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Thursday, May 12, 2011

So Far So Good

Despite the doubts that everyone had for me, I have managed to maintain my goal of eating mostly real foods. I have actually not eaten out in a restaurant since I've started this quest. O.k., there was one exception. I had to go out for margaritas on Cinco De Mayo so I did eat out at a Mexican food place. Other than that, I have done quite well.

Breakfast has been mostly the same, homemade granola bars, smoothies and Russian apple cake. These are great for a fast breakfast. Since I have to be at work by 6am, I don't want to spend any more time in the morning than I have to. I have these items prepared the night before so that I can grab them and leave.

After Cinco De Mayo, I went right back to where I was. I had a leftover beef brisket, which yes, was purchased at the grocery store pre-made. But hey, I'm trying not to waste food here. I chopped up the brisket into cubes, added some Kraft Original BBQ sauce and put it in my slow cooker. It didn't take long for it to heat up and be ready for sandwiches. We had chopped beef sandwiches for dinner along with some Bush's Grillin Beans (once again, I don't want to throw away food), and some homemade potato salad. There are many variations on making potato salad but I like to keep it simple. Here is what I did:

Ingredients:
1 can of whole potatoes (chopped)
Mayonnaise
Mustard
Green olives (substitute for pickles if you're not an olive fan)
Salt and pepper to taste

This is much better when done with fresh potatoes but since I was in a pinch, I used the canned ones. Mix mayonnaise with potatoes. Don't use too much or it will be watery. Then add mustard. You don't need much, just enough to wear it looks slightly yellow. Add as many olives or pickles as you want. This depends on how picklely you want your potato salad to taste. Then top it off with salt and pepper. You can add some paprika if you desire.

I apologize for my vagueness in writing the recipe. I've never actually written one down so bare with me. I'll get better.

Last night, I had a craving for omelets. I made a ham, cheddar, mushroom and onion omelet. I actually didn't eat it because I'm not a fan of mushrooms or onions but my husband said it was tasty. (Pictures to follow)

I then noticed that three of my bananas were going bad. They were very ripe and too mushy to eat. I decided to make some banana bread. Here's the recipe I used:

1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flour
3/4 cup fine graham cracker crumbs (I left this out because I didn't have any)
2 Tbsp. ground baking chocolate (I ground up some chocolate chips and this worked out fine)
2 Tsp. baking powder
1 Tsp. baking soda
1/2 Tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of ripe bananas, mashed (I used 3 bananas)

Combine pecans with flour, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Cram butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in mashed bananas until mixture is smooth. Stir in pecan mixture. Spoon into greased and floured 5 x 9 in. loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour or until well done. (This was a little too long for my oven so watch it closely) Turn out onto wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

This was a real simple recipe. I cannot remember the source I got it from.

That is my update of what has been going on in my kitchen. As you've noticed, I'm integrating real food with the processed food that I already had. Oh and by the way, so far I have lost five pounds. I have not changed my level of physical activity. So far, a success.

I have to work this evening so I will probably grab a sandwich or some soup at work. However, I am off tomorrow so I will have all day for cooking. Who knows what I will come up with.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Operation "Real Food"

As most people know, American consumers are bombarded with choices. We can choose our brands of cars, electronics, neighborhoods, jobs, schools, and food. I have always been the person who will go to the grocery store and grab whatever chemistry experiment in a box that looks edible and be on my way.

Over the past few years, I have put on forty pounds. I don't look really fat but I am definitely thick. This may be because I am getting older and my metabolism is no longer what is used to be. Rather than accept the fact that I am destined to be another fat American and wallow in self pity, I've decided to do something about it.

The first step I did was consult my friend, who is a food connoisseur. She can cook just about anything and loves to eat. Ironically, she is skinny. I asked her to take on the challenge of being my personal dietitian. She accepted and our project began with a trip to the grocery store.

She noticed my kitchen was full of processed foods that were not "real food", which would contribute to my weight problem. She went through the store with me and we were both surprised at how much food was not actual food. Most common foods that we buy every day are nothing but crap. Apparently the food that is optimal to eat are the ones in which you can pronounce all of the ingredients and preferably have very little ingredients.

The next challenge was to start cooking. We rearranged my kitchen and got to work. We ate poached shrimp, quinoa, and tomato and spinach soup. I had never tried quinoa, but it was very tasty. We have spent the past few days cooking and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. If you knew me, this is something that you would never expect to hear. My husband, as well as most of my friends do not think this will last. I must prove them wrong.

So the adventure begins...more to come.