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Returning to posting. I am 7 months out from surgery and down 102 pounds. Which is about halfway to where I need to be. Yay!

I am cooking White Chicken Chili for tonight’s dinner. Wanna take a peek?

First you have to cook three pounds of boneless chicken thighs.  Recipe originally called for chicken breast, but sometimes I can’t eat chicken breast because it’s too dry.  I lined a pan with oil, brushed some coconut oil on the pan, and placed the thighs on the pan.  Then I sprinkled them with a little taco seasoning, and baked at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.  Here they are resting.

Here are the raw veggies for the sofrito. I used two leeks, one red fresno chile, 1 green jalapeno chili, and two pasilla chiles. I minced that all up in the food processor, and it looked like this. (There is coconut oil in the pan under the pile of veggies.)

Then I put in all the spices before sauteing the veggies. Oregano, cumin, basil, pepper, garlic powder. Here are all the spices waiting to become delicious.

After everything cooked for about 8 minutes, I added broth, beans (Rancho Gordo Santa Maria pinquitos that I cooked and froze last week), and the baked chicken thighs which I had chopped roughly.

Here are the cooked beans, which are lovely.  If you are going to take the time to cook beans from scratch, which nutritionally aces, order some beans from  If you are in the Bay Area, they sell their delightful beans at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market.

Here is your finished chili, garnished with a little sour cream and sliced avocado, if they are good at the market.  Mmmm. It tastes like the inside of a delicious burrito.

If you want the full original recipe, take a look at Tosca Reno’s book



11 Days to Go

Today was a super cranky food day. Still did about 90% great. Today’s low carb dinner was Shrimp Cocktail and Cucumber Slices. Giant green grapes for dessert.

12 Days To Go

12 Days til surgery. Low carb, “partial liquid” diet in full swing. Doctor has me eating smoothie for breakfast, soup for lunch and a healthy dinner with protein, veggies and no bread, grain etc. One piece of fruit after dinner.

Today I had: Click protein shake with soy milk for breakfast, progresso chicken soup with cheese on top for lunch, and chicken breast tenders with enchilada sauce, caesar salad (no croutons) and avocado for dinner. Pear for dessert.

Here is a blurry picture of dinner, except for salad. By the way, the Frontera skillet sauces are excellent.

Also walked for exercise at dog park with hubby and Gomez.

My Last Fat Halloween

I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday, and it’s my anniversary. However, I’m not really wear I wanted to be, but at the same time, I’m getting closer than ever.

Last Halloween, when I went costume shopping, nothing fit. I was even miles away from the plus size costumes fitting. I was lucky to find an online company,, that makes gorgeous gothy dresses in big sizes. (I’m wearing it in my profile picture.) And I told my husband last year, “Next year I am going to wear a sexy plus size nurse costume!” And I believed it. And it didn’t happen. I’m about five pounds down from a year ago.

For those of you who are new here, I am having weight loss surgery later this year. I have gone through almost all of the six months of hoop jumping required by the insurance company. In a week and a half, my surgeon’s office can request approval from the insurance company. I am very very excited about this.

So, it’s another fat Halloween, and my last fat Halloween. (Don’t get me wrong, I might not be done losing all my weight next Halloween, but I’ll be in that nurse costume.) I ordered an adorable red devil dress costume from It looks like what Stevie Nicks would wear if she were a go-go dancer. I’ll wear it with leggings and I will be really glad to have it.

What are YOU going to be for Halloween?

So I know that vegan chilis are vastly different. Even the same recipes can turn out totally different from one time to another. The best chili I ever made was from the excellent cookbook “Please Don’t Feed The Bears”. I couldn’t find my copy, so I picked one at random from a different cookbook. I think it’s going to need a lot of doctoring.

I went to a Beginning Hoopdance class today, which was excellent. It was two hours long. At my current size/condition, I have to take lots of breaks, but it was still at least a solid hour of great exercise and fun. If you are in the Bay Area, Nicole Wong from Cherry Hoops is a wonderful teacher.

AND, our ebay score of 13 Twilight Zone Magazines from the 80s came today. Yay!

In case you are a new reader, I am in the approval process for VSG (vertical sleeve gastrectomy). My insurance company requires me to have six monthly visits with the surgeon, along with many other requirements met, before I can submit for approval. I am hoping to have the surgery in October. As someone who has been obese her whole life, this surgery will be life-changing.

I have a great surgeon. He and his staff are excellent. Today was visit 4 of 6. It did not go well. I had a crapload of job stress, a death in the family, and other personal problems, and I was getting over a cold. And I did not make the choices I needed to make. My surgeon told me that if I do not lose some weight before surgery, there will be no surgery. He reminded me of the requirements that I agreed to adhere to pre-surgery (3 meals a day, no refined carbs, good protein levels. No snacks.)

I left the office in tears. But I am recommitted to doing this. Not Monday. Not August 1. Now. Today I followed the guidelines. I’m used to eating much differently, and I’m hungry. I will get used to this. I am tracking my calories, and I am NOT starving. I am also really lucky to have the support of my dear husband, who is doing this with me. Posting to my blog is part of my process. Stay tuned, and comment if you have something interesting and/or supportive to say. Don’t comment to tell me why you don’t approve of surgery.

I am also posting photos tagged “What I did not eat today”, just for fun, and to see the results. Today I passed up a delightful looking piece of birthday cake, and threw away the half a box of spicy cheezits in the cupboard. I went to a friend’s bbq and did not eat chips or other stuff I’m not allowed to eat.

Dear Sarah,

I wanted you to know that you are part of some positive changes in my life. I have all of your cookbooks, and they are the cookbooks I always use most. I am not a successful vegan. I’ve tried about a gazillion times. And even though I am not where I want to be with my veganism, I prefer to cook vegan meals when I am at home.

Lately I have not been home very much. I have a stressful job (who doesn’t?), and I sometimes let it consume me. I usually work until about 9 p.m. regardless of when I arrive. I have used the excuse that I had to stay late because my hubby teaches night classes, and I can’t get home from the train station to our house until he picks me up. (I can take a cab for between $5 and $8, but that was “too expensive”.) There is always work to be done, so I sat night after night, lonely and hunched over my desk. By the time I get to the train station, hubby and I are both exhausted. So I often have us go to a drive thru, even when I have shopped for healthy ingredients, because I am too tired to cook at 10:30.

Last night a stranger started talking to me on the way out of my workplace, and started harassing me, and following me. At one point I thought he gave up. When I got on the elevator to go down to the train station, he appeared out of nowhere and stuck his foot in the door. I jumped off the elevator. He stayed on. I quickly called my husband on my cell, in a total panic. I was so scared. The stranger rode up and down in the elevator THREE TIMES, waiting for me. There were no people around who would help. He finally got off and went away, but I was shaking the whole way home. I don’t know exactly what he wanted. I am really lucky that it ended the way it did. It reminded me of the story you tell in the beginning of “Vegan a Go Go”, but obviously yours was more horrifying. I know I don’t know you, but I feel solidarity with you. (I did meet you once!)

Today I decided to do the Julie/Julia think with the “La Dolce Vegan” book, as some people had been discussing on Facebook. Tonight I left the office at 7 p.m., it was still light out. There were lots of people on the train. I took a cab home, greeted the dog and cats, and started dinner. (Hot and Sour Soup from LDV.) Hubby is on the way home, dinner is ready, and I feel safe. Cooking in the bright kitchen, at a leisurely pace, I realize I hadn’t been aware of how terrible it was to stay at the office so late.

So thanks for being a positive force in the world. I hope this wasn’t creepy!

Jenni 🙂

379. Up two more pounds. Stop it scale, stop going up. What, I have to actually plan my food and prepare it, instead of just thinking about it?

OK, tonight I got my food ready. Here is my food plan for tomorrow. (It’s based on the Clean Eating Cooler One principles, a la Tosca Reno. Google her if you don’t know her, she’s great!)

B – Oatmeal with pumpkin pie spice. Click Mocha Protein Drink
S – Hard Boiled egg white, apple.
L – Chicken breast, salad greens, 1/2 sweet potato
S – Sugar Snap peas, two hard-boiled egg whites
D – Chicken breast, salad greens, 1/2 sweet potato
Before Bed – Herbal Tea

I hope you all had a great week.

Jenni 🙂


I can’t believe that a week went by SO quickly. Not a great food week. Not binge-y, happily, but not enough veggies and water and good stuff. And we went out to dinner the night before weigh in. So not surprised that I am temporarily up two pounds, up to 377 today. I am setting a goal of three pounds for myself before next Sunday.

But here’s the great part. I exercised 4 times this week. Saturday I went to a beginners hula hoop workshop with two friends. Two hours of exercise that was a blast!


I might be too late to count this week, but it’s 11:44 p.m. here on the west coast! I am starting at 375 this time. But today I tracked everything, stayed within my food plan, and had no sweets or snacks. I cycled for 20 minutes and did some stretching type exercises.

Jenni 🙂