thepolkadotrobot

My Weight Loss Journey

Vanilla Blueberry Compote July 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Polka Dot Robot @ 11:32 PM

By now you all know how much I love berries. They’re wonderful. They go so well in everything: Protein shakes, smoothies, add them to pancakes or crepes for breakfast, throw them in some cottage cheese for lunch, blend frozen berries for a delicious sorbet for dessert, or eat them by themselves, fresh or frozen. They are the perfect variety of food. Definitely nature’s candy.

This is why I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate them into my diet. I actually came across this idea while working on perfecting a 100-calorie no-bake cheesecake (recipe tomorrow, once tested).

This compote is amazing. Put this on your ice cream, mix it into your yogurt, spread it on your toast, pour it on top of cheesecake, or heck, you could probably make a huge batch and pour it into a pie crust and I doubt anyone would complain.

This can be done with any berries. Use the same measurements, just swap out blueberries for your favorite berry or even try mixed berries!

This is a very easy recipe, and all you need is a few ingredients!

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– 1 cup blueberries

– 2 tbsp Splenda or your favorite Sweetener

– 4 tbsp water

– 2 tsp vanilla

– Squeeze of lemon

In a saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of blueberries and remaining ingredients to a boil over medium heat.

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Boil for ten minutes. This will create a very thick, lumpy sauce.

Add remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries, boil another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

I’ll be honest. I skipped the last step and put it right on my ice cream, which promptly melted. That’s okay, I stirred it into a delicious blueberry concoction.

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It tasted like candy. Definitely one of the best things I’ve ever made. I can’t wait to try this on cheesecake!

 

93 calories, 0.5g fat, 14g sugar

 

An Ice-Cold Smoothie Without All That Pesky Ice July 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Polka Dot Robot @ 10:00 PM

I finally did it!

I finally created the perfect berry smoothie!

I’m so happy I could cry.

I love my smoothies freezer cold, not just fridge cold, but that always means adding ice, and I hate watering down my smoothies. It doesn’t just affect the texture, but the flavor too. Ick.

Additionally, my favorite protein shakes are the fruit ones. The problem is I hate. hate. HATE seeds.

So I spent last week juicing pounds and pounds of raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. It took forever because my crappy juicer doesn’t work super effectively, and it left a LOT of pulp in the first few times around, but after every juicing, I just strained out the liquid and re-juiced the pulp until I had as much as I was going to get from my juicer.

I like mixed berry juice so I just mixed all the juice together and put it in a tupperware container and put it in the freezer.

I also have frozen blueberries. They don’t need to be juiced because they’re perfect as they are.

So today I made my first delicious smoothie with this.

– 2 scoops Visalus powder

– 1 cup fat free milk

– 1/3 cup frozen blueberries

– 2/3 cup frozen berry juice

Blend together until delicious.

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Look, you can even see the condensation. That baby is COLD. And no seeds! None! (The spots you see are blueberry).

This meal shake contains 300 calories, 1g fat, 11g sugar, 21g protein.

 

A tip: I found that the juice, once frozen, was VERY difficult to scoop out, I had to microwave it for two whole minutes just to be able to dig a spoon in there. I don’t know what would be a better way to freeze this juice. Maybe ice cube trays? But I’d need a LOT of trays to freeze all this juice. Of course, you could always juice a tray or two full of berries, then freeze the rest of the berries and juice them later, but I really wanted to get all the juicing out of the way at once. Do what works for you.

 

Caramel Cheesecake Frappuccino July 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Polka Dot Robot @ 7:02 PM

Yum!

– 2 scoops sweet cream flavored Visalus powder

– 1 packet Starbucks VIA Caramel Flavored Iced Coffee

– 1/4 cup fat free cottage cheese

– 1 1/2 cup fat free milk

– optional 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

– optional ice cubes

Blend together. This has a wonderfully rich and creamy flavor mixed together with yummy coffee to become a perfect breakfast protein shake.

Calories: 360

Sugar: 15

Fat: 2

Protein: 

Xanthan gum is a thickening agent. I bought some recently on eBay really cheap, and it’s great for making shakes thick and creamy. Don’t use too much though, it’s easy to make it uncomfortably thick (that’s what she said).

I discovered after making it that one packet of VIA coffee is TWO servings. I hate when companies are sneaky like that. Since this is a meal shake it’s not bad nutritionally, but if you want to cut back the calories you could use only half the packet, or use half the packet and then add some plain instant coffee, or to really cut back the calories use plain instant coffee plus sugar free caramel syrup. Of course, if you don’t like caramel, you could use plain instant coffee and enjoy as is, which would also be delicious and refreshing.

The surprisingly good combination of cottage cheese and coffee makes me wonder if I might be able to come up with some sort of tiramisu protein shake.

Stay tuned….

 

My New Treadmill and Body By Vi shakes July 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Polka Dot Robot @ 12:13 AM

Somehow my room has always collected insane amounts of heat. It might be comfortably warm outside but it’s sweltering in my room. I think this is because for a good chunk of the day the sun is beating in through the biggest window in my room, which is also the only window that allows any kind of ventilation.

 

However, keeping my door and windows open and having a fan on full blast helps a little, which is what I need to do to use my new treadmill I got yesterday. I’m so excited, I’ve been wanting one for a while but I kept putting it off, thinking it wasn’t worth the money since I could just go for walks outside, right? But after finding myself unmotivated to do that because of various reasons (too much to do at home; sad, depressing scenery; worried about people looking at me in my grungy work-out clothes while I sweat bullets; pure boredom during walks) I decided that I’d find a cheap used one on Craigslist. That’s exactly what I did. My boyfriend helped me pick it up yesterday and somehow we managed to get it upstairs into my room.

 

Today I used it, and although I was sweating bullets I didn’t mind so much since no one could see me. I set my laptop in front of me and watched TV while I did it and 40 minutes went by like nothing. Once I get used to the treadmill’s pacing I can start crocheting WHILE I walk, which will be killing two birds with one stone, since I need to spend a LOT of time crocheting for my home business (I dedicate at least 40 hours a week to it, just like any other job).

 

On another note, I’ve been doing the Body by Vi shakes, and I gotta say, I don’t like them. There just isn’t enough protein, and they’re way too expensive. There’s no reason to use them. A normal protein shake and a multivitamin is just find and a heck of a lot cheaper. They’re also not as filling. One of my regular protein shakes has almost exactly the same amount of calories, sugar, and fat (100, 2, 2) as the Vi shake, but at least 10g more protein which makes it much more filling. I can drink my normal protein powder mixed with a cup of milk and be full, whereas with Vi, I can drink the powder mixed with a cup of milk AND a cup of fruit and still not be full.

 

Verdict is in. It’s not worth the money. I’m going to use up the powder I already have but there’s no way I’m going to purchase this product.

 

Oh! And I realized I forgot to do the Wednesday Weigh-In again. I’m so bad at remembering that. If anyone is around next Wednesday, remind me to weigh in!

 

Trying the ViSalus Shake June 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Polka Dot Robot @ 3:58 AM

Today I tried the Body by Vi shake for the first time. I have the sweet cream flavor, which is delicious as ice cream so I had high expectations.

 

I mixed two scoops of the powder (which was probably about equal to a regular scoop of protein powder) with a cup of 2% milk and a cup of frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries). Honestly it’s not bad. If anything I’d say it’s a little sweet but it’s great with the tart berries. It reminds me of the Sinless Sans-Fat Sweet Cream ice cream mixed with raspberries that I get from Coldstone.

 

Now I used 2% because it’s what I have, I plan on switching to fat free tomorrow but the grocery store was out today. Assuming you use fat free milk, nutritionally speaking, one shake has 260 calories, 14g of sugar, 1g of fat and 21g of protein. That’s really not bad for a meal. If I were to use my normal protein shake in place of the Vi powder, we’d be looking at 310 calories, 15g sugar, 2g fat, and 26g of protein. The protein shake would have more protein but more calories, so I guess if you’re exercising more, the protein shake would be good, if you’re not exercising as much, the Vi shake is good.

 

I feel obligated to  mention, this protein shake I use normally is something I use because it’s inexpensive (about $15 for a 2lb container at Walmart) while still being pretty good for you. Another brand I use which is a little more costly is Designer Whey, which is practically the same as the Vi powder nutritionally. You can find it at Trader Joe’s for about $12 for a 12oz container. Body By Vi seems to mainly be sold through independent consultants so it’s hard to get a definite price. Additionally, it’s also often sold in “kits” which include a variety of other things along with the shake powder. However, based on a couple different websites I looked at, the average price seems to be about $99 for a month supply.

 

So for the thrifty dieter, you’re looking at the following prices (for powders alone, not for add-ins like fruit or milk):

Body By Vi: $1.65 per serving

Body Fortress: $0.63 per serving

Designer Whey: $1.00 per serving

Based on what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t say Body By Vi is really worth the money. However, since I already have my free sample I’m going to give it two weeks and see how well it works in comparison with two more weeks on my regular protein shake. If it really blows my mind then it’s worth the money. If not, I’m going to stick with what I’ve got.

 

Body By Vi June 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Polka Dot Robot @ 6:52 AM

I’ve heard of “Body By Vi” but I never bothered looking into it – there are a lot of weight loss program challenges out there and they’re all pretty expensive. But completely by chance I won a two-week supply, so I looked into it and figured it would be worth a shot.

The idea is to have two nutritional shakes a day, a modest meal and two healthy snacks. Frankly, if you stick to that plan with any healthy protein shake you’re bound to lose weight, right? So I don’t know what’s so special about Vi. It boasts that it contains a LOT of protein/iron/other vitamins that you’d have to pay over $100 to get from food, but the same can be said about a multivitamin, which I take daily.

So I’m going to see if this is anything special. I’m going to try the Body By Vi shakes for two weeks, then I’m going to replace the Vi shakes with my regular protein shakes for two weeks, then compare at the end which one is better.

 

Willpower June 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Polka Dot Robot @ 1:08 AM

My birthday was last week, and a couple days ago my dad bought this ENORMOUS beautiful raspberry strawberry white chocolate cake (oh my god right?). I am really proud of myself. I have only had two pieces in four days. I actually haven’t been eating too much, and when I do eat I try to make sure it’s mostly protein. Starting back on Stage 1 tomorrow! Anyone who wants birthday cake, come get it, there’s way too much left and I refuse to eat another bite of it.