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:

images-1

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

images-1

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

low_calorie_food_rmn4e

 

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

Unknown-2

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

Unknown

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 🙂

 

Advertisements

Recipe Ideas

Foodie Friday: Recipe Ideas to Spice It Up!

Hello People,

images

I wanted to share a practice that I use in regards to recipes.  I LOVE cookbooks, and that is an understatement, and I love trying new recipes as often as I change clothes.  What can I say? I just get bored eating the same old thing day-in and day-out.  If a recipe really jumps off the page and is beyond amazing, I will cook it again and keep it in my repertoire of food that is really good when I want to eat something I know for a fact is delicious or want impress someone else with my amazing cooking skills (sly fox!).

My system for keeping track of how a recipe fared in my kitchen and stomach is by using check _MG_0918style grading marks.  A check + (plus) means that the recipe was out of the ball park good and will definitely be made again (any recipe I’ve shared on here, the blog, has received that marking); a plain  check by itself indicates that the recipe tasted so-so or had some issues in preparation or difficulties in ingredients.  I may or may not prepare that dish again depending on it’s problems.  If it was a simple matter of overcooking or the wrong proportions of ingredients, it may take more experimenting to decide ultimately; a check – (minus) means that the recipe was a real fail and either is thrown away if it came from a magazine or clearly marked to_MG_0923 ignore if I come across it again in a book.  I place these checks on top of the recipe in bold black ink so that I can see it clearly (pencil can fade or get erased) when thumbing through the book the next time I’m hunting down new recipes.

I also add personal notes in regards to what I think the problems were, what extra ingredients I _MG_0920added/took out, how it didn’t work well halved/doubled, cooking temperature problems, and generally what I thought about how it tasted.  If the recipe was delicious_MG_0919 with the additions I made, then I keep them for the next time I make the dish.  I also know that I can manipulate the recipe for further tweaking if I want too later.

_MG_0925

At one point, I sat down with 4 or 5 five of my favorite cookbooks (books that I’ve got a lot of check pluses in!) and wrote down on a paper recipes from those books, under different headings, that I must try and that would be appropriate for clean eating and/or weight loss.  On that list I cross off the one’s that I’ve cooked and continue on the list when I want to try something new.  I found recipes for all types of meals: dinners, lunches, salads, soups, etc.  Each one of these recipes I “tasted” in my mind before choosing them for the list thinking that they would probably end up as check pluses eventually.  Most do, some don’t. The picture in tomorrow’s post is the result of one such recipe that only gets a plain check from me (Black Bean Burgers).  The taste was good, but the burger fell apart and was a mess.  Tricky to cook too.  Also, the recipe asked for no seasoning.  I found that extremely odd.  Of course, I added my own.  One thing I should have added to this list, is the page numbers that I found these recipes on.  I can just as easily look in the Index for them because the book is indicated (by abbreviation), however, I’m just lazy.

Do you have any ways of remembering how you liked or didn’t like a recipe?  I have so many recipes in books and torn out sheets/cards it’s hard to keep track of.  Perhaps my method can give some of you ideas if you share in my: I-have-too-many-cookbooks “problem.”

Super Food: YOGURT

Today’s Foodie Friday Post:

_MG_0587Yogurt: the dreamy, creamy white stuff of angels.  So much has been written and waxed poetic about it.  But I think it’s yucky. It’s not the look of it or the smooth texture.  It isn’t that it is eaten cold and it is a healthy dairy product.  It’s just that darn sour part; oh, and the weird chalky aftertaste I get on my tongue.  EWWWW…. Also, I do have a lactose intolerance problem, so even if I adored the natural pudding,  it would leave me sick in a short while.  Therefore, if I indulge in such a thing, I have it in small doses (1/4 cup at most) and I mix it in with a plethora of other devices to mask that sour taste.

Here is the awesome news about yogurt; and I’m not referring to that abomination that is candy colored-artificially sweetened-dessert inspired- nonsense:

“Low fat or fat-free plain yogurt is higher in calcium than some other dairy products and contains a great package of other nutrients, including protein and potassium. It can also be enhanced with other good-for-you substances. Yogurt is a vehicle food that can be enriched with probiotics for a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, and beneficial, heart-healthy plant stanols. And lactose sensitive people may tolerate yogurt better than milk. Look for plain yogurt fortified with vitamin D, and add your own fruit to control sweetness and calories. Versatile yogurt can also be used in entree and bakery recipes, in dips for veggies, etc. Don’t like yogurt? Skim milk is another super dairy food that has only 83 calories per cup and is easy to slip into coffee to help you get one of the recommended three servings of dairy each day. ‘Dairy foods contain practically every nutrient you need for total nutrition — and in just the right balance,’ says bone health expert, Robert Heaney, MD. ‘No other food group in the diet is as complete or as economical.’ ”

This info was swiped from the article “10 Everyday Super Foods” from WebMD.

So, what did I do with my yogurt research? For the record I used 2% Greek Yogurt for my recipes and wouldn’t have it any other way diet or not.  Eating it any other way wouldn’t create the proper texture I was after.  And, it must be said, I did not eat a lot of it at once.  So having the slightly higher fat version is ok in my book if that is the way you will eat it too.  Otherwise, if I were to dig straight out of the carton, I would probably eat a 0% fat version.

First Recipe: Yogurt Sauce

_MG_0568This sauce is more commonly known as Tzatziki in Greek cultures. It usually has cucumber in the sauce, but since I wanted it to last several days in the fridge, I omitted that part so it would stay fresh and not sog out from the water being leeched by the grated cucumber.  Feel free to add or take away as you please. For heaven’s sake, it’s just a sauce…but will you ever WOW your friends with this one!

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

3-4 garlic cloves crushed and chopped

Fresh or dried dill and mint to taste (1/2 – 3 Tbsp depending on which you choose)

2 Tbsp good olive oil

1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Salt & Pepper

Mix and season to taste with whatever you think it needs more or less of.  If less, add more yogurt to even it out.

Second Recipe: Spiced Yogurt Chicken

_MG_0572MMMMM….this was as good as it looks.  I grilled these babies and used chicken breasts that weren’t full sized.  I just don’t need all that meat in one sitting.  But do as you please.  The recipe calls for normal sized breasts. This one I stole from here.

  • 2 1/4 cups plain yogurt (18 oz; preferably whole-milk)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 lb total)

Marinate chicken in all the spices and yogurt-olive oil-lemon juice for 30 minutes to 24 hours in a plastic bag or bowl of choice.  I say, the longer the better. Then grill, bake or saute to your delight. This can go in a salad or by itself or chopped up into a casserole………

See the way I paired my chicken with a simple cucumber and tomato salad and plain potatoes.  That sauce really hit the spot for all three elements to come together:

_MG_0577And oh yeah, there’s one more: Yogurt-Banana-Oat Smoothie

_MG_0582Great for breakfast or afternoon snack.  This may not sound appetizing at first, but it really is and it fills you up. Yes, I did go over my dairy allowance, but you could substitute Almond Milk or Soy for regular milk. Also, it has been mentioned before and I probably will continue to do so, there must be credit the GREAT Martha S. for this one on her iPad app Whole Living Smoothies: Banana + Oat

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk (your choice of fat)

1/2 Tbsp honey

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

1 tsp flaxseed

1/2 chopped up frozen banana

1/2 cup ice

cinnamon/nutmeg/vanilla extract if you want

Blend, blend, blend-then apply to face.

PLEASE TRY! 🙂