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Tag Archives: healthy choices

April 14, 2015

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Today was a good day. I have officially lost 25 lbs. Yes, there is more to go, but today was a good day!

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April 2, 2015

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I weighed in the other day. I did well. So far I have lost 22.4 lbs. I’m using Weight Watchers but I am also watching how things add up easily. It is easy to gain weight! Too bad it isn’t as easy to lose. But that is what is pushing me to move forward and keep going. I don’t want to have to go through this again. It’s like going through detox for rehab. Except it is an extended time period. Yes, you get used to eating healthier and it does get easier, but it will probably always be an issue.

I have figured out that I like carbs too much. When I am sad, I want carbs. When I am happy, I want carbs. When I am depressed, I want carbs. They taste good. I’m not going to lie. And they give me a quick boost to my serotonin levels and I instantly feel better. Don’t believe me? Check WebMD and let them explain it.

But I am learning to make better choices. Today at 2:30 when I was suddenly hungry again, I didn’t go get the candy bar I thought about in passing. Instead I went upstairs at work and saw there were leftovers of a beautiful mixed green salad. I got some of that with a bit of Asian dressing and I was good to go. I ate a whopping salad, my mood lifted and so did my confidence. I made a good choice. I was going to eat no matter what. My choice was a good one, though. Yay, me!

I counted up my points so far for the day and I am not even going to feel guilty when I have dinner out tonight. It’s within my points range. I did, however, find out how I ended up in this mess. Many things were not in my points range and I ate them and ate some more, too! But tonight is a guilt-free night.

If you are struggling, don’t beat yourself up if there is a failure. When you’re hungry again, make a good choice. Is it easy? No. In fact, it can be confusing. But if you start slowly and really simplify, it will get easier. One day at a time…

March 31, 2015

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I’m a little nervous about today. It is weigh-in day and I am praying I lost. Last week I gained a few pounds and it really bothered me. I knew instantly where my pitfalls had been. I stayed away from them this week. Fingers crossed that the scales don’t scream at me. 🙂

Discrimination Against Overweight People

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The other day I saw this post on Facebook:

obesity

I responded that sometimes the cost of healthy food is too expensive for people to eat properly. It was amazing the responses that came from that simple statement. I always knew that people discriminated against people who are overweight, but it was amazing how people posted such negative things. People replied that my response wasn’t true. I was speaking from my living situation and how I struggle financially to buy fresh produce. I was told that I could eat beans and rice. Yes, I do that. But I do like variety. I don’t want to eat just beans and rice for every meal. I miss strawberries, blueberries, bell peppers, a variety of lettuces and such. I can’t always afford them.

Some people were thoughtful and seemed to be trying to be helpful. I was told I should grow my own fruits and vegetables. Not everyone can do that. I live in an apartment. We aren’t allowed to just plant things willy nilly. I have done a little container gardening, but honestly that doesn’t provide enough food for an individual for frequent meals. It sure wouldn’t give enough for a family if they lived in my community.

It irritated me, though, that people assume that people don’t eat healthy because they’re just lazy. I wish others would consider that some people are busy working in jobs that don’t always pay a lot and have to do the best they can to survive. After a long, hard day, they’re tired and need food choices that taste good and are good for them. When you have limited finances, you have limited options. It’s not always a matter of being lazy. Sometimes it’s a matter of economics.

That’s actually one of the purposes of this blog. I want to help myself and others find good foods that are affordable and tasty. I’m not lazy; I’m busy. I like beans. I like rice. I don’t like them constantly. I’m sure that others don’t either.

What gets me, though, is the fact that people feel that it is ok to discriminate against overweight people. It’s now acceptable. I wonder if they would feel it was ok to speak negatively to or about someone with mental retardation or of a different race? I don’t think it is ok to make assumptions about others in general. In my opinion it’s not alright to judge others or act condescending to others.

Eating Seasonally

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Eating healthy and on a budget is sometimes difficult. It’s best to try to eat seasonally whenever possible. Don’t know what is available when? There’s a chart for everything!

Golden Potato-Cauliflower Soup

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Golden Potato-Cauliflower Soup

Meatless Monday!

Guess what day it is! MEATLESS MONDAY! I love potato soup. Why not make it healthier? Add some cauliflower! This came from Health magazine.

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup french bread, cubed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups cauliflower, sliced
3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
28 ounces low sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare croutons, combine cumin and 1 teaspoon oil in a bowl; add bread cubes, and toss to coat. Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool croutons slightly; set aside.

3. To prepare soup, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and celery; cover and cook 2 minutes. Stir in cauliflower, potato, broth, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add lemon juice. Place vegetable mixture, in batches, in a food processor; process until smooth.

5. Divide soup evenly among 4 bowls; serve with croutons, and top with chives, if desired.

Serves 4.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 329 Calories; 5g Fat (14.7% calories from fat); 18g Protein; 53g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1064mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat.

Beet Veggie Burger

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I’ve been looking for a great veggie burger. I found this site that had what looked yummy. Check them for other recipes if you’d like.

3 large beets
1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cans black beans, canned
1/4 cup prunes, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons brown mustard
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 large egg
salt and pepper, to taste
6 each hamburger bun

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the beets loosely in aluminum foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, bring a 2-quart pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add the rice. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the rice until it’s a little beyond al dente. You want it a little over-cooked, but still firm (not completely mushy). This should take about 35 to 40 minutes. Drain the rice and set it aside to cool.

3. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions every minute or two, and cook until they are golden and getting charred around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. A few wisps of smoke as you are cooking is ok, but if it seems that the onions are burning, lower the heat. A dark, sticky crust should develop on the bottom of the pan.

4. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the cider vinegar and scrape up the dark sticky crust. Continue to simmer until the cider has evaporated and the pan is nearly dry again. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

5. Process the oats in a food processor until they have reduced to a fine flour. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

6. Drain and rinse one of the cans of beans and transfer the beans to the food processor. Scatter the prunes on top. Pulse in 1-second bursts just until the beans are roughly chopped — not so long that they become mush — 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the second can of beans and add these whole beans to the mixing bowl as well.

7. Use the edge of a spoon or a paper towel to scrape the skins off the cooled roasted beets; the skins should slip off easily. Grate the peeled beets on the largest holes of a box grater. Transfer the beet gratings to a strainer set over the sink. Press and squeeze the beet gratings to remove as much liquid as possible from the beets. (You can also do this over a bowl and save the beet juice for another purpose.)

8. Transfer the squeezed beets, cooked rice, and sautéed onions to the bowl with the beans. Sprinkle the olive oil, brown mustard, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, and thyme over the top of the mixture. Mix all the ingredients until combined. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, or any additional spices or flavorings to taste. Finally, add the oatmeal flour and egg (if using), and mix until you no longer see any dry oatmeal or egg.

9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the mixture to a refrigerator container, and refrigerate the burger mixture for at least 2 hours or (ideally) overnight. The mix can also be kept refrigerated for up to three days before cooking.

10. When ready to cook the burgers, first shape them into burgers. Scoop up about a scant cup of the burger mixture and shape it between your palms into a thick patty the size of your hamburger buns. You should end up with 6 large patties.

11. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to completely coat the bottom of the pan. When you see the oil shimmer a flick of water evaporates on contact, the pan is ready.

12. Transfer the patties to the pan. Cook as many as will fit without crowding; I normally cook 3 patties at a time in my 10-inch cast iron skillet.

13. Cook the patties for 2 minutes, then flip them to the other side. You should see a nice crust on the cooked side. If any pieces break off when you flip the burgers, just pat them back into place with the spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 4 more minutes until the patties are warmed through. If you’re adding cheese, lay a slice over the burgers in the last minute of cooking.

14. Serve the veggie burgers on soft burger buns or lightly toasted sandwich bread along with some fresh greens.

6 servings.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 313 Calories; 7g Fat (19.3% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 53g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 35mg Cholesterol; 443mg Sodium.

Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.