Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

My cats have gone to CA's house for three days because they are doing work in my apartment. It is awfully quiet and lonely without them, but at least I can use the computer in peace. They come back on Friday night by which time the workmen will be done with whatever it is my apartment complex has decided needs to be done. I am still on track, I did actually manage to lift some weights last night which was good. I am actually eating everything that I said I was going to eat this week in some configuration or another. Tonight I have chicken lettuce wraps which were awesomely tasty and very simple. The recipe is as follows: 1-2 roast chicken thighs per person (1 makes a light meal, that is what I had tonight, 2 would make a pretty substantial meal) Mixed thinly sliced vegetables of your choice ( my grocery sells baggies of pre-sliced plain veggies for coleslaw which I use because I do not have to prepare them) At least 3 large lettuce leaves per chicken thigh 1 tbsp reduce fat peanut butter 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil 1 tsp Soy Sauce Red Pepper flakes (to taste depending on how hot you like things) Pinch salt Heat the peanut butter for one minute in the microwave and combine with sesame oil, soy sauce, red pepper, and salt. Slice the chicken up and place on lettuce leaves and mound veggies on top. Pour peanut butter mixture over whole thing. Roll up the lettuce leaves and enjoy. Tasty, reasonably low in calories (frankly most of the calories are in the oil and peanut butter) and five minutes to prepare. This is why I need to cook things in advance so I can throw quick meals together like this, a good lesson for the future.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Check-in

I am on track today with exercise and food. I think I will finish at about 1400 calories for the day which is just about right. I can't write much because my youngest cat is obsessed with the computer screen and is trying to attack it right now. Oddly she just became obsessed this last weekend with it and now I can barely type because she is walking all over the keyboard. This morning I ran for about 10 minutes and then got on the eliptical machine for 35 minutes, which worked up a good sweat. I need to go and lift weights now and do some core fitness which I have been slacking on for awhile now. So, I am going to do that before my cat destroys the vicious computer screen.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What I did today

This is the problem with clean eating, it is a lot of work. So far today, I have been to the grocery store (spent an hour buying everything I needed) where I spent $100 on food which was better than I anticipated. That is actually the amount I budget for food every week. Came home, made cream of tomato soup which I spilled all over the place while trying to puree it. However, very tasty and I made enough for about eight meals. I chopped up a bunch of vegetables I am going to roast this afternoon (potatoes, yams, squash, red peppers, and onions). I also roasted about eight pieces of chicken and stored them away in their container for the week. I still need to roast the veggies, cook some brown rice to store for the week, and clean up. It is now 2 in the afternoon and I started cooking at 11 am. I am taking a break for about an hour and then I will roast the veggies which will probably set off the smoke alarm (always happens when I cook things in the oven at 400 degrees or above). The veggies will then be stored away for the week as well. I know that doing all of this today means that I will not have to do much cooking during the week, but it is such a long process for a sunday and I like cooking. Still, this means I will have a bunch of meals with no white flour, bread or pasta involved which I can mix and match. This week I am eating the following: Couscous with saffron, almonds, and raisins (made it last night super easy to do) Oatmeal with soy milk, splenda, and cinnamon (breakfast obviously) Roast chicken and roasted vegetables Cream of Tomato Soup and brown rice Chicken Lettuce Wraps Turkey Lettuce Wraps with cranberry sauce and honey mustard Roast chicken with brown rice and roasted red peppers Roasted winter vegetables and brown rice Most of this menu is from the Best Light Recipes book from the publishers of Cooks Illustrated, I love all of their cookbooks and use them all the time. Some of the dishes are things I have made forever (i.e. the turkey wraps) and I am just bringing them back into my diet, others (i.e. the chicken lettuce wraps) I am making up on the fly by mixing the roast chicken with vegetables. I also have fruit and light yogurt for snacks. I also have some organic soups that I can just heat if necessary one night. Anyway, I guess it is back to the kitchen now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.-Buddha

I am working very hard on being present in my life and in this journey. In certain ways that just translates to being aware of what I am doing in my life, and with the food I eat. In the end it always comes down to food for me. I eat incredibly fast to the point of almost inhaling food sometimes and it means my body does not have time to catch up and register whether or not it is full. Thus I am making a choice to try and slow down when I am eating and to pause to allow that reflex to happen and catch up. I am focusing on making sure that I am not depriving myself and eating when I am actually hungry. I had two cups of couscous tonight for dinner rather than one, but I only ate the second one after taking a 10 minute break to make sure I was really hungry. Oh and I still ended up at 1400 calories for the day which is well within my target range for the day. I am concentrating on eating rather than drinking my calories which means no more venti green tea frappuccinos at Starbucks much as I love them. I just cannot see having something which will not make me feel full and will take 650 calories out of my day. Besides I am cutting back on all things coffee related for awhile. Not cutting out, just cutting down. I only like coffee with stuff in it and that means that calories can add up quickly. I am not doing this primarily by cutting calories, I don't want it to be about that, but rather about eating things that are good for me. Mostly this is about eating really cleanly and enjoying the food. I am a foodie at heart, and it is hard when you are only cooking for one person but I am trying to come up with ways to make meals that will morph into other meals and really allow me to experiment with cooking healthy. It is all part of the choice to make my health a priority again and to find balance in my life.

My secret stash

I know what you are thinking, she is going to talk about chocolate now. No, not that kind of secret stash. In my ottoman (small apartment, I have lots of hidden storage), I have a small collection of fitness dvd's. They are the workouts of last resort, saved for when going to the gym is too much trouble and I can't be bothered to get dressed to workout. Today, I pulled out one (basically a cardio dance dvd) and did that for an hour. I don't think I did most of the moves right, I am not terribly coordinated, but it was a workout nonetheless. My goal was six days of cardio this week and I finally accomplished that because of the secret stash. I am also still doing well on eating and usually weekends are where that totally falls apart because I cannot be bothered to eat healthy food. Tonight, I am going to make couscous with raisins and almonds because I have all the ingredients in my pantry and tomorrow I will make tomato soup, roast vegetables, roast chicken, and brown rice for the week. I am going for variety in my diet and that involves a fair amount of weekend food preparation so that I can avoid most cooking during the week because the last thing I want to do is cook when I am tired. So, I am pleased with the progress I have made this week and working on keeping it up this coming week.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Things that annoy me

I have a number of close friends I love, no really, I adore them. I may, however, be forced to kill them. I spent all of lunch listening to a discussion by two of them about how tiny they used to be in high school and college. I very politely told them to bite me, an excellent use of that very expensive education I am still paying off. I was at best, a size 18 in high school, by then end of college I had ballooned up to a size 24 and I pretty much bounced between size 18 to 24 until I was 27 years old. While I am not the skinniest I have ever been by a long shot right now, I am still smaller than I have been for most of my adult life. I have no basis to have that conversation, no idea what that would have been like to be thin at a time it really mattered socially. I will probably really never be skinny, I am just aiming for healthy and a size that I can live with over the long run. I have no idea what that size is, but I will figure it out, and it will be harder for me than it will be for my friends who are trying to lose 20 lbs or so. I will have to monitor absolutely everything I put in my mouth, work out six days a week, and almost never deviate from my plan. I am not complaining, this is just the reality of the body that I have and the relationship I have developed with food over the course of my life. I love them, but they will never know what that road is really like, which makes some days more difficult than others. In better news, I have five really good workouts under my belt this week, and no food flops even with eating out two days this week. I had salad both times and light dinners to balance the meals out. So, one week down, the rest of my life to go.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Once more with feeling

So, I am back. Again. I have not blogged in very long time, I think it has been about eight months. Yeah, that was not a good plan. Not blogging meant no accountability and that is never good for me. I have not been a total slacker, food has not been a total disaster, but it has not been good either. So, it is time to suck it up and really work at this again. In a new development, I will have a live companion in the weight loss arena, one of my close friends is also trying to lose weight and eat healthy so we are helping each other out. Also known as the make sure CA and Kat don't eat crap and actually workout plan. A novel concept, I know but one I am going to stick to this time. I am doing this a little differently this time around, I am concentrating more on making and preparing my own food than in the past, and eating in a sustainable manner for me. Basically, I am working on cooking enough food on the weekend to make different meals throughout the week, and cutting out food which triggers my overeating tendencies. I am forced to admit that at this late date in my life, there are things that I can never eat without triggering some kind of excessive consumption. I like food, food is my drug, always has been and always will be, and while I can tell when I am hungry, I have never been able to successfully gauge when I am full. I am still working on that on a daily basis, it is better than it was but not great. So, for me it means the following, no bread, pasta, white flour, refined white sugar, and as few processed foods as possible. This weekend is all about cleaning out my fridge and refilling it with homemade soups, roasted vegetables, fruit, and chicken. I call this my temple food, a term I stole from Nigela Lawson and by that I mean foods which cleanse and restore my body. It is not going to be easy but I know it will make a real difference in the next few weeks. I know I will feel better if I do this, it is not about deprivation it is about balance which I desperately need in terms of my food choices. I am not being quite as crazy on the exercise as I have been in the past, I am going to workout for 45 minutes a day, hopefully six days a week but I am not going to kill myself right now. I am going to go get a personal trainer to teach me how to workout smarter, and for additional motivation. CA and I are going to try and squeeze in some lunchtime cardio sessions if we can, it won't be possible all that often but it is worth a shot. Mostly, I am going to be kind to my body and myself, by accepting my limitations in terms of time and energy. This is less and less about an ultimate goal and more about feeling comfortable where I am, I miss that feeling and it is time to get back to it. Wish me luck, no doubt I will need it over the next few months.