TT Thursday – Weight Loss Challenge Week 17 and Chef Paula Deen on Losing Weight

TT Thursday – Weight Loss Challenge Week 17 and Chef Paula Deen on Losing Weight

I’m one of those folks who love to watch cooking shows (even though I don’t cook that often.  Yeah, I’m back to food.  Surprised?

Sometimes it’s hard to identify with people in their 20s or 30s who lose weight as a late middle-aged female.  I remember in my 20s, I lost weight much easier.  It was nothing to drop 7 pounds in a week. And when I look at studies at how men and women lose weight, pretty much across the board, it’s easier for guys to drop pounds.  So I feel it’s helpful to look at strategies of older women and how they successfully lost weight.

Losing Weight Tip 1. Drop the white food. No bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, and white flour.

At age 68, Paula Deen lost 35 pounds in four months by quitting white food.  Paula Deen has starred in a number of cooking shows with Paula’s Home Cooking running for ten years from 2002-2012. Deen said her strategy was simple, ” I threw out everything that was white,” she said. “White bread, white rice, white potatoes, and white pasta.” Well, except for white cauliflower, she kept that around. With her new cooking style, her husband Michael lost 60 pounds.

My Virgin Kitchen swaps out white bread with a surprising substitute in this clip.


Losing Weight Tip 2.  Use white cauliflower instead of white flour

In this Eat the Trend video, white cauliflower is used to make the pizza crust with one of Paula Deen’s recipes.


Losing Weight Tip 3.  Use yogurt instead of mayonnaise for creamy texture

Healthy Eating Hacks swaps greek yogurt for mayonnaise in a pasta salad

Losing Weight Tip 4. Eat in Moderation

Paula Deen said, “The thing that I’m trying to really focus on, y’all, is moderation, moderation, moderation. You know, eat a cookie, just don’t eat six of ’em, you know what I mean?”  She expounded this moderation idea to her whole family so not only did she and her husband lose weight but her sons Jamie lost 45 pounds and Bobby lost 33 pounds. Bobby also got into fitness and started exercising a couple hours daily.

Here recipes from the show including the peach stuffed pork appear on the Doctor’s site.

HealthyWage Weight Loss Progress report

So here’s my progress report.  I was worried this week because I was stuck on a plateau (thinks about the bacon fried chicken sandwich, the pumpkin muffin but balances that against the spaghetti squash dinner, eating salads as sides instead of hash browns or fries).  I was pretty much yo-yoing between 219-221 all week.  Last night I thought for sure this was going to be the one week I was going to have to report failure.

Yay! I was wrong.  This morning I weighed in at 217.9 so I ended up losing 1.4 pounds for the week after all.  I am currently in 4 HealthyWage challenges. While I was behind initially on 2 challenges, I am currently ahead of the ball in both of them but there is two months to go yet.  I have successfully lost my 6% weight on one challenge and am just waiting for the first allowable final weigh-in day October 26th.  Given my memory, I am a bit worried I’ll forget.  In that challenge, out of 541 participants, so far 86 have successfully lost their 6%.   On the main challenge,  I am still struggling to catch up the lost ground from the plateau a month ago and in fact last week I lost ground.  That’s the only challenge I am behind on but it is the most important one.

Going for Goal Jackpot Challenge Big Losers Jackpot Challenge Pound Shedders Jackpot Challenge HealthyWager Challenge


This week’s weight loss goals

Goal #1. Cook. So this coming week …. With Craftsy now called BluPrint’s video courses, I was starting to do a cooking class.  They said in their latest newsletter that they are having a one week free event to watch any course.

I have already signed up for their annual plan because I liked the two courses I started to watch.  Remember the easy tomato soup?  So that’s what I plan to do, to put more emphasis on learning to cook healthy.

I’ve really gotten into doing food photographs for Cactus Catz and more recently for Cactus Catz on Instagram so I want to keep doing that but turn the focus on food I create.

Peter Berley in Flavorful Soups cooking course said that cooking is like jazz.  Basically you have a structure but you’re spontaneous and experimental at the same time.

The newsletter announcement:

Bluprint Get Started Event: Watch All Classes + Shows For Free (10/5-10/12)Bluprint Get Started Event: Watch All Classes + Shows For Free
Ready to go from “I wish I could” to “look what I did!”? October 5th through 12th, we’re unlocking thousands of expert-led creative classes, plus projects, recipes, patterns and more to help you do just that. Explore 20+ categories, from quilting and knitting to art and more, and dive into all sides of your creativity. Everything’s FREE during our Get Started Event, on now!

Expiration Date: 10/12/2018 11:59pm MST
Restrictions: The Get Started Event ends on October 12, 2018 at 11:59PM Eastern Time. The Get Started Event is only available online at and is not supported in the Bluprint App or Roku. Materials and patterns are not available for download during The Get Started Event.

herbs, photo by M. LaFreniere, all rights reserved
bringing my cooking out of the closet

I’ve got episodes of different Bluprint courses saved to look at later from how to not use plastic in the kitchen to making your own yogurt.  I may skip around a bit this week just for fun and then settle down.  I do want to finish the soup and Thai food courses.

So I want to experiment more.  Do things like the sweet potato toast, create soups with sides of condiments to change up the flavors, and swap yogurt into recipes.  I also checked out a cookbook from the library that I loved so I bought a used one so I can cook with it (which means spilling stuff on it is ok because I don’t have to return it — you cannot cook with a cookbook and not spill stuff.  Thinks about it.  Maybe you don’t spill but I definitely will.).  Fresh Happy Tasty: An Adventure in 100 Recipes had some cool recipes that not only look amazing and fun but are low calorie too.  Well, maybe not all of the recipes but a lot of them are.

Goal 2. Coffee photos at home. What has been driving me out to the cafes is I want latte art photos. So this week I need to find my espresso machine and my coffee grinder.  It’s time for me to make my own damn coffee so I can shoot photographs.  I’ll probably start with cold brew since I love it when it’s done right and you can have a long photographic session and not worry about your coffee getting cold.  I have a great collection of coffee and tea cups that would be fun to feature. And yes, I also have a great collection of saucers that don’t match — problem with collecting vintage from thrift stores is that you sometimes don’t find matching sets.  But in Japan, mismatching but going together was a design thing when they used to serve me tea so I think I want to use that asymmetric design principles.  It suits my photographic style. I still want to find more cafes in Tucson who do latte art but maybe limit myself to once a week. Problem with cafes is too many of them have pastries!  The meanies!

Goal 3. Step it up. On the fitness side, fitbit says I’ve been averaging about 30,000 steps a week so this week I plan to increase that to 40,000.

Goal 4. Fix my darn bike.  (optional goal.  I think 3 is enough for one week actually)

I am looking for my bikini top.  I’ve found the bottoms.  I think I may need a before/after picture … well now it’ll be a middle/after picture as I’ve already lost 35 pounds.

One of my bra looks sad on me — it’s all crumply because it’s not filled up any more.  Sighs.  I’d rather keep the top and lose more off the tummy but what can you do?  It’s time to put that bra away and find some of my older ones that had gotten too tight but might fit now.  I can wear a couple shirts now that I love but had put away for being too small.  Now they fit and are even a little loose!  Whoopee!

I guess that’s enough for one week.  What do you think?  Don’t you think three goals are enough?  What about you?  Do you have a goal for the week you’d like to share?

10/5/18: I didn’t take a pic of me on the scale yesterday so did it today and lost another 1.6 pounds! Yoo hoo!  That’s why the pic  of 216.3 is different than the 217.9 lbs above.  I made a before and after pic.  The bottom pic is the first one I weighed myself with on the first challenge on June 4, 2018.




Paula Deen Reveals How She Lost 35 Pounds
By Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, March 18, 2015

How Paula Deen Dropped the Weight
Nutrition By The Doctors Staff, April 13, 2018

Paula Deen’s hubby shows off 60-pound weight loss
by Matt Murray, Today, Oct.14, 2016,  Updated Jun 05, 2013

‘At the Southern Table with Paula Deen’ Recipes
Nutrition By The Doctors Staff, November 2, 2017

I may earn a small fee or commission if you sign up or buy something by clicking one of the above links.

I am also one for Amazon disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

I am an affiliate for HealthyWage because I like them and I think it helps people a lot to have that extra incentive to lose weight.  In the post text, they are affiliate links only but down here you can also choose to join by a friends link.  If you join through the links above, I’ll get a small fee whether you or I succeed or fail. However, they also have a friends link where we both earn only  if we both succeed — the added motivation of social pressure! If you join up by clicking this friends link, it adds a $40 to your HealthyWager award if you complete your goal and $40 to my HealthyWager award if I complete my goal.  Neither of us gets the $40 if either person fails.   I think the $40 is for HealthyWager challenges only and not the other ones like the 6% individual challenge or the team challenge. The HealthyWage affiliate link doesn’t matter if anyone succeeds but there is no benefit for the friend, just for the affiliate no matter what kind of challenge they join. Joining through the friends link also lets you view your friend on the dashboard: you’ll see their name and what % they’ve lost so far but not the actual weight.  That’s private unless you make it public.

13 Replies to “TT Thursday – Weight Loss Challenge Week 17 and Chef Paula Deen on Losing Weight”

  1. I love yogurt and cauliflower, and I can do moderation, but … no potatoes? No tortillas? No rice? ugh! I don’t know if I could do that 🙁
    So many good ideas and goals! I really enjoyed reading your post, and I am looking forward to seeing those home brewed coffees.

    1. You get used to the no carbs but I admit it’s very hard sometimes. For me the hard part is noodles and rice. I went back to noodles this week and gained weight so I’m off of them again. Glad you enjoyed the post and the ideas. The coffees are showing up on instagram and cactus haiku rather than here. I did play with foaming milk a bit.

  2. Kudos to you on your continued weight loss! I would enjoy pics of your mismatched cups and saucers…this seems so ‘you.’ I use Greek yogurt instead of mayo a lot, because it has a lighter texture and more protein than mayo. My goals for the next week…ugh, I am still editing my novel! And I run a marathon in Washington D.C. on 10/28, so I am running like a crazy person for just another week or two.

    1. That’s awesome that you’re running a marathon. I die running a quarter of a block to make the bus so I’m very impressed that you can run miles. I just discovered Greek yogurt a couple of weeks ago and love it — I love the thicker consistency over the more runny regular yogurt I’ve had. Greek reminds me more of ice cream than reg but with a sharper flavor. I was going to sub the reg yogurt for mayo. I’ve used reg fatfree yogurt instead of milk in baking and it works pretty well. I might split a mayo salad in half and try half reg and half greek just to see what happens.

    2. Oh wow, your marathon is only two days away! I hope you enjoy it and have a good run. And your editing too, I hope you’re having a good run on your editing and are making good headway.

  3. Oh my gosh Mary! This post could not have come at a better time for me. You are so right about the fact that losing weight is much easier when younger. I have a stubborn 10kgs that doesn’t want to shift no matter what I do. But I feel energised by your post, tomorrow there will be a clear out of white produce, and a reintroduction of the word moderation! We slip now and then and just need a gentle shove in the right direction, merci beaucoup ✨

    1. Yay! I’m glad it was helpful. Thank you so much for your comment. I hoped the moderation and out with the white worked for you.

  4. These are all true. You can drop the weight very easy if you take the white out. I’ve done it in the past.

    You are doing so very well on your weight loss quest.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ♥

    1. I’m two weeks behind on replying. Sorry! I appreciate the support and read them daily. It’s nice rereading this one as this week didn’t go as well so the past “good job” is a reminder of where I need to be. Thank you very much!

      HOpe you can be out on the water this weekend! And are having a great Feline Friday

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