Archive for the food Category

Recipe – Stuffed Mushrooms

Posted in food with tags on March 18, 2021 by jefferyrn

Recipe – Eggplant Lasagna

Posted in food, health, weight loss with tags , , on March 10, 2021 by jefferyrn
My plate is too big.
Doesn’t look pretty but it was delicious.

We followed the recipe to a point. My husband fried the eggplant in olive oil after salting* it and pressing it for 30 minutes to remove some of the water. And then rinsing it to remove the salt. He also used his own homemade spaghetti sauce we had in the freezer.

What it was supposed to look like.

*SALT. Eggplant needs to be seasoned well. Sprinkle the eggplant with kosher salt, let it sit for several minutes, then use a paper towel to pat away any excess moisture. The salt softens the eggplant’s bitterness and draws out any excess moisture.

Elephant in the room

Posted in food, health, weight loss with tags , on March 5, 2021 by jefferyrn

Yesterday was a tough day.  The “elephant” was beating me up bad. This is the term used to describe that uncontrolled devil on your shoulder that wants you to eat that cupcake in the break room or have that bag of chips.  Yesterday, I was craving ice cream.  I am learning that you cannot ignore the elephant. You need to reward it in some way.

Elephant in the room

There is a plan.  Okay so I am not an expert and don’t necessary have the right acronyms here but, basically there are three things.  First you identify what, then you plan the how, and finally you attempt to placate it in some way. 

So, the target (what) was gelato at the Peppermill.  It is basically free because we have comps there to pay for it. (Don’t ask, that is another vice I am working on.) Rick wanted some gelato too. (Co-dependency or person to blame.)  Normally, I would just give in to this straight up.  But this time there was a plan.

Gelato

I explained to Rick that we had just discussed this problem in Noom.  I told him that while I can have Gelato, it can’t be every time we go past the ice cream counter.  I need to schedule it.  We agreed.  But of course he wanted me to put it on the calendar for last night.  I gave in with the understanding that that would be the once in the next few days for such a treat.

We went to get the gelato.  There were choice to be made at the ice cream counter.  I made a conscience decision to pick something that would not completely blow my calories for the entire day.  I had a Raspberry Sorbet.  It was delicious.  The elephant was satisfied.  Crisis averted.

Raspberry sorbet – the compromise

Recipe Thursday

Posted in food, health, random, weight loss with tags , on March 4, 2021 by jefferyrn

I haven’t tried this one yet but it looks good to me. It’s mostly a “green” choice, which means low calorie density. The only density really comes from the butter.

Bad breath

Posted in food, health, weight loss with tags , , on February 24, 2021 by jefferyrn

It is too early to see any real progress with Noom.  But I have successfully been completing the course assignments for 3 days.  That is something.  Here are a few tips .

Breathing to Relieve Stress

When things feel out of control, you’re not eating right, you’re not exercising enough, work is overwhelming your personal life, and you need to do something that shows you are in control.  Breathing exercises are that thing.

Breathing for stress relief

While breathing is automatic, unlike other automatic things, we can control it.  Being able to control something brings on relief.  It changes your focus temporarily from what is bothering you and enables you to think more clearly.

The program provide three different breathing exercises.  I have chosen the simplest one.  It’s called “Falling out of breath”.  You take a deep inhale filling your lungs and then you take one more sip of air.  Then you exhale with a big sigh that you can hear. It works.  And the sigh reminds me of my grandmother which is a happy thought bonus.

Okay, so you yoga people already knew this thing called breathing. But I didn’t take it seriously till now.

Food density

We also learn to categorize food by density. We all know the normal diet says limit starches, sugars, and fat.  Eat more fruits and vegetables.  Eat more lean proteins.  Well this is a new approach for me.  You think about the density of what you are eating.  The obvious examples come to mind, a watermelon verses a candy bar.  Which is denser in calories?  But this goes beyond that and asks you to think about water content.  So again that watermelon by name alone tells you it is full of water.  But what about dried fruit verses fresh fruit? Fresh vegetables version those chard on the top of a pizza.  Okay so that isn’t the best example.  Now I want Pizza.  At any rate the program helps you chart foods you eat and puts them into density categories so you can see for yourself how you are doing.  The big thing is water makes you full faster.

One thing I am trying is eating hard-boiled eggs instead of fried ones.  It seemed strange to me that fried eggs were denser.  I was just trying to avoid the butter in the pan and used cooking spray.  But think about it.  When you put the lid over your eggs to get the whites done, where does that steam come from?  The eggs of course.   Two mornings of hard-boiled eggs and I have notices that I do feel fuller after eating them.

Hard-boiled

So these are some takeaways for me for just the first few days.  After the first week coaching and teams are introduced.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  First we learn the basics, then we share with others.  Although I must say the coaching part is what I really need.  I understand that I need some level of self-awareness before we start.  Part of these exercises include some psychological questioning about what triggers my eating habits.  These are designed to put me in a group with like-minded people.  I thought all us fat people were the same but apparently not, we are motivated differently.

Groups

Slipping or failure?

Posted in food, health, weight loss with tags on February 3, 2021 by jefferyrn

Isn’t it the truth that we love to report success but have a hard time with failure?    It is not that I have failed. (See here I am again not admitting it.)  It is that I have slipped off the track to success.   So yes I had a failed moment (or several days).  But I am ready to get back to business.

I started tracking my food intake.  But then it became inconvenient.   Really, my phone is on me all the time and the app is in the phone.   Okay, it became shameful.  I had to put in things like whiskey, crème brulee, chocolate cake, gelato, pasta, bread.  I gave up.   That was the weekend.  We went out with friends.  I took a break.

Happiness

This is a reoccurring issue.  I have excuses for not following the program.   I had to work on Saturday.  We had a long overdue dinner party with close friends.  And the ever popular, “but I like it”.

Angry

So here I am admitting that it is hard to lose weight when the universe is dead set against it.  There are so many factors in our life that change how we feel emotionally and for me I tend to eat my emotions.  Love is chocolate cake.  Anger is whiskey on the rocks.  Happiness is gelato. Sadness is the one emotion I don’t eat.  Maybe the key to my weight loss is to be sad all the time.  

Sadness

Of course that is ridiculous.  But what is happening when I am sad that stops me from eating?  That might be worth exploring further.  Obviously,  I am not going to answer this question today.  But it might just be the key to everything.

Failure or a new chance?

Posted in food, health, weight loss with tags , , on January 8, 2020 by jefferyrn

I don’t think a half pound peanut butter cup in on my diet.  But I ate it anyway.  I was careful about it.  I cut it into eight pieces.  The first day I ate one. The second I ate the rest of them.  I am like the owl in the tootsie pop commercial.  Except I beat him by one. On the bright side I have rid myself of all the bad food in my desk.  It was delicious.

Tomorrow we get back to basics.  I am cutting sugar, walking more, and the ultimate dirty words, going to the gym.  Yikes.

There is always a reason not to go to the gym.  I don’t feel well, my partner doesn’t feel well, I worked too late to go now, etc.

There is always an excuse to eat sugar.  Because it is there! I am depressed and it will make me feel better.  (The crash from the sugar high makes me feel worse, not to mention the bathroom scales.)

We who suffer from obesity face these obstacles everyday of our lives.  We can choose to be defeated by them or we can achieve our goals.  Food is not happiness.   The gym never killed anyone (I don’t think?).  Walking is a better alternative to needing a wheel chair because we are so damned obese that we can’t.

We know what to do.  And sadly I have failed to do it lately.

10%

Posted in food, health, weight loss with tags , on November 4, 2019 by jefferyrn

This morning I had my annual checkup. My labs were good except for my cholesterol. My triglycerides were a still a little high so they upped my dose. One of the many side effects of diabetes. My “good” cholesterol numbers are low too. I need to start eating more fish, nuts, olive oil, and avocadoes. Whole grains are supposed to help too, but carbs are not a friend to me.

The interesting news, well I guess not so much news as a reminder, is that if I can lose 10% of my body weight I could stop some of my medications. On the surface that sounds do able, but with the Holidays it will be a challenge. Still I have made that my goal. Without giving you my actual weight, 10% is roughly 25 to 30 pounds. My next checkup is in six months, so on the high end we are talking 5 lbs. a month or 1.25 lbs. per week. It doesn’t sound so bad at the weekly level does it?

On the surface that sounds do able, but with the Holidays it will be a challenge. Still I have made that my goal. Without giving you my actual weight, 10% is roughly 25 to 30 pounds. My next checkup is in six months, so on the high end we are talking 5 lbs. a month or 1.25 lbs. per week. It doesn’t sound so bad at the weekly level does it?

This means low carbs. This means not just having a gym membership but going there 3 times a week. This means avoiding all the Holiday sweets, or at least limiting their consumption. I love stuffing but maybe more turkey is in order. I am sure I can squeeze in a desert, like pumpkin pie or chocolate chip cookies, just not a whole pie or a dozen cookies. We have 3 weeks before all this stuff really starts getting in the way. If I can lose 5 lbs. in those 3 weeks I am off to a great start.

We have 3 weeks before all this stuff really starts getting in the way. If I can lose 5 lbs. in those 3 weeks I am off to a great start.

Vodka Brined Smoked Wild Caught Salmon

Vodka Brined Smoked Wild Caught Salmon

Next I need to find some recipes that incorporate some of those “good” cholesterol items. Fish is a hard thing to find around here. Mainly because I am picky. It needs to be wild caught and not fried. This also makes it more expensive. And I hate the way the smell stays in the house for days. Sacrifices are not always about food, but my environment as well.

Wish me luck, and I will share some of those recipes as I try them out.

Eat healthy

Posted in food, health, weight loss with tags , on April 10, 2019 by jefferyrn

Getting back on track after being sick has been a difficult task. As a diabetic I know what I should and shouldn’t be eating but sometimes I lose sight of the goal. So here is a reminder.

Things you should be eating:

  1. Greens – iceberg lettuce doesn’t really cut it here. Did you know it was originally grow to feed to pigs. You don’t have to go out and harvest your own kale like my nephew, but green leafy vegetables such as spinach, arugula, and collard greens can definitely be prepared as a tasty satisfying dish. Don’t call it salad and maybe you will like it.
  2. Eggs – Eggs are a good source of protein. For years they have gotten a bad rap for increasing cholesterol levels. But just like any other food moderation is the key.
  3. Fatty foods – Yes! We aren’t talking cupcakes and ice cream hear, although once in a while those can be a special treat. What we are talking about are avocados, butter, cheese, eggs, salmon, nuts, seeds, and if you like it Greek yogurt but watch for added sugars
  4. Beans – I always think of that little song from childhood about them being the musical food. The catch here is that many processed beans are high in sodium. Dried beans are the best (of course you cook them first).
  5. Fruit – This is a double edged sword. Raw fruits contain lots of fiber that help cancel out their sugar content. Smoothies break down this fiber and you are left with sugar. Also watch for sugar added to canned fruit. There are some with no sugar added. If it says in light syrup it is probably not the best choice.
  6. Vegetables – Yuk right? We know we should eat them. The fiber here is also key. If you want that baked potato, try a baked yam instead. Asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, spinach, snow peas all are good choices. You can find ways to add these to your diet that make them tasty. Hide them in a quiche or soup. You don’t have to eat them in their native form, although I enjoy steamed broccoli, but I know many people including past Presidents detest it. Watch the cheese sauce. Unless you make it yourself it is probably full of sodium.
  7. Whole Grains – I love bread products. Make smart choices here. There are so many “whole grain” options. Read the fiber content as some of these are misleading. Again we need moderation. Open face that sandwich. Eat that burger but leave off the top bun. Skip those chips or rolls and have brown rice or a yam with your meal. Small changes make a big difference.
  8. Lemons – Citrus is an important part of your diet. It improves digestion, your immune system (I tend to think of pirates and scurvy here), and it keeps you fuller longer. Put that lemon slice in your unsweetened ice tea or water. Simple right?
  9. Turmeric – I found this one on a website. I am a little dubious of its purported miracle qualities. But using it as a seasoning on salmon couldn’t hurt.
  10. Chocolate – What? We are not talking milk chocolate here. The sugar added to milk chocolate cancels out any benefits it may have had. This is raw dark chocolate. It contains antioxidant chromium and is supposed to improve insulin function. Again this is a hard one to swallow. But mole sauce is one answer. I am sure it can be added to lots of recipes.

So that is my list for today. I am going to the gym after work. I am feeling much better. Eat healthy and we will achieve our goals.

Excuses

Posted in food, health, random, weight loss with tags on April 2, 2019 by jefferyrn

So many things are happening, but I have not had the time or ambition to write about them. I have had a cold for the past two week. Always a miserable time. Even my cat got sick. I am doing better this week. Time to get back on track.

It seems there are endless excuses for not getting into shape. “It’s too cold outside.” “I stayed late at work.” “I have a cold.” “I don’t feel like it.”

These excuses lead to other bad behavior such as eating cookies, chips, ice cream, biscuits, etc. Looking for comfort in food has got to stop, because in the end it makes me even more unhappy with myself. Lucky for me these antibiotics are suppressing my appetite. I am also on a new shot for my diabetes. Slowly building up to a full dose. It is making me very frustrated. I have been gaining weight.

This post is turning into a big excuse. I need to move past this and get better, healthier and in shape. We are going to Hawaii next month. I still have time to do something.