Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Milepost 1 on the Road to Wellness

In the two months since my first post about my journey to better health a few things happened.  First, May was the month I lowered my convenience foods to a trickle.  I also started cooking from scratch.  I have not eliminated all frozen, canned, boxed, and bagged foods.  I eliminated all those loaded with all those unnecessary chemicals.  I kept my Zatarain’s but went with either the brown rice or reduced sodium versions.  I continued with the Thai Kitchen rice noodle soup bricks. I removed Cliff bars completely.  My soda intake was whittled down to five a month.  I have been eating a lot of frozen table seedless grapes. Canned chili was replaced with Carroll Shelby’s chili con carne mix.  I added vegetables to dirty rice and chili con carne.

Second, I continued working with portion control.  I went from three bratwursts a sitting to two.  In June, I went from four sandwiches a sitting to two.  In June I did treat myself to two high cocoa chocolate bars, but I did not eat either in one sitting.  When I do treat myself it is one fast food sandwich or two tacos.  Zatarain’s boxed dinners (red beans and rice, black beans and rice, and dirty rice) count for two or more meals instead of one.  I eat one apple or pear at a time.  I eat one piece of fruit leather instead of two or more.  My large Kellogg’s cereal bowls are used for fruit if anything these days.  I limit how much I eat.  I work on not overdoing it.  

I am trying to have more variety in my food. I am using either fat free items or those using olive oil.  Olive oil is my oil or fat of choice, I working to use less butter. Tortilla chips are baked with olive oil.  My dairy products are limited to yogurt and cheese these days.  I can make sorbets and smoothies with a new to me Vitamix, which was a birthday present.  I wanted a Dessert Bullet, but wonderful mother went with something she thought would benefit me more.  Alton Brown always says to avoid uni-tasker machines if at all possible.  I broke out my 6 year old never used George Foreman grill.  It helped keep the fat level down in grilled meats.  

                           Sopa de Lima with Julienne tortilla strips

In cooking from scratch again, I have re-ignited my passion for cooking and exploring new foods. In May, I made Sopa de Lima (Yucatan chicken and lime soup), something I had eaten, but never cooked. In June, I made Thai lemongrass and chicken soup, and Indonesian sweet pork.  Future plans include Russian style beef Stroganoff with rice, Madras Beef, and Spanish tortilla (a potato and egg fried omelet).  I get to try new things without the costs of restaurants.  I also get to learn new things and express myself creatively.  I also reconnected with a few favorites from my past chili relleno casserole, Filipino adobo, and my maternal grandmother's zucchini casserole.  Future plans also include meatloaf using rolled oats, another favorite from my childhood, and Filipino pancit with bean thread noodles. 

                                        Indonesian sweet pork

I pulled a muscle in early June and was down a week.  That was a set back, but I powered through. Also both push lawn mowers went down.  Those two affected my activity level.  The muscle pull more so, since I still did my walks with the lawn mowers down.  I exacerbated the pull in helping move some heavy items.  I took it cool after that.  I have had illness and other physical setbacks in the past.  I can get through them.  

In April, I learned I lost 6 lbs in 3 weeks, since I was seen in March.  The following five weeks at my second Dietitian appointment, I lost anther 21 lbs, leading to a total of 27 lbs since late March.  That 21 lbs was a surprise, I knew I had lost some weight, but not that much.  I am working with my dietitian to be watchful on what I am doing and eating.  This is not a sprint, but a marathon.

                           My Grandmother's zucchini casserole

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