My Eat to Lose Plan 2015

Foodie Friday: My Eat to Lose Plan 2015

Hello People!

This is the one you have been waiting for!  Or at least it’s the one I’m most interested in when I’m looking closely at what one eats to lose weight. In the video I made for you I mentioned that I don’t measure things out; now I do. Some stuff has changed since then so here is the gist:

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I did a lot of searching on the internet at what different people eat to look a certain way.  Mostly I viewed the strategies of James Bond girls, and was led to many of the conclusions that I present here. Also, I got a lot of good nutritional information in the book Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy by J.J. Virgin.Unknown-1  For the record, I am not on a crash diet or any type of boxed food ordered meal program that I pay to eat (other than my vegetables that I will explain later).  This is a diet designed by me, for me, and works with my metabolism which thrives on the macronutrient ratios of: 50% Complex Carbohydrates, 40% Protein & 10% Fat.  This information I gathered doing lots of experiments through eating meals and by reading the book How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek.Unknown-5

I eat 3 meals a day and sometimes an afternoon snack, but not always.  It depends on my hunger level and when I eat my meals in regards to spacing; also how much I ate at the last meal. Meals are generally spaced about 4 hours apart. I try to eat meals that will fill me up with lots of fiber so I am not constantly thinking about food which tends to happen to me when calories are restricted and I’m eating too many carbs, of any kind. I drink coffee with whole milk and 2 tsp of Manuka honey and one more cup with 1 tsp coconut oil and whole milk every day.  I am not omitting dairy, caffeine, fruit, carbs, saturated fat or chocolate from my diet.  This works for me, but may not work for everyone especially if you have an intolerance (like to dairy) or cannot eat one square of chocolate and be satisfied. The diet is varied and I cook all my meals myself.  I eat as close to “clean” as possible.  There are some exceptions due to the fact that I am not trying to be a body builder or become weird about food.  I love to cook and that will never change.  I love flavor andUnknown am not afraid to use marinades, sauces, dressings or seasonings/salts to make my food taste good. If you don’t know how to cook or what to cook I suggest the cookbook Cook This, Not That! by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding. Let’s talk details:

Protein

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I eat a lot of protein because it tastes good to me and fills me up. I love animals and wish that I could be a vegetarian, but I feel like crap when I omit animal meat from my diet.  Sorry. Therefore, I buy the least offensive meat possible when I can in the form of organic and/or free range.  Most of the meat I eat is in the form of: Chicken (all parts, not just breast, but no skin due to calories), Skirt Steak, Lean Ground Beef, Eye of Round Steaks, Lean Pork Chops, Pork Tenderloin, Canadian Bacon, Whole Eggs, Salmon, Mahi Mahi, Talapia, Sole, Scallops, Shrimp, Ground Turkey, Turkey Breast on the Bone and Turkey Cutlets. I eat about 150 to 200 calories worth at every main meal which is roughly (depends on the protein source) 3 oz weighed after cooking.

Carbohydrates

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I’ve gotta have these or I won’t be able to stand up.  These have probably been the most limited in variety in my diet as compared to everything else I eat. The carbs I mix and match are: Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice, Basmati Rice, Squash, Carrots, Sprouted Grain Bread, Beans/Legumes, Fruits and Oatmeal.  These I try to keep low glycemic due to my body processing them like fire and leaving me starving in an hour if they are too high on the glycemic index.  Beans in the form of black, pinto, white, pinquito, lentils and black-eyed peas leave me feeling the most satisfied.  I put them in a crock pot with water or broth, a can of chopped tomatoes and a can of enchilada sauce and let them party in there for 6 to 8 hours on low heat.  I use a rice cooker to make rice and steam vegetables and fish.  I bake my sweet potatoes with no oil but eat them with butter. Squash, Carrots and whatever other veggie is laying around gets roasted in a hot oven with a splash of olive oil. I eat about 1/2 cup or 1 serving of Carbs at my meals. My carbs usually total about 80 to 100 grams a day.

Fats

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I am not afraid of fat and nor should you be.  Fat makes you feel full and gives your brain something to fuel itself with.  We can live without carbs and protein for a while, but not fat.  I cook with fat and eat fat on my salads and in the form of sauces.  I love Butter and Coconut Oil in organic form.  I sauté a lot of vegetables with garlic in Olive Oil and dress my salads in Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Flavored Oils.  I eat Avocados and Nuts a lot too.  Cheese (1 oz daily) is also a fat source for me as well as Whole Milk in my coffee and black tea.  These are of course all measured out using spoons or scales because a little goes a long way.

Vegetables/Produce

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I don’t love vegetables, but force myself to cook them or eat them raw or find recipes to make them taste good.  Sometimes I make soups with them or chop them up raw and eat them mixed with romaine lettuce.  I recently went back to my twice monthly order of a box of mixed organic vegetables delivered to my front door.  This helps me eat them and use them in recipes.  Otherwise, I may not buy them or eat them in the quantities that I should.  I aim to have 5 to 7 servings of fruits (no more than two of these) and veggies a day. Lately I have been planning my meals around the fresh Vegetables I have and not the protein.  My favorite salad dressing recipe is: Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the highest quality, fresh Meyer Lemon Juice, Crushed Garlic, Salt and Pepper.

Calories

Bean Chips

Bean Chips

I messed around with the number for this for a few weeks because I need to lose weight, but I need to not feel constantly hungry too.  Hunger can be tamed by the types of food you eat and the ratios, but know that when you are on a diet to lose weight, there will be a bit of hunger; you are eating less food and creating a caloric deficit – so one must get used to it!  Maintenance will add a few more calories back in, but not MANY more. I initially started with 1,400 but was not losing weight.  Then I dropped it to 1,000 to 1,200 but felt I needed a snack at the mid-day point sometimes.  So, I have settled on 1,300 for now. This seems to be a good set point for me and works with my BMR.  This number may be fiddled with again later on, but for now it is working like a charm.  I do add in 3 cheat meals a month.  These are chosen carefully in advance and I enjoy them without guilt.  It is 3 cheat MEALS though and not DAYS. Also, on Sundays I am allowing myself to eat 1,500 calories and take it easy on exercise. Variety will keep my body guessing.  I also have alcohol occasionally, but it is rare.

Is that what you wanted to know?  Hope so…I am tired of writing now and need a snack 🙂

 

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Sugar Anyone… Again?

Inspirational Sunday: Meditation for Sugar Avoidance

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6 months ago I posted my thoughts on a book I had read and typed out half of one of the meditations in the book.  I want to finish what I started and give you the rest of the meditation.  This part is a little hard to handle…fair warning.  But it may be just what you need to complete the mission of erasing bad habits from your subconscious. Remember, this is to be done lying down in a restful state. Or, if you are an experienced meditator, do what you prefer.  I recorded this on my phone in a calm and clear voice and play it sometimes when I need a hit! To read part 1, click here.

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Meditation: Sugar Avoidance (part 2)

  • You are going to see yourself seated at a large table covered with cakes, cookies, gallons of ice-cream, candy, and even bowls of pure, granulated sugar. The table is piled high with sweets and people are watching as you become increasingly embarrassed by your indulgence in sugar.
  • You are seeing people who are important to you watching you stuff your mouth with all the poisonous sugar food.
  • Your family, your friends, your colleagues watch you as you poison your body with sugar and you are becoming embarrassed.
  • That’s right, you are literally becoming embarrassed as you stuff yourself with sugar.
  • You literally see yourself becoming fatter and fatter.
  • You see your clothing becoming tighter and tighter as you get fatter and fatter. The buttons on your shirt are popping off. The seams of your slacks are splitting.
  • You are imagining pure, granulated sugar in your mouth.
  • It is almost repulsive and nauseating because you can hardly swallow.
  • As you hold this picture in your mind, think: For my body, sugar is poisonous; I need my body to live; I owe my body this respect and protection.
  • Anytime you are confronted with a decision to eat refined sugar, you will bring up that image of yourself stuffing your body with sugar, and you will repeat: For my body, sugar is poisonous; I need my body to live; I owe my body this respect and protection.
  • This will block almost any desire for sugar.
  • Imagine holding the remote control for your television.  Press the “off” button and that negative image of yourself is gone.
  • Return now to the confident, excited, strong image, having no desire for sugar and feeling so good about yourself.
  • Just notice how much better that image of yourself feels.
  • That’s right, you are feeling confident that you can control your craving for sugar.
  • It will become easier and easier to limit refined sugar because you want to live to see your children and grandchildren grow into healthy adults.  You want to experience life to the fullest.
  • You know there will be no situations in which you would allow yourself to overindulge in sugar.
  • You know that this desire for sugar reflects a malfunction in your brain and not a real need to put sugar into your stomach. That’s right, you are gradually changing the nature of your brain. Any urges for sugar are going to grow steadily and markedly less.
  • You are feeling very good about yourself and you feel certain that you have the strength to avoid refined sugar when you choose. Your mind is gradually changing your brain so that you will no longer crave sugar.
  • Just allow yourself for a moment to imagine what sugar, that poisonous lethal habit, does to your body.
  • That image is going to help you to cope totally with any desire to eat sweets.
  • There would be no situation in which you would allow yourself to overindulge in sweets.
  • Visualize your head held high, your shoulders are thrown back and you are feeling so good about your growing strength to avoid sugar.
  • Becoming stronger and stronger and having almost no desire for sugar.
  • You really enjoy that image of strength and confidence. You will take that image of strength and confidence wherever you go.

Know When to Say “When!”

Hello People!

Long time no post.  I have been in diet limbo for the past near month.  On a whim, I ordered a long forgotten diet that had worked for me in the past, The Prism Diet, and had started it with full enthusiasm.  It is based on Christian principles that when applied, are darn good.  It requires a mentor to monitor your progress.  This is very important.  So, I called the number listed extensively throughout the book and the-all-important Curriculum Binder to ask the headquarters if they could find me a mentor.  The number sent me to a recorded message that wanted to send me on a “FREE CRUISE!!!” Also, when searching for the diet and a basic website on Google, one is lead to a series of dead-ends mostly with people asking on chat rooms if the diet works or not (most decide that it is too rigid, to this I LOL’d a few times).  There isn’t a website or a headquarters.  Apparently, the diet is now defunct and the creators of it don’t care about you or their precious diet that was created for the masses.  To be honest, I couldn’t even find an entire Curriculum (each section of the diet is grouped by 6 weeks of time, this is contained in the Binder as a whole; mine is missing the last 6 weeks) and only ordered a partial from Amazon; used of course.  Then, I got bored. Then, I got angry.

It just isn’t working anymore.  I think my body gave up on dieting and has taken the offensive against my good intentions.  It is holding onto 25 pounds of fat like white on rice and I’ll be damned if losing it isn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done, including training for a marathon!

Sooooo….. I made a little/big video just for my blogging friends.  I’m sorry it is a half hour long, but it is straight from my heart and I could not find any of it to trim to make it shorter.  It was filmed in my backyard on a breezy afternoon.  So, if you get bored looking at me, you can watch the leaves dance behind me.  This video explains my current thoughts on losing weight, what I plan to do in the future and what I think about diets.  I’m sure you can guess, but I would be happy if you watched it anyhow.  It just might give you some ideas if you are in a rut as well.

P.S. The blog will be different from now on based on these thoughts.  I am even contemplating changing the image of this blog to reflect my new attitude towards eating and health.

New, Old Plans

Hello People!

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Sorry I took a long break from the blog here.  It wasn’t that I lost focus on losing weight or exercising or reading anything and everything about health and wellness.  Those things are always happening in my life no matter what.

In fact, I began a rigorous exercise program 3 months ago and have dramatically changed the shape of my body.  I mentioned somewhere on here before that I would take photos to show a before and after effect.  I was doing just that, but then I started to notice something that was irritating me…I was changing the shape of my body by building muscle, but I was not losing any weight (talk about stubborn!).  You may also be aware that too much rigorous exercise can increase one’s appetite, offsetting the fat loss one hopes to lose while sweating and dying to such routines. So, I’m keeping my workouts to under an hour and a half.  But usually, it’s just an hour a day.  My long 2.5 hour Sunday walk is out.  Walking is great, for beginners, but if you want to really see changes, you must up the ante.

So back to that non-weight-loss problem.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhh!  Full Charlie Brown style.  I have become one irritated person and it is time for the big guns.  I was really hoping that I could lose weight by eating a sensible number of calories, thus not lowering my metabolism and causing metabolic damage.  Let’s just say I have, during my absence, taken every road for that plan and no weight has been lost.  I have maintained weight, which is great and useful for later on, but I need to drop these 25 pounds now!!! I don’t want to wait any longer (not that I’ve been waiting, it’s been more like an exercise in futility for 3 arduous years).

Therefore, I have gone back to an old flame.  The one diet that I lost considerable amount of weight on about 13 years ago, is now in my possession.  Since reading the book that was written about it, I have realized that this particular diet is now defunct across the nation.  Not because it was a bad diet or had problems with it’s requirements; actually, I don’t know why.  The phone number listed for more information connects you to a “Win a Cruise for 2!!!” hotline.  A website does not exist.  The only thing that keeps popping up on Google is about a “Fat Chick on a Diet” complaining that because she wanted a bite of fudge at Christmas, she wasn’t going to go on the diet and sent all the materials back (LOSER!, or, not really).  One of the main important features of the diet is to have an accountability partner or leader help you weekly with your lessons and progress.  This person checks your food diary and goes over your workbook answers and discusses anything that may need to be addressed.  That is the best part because the accountability holds you, the dieter, responsible and makes you think twice about eating that “forbidden food.”  The diet is called PRISM.

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I will go into more detail about it in another post (I ordered from Amazon an incomplete workbook for phases 1 – 3, but there are 4), but for now I just wanted to inform you that along with my fitness regime I now have a rigorous diet plan.  It isn’t easy or flexible.  It does work though, and that is the bottom line.  For some of us, we need strict adherences.  Even a little bit517TAn-00PL of leeway opens the door to temptation which then leads to failure.  This has been my pattern and I want to end it as soon as possible.  For now, my accountability partner will be you all  🙂  and God.  I’ll share my weekly food journals with you on Thursdays from the previous week.

more to come….

Eating Sugar = Storing Fat

Hello People,

Yes, I said it.  And, it is true.  Don’t believe me?  You think that if you work out and eat low-calorie that you will burn it off?  No, you are wrong. That would be true if you are running a marathon or are in a triathlon.  You work out like that every day?  I don’t think so.  Please watch this viral video (over 4 million have analyzed and touted it) in your next opportunity of free time and educate yourself about the horrors of sugar and what it does in the body.  I’m talking about table sugar, the white stuff, the processed refined granulated sweet evil that can come in a variety of names.  Don’t be fooled by the words: Turbinado, Granulated, Castor, Powdered, Organic Cane, Brown, etc.  These are all sucrose, which you will learn in this very important video are glucose and fructose linked together.  It isn’t the glucose that is the problem, it’s the fructose.  Yes, fructose is also fruit sugar, but with fruit, you get fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. Plain sugar gives you nothing but an addiction. He touches on the dangers of drinking fruit juice which is fruit without the benefits.

I am in my 3rd week of being sugar-free (YAY me!!!)  Yes, I felt the full effect of head-aches, mad food cravings, desperate desires for “one more hit!!!”, the shakes, and hormonal mood swings for 3 days.  Then, it all went away.  The funny thing is, if you don’t eat sugar, you don’t crave it.  You also won’t be starving in general anymore due to low-blood sugar swings.  You do know how sugar works, right?  It raises your insulin and then tries to shuttle the excess sugar into cells, who don’t want or need it and then…just watch the video.  I know it’s long.  Trust me, you won’t be sorry.  It talks about how we metabolize alcohol too.  It is very similar to sugar.  I’ll stop talking about it now.  Please watch it:

Flavor Boosters

Foodie Friday: Boost the Flavor in Your Food

Sorry for my brief absence.  One of my younger sisters just got diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and my family and I have been dealing with that.  She is only 38 and it is such a blow to all of us.  This is in addition to my other younger sister who was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer when she was 29.  I have often felt that there is a bit of an estrogen dominance on the maternal side of the family.  We, women of the family, suffer from terrible hormonal imbalances in different forms.  All I can advise to you reader, is, get yourself checked for illness/cancer/hereditary diseases/etc., on a regular basis.

Ice Cube Yumminess

Today I wanted to share a quick tidbit with you all than can help disperse of some almost used up lemons, limes and the like that are bumming around in your refrigerator.  I often make what I call “flavor boosters” in ice trays.  They can be used in a myriad of ways, like sauces, smoothies, pasta dishes and so forth.  Here’s what you need:

  •  Ice cube trays (I have two non-stick ones)
  • Leftover juice, pesto sauce, tomato paste, coffee, etc.
  • Patience and time

So, you just fill the tray with whatever you have lying about and freeze these up.  Pop them out when they are set and put them in baggies to store in the freezer indefinitely.

I like to use the coffee cubes in protein shakes.  The lemon juice I can use in sauces for chicken or fish.  Pesto is good on anything. Just go CRAZY! No, not really.  The beauty is, I don’t have to open a whole jar or bottle or brew up a whole pot of these flavor boosters when I only need a small amount.  If you have ever needed just a tablespoon of tomato paste, but to get it you had to open an entire can, then let the rest spoil, you are able to understand how convenient this can be.  It may be more trouble for some, but I only see it as a win-win.

Note: I also freeze leftover wine, but it doesn’t completely freeze (alcohol doesn’t freeze, basic science – blah, blah), and so it just turns to slush making it not-so-neat in the ice-cube trays.  Therefore, with wine that’s left in the bottle that doesn’t quite make a full glass, dump it into a sealable plastic baggie or glass container like an empty jar, then toss into freezer.  When needed, scoop out the appropriate amount with a spoon/fork for your recipe.

I hope this proves useful to you!  Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂

Diet Plan (Current)

Foodie Friday: My Current Diet Plan

Hello People!

I am anxious to do this post not because I want to do it, but because I don’t want to do it.  Anxious as in, I am scared this may be my downfall and all hope will be lost, kind of way.  Other than that, life is great!

So…..I am quitting dieting.  Well, I’m quitting on a trial run.  I am going to throw out my diet books, cookbooks, low-calorie recipes (that taste like crap) and diet plans that I somewhat follow on a rotation basis.  I’m even looking at some of the food/recipe advice on some of my favorite health guru shows and thinking, “That looks like it would taste awful! But, in order to have a body like them, I should eat it.”  Well, if I wanted a body like them, I would have it already.  I am not that disciplined in the exercise department the way they are either – no surprise.

I want to look like a normal person who isn’t bulging with muscles and ripped abs.  I want to look soft and womanly with a few curves, but also feel comfortable in a bathing suit.  These are my small hopes.  Therefore, rigorous exercise is out (I’m not sure I think this is good on the cells overall anyways – it causes massive oxidation, read: aging) and eating/drinking/exercise in moderation is in.  WHAT???

A billion years ago (more like 20) I was going to a psychologist for fear/anxiety issues.  There was a point in the discussion where I mentioned I had been dieting for many years and was tired of it.  Imagine, I was tired then!  She, the psych, told me to stop dieting and eat what I wanted.  I was floored!  Why, that’s like walking the dog off leash!  That’s like driving blindfolded!  Holy Crap!  What will become of me?  It was also a very freeing moment for me.  No restrictions, no rigid rules, no obsessing over food and meals.  No more telling people, “No, I can’t go out because I’m on a diet you fool!”  This denial had made me into a machine I’m afraid.  At first I went crazy and did eat what I wanted ignoring calories and portions.  Ok, that’s not horrible, but not the point I think she was trying to make.

A few years before this occurrence, I traveled to Europe on a graduation present.  For a major portion of the trip I was in France – Paris and Nice – and did what you hear all the time about people to who travel to France and eat all that rich food – I lost weight;  5 pounds actually, in the course of only a couple of weeks.  I have a picture somewhere to prove it… Anyways, I was amazed because I was eating richly; in fact, one evening, the husband of the house I was staying in offered to make me homemade french-fries (we were joking about how they aren’t french and he was a chef) and suddenly, he lept upstairs from the table we were eating at and made me an entire basket.  Of course, I was obligated to eat and enjoy them!  Not gonna lie, we walked our feet off everyday too because my Spanish friend thought at the time that she was fat and refused to take the Metro anywhere but from the house to our daily starting point. Then, we proceeded to walk all over Paris from one side to the other for about 5-6 days.  When I was up in the Eiffel Tower, she showed me where we had been all week and I was flabbergasted at the distance we had travelled.  Blisters galore!  I did not bring exercise shoes to Europe.  Why did I tell this little story?  To prove my point about ignoring diets and eating what you want.  Life will not blow up, nor will your butt.

Also, a few years ago, I went off my “diets” and wanted to clear out my freezer that was containing a lot of food that I desperately needed to eat up because it was getting old (I have a tendency to stockpile in the tradition of my Grandma).  So I cooked up all sorts of yummy dishes containing the things I already had, in a sense, shopping in my own freezer/refrig for a few weeks.  Guess what? I lost weight again.  Yeah, I was exercising too, but nothing more or less than I do now.  3 pounds – torched.

What is my point?  I want to re-calibrate my system.  I think my metabolism has dropped and I think my “diets” have made me food crazy. (binging issues anyone?)  After 26 years, I need a break.  I understand food portioning, calories-in-versus-calories-out, balancing foods and food groups, eating healthy, etc, etc, etc, etc.!!!  This time, as opposed to the first time 20 years ago, I won’t go insane with my food choices due to this learned knowledge.  This time, I will only live by the “rules” of 1.eat when hungry and 2. stop eating when full.  Eating a balance of foods like fruits and vegetables at all meals is a part of my life now that I won’t ever give up.  It makes me feel better when I eat this way.  I don’t want to be fat, but I don’t want to live in a food prison anymore either.  I want to be normal and the way I have been looking at food isn’t normal.  Let me try this out for 6 weeks and I’ll get back to you on it.  It’s sure to be an adventure.

Binge Recovery

Inspirational Sunday: Binge Recovery

Hey there people!

I knew my recent post on binge eating would identify with many readers.  It is unfortunate, but one that is common.  I have a feeling that many of us that do this are well-meaning people with kind hearts and intelligent minds.  We don’t usually do anything “wrong.”  Therefore, the guilt of doing this behavior can run very deep in us, due to our nature of always wanting to do the right thing in all areas of life.

At the end of the post I talked about not having all the answers and that I am still working on finding ways to end the cycle, for me, once and for all.  Yes, I think this is something that can be dealt with and healed.  Thinking positively about it is a start.  Telling yourself you will never get better will only reinforce the bad habit.  This is true for many things.

Well, I remembered watching a great video on YouTube about binge eating and looked around for it and found it.  It’s almost like a mini workshop.  There are exercises and homework questions in the video for you to try.  You may have heard and tried many of the things she is suggesting, but I am particularly impressed by her first point: What are you getting out of binging that is pleasurable?  I encourage you, if you are struggling with this issue, to watch and learn about ways to cure this self-sabatoging activity.  We can overcome this.

OR!!!

If you feel the above video is not helpful; one in which you have heard the advice of over and over again to no avail, then perhaps this next video will be of help.  This young woman did not fit into the conventional mold of a typical binge eater and sought alternative therapies to help stop the problem.  She did and has recovered!  Her 30 minute spiel is very honest and further enhanced by her insights into a book she recommends.  Hope this helps.

Snackage: Restaurant Style Hummus

Restaurant Style Hummus

This is the Artichoke version

This is the Artichoke version

So today’s post is about the yummiest of hummus recipes.  It’s not the ingredients that make this recipe so amazing, it’s the process of pureeing the ingredients together that creates a heavenly texture. Believe me when I say “this is the best recipe you will find for hummus – EVER!”  I have made this for friends and family and it has been gobbled up in no time flat.  If you don’t like hummus, then I guess this isn’t the post for you and you probably aren’t reading it in the first place!  Those of us who adore hummus probably already know of it’s great health benefits being that it is made from garbanzo beans ( a superfood, nonetheless), olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and other good things.

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Here is the ingredient list:

  • 3 Tbsp juice from 1 to 2 Lemons
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 6 Tbsp Tahini, stirred well
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 (14 oz) can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small Garlic Clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/2 tsp Table Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro or parsley leaves

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Here’s how to make it:

  1. Combine lemon juice and water in a small bowl or measuring cup.  Whisk together tahini and 2 Tbsp oil in second small bowl or measuring cup.  set aside 2 Tbsp chickpeas for garnish.
  2. Process remaining chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds (picture A).  Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula.  With machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in steady stream through feed tube (picture B).  Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute.  with machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed (picture C). Do not stop machine to add the wet ingredients!!!
  3. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle reserved chickpeas and cilantro and/or parsley over surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes.  Drizzle with olive oil, and serve.
picture A

picture A

picture B

picture B

picture C

picture C

I want to mention that this a recipe for Plain Hummus (but not plain, I can assure you!).  You can add to this basic recipe whatever extra flavors tickle your fancy.  Add artichokes – drained and chopped, roasted garlic, smoked paprika, sun-dried tomatoes, curry…etc.  This is a never ending bowl of happiness right here!  Just make sure if you are counting calories to limit your helpings.  I usually eat between 2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup at a time, depending on the size of my snack/meal. I allot 70 calories to 2 Tbsp.

Recipe stolen from: Cook’s Illustrated magazine; May/June 2008 edition

The Secret Life of a Binger

Foodie Friday: The Secret Life of a Binger

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Hello People,

This is an awkward post. Not gonna lie.  One that I don’t want to post about, or rather, have been putting off because it is so difficult to talk about.  I suppose that is because it is personal and I don’t like airing all of my issues to the wind.  Maintaining that certain “air of mystery” has been my modus operandi for most of my life.  But, that isn’t always the best way to go.  Admitting to problems is the first step to conquering them.

Binging: what is it?  Plainly, it is eating lots of food, usually in secret (alone), till one cannot eat anymore.  At some point the mechanism for feeling full actually shuts off and you, or rather I, can’t tell if I am full or not.  The only thing that matters is tasting food, feeling food in the mouth, the smells & textures and the sheer joy of not caring about what I am eating.

So much of my life is about watching what I eat.  It has become a real chore to think about.  Strict low_calorie_food_rmn4edisciplines rule my eating habits such as:  I can only eat so many calories; I cannot eat too much sugar or carbs; I cannot drink alcohol; I must eat vast quantities of green leafy vegetables when all I want are potatoes; and so on. These rules tend to wear on me after a while (sometimes “a while” varies from 2 weeks to 2 days). Remember, I have been dieting since I was 15 and now am 41.  Just once,  I would like to eat what I want or at least not worry about the calories, fat, sugar, starch, etc, etc.  Then it just explodes into an eating frenzy.

It may not start out intentionally wanting to binge.  In fact, when I am in the midst of it, I am not thinking “I’m binging and LOVING IT!!!”  It starts with wanting something off the diet – real bad, knowing that I cannot have whatever that is today because I’ve already had enough or it just isn’t a part of the plan.  Then, I have a bit of that delight.  Then I have a little more.  Then….it’s gone.  ThenI_Ate_TOO_Much I assume that since I ate that “bad” thing, I might as well just keep going because I broke my diet. After about an hour or so, many things have been eaten and some entire packages of previously unopened food have been demolished and the empty containers have been thrown away.

Then, for whatever reason but not the feeling of fullness, I stop.  Eating this much takes my digestive system a long time to process.  My sleep is often terrible, if I do this in the evening right before bed.  I feel like a skunk has crawled up into my gut and died.  My abdomen is bloated and I may even feel a bit sick.  It’s awful and yes, I do feel remorse after about 8 hours have passed.

I don’t have any special radical remedy like 6 hours of intense exercise or purging or being anorexic images-7the next day.  Nope, I just binge and that’s where it ends.  My mom says it’s being half bulimic.  We just don’t throw up.  Yes, she has this problem too.  It has become the bane of my existence.  I want to dump this enemy like no other.

I know that it is intensely psychological.  It is also hormonally driven and a learned behavior.  It is also a habit that has become familiar like an old pair of shoes.  But I’ve been giving it some thought.  It needs to go.  I don’t completely know how, but it does.  I’ve told myself in the past, many times over, to stop doing it.  But it returns.  However, it is getting better and better and less and less frequent over time, meaning that I am learning how to control the issue.  The last time, I stopped eating halfway through the cycle and threw the diet saboteur I was currently chewing on in the outside garbage can.  I knew that I wouldn’t fish it out because that can has had maggots in it and I won’t be eating anything that was near a maggot.  (ucckkk! I can’t believe I put the “m” word in one of my blogs! EWWW!!!)

Most of my help with over-coming binging has been through the Inside-Out Weight Loss podcast.  Rene Stephens is very gentle in understanding this issue (she is a licensed therapist) and has many tips

The Butterfly Logo = Transformation

The Butterfly Logo = Transformation

on binge recovery.  One strategy is feeling the effects of the binge before the frenzy begins.  If the mind can think ahead of what will befall them once the damage is done, then one may not want to venture down the binge path.  This is difficult because in the act of binging (and right before), the mind almost glazes over and the feeling of eating is euphoric like being on a drug.  I actually prefer this feeling to being buzzed on alcohol.  Stopping this feeling can be almost impossible.  This is something that I am still working on, and successfully, but it is no where near cured.  Perhaps in the future, I can post again on my progress and insights.  It is a nasty little habit, one that I’m sure has kept me at my weight for these 26 years.  Getting this devil off my shoulder will free me to become the healthy-weight person I really long to be.

So…….yeah.  That’s my story on this particular bad nemesis.  I can’t be the only one struggling with this.  Do you or someone you love?  What is your best advice?