Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chili - WW style

So here I am on the last day of my vacation (boohoo!) and I thought I would share one of my sister's recipes that was so tasty plus filling and low in points (4pts per cup).  A great dish to take to a pot-luck.

Start off with a protein - boca crumbles or chicken tenders - and throw it into the crock pot (don't have one, get one!)
Step 2: one package of dried ranch dressing mix and one package of dried chili mix
Next: drain a can of black beans, white beans, chili beans, and hominy (rinse these if you want to decrease the salt content of your chili)
Next: add a can of ranch beans or another can of chili beans, undrained
Now add a couple cans of diced tomatoes and/or Mexican spiced canned tomatoes
Water, if needed

Plug it in, go have a great day....come home to a wonderful meal.  You will even have plenty for a couple of lunches.  Makes a great taco salad.

If you can have some extra points that day, add some sour cream or cheese. Or, as you can see from the photo, my sister added fresh green beans and a wedge of laughing cow light Swiss cheese.

PS: remember to rinse out and recycle all those cans!!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A puzzling formula

As some of you know, I struggle with late night eating.  I'll find myself exhausted from work but unable to go to bed, instead I'll sit watching hours of hulu.com or netflix.com.  Periodically I'll get up to wander around the house while thinking about eating something, finally making my way into the kitchen.  There I'll stand with the refrigerator door wide open, letting the light shine on me (isn't there a song about this? something about this little light?) Mostly I'm looking for anything sweet and chocolate so I can raise the blood sugar and get a shot of caffeine and stay up even longer.

Part of this is not wanting to go to bed so the next day doesn't come so quickly....well, actually ALL of this is about not wanting the next day to come.  Sleep, commute, work, commute, hang out at home in an exhausted stupper, and then start all over again. Kind of sounds like boredom but before I go down that rabbit hole I need to make sure it's not all about some other thought or emotion.  So much can contributed to this resulting formula: staying up too late + overeating  = exhaustion and weight gain.

Since I've lost weight before and gained back half of what I lost, I want to be much more aware of how my emotions contribute to my eating habits this time around. Many of the new food journals neglect to encourage documenting our emotions along with what we eat and our activity.  Here's one I found that looks helpful: One Day at a Time and Linda Spangle's book "Life is Hard, Food is Easy" has an entire chapter about "Head-Hunger and Heart-Hunger".  So I'm on to journally...food, activities AND emotions!  Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's official!

Twenty lbs. gone! Melted away. Dissipated. Used up. Metabolized.
And a new a pair of jeans - one size smaller - hangs in my closet
Awaiting June 2nd...the opening day of the year of preparation

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Grocery Store Delis

Okay, I confess...I like grocery store deli food.  Not the fried chicken and jojos - ick! - but rather the salads and the sandwiches, which often times provide me with a quick, low-cal, veggie packed meal on the run.

So it was no surprise this evening when  I only had a 1/2 hour to get something to eat before goin' over to church that I found myself stopping in at the Burnside Zupans, the home of one of the nicest grocery store delis here in PDX.  There I can always find a baked fish, lean meat balls, roasted chicken and/or a great salad.  So this evening I got the sweet curry couscous salad and also the cucumber/onion medley which I mixed together.  Light, very tasty (!) and filling.  This along with a Pete's coffee did just the trick as I rushed off to enjoy some awesome worship music and prayer.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Out Cold on the Floor of the Ring

Last week I beat a binge! Yes that's right I beat it down cold!

I could feel it bubbling up inside of me, calling to me: "get some chips" (I've been known to consume an entire bag of corn chips in one 30 minute drive home from work!) "stop to eat at any ol' mexican food place and eat, eat, eat (even the worst place would do - don't you know that's where the huge burritos are with all the cheese and corn chips a family could consume on one plate)" "open the rye crisp package, bring out the margarine and have at it girl (the substitute and precursor to the bag of chips)".   This went on for a couple of days! I was  feeling like  there was this boxing ring inside me and I was getting pounded.

Then I stopped.  I know I love Mexican Food and have to figure out how to enjoy it without going over the deep end! So here's what I did....

One evening I came home and fixed soft corn tortilla quesadillas with a nice salad. I almost took a pic but was too excited.  :-)

Then the next evening, before going to church, I stopped in at Santa Fe Tacqueria in NW PDX...enemy territory.  But I was determined to succeed!  So I ordered 2 soft tacos with chicken and black beans, no cheese.  And a very small basket of chips (like I said, my FAVORITE binge food!).  Well...I did pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  I left most of the corn tortillas, ate only half of the small serving of chips, and (most importantly) finished completely satisfied, beating the binge! It was out cold on the floor of the ring.

Give this girl a high five!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hunger or a "desire to eat"?

I've noticed sometimes when food pops into my mind I'm not really hungry!  But rather there is a desire to go to the food, look at it, maybe pace around the kitchen a bit, fix something to eat, bring it back to where I started, get settled, and then eat.  All the while not feeling any true phycial hunger pangs...you know, the grumbling stomach, the tiny slight headache that tell you, "Gosh, it's time to eat now."  Sometimes this will happen an hour after I eat!

The reality is I'm not hungry!  Instead I'm restless or trying to avoid a task!  I have to watch for these times and label my search for what it really is - avoidance? boredom?  Then change what really needs to be changed instead of stuffing those feelings down with food.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Trying something new

I have been packing my lunch quite regularly and it's always good to have fruit and veggies to snack on through out the day. Recently I was reading how important it is to have a variety of foods in our diet. Last summer I experimented with making refrigerated pickles, so I thought I would get another batch made. This time I wanted a recipe with a lot less sugar but the problem is the sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners.

So instead I made Ratatouille (yes, I did just watch the movie!).  I've never cooked eggplant with any success so it seemed a bit risky.  But what fun it was.  The smell of the basil made me feel the summer coming.  And while stirring the onions, garlic, tomato paste and chicken broth I was picturing myself cooking with Jamie Oliver!  I'll have a great dinner (a dish I can't remember ever having eaten before) and a couple of very tasty lunches in the next couple of days.

If you're feeling like you need to try something new, here's the recipe - :

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

a possible new past time

Well I've been back to Oregon now 4 full days and I've got to say living with so much grey as opposed to living with constant sunshine is proving to be more challenging. I've been surprized at how different I felt while moving through the Florida and California sunshine each time I was outside...lighter, clearer, and yes happier.

Short road trips driving toward the sunshine may become my newest past time!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Business Trip

So I've just finished a week of business traveling. Surprizingly, I'm feeling pretty good. There are definately some tricks to making it through a week of hotels, eating out, and long hours of driving (nothing like sitting in a vibrating box to swell up the feet!). Some tips I got from friends and family: stay in a hotel with a fitness center and free wi-fi, eat lots of salads and snack on fresh fruit, drink lots of water and make sure to take a multiple vitamin. All done!

Thankfully my neighbors, J&J, have keep a close watch on my house and kitties. Once again I'm a convinced about how important it is for all of us to know our neighbors. The biggest drag about this week's traveling is that I missed this month's neighborhood book club.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Prepare - a word for 2010

Today is New Years Day and I've spent the day reading "Next Thing on My List" by Jill Smolinski. It's a book about a woman's list of things she wanted to do before her 25th birthday. This got me thinking a lot about some of my unaccomplished dreams so I made up a list with a start date rather than a finish date which brings me to my word for 2010 which is PREPARE (see Ali Edwards blog for her take on having one word for the year) .

Prepare: make ready or suitable or equip in advance for a particular purpose or for some use, event, etc. Perfect! So for me this year will be a year to prepare myself to get started on my list. I have to get a bit healthier, a bit more organized, and manage my money better. Those three - they are the focus of '10.

And to help me stay on track (along with all my family and friends) here are some of the aids I'll be employing:
  • Weight Watchers (of course!) I did it once before so I know it's all about the diet/exercise journal
  • Netflix - check out all their fitness videos you can watch instantly when you have a membershipSo I'm off and walking - literally! More in the days and weeks to come. Wish me determination and focus!