, I’ve been showered with attention, compliments and kisses. (Don’t worry Cal…I won’t go into too much detail after this post.)  I know he thinks about me, misses me when I’m not around, etc.  He’s not afraid to show affection for me in public, but he’s happy to show affection privately too.  In short, I know our feelings are mutual which means that my cupcake lust theory (craving food because I lack a mental and physical connection with someone who matters to me) is completely off base.

I crave physical affection (yes, I’m talking about sex and everything that goes along with it in a serious relationship,) but I still crave cupcakes too.  When I think about Cal – how excited I am to see him…how much fun we’ll have – I sometimes find myself thinking that it will be even better if we stop at Menchie’s for fro-yo or Whole Foods for salad, brie and a baguette.  I don’t understand why my mind reacts that way, but I hope to figure it out at some point.

Life feels pretty damn good right now.  I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.  But I still have goals, and I still have some hurdles to cross.  I’m thankful that the man I crave wants me today, but I’m also thankful that he willingly offers his support (by making healthier choices himself and creating healthy and satisfying meals for me from time to time.)

I have some habits that I need to change, but I’m an intelligent, capable person who doesn’t quit so I’m going to keep fighting this personal battle with food.  I am determined to win it so today I’m going to focus on enjoying things in life that matter reminding myself that I don’t have to understand my cravings to control them. 

How do you handle intense, recurring cravings?   Am I the only one who has ever experienced food lust?



0 + 0 + 1 =6, Or I Think I’ve Been Doing This Wrong

If you read back through the archives of this blog, you would see an incredible difference between Kenlie who attends weekly WW meetings (regardless of rain, snow, etc) and Kenlie who’s trying to do it on her own.  You’d also see a stark difference in the amount of weight I lose when attending meetings versus not attending meetings.  And you stick around, you’re going to see that extraordinary shift again in the coming months.

After attending a new meeting Thursday night, I’ve found myself excited to cook food again and to get the most bang for my buck (in p+ values) though this time there’s an added layer.  I’m challenging myself to eat vegetables as the majority of my points.   You might be thinking “What is she babbling about? Veggies are free!”  But hear me out…

When you combine zero p+ foods in the recipe builder they’re no longer zero points because the value actually changes when the points for each item are calculated together.   In short, I’ve been tracking incorrectly.  I already knew that PointsPlus values could change when I combine two servings of something, but I’ve never tracked fruits and vegetables that way until now.  And it seems that most people don’t do it that way, but if I’m eating fresh fruit salads or meals that are vegetable dense, I need to track properly to reach my goal.

For lunch today, I ate a giant salad then logged it in the recipe builder before I tracked it.  Check out the details:

1 c baby spinach (o)

1/4 carrot (o)

1/4 large zucchini (o)

1 small apple (o)

1/4 c red onion (o)

1/4 cucumber (o)

1/2 c tomato (o)

1/2 c broccoli (o)

When these zero p+ foods were added up together, they totaled 4 p+ as opposed to zero because when foods are prepared and consumed together, they’re calculated in totals rather than separately.   It makes sense, but am I the only one who didn’t realize this until recently?

0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 3 =11

And here are some details on the smoothie that I made today.  I don’t regret utilizing my PointsPlus to eat it, but it does make me keenly aware of the fact that fruits are not always free.  Check out these details:

1 c strawberries (o)

1 large banana (0)

1/2 c skim milk (1)

0 + 0 + 1 =6

When consumed separately, these fruits and this milk are only worth 1 p+, but eat them together and they become 6 p+!  That’s a big difference!  And while it makes a lot more sense this way, it’s important to know that this is how it works because if I had eaten the smoothie (which was fantastic by the way) without calculating the points properly, I would have exceeded my points for the day.

And earlier this evening, I wanted a snack and needed some protein so I considered having peanut butter and banana on toast, but after adding the ingredients into the recipe builder I decided to make some adjustments because the points were so different than I thought they’d be. (I’m glad I checked!)

5 + 0 =9

Last year, when Weight Watchers unrelieved the PointsPlus plan, I was frustrated because I had learned so much about what a proper portion looked like through Momentum.  And I didn’t understand how fruits could be counted as zero p+, but now I think I understand!  And knowing that while fruits when eaten alone can occasionally be zero p+, I’m much more comfortable with PointsPlus based on my new understanding.  I had trouble wrapping my head around the fact that fruits and veggies were zero so I’m okay with this new knowledge.  And in addition to working out hard, this new information helps me feel like I’m back on the right track.


PointsPlus Progress

I’ve been following the PoinsPlus plan since the weekend, and I love it so far.  I don’t weigh-in until Friday, but here’s what I already know…

  • I’m making healthier food choices.  I’m reaching for a banana or an orange instead of a mini ice cream sandwich.
  • I feel light as a feather.  I don’t feel weighed down by processed foods.  I’m still eating some, but my intake of healthy whole foods is noticeably greater than it was in previous weeks. 
  • I love exercise, and I’m pleased with the number of activity points I could use if I needed to. 
  • The new Weight Watchers app for my iPhone is much more impressive than the app I used on Momentum.  It is much more comprehensive so I don’t feel a need for third-party apps like I did in the past. 
  • I feel like I have, once again, found the place where I belong.  I’ve said it a million times.  Weight Watchers changed my life, and there is something absolutely comforting and familiar about logging in e-tools.  

I’m so glad I chose to give PointsPlus a real shot.  I believe I’ll see good results when I weigh-in later this week, but I don’t have to weigh-in to know that I am making smarter, healthier food choices.  I feel awesome, and I feel confident that I am, once again, making the best decisions for my body.  And it feels good.

Fun Things

I have an incredible family.  Seriously folks…I have no idea when my sister turned into such a wise and loving woman, but I’m lucky to have her.  I’m so thankful for my parents too…and while I’m at it, I have to say that I also have some pretty terrific friends. 

My friend, Kelly, sent me a care package a few days ago, and it’s time to play Show and Tell.  =0) Kelly is very familiar with my love of junk food.  She also knows that I need a real bagel from time to time so she made that happen too, and it was……awesome!

The care package was filled with my favorite things from Trader Joe’s, but she added something that I hadn’t tried yet – Popcorners.  They come in several flavors, but she sent two that she knew I’d love…butter and salt.  And all I can say is “Wow!”  These things are fantastic!

In fact, the Popcorners are so good that I made a trip to Whole Foods yesterday in search of more! I found only two flavors – the two that I already love – so I bought them.  Apparently, they come in several other flavors as well.  I think I’ll have to talk to Popcorners about sharing some with me and/or one of you! What do you think? =)

I’m totally thankful for Kelly and for her thoughtfulness in sending me healthy and satisfying snacks!  I found some new snacks at Whole Foods yesterday too, but I’ll share those later.

Yesterday was a rest day which means I’m ready for a solid workout today!  I reached my goal for the second consecutive month last month, and I’m going strong.  I plan to do at least 1,000 minutes of cardio again in March then increasing my goal for April.

How’s everything going for you?  Are there any new snacks or exciting workouts I should know about?  What’s for lunch today?

My Internal Reset Button

My workouts have been pretty solid since the beginning of the year, but my eating habits need to change.  I’m losing steadily again, but I know I could be doing more than I’m doing. I’m going to keep trying until I get it right which means it’s time to make some adjustments.

I’m going to stay within my new calorie range which is now lower than it was in the month of January.  I want and need to see more substantial progress, and I think changing my intake will help.  It’s harder to lose weight now than it was a year ago, but that’s okay because it can still be done.

My weight has been inching down since the beginning of the year.  I change my workouts pretty often, but recently I’ve fallen into eating the same foods – many of which are processed – day after day.  Staying within my calorie range is good.  Staying within in my calorie range by eating satisfying, healthy foods is better.

My plan is to spend some time at Whole Foods later today looking for new fruits and vegetables, nuts and other satisfying, healthy food options, but I don’t think that’s the most important part of my new plan.  After thinking this through, I think sometimes we just need to do a hard reset.  And the food I choose will not be nearly as important as my efforts to adjust what’s going on inside my head.

It’s time to remind myself, once again, of what I really want – to be a healthy, aesthetically pleasing woman who is quick on her feet and slow with her fork. 😉  It’s time to remind myself that I will get there by concentrating on one day at a time.

Yesterday I found success in a good workout and eating in the way I described above.  I plan to do it again today while adding more variety to my dinner.What do you do when you find yourself bored and/or losing control of your eating habits?  How do you keep it interesting?

Trying Something New

I tried something new yesterday. Instead of consuming my normal 2174 calories per day, I consumed only 1850. I wanted to eat more, probably because I’m accustomed to it, but I have to admit that I didn’t feel hungry. I ended the day with 1500 then decided I didn’t have an excuse not to workout so I burned almost 600 calories and opted to eat Fage Greek Yogurt (and rice cakes) post workout which added to my caloric intake. My deficit for the day was still over 1600 which feels like a pretty solid win. Today I’ll save 150 calories or so for my post-workout snack. Progress, right?

It was eye-opening to realize that I may not need as many calories/points as I’ve been taking in lately. Counting points with Weight Watchers allows for more consumption based on our choices, but I learned that I can be satisfied with less than I thought.

I was totally satisfied (until my workout) consuming fewer calories.  Does this mean I should limit myself to 1500 calories per day indefinitely? I’m not sure yet, but I’ll try it for the next several days and reevaluate.  I’m also interested to see how much I can eat when I’m making wise food choices as opposed to having a pop tart as an evening snack.

Over the next few weeks, I’d like to turn my attention back to whole foods.  I’ve permanently eliminated many of the processed foods that used to be part of my daily intake, but I’m ready for more.  I want to start focusing on micro-nutrients in addition to the macro-nutrients that have been my focus all along. I have a lot to learn, but my mind and body feels ready for this challenge.

In other news, I gave myself a mani/pedi last night.  It’s a great way to keep yourself busy when you want to snack instead. 😉   I used one of my all-time favorites for the first time in quite a while, “You Can’t Tappas This” by OPI. 

And because I’m usually freezing, I painted my toes with socks on…hehe..Sometimes a girl has to be practical. Right?

I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far.  Wish me luck as I try to learn more about what I’m putting into my body everyday. Knowledge is power, right?  I haven’t said this in a while, but it’s true…I want to be thin, but I want to be healthy too.

Feelin’ Fine….

I feel like I’m finally getting into a new groove, and it feels good. Being at Mom’s is great, but I have to try harder than usual to be healthy. I don’t have access to a gym here nor do I have as many food options at the supermarket, but it’s still totally possible to be healthy here if I choose to.

My body has been craving whole, healthy foods and exercise so today I made corn salsa – one of my favorite ways to eat veggies. And as I was dicing and chopping I realized that Mom doesn’t have cilantro in the house so I walked about 20 blocks to the grocery store to pick it up then walked home.

The weather here is as beautiful as I can ever remember it being so there was no need for a gym today. I used my legs to accomplish two things at once: buying cilantro to complete the corn salsa and getting my heart pumping.

Now the salsa, which tastes great by the way, is in the fridge, and I can mark working out off of my “things to do” list today. Taking it one day at a time seems to be the best way for me so that’s what I’m going to do.

How’s everyone today? What did you eat for lunch? I had a ham and cheese sandwich with vegetables and multigrain chips and salsa. Just saying…

Losing Control: Seeking To Regain My Mental Grip (Not Pounds)

I knew this week could be stressful so I wrote posts in preparation for being away from the blogosphere for a while, but this post is important. I am too important to let myself regress so I’m going to workout right now then I’ll come back and write.


I’m back after completing a big, sweaty workout. I’m not sure how to begin this post so here it is: I feel like I’m losing control. I’m making choices that I know I don’t really want to make, and I can’t explain why I’m doing it. Over the weekend I indulged in cupcakes and sushi, but what happened on Monday that allowed my brain to think it was okay to eat Kit-Kats? Yes, you read that’s plural.

Over the last few months my eating habits have spiraled, and while I don’t usually eat more than my daily POINTS allowance, I don’t feel as good as I do when I make healthy, responsible choices. I’m not happy with where I am today. I have consumed too much sodium. I have consumed too much crap in general. I started the day by eating a candy bar. What?!

It is so easy to make healthy dishes that are filling and satisfying, but it has been even easier to make lame excuses in my own mind as to why I should just grab something to go. I’m not talking about fast food here. That stuff is gross. But even if my choices could be worse, they are not nearly as good as they have been or should be.

I often say that nothing is off-limits, and that statement is true. But I could be/should be doing so much better with my food choices overall. I typically consume healthy foods (veggies, fiber rich foods, lean proteins) about 85% of the time while eating things like candy or cupcakes or hot chocolate about 15% of the time. And this strategy has worked well for me in the past. But I’m not doing that now…not even close.

When I arrived in Oklahoma over the summer, one of the first places Dad and I ate was Charlie’s Chicken. I had three fried chicken chunks, a side of mashed potatoes and fried okra. It was delicious and easily within my daily POINTS allowance, but that kind of meal is something I should have rarely. And it was the beginning of my downward spiral towards lower quality foods. Thankfully, Charlie’s Chicken is far, far away from New York, but as you can see in previous posts, I’ve managed to eat a few incredibly fattening foods here lately too.

Eating fattening, unhealthy foods is acceptable in my mind when I do it with purpose. When it is my plan to eat something unhealthy, I usually make up for it with healthy choices the rest of the day and week. But my eating and exercise habits have digressed quite a bit over the last 7 days or so. Just one week ago I wrote about regaining control, and I find myself desperately searching for the strength I found to get back in the game. I ate well a few days last week, but I haven’t had a truly healthy day since last Wednesday! This is not acceptable.

I’ve been losing just a little for far too long now. A little loss here and a little loss there is great, but I am capable of so much more! And it’s time for me to start acting like it. My choices need to be better. I feel happier with myself when I make dishes that I’m proud to post on my blog. I feel fuller and more satisfied when I eat 5 to 9 vegetables per day. And I feel proud every time I go to bed knowing that I had enough water that day.

So I’m going to say it again today. I have learned that I have many strengths on this journey, but I still have so many weaknesses. My body craves exercise and healthy foods. I know that because I feel so much better when I give my body the things it needs. I feel it after every workout. And I feel it when I feel satisfied without having a rock in my stomach.

This journey is long, and I’ve come a long way. I’ve come far enough to know that I cannot/will not go back! I love this new life even with my imperfections. I love being a gym member, swimming laps (can’t wait to find a pool again) and working on healthy, satisfying cooking projects.

Perhaps I haven’t fallen off any wagons, but I’ve been dwelling in mediocrity for too long. I have so much to accomplish and so much to live for…and even when times are tough I’m happier knowing that I’m taking care of my body and mind.

I worked out today, and I’ll do it again tomorrow. I’ll make good food choices today then do the same again tomorrow. I’ll do my best right now because that’s all we have. And right now is always a good time to make changes. I can’t do anything about yesterday, but I will do my best once again to be sure that tomorrow is better than today.