Thursday, July 3, 2014

"I've Got a Lov-e-ly Bunch of Co-co-nuts..."

SO, this eating healthier thing? PIECE OF CAKE! *cough* I mean, not cake... chicken. Ha. Cake is most definitely off-limits for a while.

The hardest part is over... the decision to start. That's always the biggie for me, and the rest is all downhill from there.

I've been reading this fabulous book called "I Want What SHE'S Having" which has been extremely encouraging. I'm pretty sure the authors are secular but aside from that, the book was loaded with great advice about motivation, figuring out what works for you, and basic common-sense health facts, although they never come right out and say what diet plan is the best. The whole point is to do whatever works for YOUUU, and stick to it. (And no, I was not provided a review copy, I just mentioned it because I liked it!)

So here was day 3 of my new lifestyle:

In the morning I woke up hungry, so I snacked on 5 cashews/almonds as I made breakfast for everybody.

I also drank a HUGE glass of water, something I try to do right after I wake up and hop on the bathroom scale. It helps rejuvenate and refresh your system and get things going! :)

Breakfast for moi was scrambled eggs, (which I eat for breakfast 99.99% of the time) a nectarine - my one fruit for the day, a cheese stick - cheddar and mozzarella combined, and a couple of pecan halves sprinkled with seasonings. {forgot to get a photo}

Went for a 6-lap powerwalk/sprint up and down our very long gravel driveway and finished sweating but triumphant! Booyah!

Mid-morning snack:
About 10 walnut pieces, with a little dollop of cottage cheese sprinkled with garlic powder, salt, onion powder and a touch of paprika. If you haven't guessed by now you'll quickly discover that I looooove my spices. :) Flavors, baby!! :D

Lunch was this delectable concoction: {also pictured at top of post to entice newsfeed readers}
I call it "Chicken Dijon Salad", featuring: romaine lettuce (half that bowl is lettuce, all the pretty stuff is just on top) chunks of cooked chicken (leftovers, ya'll) black and green olives, diced tomatoes, pickles (you can leave those out, I just happen to adore pickles) a couple of cashews and almonds, and a cheese stick cut up into little pieces.
Over this I drizzled Dijon Vinaigrette dressing that I whipped up following a recipe I spied in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I was hesitant to try it as it honestly looked horrible (probably the fault of the extra virgin olive oil I used, being a very deep green color) and smelt rather awful, but after gingerly applying it to my salad and taking my first bite, I was relieved to find it very tasty and zingy. Yum. :)

How I made Dijon Vinaigrette: (FYI, I halved the recipe as I wasn't sure I'd like it)

Whisk together...

  • Half a Tablespoon of Dijon mustard (original recipe was 1 Tablespoon)
  • Half of 3/4 cup olive oil (which I guessed to be just under half a cup)
  • and 1/8 cup vinegar.

Easy-peasy. Seriously. :)

Mid-afternoon found me with mid-level hunger grumblies again (low-level ones I just ignore and drink some more water... and of course high-level ones mean it's a mealtime) so......

Mid-afternoon snack:
I told you I had a secret for eating celery sticks! I HATE raw celery, or I should say hated, although in soups I liked it. I discovered that if you spread a dab of cream cheese in the hollow of a celery stick and sprinkle it with spices (I used garlic, onion, and paprika, and if you want to get fancy, some cumin and cayenne make a kickin' addition) and VOILA - I love it. Creamy, cool, and crunchy. Perfect summer snack.

I used to think cream cheese was a guilty pleasure, but actually the bread and crackers I was eating it on were more to blame for any resulting weight gain. :P Although I still wouldn't recommend eating it every five minutes. :D

I splurged and had my one carb for the day... a couple of our homemade french fries, fried in sunflower oil in our own CoolDaddy fryer. Accompanying them is a perfectly-grilled venison burger that is made with meat that my own daddy brought home after a hunting trip with friends. (Pretty cool.) Also tomatoes, pickles, carrots, and some cheddar to round it out.

Funny thing, once you stop eating sugar, your taste buds can sense every delicate nuance of your food. Unencumbered by the lightning-strike effects of super-sweet sugar, they are no longer dazed, but on high alert. I can taste that lettuce, those carrots, that meat. And it's so good. :D

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Importance of Being Healthy

Hey readers!

I did that thing. You know. When I let so much "LIFE" stack up in the pile of things-to-be-blogged-about that... I don't know where to start, so I semi-unconsciously decide not to blog. Oops. :)

But guess what? I'm doing a new thing. Well, not new, but slightly different. You see, since I'm to be a bridesmaid later this summer, I really want to look good in my lonnnng green dress. Which means I need to drop a few pounds (or at least transfer them from fat into lean muscle!) so I've altered a few things in my lifestyle.

For example, this was dinner:
"Pizza" Salad!
Featuring: Romaine and Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, organic pepperoni, freshly grated mozzerella, pickles, olives both black and green, pecans and macadamia chips for crunch, and a very light sprinkle of olive oil, white vinegar, basil, oregano, and parmesan. 
I didn't follow a recipe, I just threw stuff together that I know tastes good. :D I do that a lot with salads, and it's a good thing I already like them, so it's no chore to eat one. Maybe I'll do a "salad series" and share what I create with you. :)

So what am I eating?

Basically, I am not eating any refined sugar whatsoever, even in a condiment like ketchup or peanut butter. I'm also trying not to eat more than one kind of fruit per day, as there is a large amount of naturally occurring fructose in it. I'm turning down the volume of how many carbs I consume (e.g. one carb a day instead of one with each meal AND snack) and instead adding more healthy fats to my diet.

Some great sources of healthy fats are: olives, nuts - especially macadamia and pecan, cheese, butter, and other non-sugary dairy. When your body burns fat as fuel, it's like a slow and even flame of burning logs, instead of the sharp UP-and-DOWN spikes of sugar and carbs (which actually convert almost instantly to sugar)... that are more like the flickering snap of a wad of paper or twigs.

I am trying not to eat more than one serving daily of: Bread, Pasta, Potatoes, Rice, or other grains. I am also trying to eat lots and LOTS of veggies. That is a bit of a challenge for me, because besides salads, I don't really enjoy vegetables. I did discover a secret to eating celery sticks which I shall share in a later post.

There's more info in this article if you're interested in a bit of research. :) You know, when you think about it, on average the general population DOES consume a scary amount of sugar and carbohydrates and thinks nothing of it. Not that I've gone off the deep *cough-paleo-cough* end, but moderation in all things, y'know? :)

Take care and stay tuned!