Monday, May 27, 2013

Nutrisystem - day 6

My plan didn't include Nutrisystem meals during the weekends - that was how I wanted it and as we do eat out a lot, I didn't want to feel deprived. I also figured that it would be great if I could figure out how to eat on my own early on so I won't have any weight-gain issues (or have less of them) when I eventually leave the program.

As it turns out, my first "weekend on my own" was a bit rough but it went fairly well. I feel less hungry compared to when I'm in the office. I'm not really sure if it was because I was more relaxed and wasn't as stressed  - work always made me hungry!

We had our usual Vietnamese fare on Saturday lunch and instead of my usual 3pcs of summer rolls plus some rice and salmon casserole. I stopped at 2 pcs of summer rolls and didn't have rice w/ my salmon. Swe-cha, happily, had some salmon too! He loved it.

By dinner, I had the grilled Vietnamese porkchops with a bit of rice.

Sunday lunch was dimsum, my blood sugar went a bit high after this meal but I kinda knew it was going to happen as I still ate even after I wasn't hungry anymore. At least, this gives me an idea of when I should stop eating.

Sunday dinner was home-cooked beef salpicao with a small portion of brown rice.

The good news is that the weighing scale this morning tells me that I did not just maintain the few pounds that I lost in the earlier days but I lost another half pound !

I have never been obsessed with the weighing scale and couldn't understand why my Mom would keep weighing herself all the time. Ganito pala, it's fun to see your weight it the number is going down.

Total count: -3

Friday, May 24, 2013

Nutrisystem - day 2

Okaaay, it's day 2 and I have cheated on lunch 2 days in a row now. I hope this isn't an indication of how the rest of the program is going to be like for me. The good news is that even though I skipped my Nutrisystem lunch today, I was able to control my portions at lunch time again so it's not really so bad.

All this time, I was under the impression that I take a lot of liquids but it wasn't until I started counting my intake by the glass that I realize how much effort it is to remember to drink. I find myself having to make a conscious effort to drink water or tea all day long.

Let's not forget that a side effect of drinking a lot of water is the constant need to pee. I guess I can think of all the walking to/fro the bathroom I have to do as "exercise". This just isn't good timing these days as we're nearing the end of a project and "swamped" is an understatement.

hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Nutrisystem - day 1

I officially started on Nutrisystem today and while it is only the afternoon and there's still several hours before my "today" officially ends, I think it went pretty well.

I had the Cinnamon Streusel Muffin and a chocolate shake around 8a. The muffin was just the right size and after downing the shake, I thought I was set till lunch. As it turns out, I was hungry by 10a. Thankfully, this program does have a mid-morning snack allocation anyway so I ate a service of yogurt and that lasted me till lunch.

At lunch time, officemates E and E wanted to eat out. I didn't want to disappoint them by depriving them of my company [ what an excuse for wanting to skip a packaged meal, no ? ] so I ditched my Nutrisystem chicken noodle soup and ate out with them. I figured, the key was not really to avoid eating out but rather to make sure that I controlled my portions. So instead of the usual 2-viand combo that comes with the 2 scoops of white rice that I usually order at our fave Pinoy place, I got 1 bowl of beef nilaga and had it with half a scoop of rice.  I was so proud of myself for sticking to the plan and leaving half of my rice untouched - I tried to tell the server to just give me half a scoop but she gave me a whole scoop... probably thought I was asking for half an order as their usual rice serving is 2 scoops.

By 4, I was hungry again and I forced myself to munch on an apple instead of the Cheetos that I really wanted. At this point, E passed by my cubby, pointed to my apple and asked, "kasama ba yan ?" Na-impress yata as he's probably never seen me eat fruit as a snack before.

The best part about today was that my postprandial blood sugar levels were at goal after both meals. Achievable pala, so long as I don't gorge myself on food all the time.

One thing that I still have to get used to is feeling hungry all the time. My tummy starts growling 2-3 hrs after a meal but as I said, the program does call for mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. It also has a dessert allowance after dinner - I'll have mine halfway between dinner & bedtime tonight as I always have a problem falling asleep while hungry.

I dropped by the grocery today and came home with snack alternatives. I have apples, grapes, and also bought nuts - unsalted ones too!

Dinner was flame-broiled beef patty. It seemed dodgy at first because it was very light and the preparation called for pouring boiling water over it till you fill the tray and then leaving it in the water for 2 minutes. It turned out okay, not as good as fresh burgers but it was far from being cardboard (which was what I expected it to be). It was tasty, possibly has too much salt but I don't really care.

As I was prepping hubby's dinner of grilled short ribs, I decided to cook a bit more for my baon tomorrow since lunch calls for a serving of Power Fuel anyway. I sort of cheated a little and nibbled on the bones - I say "sort of" because did give hubby a taste of my beef patty so I'd consider it "even".  And yet again, postprandial blood sugar levels were at goal. Yay!


For those who are wondering, my top goal is to get control of my body and start living well. I do not want to be a diabetic if I can help it.

Wellness is my goal and weight loss is just a very welcome side effect.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


The good news is that we finally received our interview notices for our US citizenship application.

The bad news is that we're both scheduled for the same day AND our interview is on a SATURDAY.

Uh... where do we get childcare ?

The good news is that I emailed Swe-cha's daycare and was told that they can open on Saturday. I was asked what hours I need, I told them and haven't received a response yet.

I'm still waiting to hear back if they can accommodate us on that date. I'm hoping that the answer is a yes and that hopefully, the cost - which, understandably, will surely be higher than usual - will not be prohibitive.

I did some digging and seems like rescheduling your citizenship interview is very risky. Any rescheduling requests go into a manual drawer and they dedicate 2 days every month for that pile. I've read stories where people are able to reschedule their interviews w/no issues, I've heard stories of people who are still waiting for their new interview schedules 6 months later and there are some who get notified that they failed to appear for the interview so no more steps will be taken on their application (this means that the reschedule request was never received/processed by USCIS).

I'm still undecided on what to do. Hubby is still snoozing, catching up on sleep, so I haven't discussed it w/ him. Worst case scenario is that one of us will have to reschedule. I'm thinking it should be me because he has plans to file petitions for his family when he gets his citizenship so it's better if he gets his asap.

So while that's still under debate, I finally broke open the plastic wrap on my copy of the Naturalization Test reviewer. I didn't think I was going to start on this until after July because our application seems to be going on a really slow pace  when compared to our friend E's who only submitted his 2 weeks prior to us.

N-400 timeline
Mailed via USPS Expressmail - 3/12/2013
Priority Date - 3/15/2013
NOA received - 3/19/2013
Biometrics notice received - 4/1/2013
Biometrics scheduled for 4/16/2013
Interview notice received - 5/17/2013
Interview scheduled for - 6/15/2013

Friday, May 17, 2013


So my husband received a hand-addressed envelope in the mail and inside was a newspaper clipping with a post-it stuck to it.

The message on the post-it was addressed to my husband and it said "Thought you'd be interested!" and was signed Jay.

We kept thinking and came up with 2 people we know who were named Jay. But then, these people always called my husband by his nickname and not his first name so that was a giveaway.

The envelope had no return address in the front but had a printed address at the back flap and upon googling that address, hubby found out that it was actually a professional car marketing firm.


It almost worked. ;)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Green Home Cleaners

I spent 2+ hours last night on my hands and knees, feeling like Cinderella.

You see, we have Italian tiles covering our entire 1st floor and they used to look really nice and inviting. Of course, over the years, dirt tended to accumulate in between the tiles and resulted in icky, black grout.

Kitchen cleaners do not really work. I wanted to try bleach but we have colored grout that match the tiles so bleach might ruin the color. I didn't really know what to do until someone shared a DIY grout cleaner recipe on Facebook - oo! may silbi pala ang pag share sa FB!

You make a mixture of 50% hot water, 50% vinegar and mix in enough baking soda to make a paste - careful with the baking soda, it will react and bubble when you first put it in the mixture so make sure you're doing this near a sink or in a large container. You slather the paste over the dirty grout, let it stay for 5 minutes or so and then you scrub scrub scrub with a brush that has stiff bristles. I made the mistake of using an old toothbrush and the toothbrush was too soft for the tough job that I was asking it to do.

Without much ado, here's the before and after (see image below), can you distinguish between the area that I've already cleaned and the area I haven't touched ?

and if you're still not convinced, check out these before and after shots:

I've only done half of the kitchen. Nakaka-depress when I think that our 1st floor 3x more the size of the kitchen and I have to do it again ? fortunately, I examined the other areas and found most to be okay. High-traffic lang kasi sa kitchen and tends to have more spills / dirt than other areas of the house.

I got inspired by this and when Swe-cha woke up crying in the middle of the night (not sure if he had a nightmare or if he had gas) and wanted to go down, I decided to clean some more after he calmed down.

This time, I tackled the tile surfaces in the hallway & dining area - they were so dirty, mostly food stains from spills that couldn't be cleaned up by water and some were just dirt tracked in from the recent rain. from all the food spills I mixed up a batch of home-made cleaner ( 50% hot water + 50% vinegar ) and put it in a spray bottle. I sprayed the mixture on the floor and wiped it dry with a paper towel - ang linis! And the best part ? No strong smells nor any sticky residue afterwards. We normally use all purpose cleaners to wipe down the floors but they always had a strong lysol-y or bleach-y smell so we didn't want to do it while swe-cha was awake. This DIY-green-home cleaner just leaves a faint vinegar smell when you spray it but that fades away soon after.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Self Control

... or my lack thereof.

For close to 3 weeks now, I've been sneaking over to McDonald's on my way to pick up Swe-cha from the daycare and indulging on their Oreo McFlurry.

I don't always weigh myself but since I've been doing that, I've purposely avoided the scale. But extra pounds do have a way of making themselves known and in my case, I've been feeling my clothes getting tighter.

Come Monday, I'm starting on a diet regimen. Will start watching my food intake - not really lessen as I've lessened the food that I eat since last year - but I vow to make smarter food choices. Those afternoon McFlurries are really to address the fact that I'm hungry. Yes, I could've munched on crackers but I obviously have the self-control of a flea (no insults intended for fleas).

Let's see how this goes.