6 weeks @ 1200 cals

Week 3, Day 1/Day 15

AM–Back to the car dealership this morning, luckily they were out of donuts this time–thank god!  I still got free coffee though @ 10 cals.  I had a FiberOne bar while waiting for 140 cals. So thats 150 cals for the morning.

Around 10:30 I had half an apple with about a tablespoon of cheese melted over the slices as a snack (God I love cheese) for 80 cals.

I couldnt resist a craving for a sub sandwich today, I really love sandwiches–its one thing I miss most from the east coast–sandwiches are generally better out there.  Since I was on Beverly Dr. I decided to give in and get the student special at Jersey Mikes–$7 for a sandwich, chips, and a drink.  I got the Jersey Shore’s Favorite and had him cut it in half–I ate half around 12pm and then the other half around 2:30pm.  The sandwich has 570 cals total and then the bag of Baked Lays added another 130 calories, but the good thing is I was really really full from eating these delicious 700 calories throughout the afternoon.

I made my own version of Ratatouille in the afternoon and had a small bowl of it after going to the gym, its probably about 150 calories a cup–will share the recipe later this week or early next week.


Then my roommate came home and offered me a See’s candy Toffe Almond thingy–I couldnt resist–only after the fact did I look at the can and see that it was 90 calories for a tiny piece.  So that makes 1170 for the day!


6 weeks @ 1200 cals

Week 2, Day 4/Day 11

Breakfast 8:30 AM-

I had these awesome Morning Star Sausage meatless aka fake meat patties with maple syrup flavor, which strangely have the same calories as the non-maple flavored ones. . .isnt it nice when you realize that you’re eating substanceless flavor chemicals?  These were 80 calories each and 10g of protein each–which is awesome–two of them gave me 20 g of protein and 160 calories.

I washed those babies down with some OJ, which I used to drink every morning but haven’t since this 1200 calorie thing and man have I missed juice.  Juice is good. I had about 8oz for 110 calories.

I had my AM coffee at Fratelli Café on Melrose and Formosa, no splash of milk today, I’m feeling bold.  While I was drinking it, two different dudes actually craned their necks out of their car windows to “holler” at me, one of whom was blasting Kenny Rogers. . .that was GOLDEN!

I wandered up the street and went into the “T” Salon near the corner of Melrose and La Brea and I sampled a bunch of their “on tap” teas. . soooo good.  I felt really bad that I had just bought a bunch of tea at Lupicia earlier this week, next time I will go to the T salon!

Then I had a meeting at M cafe with some other local foodies and I had. . .MORE COFFEE!  Yay.

1PM Back home for lunch I cooked up the rest of my steak tips and heated up some of the sautéed veggies from earlier this week, which I ate with a serving of cottage cheese. The steak serving was about 180 calories, the veggies about 70 cals, and the cottage cheese 90 cals, for a good lunch total of 340 calories.

This afternoon I decided to make the Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt brownies.  It comes as a mix and you just add 2/3 of a cup of non-fat yogurt to it, they turned out really good @ 120 calories each they are a great diet dessert. . .if you can eat just one.

Tonight we had an event at The Foundry (last time I was there I spotted a gaggle of hobbits. . .well a bunch of actors who play hobbits anyway, and I had the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich that they refer to as “fat on fat on fat” (how about yum on yum on yum!?) which was featured here !)

Apparently, if you didnt know this already, I have two major weaknesses–free stuff and cheese.  During the night of free drinks and appetizers, I had three glasses of wine (which, for me, was majorly holding back) and one of each kind of appetizer–a mini crab cake, a sliver of a grilled cheese sandwich, spinach en croute, this really cool beet pancake thing with goat cheese and beet slices on top of it.  So I am going to estimate 200 cals for the appetizers and a whopping 600 for the wine, since they were hefty pours. So 800 calories later, the problem was that we were still hungry. . .and they had run out of grilled cheese!  So we left the event and went to Campanile on La Brea, which if you havent been there you must check out.

Here’s what they say about it: “Campanile is housed in an historic and dramatic structure built in 1929 by architect Roy Sheldon Price for Hollywood legend Charlie Chaplin. Mr Chaplin originally intended to use the building for personal offices, but surrendered ownership to his second wife, Lita Grey, as part of their divorce settlement. In the late 1980s, following decades of neglect, the building was purchased by Executive Chef Mark Peel, former Pastry Chef Nancy Silverton and former Wine Director Manfred Krankl. Architect Josh Schweitzer supervised a complete remodel, converting the structure into a magical space intended for a bakery and restaurant. La Brea Bakery opened in January of 1989, with Campanile following six months later.

Over the past twenty years, both the restaurant and its Executive Chef, Mark Peel, have received numerous awards, including: the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Restaurant Award – 2001,” the “Los Angeles Culinary Master of the Year,” and Food & Wine‘s “Best New Chefs.” We have also been nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Wine Service Award,” its “Best California Chef Award” and, most recently, their “Outstanding Restaurant Award – 2008.”

We have been wanting to go here for a while, but it’s always booked when we try to go. I’ve been hearing a lot about Mark Peel lately too, so showing up late on a Thursday was the way to get a table here.  But the best part is that Thursdays they have a special grilled cheese menu.  We shared the grilled onion and tomato grilled cheese, which the waiter put on split plates with a huge bed of lettuce and brought us complimentary fries since he took so long to get to us.  We tried really hard to resist the fries, but ate all of the salad and each of our gilled cheese halves.  It was not nearly as good as the Foundry, I would even venture to say that Norms is more to my liking–and at 15 dollars a pop, I doubt that I will venture back there on grilled cheese night, but maybe for some of their other entrees.  (someone else agrees with me) So I’m going to say that it was 300 for the half of the grilled cheese sandwich, making the day’s total a whopping 1830~!

How to Caramelize Sugar on the Stovetop

I’ve noticed lately that in a lot of cookbooks the recipes that require caramelized sugar often just say “add 2 cups caramelized sugar” but they don’t tell you how to actually make the caramelized sugar yourself.  It seems like a simple process, but actually it’s really easy to mess up and its really really easy to burn yourself making caramelized sugar.

I believe that you really do need a candy thermometer to do this right, because it may look like it’s a caramel brown but still be in the soft crack stage when you really want it in hard crack stage, so its best to know for sure what the temp is before you pour it out.

You will need:

A med saucepan

A candy thermometer

A wooden spoon



Lemon Juice

A cooking brush (or a small paintbrush)

First, for every Cup of sugar that you are making add 1 tablespoon of water and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.  I find these proportions to work best, the lemon juice helps to stop it from crystallizing.  Place in saucepan on high heat. Stir often but not continuously.

While its first heating up get your brush wet with warm/hot water–you might just want to keep a bowl of water on the stove to dip it in.  As you stir your sugar mixture some will cling to the sides and start to crystallize, you want to just take the wet brush and brush that back into the mix as it happens.

Once the mixture is liquid and starts to bubble check the temperature.  Around 250 degrees it should be a squishy ball when it dries.  Be VERY CAREFUL the liquid is really not now, so don’t touch it or do something silly like lick the spoon –I almost always end up doing this and it really hurts!

So once the mixture has boiled for about 10 mins it should shrink down and start to turn a golden brownish color.  It looks like this from about 275-350, so you need to check your temp before you stop cooking.  Also be sure to keep brushing the edges down throughout the whole process.  You need to get it to 302 degrees and then you can turn off the heat and pour it into your pan, or do whatever you’re going to do with it.