DAYS 3 & 4: 18 LB WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE (WLC)

Day 3:

Had a stressful day…had to kill a brown recluse spider which was making a web on door jamb of my front door…(I DETEST spiders). Had an interview too. Stress causes weight gain, I am well aware of that. So after the spider incident, I went for a walk in the beautiful sunshine. The interview went well but as usual I won’t find out for a couple of days. I hate the not knowing part.  Another interesting part of the day came when my husband treated me to dinner out. I thought to myself all the things I could order at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Moctezuma’s. I actually stunned myself because I ate none of the chips, drank only water, and ordered a nice Avocado Caesar Salad with a grilled chicken breast and dressing on the side. It was wonderful, I felt satisfied. Plus normally when dessert is mentioned, I am all over it. I wasn’t last night. Dessert was not even on my mind.

Day 4:

Must grocery shop today, this will be a challenge all in itself, because in order to hit the healthy areas of the store, I first have to walk through the bakery section. I will have to focus a little deeper and not go there hungry. I already have a list, that won’t be a problem. But since I am loving this new feeling of being lighter, I will have to remind myself that I’ve tasted all the sugar before and nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.

A couple of days ago I was watching a PBS presentation by Brenda Watson Heart of Perfect Health I learned a new formula for calculating how many teaspoons of sugar are in a serving of food. Because let’s face it, it’s easier to visualize what a teaspoon of sugar looks like than a gram of it. Total carb grams (-) total fiber grams (/) divided by 5.

Teaspoons of Sugar

It’s simple. Now I’ve been calculating how many teaspoons of sugar are in each of the food items I have on my pantry shelves that have a label on them. I rarely buy anything that comes in a can, jar, or box, preferring to make it myself. So I am also checking recipes to find out exactly how many teaspoons of sugar each contain and trying to find ways to lower those teaspoons to only 1 or 2.

It’s Still Meatless Monday for Me!

Reading the news that the USDA has retracted their support of Meatless Mondays last week,  people may think they need to conform to what the government says is healthy or not healthy. Our bodies are unique and that uniqueness means that we need to choose the healthiest path for ourselves. Just because a government entity does not support Meatless Mondays does not mean we should all throw our vegetables aside and make more room for meat.  It’s like saying “Don’t confuse me with the facts, I’m going to do whatever I want to do.” The fact is this, there are more health gains made from abstaining from meat, than there are from eating it.

Tonight for dinner love your heart with a Sweet Potato Picnic Salad

Meatless Monday loves Hearts

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/07/26/meat-industry-has-beef-with-meatless-monday-forces-usda-to-retract-newsletter-plug/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/us/usda-newsletter-retracts-a-meatless-mondays-plug.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/26/usda-meatless-monday-post_n_1705113.html

A Carni-Vegan

Today is Meatless Monday for the rest of the eating world but for me it’s meatless every day. I’m a vegan and I’m married to a carnivor. It’s easy because my husband knows we cannot support two eating lifestyles so he’s adapted to having no animal products in our home. We made a deal when I embarked on this vegan plan. He can have his animal protein whenever he eats out; business lunches, weekend potlucks at church, and out at family and friends homes are when he can indulge on his chicken, fish, or wild game.

Through this process I’ve noticed that he makes better food choices when out. At potlucks he fills up on raw veggies and fruit and has animal as a side dish.

When I cook (every meal of the day), I use a combination of grains, fruits and veggies, and beans. Before going vegan my weekly menu looked liked this:

  •                          Sunday: soups or stews
  •                         Monday: Casseroles
  •                         Tuesday: Meatless
  •                         Wednesday: Pasta
  •                         Thursday: Leftovers
  •                         Friday: Meat and Potatoes
  •                         Saturday: Eater’s Choice

Now that I am enjoying the vegan life I have changed a couple of things on the menu. Sunday and Monday are huge salads, Tuesday is grains and veggies (no beans), Wednesday and Thursday stayed the same, Friday is stir fries or veggie burgers, and Saturday is still eaters choice. Eater’s choice is whatever a person wants to make for him or herself, whether it’s an almond butter and jam sandwich or dinner reservations.

The wonderful thing about vegan cooking is learning to remake our favorite meat filled meals into a vegan fantasy dish. Picadillo Salad is one of the remakes.

Picadillo Salad – serves 6

  • 2 cups cooked beans of choice or 1 can beans of choice (Since I don’t use canned beans, I used a mix of black and mung beans)                                                                     
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red apple, cored and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped green olives
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded or chopped                                                                                    

Mix together and set aside.

Creamy Dressing

  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced                                                                                                                             
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 1 large avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Whirl in food processor till it resembles sour cream

Serve the salad with a dollop of the dressing over the top or on the side.

Enjoy