Well, today is my nine week, healthy lifestyle anniversary! This is the longest I’ve ever gone – in my life – with exercising and eating healthy (98% of the time – approx.) Even though I’m not weighing myself, I know that I’ve lost weight and I’m feeling much healthier and happier. Yesterday – however – I was annoyed with the fact that it seems to be slow going, in terms of the weight loss. I have to keep reminding myself that this is not a fad-crash diet. This is a lifestyle change that I will continue to maintain throughout the rest of my life. Realistically, I will probably not be down to the size I’d like to be, until at least the middle of 2016. That will be the first year milestone.
Going slowly but surely is the only way that most of us can lose the weight and keep it off. I don’t know if I expected to be trim, taught and terrific after two months – but I’m still annoyed with myself when I look in the mirror. I don’t want to blame the media and society’s expectations – but I still feel like a blimp. I’ve been trying so hard and doing so well with educating myself about healthy eating and exercising regularly – even stepping it up last week with the stomach crunches on the ab roller and going harder on the elliptical. When I looked in the mirror last night, I could see that I’ve lost weight – but the cellulite is still there and I’m far from where I want to be.
I had to tell myself that I must not give up and admit defeat – as it would be a lie. I am getting there and feeling better. My clothes are a lot looser and people are noticing. I have more energy and have more control over my urges. To give up now and return to my unhealthy lifestyle would be disastrous. Baby steps!
I have decided to try a little harder when it comes to salt and sugar. I remember when I was strict with my sodium intake last year – noticing that the cellulite in my bum and thighs reduced dramatically. I don’t like being too anal about measuring every grain, drop and particle – but being mindful of recommended daily amounts and when I’m reaching the threshold will keep me on track and help with my choices at the supermarket and dining out.
Here’s something I’ve put together for myself – as a guide: (Note – for women – see links for info re: men)
Canned food – especially soups and tomatoes – contain a high amount of salt. Here’s a great link:
Carbs are more confusing – but here’s a good link explaining them:
There are a lot of great charts and information on the web re: foods and nutrients, so I won’t bother posting any here – unless I find one that encompasses all food groups – whole and produced, with info on sugars, carbs, sodium and fat.
I was talking to a friend at work about probiotics and digestion last week. She advised that anything fermented is good for digestion and contains probiotics, like red wine (I’ve always been a Pinot Noir girl – now I have an excuse!), Kimchi and Sauerkraut. I love Sauerkraut, but I stay away from it due to the salt content, which means I must try and find one that’s low sodium. In regards to Kimchi – I saw an episode of “No Reservations” with Anthony Bourdain, where he took his assistant to her home town in Korea and watched Kimchi being made. They ferment cabbage with many spices and other ingredients in pots that are buried in the ground for months, then pull it up and bottle it.
I love that show but turned my nose up at Kimchi – even though I love Sauerkraut and spicy things. Sometimes it’s better if you don’t know how things are made – but I’m going to try it soon!
Here’s a recipe for Kimchi – I might try to make it myself!
Here are some of the meals I made during last week:
This is a healthier version of Mac and Cheese – using wholewheat pasta (fewer carbs) and loaded with things such as onions, garlic, zucchinis, mushrooms, tomatoes, fresh parsley – as well as bacon and homemade cheese sauce. Not exactly fat free – but at least it was made from scratch with good quality ingredients. It’s something we might have once a month as a treat! (I used the tomatoes sliced on top – but it’s wonderful to have some scattered throughout the mac.)
The recipe was posted last week – here’s the link:
I made the Pumpkin “with the lot” Soup in my slow cooker – but think I prefer it in a pot. Here’s the recipe:
I Butternut squash pumpkin – peeled and diced
2 large potatoes – peeled and diced
1 large onion – peeled and diced
2 Leeks – (washed, topped and tailed) and sliced
2 Sweet potatoes – peeled and diced
3 Large Carrots – peeled and chopped
5 Garlic cloves – peeled and chopped
1 Quart of Chicken or Vegetable stock –
(I prefer Krogers “Simple Truth” Free Range, Organic, Low Sodium chicken stock – unless homemade!)
3 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
Light sour cream to dollop when serving
Sweat the onions, Leeks and garlic in a small amount of butter in a large pot. Add the rest of the veggies, stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer with the lid on. Cook until the veggies are tender, stirring occasionally. Place in a blender in batches, pulsing until smooth (adding more or less liquid to the desired consistency.) Pour back into the pot and taste before adding the salt and pepper. Then stir in the nutmeg and serve with light sour cream (optional).
*If you don’t want to blend the soup – you can mash it for a slightly less smooth soup.
This crumble (or cobbler) was so decadent and rich – it was almost chocolatey! I nearly fell on my knees after the first mouthful. It felt mysterious and magical as I was eating it – like I should’ve been in a dark forest in the moonlight with small, furry creatures – ready to slip into a wonderful adventure. (Yes – it was that good – if I do say so myself!)
I used organic Coconut sugar – what a find! Apparently it has some nutrients in it (Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium, along with some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants) and is slightly better than normal sugar (like honey) – and is also being touted as being lower on the Glycemic index. For me – it was the flavor of it as well as the fact that it was organic and Non GMO. I used a third less sugar than the recipe advised (which I modified from the PWMU cookbook).
Dark Berry Crumble (Serves 8)
5 cups washed berries – strawberries (halved), blueberries and blackberries
2/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
(For the topping)
2/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
1 Cup Self Raising Flour (can be wholewheat)
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut (dried)
1/2 Cup Old fashioned Oats
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the fruit with the sugar and water until soft. Lightly grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish and pour the cooked fruit in. Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the fruit. (Roughly is fine – it will spread and form a crust during baking.)
Bake for 30 minutes.
*Note – it will come out dark. Don’t worry – you haven’t burnt it if you followed the directions. It could be nice with cream or ice-cream – but I found it was perfect on it’s own. Great for a treat – I wouldn’t be making it every week!
Here’s my menu plan for the week:
Until then – stay happy and healthy!