Putting My Mom on a Diet: Week 2 Meal Plan and Weigh In

by Andie Mitchell on July 1, 2013

Week 2! If you’re new to the series, I’m putting my mom on a diet, this is her plan, and here is her week 1 meal plan and weigh-in. Welcome and settle in; this one is lengthy.

Monday

waffles

Breakfast: 2 Kashi 7-Grain Waffles (140) + 2 teaspoons butter (~60) + 1 cup 1% milk (110) = 310

chef salad

Lunch: Chef Salad: vegetable base (3 large handfuls mixed greens, ½ cup chopped bell pepper, ½ cup chopped cucumber, ½ cup shredded carrot, 6-8 cherry tomatoes=50 calories) + 2 ounces roasted turkey breast deli meat (2 thick slices or 3 thin slices=60 calories) + 1 ounce smoked ham deli meat (1 thick slice=30 cals) + 1 ounce provolone cheese (2 thin slices=100) + 1 hard-boiled egg (70) + 2 tablespoons Ken’s Light Caesar Dressing  (80) = 390

fruit salad and almonds

Snack: 2 cups fruit salad (100)+ 12 almonds (~80) = 180

Dinner: 4 ounces grilled steak tips (240) + 1 ½ cups roasted potatoes (200) + 2 cups steamed green beans (60) = 500

Total: 1380

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Tuesday

cereal and fruit

Breakfast: 1 ½ cups Cascadian Farm Honey Nut O’s (150) + 1 cup sliced strawberries (50) + 1 cup 1% milk (110) = 310

*Andie note: I’d been excited to begin incorporating fruit into Mom’s morning cereal, and I had high hopes for how it would turn out, but that night after dinner, Mom told me, “I don’t like the fruit in the morning. I usually do fine with just my cereal, but I think having a taste of that fruit sugar made me crave more and more. Today, the strawberries were so good—so sweet—and I was full after breakfast, but then, just two hours later, I had to eat my afternoon snack because I felt like I couldn’t even make it to lunch.” I was startled by how wise she’d been to understand her own sugar cravings and crashes. But I also wanted to remind her that the cereal alone is rather light; it might not have been entirely the strawberries’ fault. We discussed either switching brands of cereal or adding some healthy fat to help keep her feeling balanced in terms of blood sugar. She told me, “Skippy, that all sounds good, but let’s not waste. I’ll finish this box first because I do like it, and then we can find another good brand.”
For now, we’re just trying to rotate other breakfast options to find one that might naturally suit her better. I don’t want to force her away from cereal; I want her to find on her own out what she a) likes best and b) feels most satisfied eating.

turkey avocado wrap

Lunch: Turkey Avocado Wrap (this recipe without the bacon = 300) + 2 cups pineapple & cantaloupe (100) = 400

Snack: 1 cup grapes (100) + 1 cheese stick (80) = 180

bunless cheeseburger

Dinner: Bunless cheeseburger (4 ounces 93% lean ground beef (40 calories per ounce=160) + ½ ounce cheddar cheese (50) =210) + Strawberry Pecan Salad (150) + 1 ½ cups Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower (120) = 480

Make the salad: For 2 servings, toss 4 handfuls of baby spinach with 3 tablespoons Ken’s Light Honey Dijon Dressing. Add 2 cups sliced strawberries and ¼ cup chopped pecans and toss once more. Serve immediately.

Make the Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut 1 head cauliflower into florets and place in a large bowl. Add 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat all of the pieces. Add 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese and toss again. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle the cauliflower evenly with ½ teaspoon salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and golden in color.

Total: 1370

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Wednesday

english muffin egg raspberries

Breakfast: 1 Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin (160) + 2 teaspoons butter (~60) + 1 hard-boiled egg (70) + 1 cup raspberries (65) = 335

Lunch: Chef Salad Salad base (3 large handfuls mixed greens, ½ cup chopped bell pepper, ½ cup chopped cucumber, ½ cup shredded carrot, 6-8 cherry tomatoes=50 calories) + 2 ounces roasted turkey breast deli meat (2 thick slices or 3 thin slices=60 calories) + 1 ounce smoked ham deli meat (1 thick slice=30 cals) + 1 ounce provolone cheese (2 thin slices=100) + 1 hard-boiled egg (70) + 2 tablespoons Ken’s Light Honey Dijon Dressing  (70) = 380

almonds and raisins

Snack: 12 almonds and 1 ounce raisins (180)

*Andie note: Nuts and dried fruit are proving to be Mom’s favorite snack. When she ran out of one of them mid-week, she called me immediately, and with a desperation in her voice, asked, “What do you think we should do about the raisins?!”

chicken marsala

Dinner: 3 ounces Lazy Girl’s Chicken Sorta-Marsala (1 thin cutlet = 150) + 1 ½ cups Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower (150) + 1 ½ cups roasted carrots (120) = 420

*Andie note: Mom RAVED about this meal. Stars and moons were in her eyes, I’m telling you. And that is why I’m not going to be able to share the recipe for the cauliflower and carrots: because they will be going in the cookbook. The chicken, however, is pretty great, too, considering that it’s terribly simple and so easy to make.

Make the chicken: (To serve 4, you’ll need 1 pound chicken breast cutlets- if you don’t have pre-sliced cutlets, slice each of the breasts in half lengthwise to create two thin cutlets. Season the cutlets generously with salt and pepper on both sides.) In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add 3 or 4 of the chicken cutlets (depending on the size of your pan; do not overcrowd) and cook, undisturbed, until the underside has crisped and browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked cutlets to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and repeat the cooking process with the remaining cutlets.
Once all the cutlets have been cooked, add 2 teaspoons olive oil to the pan along with 2 minced cloves garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 2 cups marsala wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly to medium, and simmer until the wine is reduced by half (to 1 cup). Return the chicken cutlets to the pan along with any juices that may have accumulated on the plate, and stir to coat in the wine. Simmer until the chicken has warmed and the marsala has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Serve cutlets along with a drizzle of extra wine sauce over the top.

Total: 1450

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Thursday

Breakfast: 2 cups Cascadian Farm Honey Nut O’s (200) + 1 cup 1% milk (110) = 310

*Andie note: Old habits die hard.

red white and blue salad

Lunch: Red, White, & Blue Salad (click here for the recipe = 350)

Snack: 12 almonds + 1 ounce raisins = 180

pork tenderloin

4 ounces mesquite grilled pork tenderloin (pork is 40 calories per ounce, so 160 for the pork itself + 40 for the marinade, proportionally = 200) + 1 ½ cups cinnamon-dusted sweet potatoes (200) + 2 cups steamed green beans (60) = 440

*Andie note: The amazing thing about adding a touch of cinnamon to sweet potatoes (and pumpkin, butternut squash, etc…) is that it helps to bring out the natural sweetness of the vegetable. Mom remarked that “it tasted like there was maple syrup added to the potatoes.” And it did. They were fantastically warm, mapley, and fragrant, like the whole fall season, without any added sugars.

Make the cinnamon sweet potatoes: For 2 side-dish servings, you’ll need 1 extra-large or 2 small sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and dry the potatoes. Leaving the skin on, cut the potato(es) into uniform, 1 ½-inch pieces. Place them in a bowl and add 2 teaspoons olive oil; toss well to coat all pieces. Add ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and toss to coat once more. Spread the pieces on a large, rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt evenly over the top of the pan. Bake until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 40 minutes.

Total: 1280

 

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Friday

Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cinnamon-Raisin English Muffin* (160)

*Andie note: Mom told me she was running late on Friday morning so she grabbed a dry English muffin to go and ate it plain on her car ride to work–to which I asked, “Seriously?”

Out to lunch: Chicken salad sandwich (1 cup chicken salad prepared traditionally with mayonnaise = ~400 (average of most recipes)) + 2 slices marble rye bread (200) = 600

*Andie note:

I’ve talked to Mom pretty extensively about two things: mayonnaise and butter—both of which she loves fiercely—and in those conversations, I’ve mentioned that tuna salad and chicken salad tend to be very high calorie sandwich fillers. “Try to remember that just 1 measly tablespoon—a spoonful—of mayo has 100 calories. Then think about how much of it there might be in the tuna salad you’re being served. Often times, it’s upwards of 3 tablespoons—300 calories—just for mayonnaise alone,” I said. She swallowed hard, likely thinking back to all the times she made chicken salad. The way she plopped at least ½ cup of mayo into a bowl of shredded chicken, along with ½ cup of chopped pecans, chopped dried cranberries, and scallions. She might have been thinking about how her idea of a serving of that chicken salad was much more than 1 cup. “I know,” I told her, “I love mayonnaise, too. And it’s not like you can never have it; it’s just—let’s try to use a little less, OK?” She nodded, deflated.
Now, you’ll have to imagine my surprise, then, when she told me on Friday night that her lunch had not been a salad and instead was a chicken salad sandwich. I wanted to hear her reasoning. “Francie, it was the only option at the nursing home that seemed healthy. I didn’t even want it; I just tried to make the best choice.” I could tell she was being honest by her eyes, her tone, the fact that she genuinely seemed bummed to have had to order the sandwich at all.
The sad thing is, after we discussed the number of calories the sandwich likely contained, she said that she had felt hungry for the rest of the afternoon—despite the hefty hit of fat in the chicken salad. The sandwich—at 600 calories—was small in size, she told me. When I reminded her of the fact that her dinners are only between 400 and 500 calories each, and that they often look and feel large, she seemed to nod gently, letting me know she understood that volume goes a long way toward fullness.

Dinner: Grilled bunless cheeseburger (5 ounces cooked 85% lean ground beef (60 calories per ounce = 300 total) + ½ ounce American cheese (50)= 350) + ½ cup Bush’s brand Boston Recipe Baked Beans (150) + 2 cups mixed green salad (30) + 2 tablespoons Ken’s Light Raspberry Walnut dressing (60) = 590

*Andie note: I had recommended grilled chicken for dinner (with wheat pilaf), but Mom wanted another burger instead. She chose 85% lean ground beef rather than 93% lean at the market, which added more calories to the burger itself, but overall, her choices seem reasonable to me. What I’m more happy about than anything is that she can create a “wing it” dinner–one that’s unplanned, on-the-fly, and still in line with her commitment to health.

Dessert: Peach (70)

Total: 1420

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Saturday

breakfast

Breakfast: Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin (160) + 2 teaspoons butter (~60) + 1 fried egg (70) + 1 sliced peach (70) = 360

Out to lunch: Barbecue chicken (8 ounces chicken breast, butterflied, grilled, and brushed with a thin coating of barbecue sauce = ~400 (240 of that accounts for chicken alone; 160 calories is my estimate for added oil and bbq sauce) + 2 cups steamed broccoli (50) = 450

pasta meatballs

Pasta and Meatballs: 1 ½ cups penne tossed in olive oil (family tradition to toss the hot pasta in oil after draining so that it never sticks together or hardens as it cools. This serving of penne alone would be 300 calories + 2 teaspoons oil (60) = 360) + 2 meatballs and ½ cup marinara sauce (Recipe for PJ’s Meatballs and Sauce  = 320) + 1 ½ cups mixed salad and 1 tablespoon Caesar dressing (80) = 760

*Andie note: This was a big family dinner and, as you can see above, Mom did really well considering we also had fresh baked bread and butter, chicken cutlets, and more. I asked her to “please eat only what you truly, truly love, and know that you can have the rest another time.” It’s about making a choice. Meatballs are a favorite of hers, so meatballs it was.

Late night snack after going to the movies: 1/2 ounce pistachios + 1 ounce raisins (~200)

Total: 1770

 

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Sunday

greek omelet

Brunch (eaten at nearly noon): Greek omelet (1 egg, 2 egg whites, 1 ounce feta, 1 small handful baby spinach = 180) + 2 cups watermelon chunks (100) + 2 small slices of toasted white mountain bread (90) + 1 teaspoon butter (30) + 2 teaspoons Bonne Maman raspberry preserves (~30) = 430

*Andie note: Remember how Mom didn’t like eggs in the beginning? Well, she still doesn’t. But she’s warming to them.

Snack: 12 almonds + 1 ounce raisins = 180

Out to a family dinner at Legal Sea Foods: Wood-grilled haddock with blackened seasoning (Mom ate about 4 ounces because she didn’t like the blackened seasoning = 200 (estimate includes added oil/butter)) + 1/2 of an extra-large baked potato (rubbed in oil or margarine before baking–a typical restaurant practice; I’d estimate the calories of 1/2 plain XL potato + margarine at 250) + 1 tablespoon butter  added to the potato by Mom (100) + 1 cup steamed spinach (this, unfortunately, seemed as though it was drenched in oil. Just covered in the stuff. My calorie guess: spinach (60) + 2 tablespoons oil (200) = 260) = 810

*Andie note: When we got to Legal, I wanted to see what Mom gravitated to on the menu.  Ordinarily, Mom orders fish and chips because a) she loves it, b) it can be made with haddock, and c) she dislikes all fish except for haddock and canned tuna, and even those are iffy at times. After scanning for a minute, she looked up at me and said, “Maybe the wood-grilled haddock?” It sounded like a great, healthy option. Menu items that are grilled and broiled tend to be prepared in fairly simple, healthful ways. For her two sides, I OK’ed the baked potato, and she selected the spinach. When the meal came out, it looked good, but I knew that Mom had made a sacrifice. She tried to muster enthusiasm, but I could tell it wasn’t what she’d like to be eating. The blackened seasoning that the waitress suggested turned out to be a bit spicy for her, and the potato was bland and boring, even once she added a tablespoon of butter (Mom typically adds 3 tablespoons of butter to a baked potato).
Tonight, after I tallied the calories in her dish, I came to the conclusion that Mom would have been better off ordering fish and chips and simply eating roughly half of the plate. For the amount of calories she “spent” on a meal that she felt rather “blah” about, she could have had a smaller serving of something she craved—something truly delicious. No one wants to feel the stinging regret of having sacrificed flavor and happiness for the sake of health by ordering a salad at a restaurant only to later realize it was a calorie bomb—the equivalent of what you really wanted: a cheeseburger.
We’re working on this lesson little by little, because it might be among the hardest to navigate and to master—for her and for me.

Total: 1420

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Week 2 Weigh-In:

Starting Weight: 210

Week 1 Weight: 201.4 (down 8.6)

Week 2 Weight: 199.4 (down 2.0)

Total Pounds Lost: 10.6

 

Mom’s thoughts on progress so far:

“Hello to my friends at Can You Stay For Dinner!

I just finished my second week of dieting, and truth be told, I feel great.  I am so much less bloated and my clothes aren’t so tight anymore (and I am talking about the ones I just purchased due to weight gain!).  I really feel like I’m eating too well to say that I am dieting.

Andie is making me amazing meals that incorporate what I love and I am able to eat breads and pasta (not candy) so how can I ever complain?  I know in my heart and soul that if I were walking with this diet plan I would be so much better off, and I actually will begin that this week.  I will walk aim to walk for 45 minutes at night after work (without DeeDee, who moves at a snail’s pace and stops to sniff each blade of grass).

I must admit that my hardest struggle is going out to eat.  I know that I would like to have a cheeseburger and fries at every restaurant, followed by an iSCREAM vanilla frappe with extra vanilla.  I also find it hard to visit the grocery store and not stock up on cookies and chips in case someone stops by the house.  The jelly beans that my friend gave me last week are now gone and poor Andrea thought that I had been having a handful each night in secret, but I wouldn’t have done that because I would only be sabotaging myself, no one else.  My husband has been eating them, and I never even knew he liked jelly beans.  Once again I can’t emphasize enough how lucky I am to have Chef Andrea.  She shops for me, she cooks (and wow, I can’t believe how amazingly she does it).

For everyone out there doing this, keep it up, it truly is worth it.  The time will and does go by, and next thing you know you will be buying a smaller size.   Follow Andrea’s recipes, they are so tasty you won’t believe they are low in calories.  I keep hearing that I am only eating 400 calorie meals and I am blown away by this.   I had a chicken marsala meal the other night that I would expect to eat at Capital Grille!  Andrea made carrot fries, mashed cauliflower and chicken sauteed in marsala wine, unbelievable.  Try her recipes and ask yourself, Is this is diet food?”

*Andie note: Mom, we can’t make this into an infomercial for my cooking skills or this place will get really weird.

{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Mel Nunn July 1, 2013 at 2:00 am

Wow what a mammoth post! I am loving all the recipes and meal ideas here as I follow your mum’s journey. I do have a question: How do you get such lovely carrot shreds in your salads? Is there a tool that you can use on it? Ive seen beetroot shredded this way too.

Thanks for such a wonderful blog :)

Mel

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Andie Mitchell July 1, 2013 at 9:30 am

Hey Mel!
I buy the carrots pre-shredded because I think they add so much to the salad texturally and they’d be too fine grated or run through a food processor and too thick cut by hand. Here’s a good example of what I’d pick: http://www.readypac.com/product/shredded-carrots-2/

Andie

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Janneke July 1, 2013 at 5:10 am

Hi andy, great work!! very inspirational and I’m with your mom following your recipes. they look very delicious. My question for you is: what does your mom drink during the day???
Thank you

Janneke

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Andie Mitchell July 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

Oh good question! Thanks for bringing it up. I think I’m going to do a whole post about this because Mom’s switching from regular soda to water/diet soda has always been really hard for her. During the day, she drinks water–usually mixed with those little single-serving Crystal Light packets (raspberry lemonade is her favorite). At night, when she gets home from work, she drinks a 12-ounce can on Fresca with dinner (it’s a diet soda that tastes like grapefruity Sprite if you’ve never had it) and maaaaybe she’ll have another one after dinner, too, but not always.

Andie

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Sonal July 1, 2013 at 5:15 am

Wow Andie well done to you and your mum! These meals look amazing and I can only imagine how hard it must be to change your eating lifestyle completely around. Your mum is definitely on her road to success and it seems like you are making it an enjoyable one for her to be on :)

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Admattai July 1, 2013 at 7:53 am

This was a great post, I love this series so far. I’ll be trying some of these ideas myself!

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Kristen July 1, 2013 at 8:00 am

Good job on another week done and congratulations on losing two pounds! I can’t wait to get your recipe of mashed cauliflower. I’ve tried making it many times, and I just can’t seem to get it right. Has your mom ever tried spaghetti squash? I used to be a pasta fanatic, but when I started watching what I ate in an attempt to lose weigh I cut out pasta and used spaghetti squash instead. It’s delicious! Hope you have another amazing week and can’t wait to hear about it next Monday.
Kristen http://www.transfor-morphosis.blogspot.com

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Andie Mitchell July 1, 2013 at 9:36 am

Thanks for the reminder about spaghetti squash, Kristen! I’m going to try it with her at some point :)

Andie

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Hootie July 1, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Daddy got a spaghetti squash marinara and zucchini meal at ruby Tuesday the other day for 260 cals plus the salad bar. Maybe if your mom wants to eat out with a friend she could try that and feel successful as long as she sticks with veggies and non creamy dressing at the bar. I think maybe she needs a successful meal out :) thanks so much for the roasted sweet potato and kashi waffle ideas :) go Andies mom!

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Tiffany July 1, 2013 at 8:42 am

Congrats Andie’s mom on another great week! You truly are an inspiration. This series has gotten me motivated again and so far I have found success. Thank you both!

Andie the food looks amazing as always and I can’t wait for the recipes that will be in your book.

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Ksenija @ Health Ninja July 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

Your moms got a great cook! I would love to go on her diet anytime :)

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Ali | Gimme Some Oven July 1, 2013 at 8:59 am

This is beyond cool. I love that you two are partnering together for this, and the meals look AMAZING! Like, seriously, amazing. You both are an inspiration! :)

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TJ July 1, 2013 at 9:16 am

It’s so true that eating out can be tough. I have gotten to where, if I order steamed vegetables I ask for no oil or butter. Other wise like you said they come saturated in oil.
I am really enjoying this series. Way to go Ladies! :-)
p.s. Have you tried the “Mayo with Olive Oil”? It’s 60 calories per TBSP. I noticed a difference in flavor the first few times, but now it’s the normal.

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Raquel July 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Hey! Loving the diet and the meal ideas. Been trying for a while to get myself and family on track.
You csn make homemade mayonaise with one raw egg, a couple tablespoons white wine vinegar and the oil of your choosing and salt, then emulsify with a hand held blender. Also you can make ‘lactonaise’ if you can’t abide raw eggs, but I can’t remember the proportions right now..

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Andie Mitchell July 17, 2013 at 10:28 am

Ooo sounds so easy! Thanks for the recipe Raquel!

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Diane July 1, 2013 at 9:31 am

I can hardly wait for Mondays now to see the menus and results. Congratulate your mom on another successful week.
What kid of liquids does she drink – lots of water?
The carrot fries sound delicious (along with many other things).
Good going to both of you!

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Alison July 1, 2013 at 10:10 am

Very well put together meal plan. The food looks really tasty and not to complicated to prepare. I wish more articles would be as informative as this one.

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Sophie July 1, 2013 at 10:22 am

Hello!
I just wanted to say good job to your mother and good on you for helping her out with these fantastic recipes. I’ve been following your blog for about a month now and I love it!

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Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) July 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

Hmm… about the chicken salad–have you thought about creating your own mayo? Or maybe making milk mayo? I think you’d have better control about what goes into it, and maybe could shave off a few calories in the process. And, things you make yourself ALWAYS taste better than preservative-laden processed ones. Just an idea!

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Andie Mitchell July 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Oh that’s a good idea! No, I’ve never tried to make my own, but I’d be interested in giving it a shot. Thanks Ashley!

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MaryBe July 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm

You could try plain, nonfat Greek Yogurt instead of mayo. It’s really good once you get used to it

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Michelle Christine July 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I’ve done half mayo and half greek yogurt with good results. (I was surprised I liked it.) :)

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Diane @ Vintage Zest July 2, 2013 at 1:22 am

I use only Greek yogurt instead of mayo now, and I think it’s wonderful after adding in all the other herbs and spices!

abby July 2, 2013 at 11:35 am

With tuna salad especially, I make it with at least half yellow mustard and finish it out with mayo just to give it a little creaminess. Cuts way down on the calories, and it’s tasty too! (if you like yellow mustard as much as I do anyway)

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Larissa Marshel July 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Hi Andie! Great post- what an inspiration! The weight seems to be flying off your mom! I was wondering if you had your meal plans in spreadsheet format or if that might be something in the cookbook?

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Erika July 1, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Bahaha you guys are so cute!!! I was so excited to see another post today; made my day. Does your mom like hummus? It’s kind of a far cry from mayo, but it has a similar consistency! I’ve been meaning to try a hummus/tuna/celery sandwich soon :)

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Cindy Marlow July 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I’m so excited to find this blog! It looks like I will be 2-3weeks behind your mom. We are about the same age but I am 5’9″ and 260. Like a lot of us following this blog, I wonder how I ever let my weight and health go this far. Your blog and your mom’s journey give me hope!

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brenda July 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm

This is for Cindy Marlow if you would like to be diet buddies we are exactly in the same boat and I need all of the help I can get. It sounds like we are the exact same size! Let me know if you would like to and I can send my email address!

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Missy July 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm

My sister in law lost 100lbs and looks great. but im struggling with depression and getting bigger everyday. My sister in law posts something everyday on FB about things she is able to do. i secretly wish i could just ckean my house without being out of breath! i seldom want to get out of bed. Within the last 3 years ive lost my dad 2 sisters and my step sister. I have turned to food for comfort because it seems no one thinks I should still be in this stage of grief. I can’t seem to snap out of it.
On a positive note, during my days of wondering thru the Internet , I found this site. I love this blog! The food looks amazing! currently im 230lbs. i know im a few weeks behind , but I’m going to eat exactly what you post and try to loose along with anyone who will do the same !! Wish me luck !

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Andie Mitchell July 7, 2013 at 10:50 am

Missy,

I’m so achingly sorry to hear about the losses you’ve experienced in the past few years. And as far as the grief, and the stage you’re in–it’s OK to be where you are, regardless of what anyone else thinks, says, or does. Everyone handles things differently, and just because you’re not in the place others are does not mean that you won’t be alright in the end; it just means your path to “alright” is maybe more winding, and maybe there are rest stops along the way.
Secondly, as far as your weight, you can do this. You will do this. It takes time, and patience. Start now and hang out with Mom and me on this journey, but remember that, like grief, weight loss is not always perfectly manageable or linear. Take it one day at a time :)

Wishing you all the good things,
Andie

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Missy July 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Thank you so much.

Valerie July 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I really love this series! Great job! I love how thorough it is and using a real person as an example. Great idea!

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Catherine @ Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth July 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Way to go Maryellen! I love how simple but delicious each meal looks. Andie, you’re a fabulous mentor/coach!

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Lauren July 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Hi Andie!
Love how you’re helping your mom. What great progress you’re both making!
I love chicken salad as well-and I’ve gotten used to subbing fat free greek yogurt with a tablespoon of full fat mayo in. A squeeze of dijon helps round it out. You can still add the grapes or scallions, pistachios or whatever else, but it’s really a wonderful sub!

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Michelle Christine July 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Andie,

Thank you so much for the lovely posts chock full of details about your mom’s diet. I can feel your love for your mom when I read them. I have a few ideas for your mom:

One bottled dressing that is amazing is Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch Yogurt Dressing. It is yogurt based so one serving (2T) has 45 calories and 3 fat grams. It tastes yummy and is my favorite Ranch dressing ever – even better than full fat brands! I find it in the produce section of the store, in a refrigerated case. It does not taste like yogurt!

To replace mayo on a sandwich, I have gotten so I like Cedar’s Spinach Dip (made with yogurt). Two tablespoons = 40 cal and 4.5 fat grams. It gives the sandwich a little zip! I also like hummus. For chicken salad, I now use half plain greek yogurt and half mayo.

Last week my daughter talked me into trying a new Kashi cereal. It is called “Berry Fruitful”. It looks similar to Mini Shredded Wheat (which I hate) but has a fruit filled center. I also normally like my fruit on the side, not in my cereal, but for some reason I love the fruity center of this cereal. One serving (29 biscuits) has 170 calories, .5 g fat, 6 g fiber and 6 g protein. The higher than average fiber and protein content keep me full until lunch! I have also used it as my lunchtime carb when I am lunching on fruit and yogurt.

Your mom is rocking the weight loss!!

Last but not least, I am finding your posts sooooo helpful in terms of getting back on track. I am hoping your book will not be just recipes but also menus. You provide a terrific example of how to lose weight eating delicious, real food. :)

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marianne hardy July 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Thanks for your candor,both of you. I am enjoying the recipes and the conversational style. I can’t tell who I am Mom or daughter. Please, please going with this. The photos and recipes are very helpful. Great food for thought the way you are both analyzing what is happening.

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Chrissy July 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Andie, Wow, what a great post!

My mom, sister and I recently stumbled upon your blog and love the calorie counting you add, and your mom’s diet plan. In trying to live a healthier lifestyle, we are following your mom’s diet plan as well! Tonight we had your dinner with pork, sweet potatoes, and green beans :)

Looking forward to reading more posts!

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Ellen Renee July 2, 2013 at 12:53 am

I have a cereal idea that I was just given from my recent visit with a physician asst (she is giving me some of her meal ideas as she has been on a weight loss plan recently too)…Special K Protein. I was not even aware they had such a product. What about oatmeal? That always stays with me. There is a lovely lady Yummy Life who blogs healthy recipes…she does a good crockpot steelcut oats (with many different types of flavors to choose from) that I eat on all week long – which is great for a working lady. I am not much for summer oats is the thing. She does have an option with yogurt and oats in the fridge but that would not appeal to your momma.

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Diane @ Vintage Zest July 2, 2013 at 1:21 am

Seriously, what a lucky mom! About the cereal, I agree that it is in no way filling. When I do use cereal, it’s something like GrapeNuts or high fiber cereal sprinkled on top of fruit & yogurt. I will make oatmeal and add tons of fruit like apples or peaches that get soft and add natural sweetness to it.

Also, if your mom likes raisins, she should get a dehydrator or use the oven method to make her own. Or I guess it would be you, if you’re doing the cooking. Anyways, it makes the BEST tasting raisins that I’ve ever had. Everyone agrees that they’re practically like candy and much better than the shrively ones from the store.

By the way, I love your pictures. They are so scrumptious looking! I posted my version of your homemade chicken soup today. (http://vintagezest.blogspot.com/2013/07/easy-healthy-homemade-chicken-noodle.html) It is sooo good!

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Melissa July 2, 2013 at 7:29 am

This is so inspiring!!! Go Mom! And Andy!

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Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) July 2, 2013 at 7:46 am

I feel so proud of your mom! The food she is eating looks absolutely scrumptious! I’ve been following this plan for the past two weeks and it’s fantastic. No cravings for junk food or even soda. You and your mom are fantastic, life savers, wonderful!

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Danielle July 2, 2013 at 8:35 am

When is the cookbook being published? I’d love to follow your diet plan but my confidence in the kitchen is way lacking.

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Jasveena July 2, 2013 at 9:09 am

Vegetable is seriously a healthy choice to reduce weight and I think your mom is going to love it. The fact that the food is colourful and different everyday is good enough to make anyone motivated for a diet plan

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Maureen @ Breaking Free & Finding Me July 2, 2013 at 11:46 am

Andie, you are a goddess. that is all. ;)
I’m going to have to try some of these tips with my mom. She’s been asking me to help her with her weight loss lately as well.

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Michele July 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Side Note: this is SOOOOO inspiring, but I truly believe the only way I could make this happen is to hire Chef Andie!!! With 3 kids, a VERY demanding job that is a 20 minute drive 1 way, and the kids summer schedules, I feel lucky to find the time to COOK food! :(

Chef Andie, when you’re done with your mom makeover, come see me! LOL

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Becky July 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Congrats to you both on the weight loss so far, and a sincere thanks for all the work involved in sharing this journey with all of us.

I’m not a big egg lover myself, but have found that I quite enjoy a homemade “Breakfast Jack” kind of sandwich– whole grain sandwich thin, slice of cheese, slice of ham, scrambled egg. Could potentially be made ahead and frozen, easy to grab? Probably tastier than a plain English muffin (bleccch).

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Becky July 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm

PS- Why has no one ever made a photographed meal by meal diet plan complete with calorie count before? At least no one has that I’m aware of. This is seriously great.

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T. August 20, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Agree! The exact calorie counts are teaching me a lot. The simple meals, the ones “barely recipes” are the best because they give easy ideas! Love it!

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Sherri Ogg July 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I was wondering what type of program you use to calculate the calories in your meals? I find your moms “diet” to be a lot easier to follow that others because it includes realistic meals.

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Beth July 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Love everything about this diet! Will definitely be incorporating into my lifestyle!m keep up the great work, you two!

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Steph July 2, 2013 at 6:07 pm

This is my first time on the site and I am already hungry :) Kudos to your mom sticking to the plan. My mother developed stage 2 diabetes in her early 50s and after changing her diet and exercising regularly, she has now been diabetes free for the last 2 years.

I have to say, I saw the Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower and am going to try that one tonight. This all looks scrumptious

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Anne July 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Your mother is doing great! And what a lucky mom to have you for a daughter to cook and calculate her calories each day. I have one suggestion….. Call it a lifestyle change and not a diet….. Bad four letter word…. Sounds temporary . I am not sure you have called it a diet but .others have. Maybe call it healthy eating. I am not trying to split hairs. Thanks for a fabulous website. I wish your book/books were coming out tomorrow! I would be soooo happy! I am going to try some of these great recipes. Yum!

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Will July 3, 2013 at 7:37 am

You are not only doing good for your mom but also for your readers. Going vege is definitely the healthiest way of all to be on a diet and your colourful food selection for each day is going to make your mom love it for the rest of her life. Great job

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Janet Vaught July 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Keep it up mom! We continue to support you and look to this site to see how you are doing. I know it can be harder once the initial excitement wears off. Don’t give up, if Andie can do you can too!

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Nicole July 4, 2013 at 7:43 am

I’m curious about your opposition to the cereal for breakfast. I understand it’s not the most well rounded meal, nutritionally speaking. But from the previous post, it seems your mom likes it and it is keeping her full until lunch. She’s getting plenty of fruits, veggies, and proteins in her other meals. I know for me, I’m happiest with a small breakfast (100-200 cals) and a more substantial lunch. I love this series, by the way…so no criticism, just wondering. Team cereal!

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Andie Mitchell July 4, 2013 at 9:44 am

Hey Nicole!
This is a great, valid question, and I didn’t sense any criticism in it at all. Thanks for asking! I should say that I, too, love cereal. My only concern with it for Mom might be that I wish she’d go for the heartier, denser, more grainy types of cereals, rather than the lighter, voluminous but fluffy and Cheerios-esque versions, because I think it would do a lot to improve overall satiety. Does this make sense? I think that since she wants it to at least kind of taste like the brands she’s used to (the traditionally kid-marketed ones), it’s challenging to introduce her to the ones I might buy for myself that are really sturdy and less sweet. However, that’s not to say that as her taste buds evolve from being exposed to less sugar, that she won’t come to like the more earthy-crunchy kinds. It’s just a process, I guess.
All that being said, if Mom can honestly tell me, “Andie, I feel perfectly fine with the Cascadian Farm Honey Nut O’s and milk in the morning,” then I will get off her back. Because while one part of this whole experiment/journey is me wanting to help her explore new options, I also don’t want to be a bear and push her away from her natural likes.

Andie

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Sarah July 4, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Great post and I’m really impressed with the results! Also it goes to show diet food doesn’t have to be boring and unappetizing as a lot of people seem to think. You just have to use your imagination. There’s a lot of excellent ideas here for some healthy and delicious meals. Thank you.

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Dayna @kaleidoscopebrain July 5, 2013 at 2:34 am

Wow, you both have no idea how much this post helped me right now. I really, really needed to read this. Although not obese, I can now honestly say, I am overweight. I have been roughly the same weight for the past 10 or so years, but within the last year or so, I know I have gained a fair bit and I have been really struggling to lose it. Starting with good intentions, I’ve been running and trying to eat healthy. Some days I’ve so good! I don’t crave anything and the extra junk food my mom buys lays untouched, but some days I know I’m eat-fest-ing and its been very difficult to stop myself until afterwards. This post has pushed me to make a daily meal plan, and I’m going to keep reading to stay inspired! Good luck on your quest! I know we can do it!

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Missy July 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm

I’m new to these Internet things. I’m sorry I posted my first post as a reply. I will get the hang of this soon. Hang in there with me.

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William July 7, 2013 at 5:50 am

I love the way you put efforts in taking care of your mother and how in turn in benefits your readers. Going vege is fun when you have so many colourful selections of food each day. I bet your mom would enjoy it so much. Congratulations

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robin July 8, 2013 at 9:37 am

This is awesome!!!!

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Bryce Wayne July 8, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Great pictures! Tempting food plan. Diverse, healthy and detailed. A food wonderland even kids would love to have.

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Kellie July 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I started using this meal plan this week and it’s awesome! It is so simple and great to use b/c I work full-time with 2 kids. The bunless burger dinner, parm cauliflower and spinach salad was THE BOMB! When does your book come out? I would totally buy it!! Will it have healthy recipes like these? How long will you keep your mom on the diet? I look forward to your posts every week! I wish I had the recipe for the cheesy mashed cauliflower and the roasted carrots but I think I can improvise ;). Thanks for such great ideas!

Kellie

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Andie July 19, 2013 at 9:02 am

Kellie, thank you! I’m so happy to hear it!
I do have a weight loss memoir coming out in late 2014/early 2015 and then a healthy cookbook to follow a year later. Seems so far away :)

Andie

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Kellie July 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm

So happy to hear a cookbook is forthcoming. It does seem far away but I will wait for it AND BUY IT! How long will you keep your mom on the diet? OR how many weeks do I get to see all these delicious HEALTHY meals. I made the rice with tomato and feta last night and received RAVE reviews :) :)

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Andie Mitchell July 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm

I’m so glad that the rice was a hit! Thanks Kellie!! And thanks for your kindness overall :)

I think I’ll keep publishing these posts for at least another 6 weeks! But I don’t really have a set date in mind. I’ll have to figure that out.

Andie

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Connie July 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Andie, I’ve set here on a Saturday night reading your blog, which I came across on Pinterest. I am inspired! I lost my mother/best friend suddenly three years ago on my 50th bday and a month later lost my job. I’ve gained over 40 lbs (as I was at my “fat” weight 25-30 lbs over) when this all happened. Reading about you and your mom brought tears throughout the blog. I too am so uncomfortable and can’t hardly walk a block without sweating like a pig :(! It is embarrassing. Your meals look delicious and appetizing – although I hate to grocery shop AND cook!!! I’m surprised by the variations of foods your mom can eat and still lose weight! Are these recipes in following weight watchers or just eating healthy and a certain amount of calories? I will buy your book as soon as it comes out and I will keep following this blog for inspiration. You have filled my Saturday night with hope instead of me filling my stomach w/food (LOL)!! Both of you keep up the great work and keep the blog coming…I LOVE IT!

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Karen July 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Andie,
I read that during your weight loss adventure, you joined Weight Watchers. Could you please share haw you feel counting points compares to counting calories?

Thank you,
Karen

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T. August 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Does anyone have ideas on how to make the mesquite grilled pork tenderloin? I didn’t see a recipe and I know Andie is very busy. Any ideas on what to marinate it in? Also, do you think I could make it in the oven? Thanks for thoughts!

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Jenny Wilson September 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Hi Andie, I came across your website on pinterest and found myself unable to stop reading! I read your entire website! What a great story! I think it is awesome how you have shared your journey to help others.

I have gone through the first two weeks of your mom’s diet plan and have decided to try to try it out myself. I have been wanting to drop around 5 lbs, but always find it harder too do, when I have to create my own meal plans. So this works great!

I am headed to the store today to get all the groceries for the week, then am going to start tomorrow. I can’t wait to keep track of my weight loss in the first two weeks. I will continue to do yoga 5 days a week as well as walk my dog in the evenings!

Thanks for sharing this, I can’t wait to read your cookbooks!

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