Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fixing Food Addictions-- Step One

Have I mentioned how much I love GOOD Food!  I can eat all day long-- as long as the food is fattening and yummy.  One of my worst habits is eating food on the go-- grabbing that left over lasagne, and eating it while I am driving kids around; munching on chocolate covered almonds while browsing the web; sneaking bites of a divine french cheese while cooking dinner.  I realised that if I want to be healthy I had to change that habit!

Fixing Food Addictions
Step 1.  Choose a bad habit and change it.

My first bad habit to go was eating on the run.  Now when I eat, I try to make sure I am sitting at the table with time to enjoy the yummy healthy food I am eating.  Eating a food that is not as portable is a good way to minimize movement.  Soups rock my lunch time.  If I have to take it on the go, I can.  But to savor it's luscious goodness, you'll want to sit down.

Here are two of my favorite lunch soups, each with only 3 points on Weight Watchers Points Plus!!!!

Is Vanity Enough?

A couple of months ago, I was chatting with a friend about our shared weight loss goal.  Tears welled up in her eyes as she explained how ugly she thought she looked with all the extra baby weight.  Every morning she would wake up, look in the mirror, and tell herself how terrible she looked.  Then she would go about her day, making choices that would change her appearance.  She pushed herself faster and harder on the treadmill.  She said no to the chocolate cravings.  She was motivated to change.

Is vanity enough motivation for you?   It is not enough for me.  For years I tried to fit back into the pre-baby #3 jeans (I had given up hope for the pre-baby #1).   I can tell myself that I want to fit into them, but the jeans I have now look good on.  I am beautiful the way I am.  (So are you!)  So why change then?

Is it a magic number on the scale you vowed to never surpass.  Do you want to avoid diabetes?  Do you need to be able to shop till the store closes, not till you drop?

My weight/ health breakthrough came when I reconnected with my goal.  IRONMAN!  I love triathlons.  Sprints are fun, but I had not bulked up to a longer distance, let alone let myself dream of training for the big kahuna (KONA in my book). If I want to be able to swim 2.5, bike 119, and run 26.2 in 16 hours or less, I can not be carrying around 40 lbs of baggage.  END OF STORY!!!

...but it was only the beginning because FINALLY I had sufficient motivation to change my lifestyle.
April 2011 with my Aunt Janie

I started to quiz all my fit, healthy friends about how they made changes in their life and diet.  I knew my diet was to blame.  I already exercised 5 days a week, lifted weights 2 days a week, and trained for various races.  I had run marathons, done 2 a day workouts with little weight change.  Exercise wasn't enough for me.

A couple of friends mentioned Weight Watches.  It worked for them, so I thought I would give it a try.  Boy has it worked for me!!!!  I am down 25 lbs in 4 months.  Boy is exercising easier with less weight to carry around.  I am planning my races for the next year and looking toward KONA  in 2017.  (I know it is 5 years away, I am a slow, not as chubby triathlete.  I have to work up to it!)

October 2011 25lbs lost with Weight Watchers Points Plus

What is your motivation?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Addiction--

You know that thing that you just can't live without?  You try it once and you can't picture your life without it?   It may be true love, a new fragrance the local shoppe, or even an extreme sport.

Well, I can't live without AMAZINGLY GOOD food.  Boxed food will keep you alive, but who wants to put it in their mouth more than once.  I love gourmet chocolate, sauces with intricate spices, compotes and pies.  Oh don't forget cream.  I ADORE cream.

My food addiction doesn't help with my "Tri harder; live better" mantra, but with a little help I have learned how to tweak my recipes to keep the formerly OFF LIMITS in my diet!  Chocolate is ok.  Cheesecake, bring it.  Chinese food, OH YEAH!

So here is my take on an American Chinese Classic -- and it is only 5 points on Weight Watchers Points Plus System!

Cashew Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
4 ribs celery, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
1/2 onion sliced
1 can water chestnuts
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
2 Tbsp corn starch
3/4 cup cashews

Cut chicken breast haves into 1 inch pieces and marinate in salt, sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar.  Set aside while you prepare the remaining items.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok.  Sear chicken for one minute on each side.  Set aside.
Stir fry celery, carrots, onion, garlic and water chestnuts until they brighten in color and are crisp tender.  Add chicken to the veggies.

Add broth, hoisin sauce and cornstarch to the wok.  Stir to combine.  Cook over medium heat for 3-6 minutes or until sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through.  Sprinkle cashews over the top.
Serve with rice.

Tips:  I pre-cut veggies one day a week and put them in baggies in the fridge.  That way I have veggies sliced and ready when I am ready to cook.
My family doesn't care for ginger.  If you do, add 1/4 inch fresh ginger root minced or 1/2 tsp dry to the vegetables in the wok.

Amazingly this recipe is rather healthy. It makes 6, 1-cup servings.  Each serving has only 5  (BELIEVE IT!!!) Weight Watchers Points Plus Points.  (Rice is extra.  But still if you have 1 cup rice with your 1 cup cashew chicken you are only consuming 10 points)

YUM!!!  Now that is one recipe that will help me LIVE BETTER!!!