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.”

Soup 101

Foodie Friday: How to Make Soup 101

images-2

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

images

  • 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!

images-1

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.

The French Paradox cont.

Foodie Friday: The French Paradox (Part Two)

images-3

And the answer to yesterday’s tease is….

I will eat structured meals with more of an emphasis on flavor rather than lower calories.

Unknown-2“What does that mean?” you may ask.  Well, first of all, in the book, Losing It in France by Sally Asher, there are detailed menus for a full week showing the structure of a typical French “diet.”  She demonstrates that even though the French eat full fat butter, cheese, cream etc., etc., their diets are balanced and portions are small but satisfying. Following her observation, I’m coordinating my menus to match, in a sense, her outline of a daily eating plan. Now, mind you, I’m still counting calories because I am in the phase of losing weight and I don’t want to just free-style, yet.  Now let me tell you a story about something I experienced recently that correlates to all of this French eating style.

A few months ago, right before I began this blog I went off of dieting for the first time in 20 years.  My usual plan of attack for a diet was to count calories and that was pretty much it.  No real rules or strict food concepts.  I did eat mostly balanced meals, but as I’ve stated before, it wasn’t the days I was following the plan that kept me fat, it was the days off – which were far, far, far too many in a week.  Back to me going off the “diet,” I wanted to clear out some food in refrigerator and freezer because it was overflowing with too much stuff.  So, I found recipes that used the ingredients I had on hand and measured out portions that seemed reasonable based on the recipe’s recommendations.  Lo and behold! Would you believe it? I stepped on the scale right before Thanksgiving and saw to my amazement that I had dropped 7 pounds since starting this non-diet!  My strategy was just to eat normal looking portions, cook meals that weren’t too fattening, exercise, and stop eating when I felt full (I think that this was key). This is essentially the way Sally describes how the French eat.  They eat what they like, in reasonable non-typical American sized portions, and quit when they are satisfied.

Now, I know that some will think that this is funny because they believe that their hunger is NEVER satisfied.  That’s yourimages-4 leptin hormone not responding. (This is a topic for another day, but it probably has mostly to do with what you are eating.)  I believe that when one really sits down to eat a decent meal, focuses on what they are eating WITH NO DISTRACTIONS, they will become more in tune with their body’s needs. Stuffing food down one’s face on the run will never give you satisfaction because you aren’t tasting the food, not to mention chewing it sufficiently for proper digestion.  Sure, it may fill you up for a while, but the experience is not the same as sitting quietly at a table and eating a balanced meal with your full attention.  I don’t know why this works, but I can tell you friends, IT DOES.

For me, eating meals that focus on lower calories usually lack flavor.  This isn’t always true ( Cook This, Not That!), but for the images-1most part, it can be.  When I cook meals that seem reasonably balanced with all types of ingredients, the flavor and taste satisfaction do a lot to fill me up.  Granted, I’m still trying to not eat a lot of flour or sugar, but I’m also one who doesn’t really believe in eliminating foods, including treats.  It’s about balance and paying attention to your body’s fulfillment.  I went through all of my cookbooks and grabbed the one’s that were penned by French chef’s or cooks.  I’m planning and cookingUnknown meals based off of these recipes.  The food is great, full of vegetables, and keeps me full until the next meal.  I really can’t go back to eating low calorie things like Laughing Cow cheese or lite breads.  Why?  Your satisfaction will be better fulfilled eating the real thing. Cravings don’t pop up as often because you’re eating real food all the time; then you don’t spend all of your time dreaming about your “next real meal!”

images-2One more thing, I mentioned in the last post that now I drink wine, eat a cheese course and have dessert.  However, I don’t do this every day or even all at the same time.  It depends on if I can afford the calories that day.  Usually I can and I choose which one’s I want to enjoy.  Sometimes, crazy enough, I don’t want it because I don’t crave it.  It’s like pure magic: once you allow yourself to eat what you want, everything isn’t taboo and you aren’t climbing the walls to eat more, more, more.

I could go on and on.  Really this is just a scratch on the surface.  But I think it’s important, especially for Americans who have gotten spoiled and lazy in their ways of eating. It’s worth thinking about…

Comfort Food Recipes

Hello there, all!  Today’s Foodie Friday post has everything to do with one of my favorite tools in the kitchen: my Cook This, Not That! cookbook. If you are dieting and craving your favorite dishes that you USED to eat prior to the diet, look no further than this little life-saver. The boys over at Men’s Health have really put together a fine collection of scrumptious dishes that are careful on the calories but big on the flavor.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this little nugget.  There are not only recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but dessert, appetizers, salads and guides on how to create a gajillion stir-frys, crock pot wonders and skewered delights. Plus more!

Some delicious examples for your tastebuds:

Dr. Pepper Ribs

Shrimp and Grits

Sirloin Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Might I just say that this is just a taste of what you can expect from this gem.  One would have to have proper kitchen equipment and at least a small desire to enjoy cooking as well, but I think that is common sense.  However, the recipes are EASY!  Even if you are not “the best cook” or have trouble making food taste good, give this a try because the recipes seem to be foolproof and not lengthy to follow. The ingredients are also easy to find.  Happy cooking!