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.

Parachutes

Think It Through Thursday: Parachutes

Hello People!

First, I just wanna say that if you have been following and reading my blog for a while or even from  the beginning, THANKS!  I appreciate your support so much.  It really is a journey and you have really seen the ups and downs of what I go through which may be similar to your own journey.

Now, I want to discuss my recent decision to free-fall from the great heights of Diet Mountain.  I am of course referring to my last post that had a video talking about my choice to go diet-free forever.  If you haven’t seen it, I think it is worth watching because I make a lot of valid points about the realities of being a serial dieter…….for 27 years.

There are a few things I want to list and talk about in greater detail that I didn’t get to expand upon in the video.  They are mentioned, but not fully explained.  You see, when I said I was free-falling, I forgot to mention that I also packed a few parachutes along with me on the way down.  I’m using these as guideposts in my diet free life.  They give me some control in doing something that I feel I have no control over, at least not yet.  (It’s terribly ironic that being on a diet may seem to give a person control over food and over-eating and god forbid – bingeing, when in fact, and certainly in my case, it was nothing but being out of control.)  These are actually lessons that I have learned in my reading of the French culture and the way they observe the art and science of food/exercise/joie de vivre!

Parachute #1: Eat Only When Really Hungry

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Note: This tip has also many sub-categories such as – gauge how hungry you are towards how much you eat or plan to eat.  It really is simple though.  Feel hungry, then eat.  As a dieter, you tend to become afraid of hunger; I still am terrified of a rumbling stomach.  All I can think of is “Will I faint?”  In the book French Women Don’t Get Fat, the author recommends taking a snack with you everywhere you go “…just in case.” She calls this your “en cas.”  You don’t have to eat it, but it is reassurance if you get into a bind and the next meal is nowhere in sight. But the real magic in this tip is connecting to your body and feeling what it wants.  Diets tend to be very planned and timed.  I recommend eating 3 meals at least a day, but think about how hungry you really are before each.  If it is time for lunch but your hunger is slight, don’t eat all that you packed/prepared.  You can always save the rest for later or, gasp!, throw it away.  Or, find another time later in the day to eat if possible.  Check your hunger on a scale from 1 to 10; 1 being starving and 10 being maximum stuffed.  Try to feel about a 2 or 2.5 before really enjoying a proper full meal.

Parachute #2:  Don’t Snack

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This was/is a big one for me.  As an American, I know that there are entire food products made in my country just for snacking!  I also am guilty, or, errrr, rather used to having 2 snacks a day between my breakfast and lunch.  This was due to the fact that my meals were not satisfactory enough to hold me for four to five hours.  So, a typical lunch would only fill me up to a 5 or 6 on the scale.  Also, I did something called “preventative eating” which meant that I could get hungry after a meal between it and the next one, but a snack would thwart that.  Therefore, I never really experienced true hunger.  This parachute is key people!  That whole concept of eating small, snacky meals 6 times a day is bogus for me.  That is a body builder concept to “keep the metabolism running constantly.”  I don’t want my metabolism running constantly!  This forces me to always be thinking about food and when my next “meal” will be and I’m never really satisfied after eating.*  So instead, I would suggest really understanding what types of foods fill you up and avoiding those that don’t.  For example: Whenever I drink diet soda, I get ravenous no matter how much I ate before drinking it.  So, I avoid drinking diet drinks or using artificial sweeteners.  This also includes stevia I’m afraid to say.  It also tends to press my hunger button. Also, high-glycemic foods make me ravenous in about an hour after eating them; example: Jasmine Rice.  Time them wisely or combine them with other low-glycemic foods to balance them out in the same meal.  Snacking is fine if it is truly needed, but make the food choice carefully and try not to ruin your hunger for your next meal.  That is the goal.

*Note: I realize this is a personal preference.  If you like the small meal tactic and it works for you, by all means keep at it.

Parachute #3: Stop Eating When You Feel Full

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NO, you don’t have to finish what is on your plate.  Yes, you can throw away the excess or give it to the dog if you can’t eat it all and don’t want to save it for later.  If the fork is half-way to your mouth and you feel that sudden knowing of fullness, put it down and push the plate away.  It really is ok to only eat to satisfaction.  This is a real art to discover though.  Dieters lose touch with their feelings of satiety.  They weigh and measure and spoon specific portions and confine themselves to little boxes of food rules.  If you binge, then being full can be completely ignored and one only stops when they feel physically ill from over stuffing.  This means you have lost touch with fullness. Remember, stop at about a 7 or 8 on the scale.  If you aren’t sure, think about it without eating in the meantime.  Put the utensils down and just sit there not talking to anyone and think.  Wait a few minutes. Drink some water.  Take some deep breaths.  Think about happy things, not stressful ones.  Don’t distract yourself either.  Really think about it.

Parachute #4: Eat Only Whole, Unprocessed, In Season Foods

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Forget eating for health.  Forget eating to lose weight or be cancer free.  Eat to taste and enjoy.  Do you remember eating a vegetable that was delicious? Really…like a tomato freshly picked from the vine still warm from the sun, sweet and juicy?  Enjoying the taste of your foods and eating whole foods that are in season/ripe will fill you up much better than anything with a food label on it.  If you are one of these people who eats from cans, bags and boxes (I see you out there!) this is exactly what you need to avoid.  There is a whole British documentary you can watch on YouTube about how those prepared meals are designed (designed food???) with chemicals to make you hungry for more (MSG anyone?) so you will buy more and eat more thus paying the companies that make them more!  Again, simple: If it did not come from the earth or have a mother, don’t eat it.  Or, if it didn’t exist as a whole thing in nature 100 years ago, don’t eat it; READ: Cheetos, Progresso Soup, Healthy Choice Frozen Dinners.  Shop for most of your food in the perimeters of the store – Produce, Dairy, Meat/Seafood, Nuts, Eggs, etc. Get out of the Cracker/Cookie isle!  Yes, whole, unprocessed, in season foods are healthy and that is the bonus.  But that is a boring way to dine.  In other words, don’t eat boiled mushy broccoli because it is healthy and that is what healthy people eat.  Eat broccoli if you like it, but learn to prepare it in the most delicious way possible.  Enjoy what you eat or don’t eat it.

Parachute #5:  Learn to Cook Really Good Food/Meals

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If you have trouble with cooking, or hate it – learn to make a handful of delicious recipes that are simple to create but taste divine.*  I didn’t say quick though.  Quick cooking is not usually the most delicious way to eat, but not always.  This may mean you need to experiment with recipes and find 10 solid, go-to meals that you can whip up without thinking.  Some people hate the chopping and picking and bending over recipes to read the fine print meanwhile something is burning, part of cooking.  I get it.  But it is going to help keep your weight down much better than running to the nearest burrito shack every time dinner rolls around.  Plan your meals in advance and make more than enough for left-overs for days of the week you cannot cook.  I know, it’s a pain, but so is having cancer and sitting next to a chemo drip.  Soon I will post a group of vegetable recipes that are super delicious and easy to prepare. I’m looking out for you!

*Need ideas for yummy meals?  I have a section on my blog called Recipes and they are all delicious and road tested by me and my family and friends.  I always assume that the person reading and preparing them are not advanced cooks, so they are easy to make.  Also check out the book An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler for cooking simple, often cheap foods and making them taste great.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it can get you started if you want to jump off the carousel of diet-whirlwind.  Am I perfect at all of these things yet?  No way!  This list is definitely a work in progress that will take time to master.  But I am enjoying my meals more and I’m not constantly thinking about “how many calories are in that?”  It is a freedom that I don’t ever want to lose again.

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.

Challenge Video #2

Hello People!

I have another installment in my video series: Challenge Videos.  This one is about eating as much of the colorful fruits and vegetables as you can swallow each day.  Usually, on most diet plans, vegetables (provided they aren’t root veggies) are considered “free” foods or the calories aren’t really counted because for the most part they don’t have too many per serving.  Fruits, do have some calories, but I don’t think it hurts a person to eat at least 2 pieces or servings a day.  It’s certainly better than having a bag of cheetos!

Consider these numbers:

  • 1 whole raw Onion = 40 cals
  • 1 medium Bell Pepper = 25 cals
  • 1/2 cup of Sauerkraut = 25 cals
  • 1/2 cup of cooked Spinach = 20 cals
  • 1/2 cup of raw sliced Summer Squash = 13 / cooked = 18
  • 10 sprigs of Watercress = 10 cals
  • 1 medium 5 oz. Tomato = 35 cals
  • 1/2 cup of Turnips = 15 cals / Greens = 15
  • 1 cup of Lettuce (all types) = 10 cals
  • 1/2 raw Mushrooms = 10 cals / cooked = 20
  • 1 medium raw Carrot = 33 cals
  • 3 oz. cooked Cauliflower = 15 cals
  • 1 stalk of Celery = 5 cals
  • 2 oz. of Fennel = 10 cals
  • 1 whole Cucumber = 40 cals
  • 1/2 cup of Collard Greens = 15 cals
  • 1/2 cup Green Beans or Snap Beans = 20 cals
  • 1/2 cup cooked Broccoli = 25 cals
  • 1/2 cup cooked Beets = 25 cals
  • 1 whole Eggplant, 4.5 oz. = 40 cals
  • 1/2 cup raw Jicama = 25 cals
  • 1/2 cup Kale = 20 cals

Shall I go on?  You can see from this list that the numbers are low and that’s for full servings.  Remember too, that when you cook something like mushrooms or squash, the water leeches out in the cooking process making the total weight smaller after cooking, so you can eat more of cooked vegetables than raw per serving.  See any you want to try tonight?

P.S. Sometimes, to add more vegetable and fruits into my diet, I make a green smoothie that I’ll show you how I make in another post.

Challenge Video #1

Foodie Friday:  Challenge Video #1: Sweet Beverages

Hello People!

I’ve got a video that I made for you today.  I hope you like it.  It was actually made a really long time ago, but I want to share it with you now.  I hope you find it inspirational and take me up on my challenge! (Actually, I need to take me up on my challenge and find that Chai Spice Yerba Mate tea I recommend and get off the coffee that I went back to drinking…Just one more cup!)

Speaking of videos, I’m at the end of my year for teaching at the college (where I work) and will soon have way too much idle time on my hands.  I was thinking of making a YouTube channel just for bfitafter40.  Would you like that?  I could make more videos in that genre that way since my normal channel is about a myriad of topics besides weight-loss and getting fit.  I’ll keep you informed.

P.S. I’m laughing at my hair in this video because it looks like I used a whole can of hairspray on it.  I think it was 120 degrees inside my house that day and didn’t want to look like a sweaty mess. Ha Ha!  I hope you enjoy.

Soup 101

Foodie Friday: How to Make Soup 101

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Hello People!

I want to share with you a great tip and recipe for helping you with your weight loss goals.  I’ve been making soup forever and love how it can be so easy and filling.  It’s also warm and inviting when you crave comforting foods.  Soup can be fattening, but I’m going to show you my recipe for making it simple and low-calorie; but not low in flavor. This soup should evoke the purest taste of the vegetable you choose. Therefore, I would highly suggest that you choose vegetables in season so that they will be at peak ripeness. I like to have a  1/2 to 1 cup before a meal.

Last year I watched a BBC documentary on helping obese people lose weight.  The show was called “How to Be Slim” and it gave several tips on how to  lose weight while not feeling like you’re starving. Towards the end of the program it featured soup as a great way to ward off hunger and stay full after a meal.  I’ll include the documentary below, but first I’ll share with you the easiest way of making pureed vegetable soup.

VEGETABLE SOUP 101

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  • Unknown-21 Pound of Any Vegetable (squash, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms, eggplant, green beans, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, colored sweet peppers, snap peas,Unknown-3 fresh/frozen green peas, tomatoes, bok choy, lettuces, dark leafy greens, etc.)
  • Water or Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock (or bouillons)
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Coconut Oil or Butter

How To:

  1. Chop Onion and Vegetable of choice.  Some may need extra prep such as carrots – they need to also be peeled. (You can mix vegetables, but mind that if you do, some cook quicker than others and will need to be added later so that they don’t become mush).
  2. Heat Oil/Butter in stockpot until hot and add chopped onion.  Sweat until translucent. You can add a dash of salt as well if you want.
  3. Add chopped Vegetable of choice and coat with the Oil/Butter.
  4. Add Water/Stock to stockpot just to cover the Vegetables by one inch. You can add more later if it is too thick.
  5. Bring Water and Vegetables to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until Vegetables are really soft and tender; beyond the way you would normally cook and eat them. (Add veg accordingly; if you are cooking carrots, they will take longer to soften than lettuce, so cook the carrots for 10 minutes alone, then add lettuce for the remaining 10 minutes, as an example.)
  6. Thow everything into a blender or use a hand-held immersion blender and whirl until soup is liquified. (You can reserve some of the cooked Vegetables if you want the texture to not be completely smooth)
  7. Put back into stockpot and add extra Water/Broth if you want, add salt/pepper, spices, seasonings, fresh herbs or chopped green onions/cilantro, lemon/lime juice, cream, milk or nothing.
  8. Eat!

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Of course, after you’ve made it you can refrigerate extra portions or freeze them.  Also, try adding some pesto or olive tapenade on top to make it extra special when you are about to eat it. Enjoy.

“How to Be Slim” Documentary

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.

Food for a Day (1)

Foodie Friday: Food for a Day – Version 1

Hello People!

An now for something completely different…Here is a birds-eye view of a day of meals I randomly filmed a few weeks back (no really, it was random; although I will admit that I did eat rather well that day).

I made a little video for you about it so here goes:

Something Different

Foodie Friday: Something Different

Hello People!

Before I began my blog, I always loved to cook and collect cookbooks.  Amazon really knows what kind of cookbooks I’d be interested in too; so the collection is quite large and ever growing.  Before I began this blog I also enjoyed just reading about food and how chefs interpret food for their customers. Some can be quite passionate about texture, flavor, color, ripeness, etc.  imagesOne of the books I stumbled upon during this food-reading-frenzy was Tamar Adler’s “An Everlasting Meal.”  OMG…this book is the bomb diggity of food reads!  I read a page out of this book every night before I go to bed just to calm myself down and remind myself that there are still good things left in this world.  Her prose is astonishing.  The way she weaves words and sentences together to describe what she likes to cook is mouth-watering.  It is nothing less than inspirational.

It’s not like a normal cookbook that only contains recipes matched with large high-def photos, which are highly styled. (It has no photos for the record)  It contains long written passages about food and different ways of preparing one type of food depending on what you are feeling or just what happens to be lying around in the fridge/counter/pantry. She teaches you how not to waste anything either.  Don’t throw out your water that you boiled your cauliflower in! It can be used as the basis of a flavorful soup that may or may not contain cauliflower.  Save excess oil that you sauté vegetables in as well.  That oil is now double flavored.  She says her fridge is loaded with little viles and jars full of mysterious contents dueUnknown to her “saving” technique. Making your food taste scrumptious is her goal.  No dry boring sandwich for her.  Load it up with melting mozzarella cheese and “garlicky greens.”  Never heard of that before? There are so many more creative ideas that frankly sound down-right delicious.

Why am I featuring this on a weight loss blog? Because it is all healthy food that she is recommending. Healthy food made to be out-of-this-world fabulous!  Losing weight or not, eating healthy, tasty food is a good idea.

Some quotes I like:

“Let the stock sit in the refrigerator overnight to give its fat time to rise to the top.  The following day, scoop the fat off with a spoon.  Save it in a jar.  Use it as you would butter or olive oil.  Once you have stock, you will have already half cooked a number of meals.”

“I taught a class in butchery one spring, instructing students in how to take apart chickens and remove bones from legs of lamb.  At the end of each class, because nearly everyone rejected my suggestion that bones go home with her, I took them home myself.”  Personal note: I have done this at friend’s homes where I take the bones home while being stared at like I’m a maniac.

A typical “recipe”: “Warm some garlicky sautéed cooking greens in a pan.  Find left-over roasted squash and season it with a little red wine vinegar, dig out some olives and a wedge of Parmesan cheese.  Put grits or polenta in a bowl, assemble your leftovers on top, drizzle with balsamic vinegar or olive oil, or broth, and grate it all heavily with Parmesan cheese.”

“Most of us regard beans with suspicion, as we do stale bread and cooking in water.  Prejudices are always best dispatched, but not always unfounded.  When food is boiled badly, it’s fair to turn away from it, and if stale bread isn’t cooked with, or toasted, but served dry and harsh, it’s awful.”

What to do if you overcook something: “Mash overboiled vegetables with a little butter and herbs and warm them slowly in a little pot, and call it mashed turnips, or mashed potatoes, or whatever it is you’ve mashed.  Or after mixing in butter and herbs spread it all into a buttered casserole, bake it until it starts to bubble, sprinkle the top with toasted breadcrumbs, return it to the oven until they brown, and serve it as a gratin.”