Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Weekly Weigh In


Well, hello people and happy Spring!  It does seem like Spring has finally sprung.  I am happy to report I did not gain or lose this week.  As I have noted before, for me the weight loss plan is “slow and steady.”  I am unwilling to give up some of the things I love (can you say wine?).  And given the Passover holidays, I am just happy I did not gain weight.
On my way to work this morning, I ran into a friend from my building.  He showed me his FitBit.  I looked into it in the past but now I am sold – so much so that I really want to go buy one today. I am hoping this will help me keep up with the walking and get me back on track to do that next 5K.  I will keep you posted on my progress.  Also, with the weather improving, I can finally get outside and move some more!!  Passover is now behind me (as it was last Friday when I had Thai food) and now back to eating healthy again.  I am hopeful for a loss next week.

This week I do not really have a recipe but I do have a tip.  This is a shortcut for those busy weeknights when you just do not feel like cooking anything.  A hearty, full and delicious addition to plain old chicken is shake ‘n bake.  I know it sounds right out of 1974, but it does add taste to otherwise boring chicken. Shake, bake, and serve with brown rice. Does not get any easier than that! One more quick tip: Trader Joe’s sells the best frozen brown rice.  It literally takes 3 minutes to cook in the microwave.  And they offer organic, regular brown rice and Jasmine rice. For those late nights, this is an easy, healthy meal to get done rather quickly!!


I did as promised and jumped back on the exercise wagon last week. I stayed within my calorie allotment (up until the weekend). Result? I lost the 2.3 pounds I put on in the “break” week.

The weekend bought a baby shower and Easter. My calorie count was tipped towards heavy because I didn’t pre-plan. I know I’ve talked about using pre-planning as a strategy before but you can’t always pre-plan menus you don’t prepare, which brings me to this week’s focus.

If you’re at an event or a family member/friend’s dinner table for a holiday, you can’t always guarantee there will be something diet friendly on the menu…and sometimes you don’t want there to be. What’s After all, what is Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes or mac and cheese? Wrong, that’s what.  

There are many strategies for overcoming calorie wrecking special occasion grub. I’ve tried a lot of them. They include:

  • Offer to host the celebration so you can set the menu. This one is tricky. It can go one of two ways. You can make something for everyone…even the stuff you want to avoid or you can choose a completely healthy menu. I've used the first option successfully. People kinda glared at my vegan food (my family members are Southern American and Trinidadian...people expect meat) but they were happy with the traditional food I made. The second option quickly becomes selfish if your family/friends come hungry expecting traditional fare. You start bringing out lentil stuffed Portobello mushrooms, mashed cauliflower and vegan mac and cheese.  There is uncomfortable laughter as someone says “Ok. Ok you got us. Now where’s the turkey and stuffing?” You innocently quip that meat is murder and explain the benefits of veganism. Suddenly someone is trying to stab you with their generations old carving knife. Epic fail. 

  • Offer to bring a couple of dishes so you ensure you have something to eat. You may get a couple of people saying, “It’s Christmas! You can cheat a little” or a little veiled guilt that comes out as hater speech “Nicole thinks she’s better than everyone with her roasted asparagus. She knows she misses these loaded potatoes!” (True, true). Inevitably though, you’ll also get a lot of support and everyone, including you, can eat what they want. I've done this at a barbeque and it worked out well. 

  • Get your workout on. You know how runners carb load before a race? Well, this is the opposite. Workout before to create a calorie deficit and eat what you burned. FYI, this is only going to work if you eat small portions...and I mean Smurf small. Do you know how big a deficit you’d have to create for a spoonful of creamy, cheesy mac and cheese? Yeah…you’d be running during dinner. What you can do instead is eat in moderation. I know, I know. There’s that word again but it truly is your best friend for holiday events. All jokes aside, little portions of everything you want and a heaping side of will power will get you through without too much damage. If you miss your calorie target, sweat it. No that’s not a typo. I intentionally left the “don’t” out. By “sweat it,” I mean get your butt to the gym...regularly (not just on a big meal day)!
Speaking of the gym, this week’s workout is the Wonder Woman workout by Neila Rey, because who can resist a workout named after a super hero? I mean, the point of this is to gain strength, right? I’m into it.

As for food, we had a cold snap last week (it literally snowed) and it put me in the mood for one more go at a big bowl of hearty soup. This time, I went for a stew that I featured a couple of years ago. You can find it here.  

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