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Sunday, September 01, 2019

Some Recipes & Calorie Counts

For the past month, I've been eating quite a bit and losing weight. I tried Keto, I tried OMAD and using the meal shakes, and all that. They all work for certain people and they would work for me if I could keep them up for life. And I can't. I cannot restrict myself to certain foods and trends. Life is varied and my food desires are just as varied. I failed because I had too many "cheat" days. There were days when I didn't want to be low-fat or high-fat or one-meal or fasting for 16 hours. Agh!

First I got frustrated and then I got real. After talking with my doctor, I was reminded that in addition to aging, I am also on certain medicines that inhibit easy weight loss. Okay then. So what I finally accepted is that the trick to staying in a healthy shape as you get older is to find what works for you instead of following every trend that comes along. Listen I even prayed about this situation!

My new reality is that I am over 50 and I am going to have to be diligent to maintain a healthy body. Because I did fail at other plans like Keto, fasting, and OMAD (one meal a day), I decided to hold off sharing what I'm doing until I could keep it up. I finally have this. I am down 10.7 pounds in 5 weeks and so far I'm not regretting anything. I am eating what I like but I do have to at least loosely keep track. This is what a typical day looks like:

Breakfasts
  • I try to drink at least 8 ounces of lemon water. This is easier if I have some miracle berries beforehand. It's downright yummy after a miracle berry.
  • As much black coffee as I want (I will tell you how I broke my sugary creamer habit) without getting too much sodium.
  • Either 2 greek yogurt pancakes or a cup of overnight oatmeal with brown sugar (recipes will be shown later). The oats are a favorite because it's easy and very filling.
Snacks
  • Baby carrots with a couple tablespoons of Ranch, or 
  • Butter crackers plain or with cheese or with thin-sliced packaged ham, or
  • Cheese and grapes/apples, depending on which  fruit I happen to have, or
  • Tuna (with mayo and onion) solo or on butter crackers, or
  • A single-serve bag of popcorn (my fave is kettle corn)
  • If I have miracle berries beforehand - Plain, no-fat Greek yogurt or plain goat cheese on crackers
Dinners
  • Cabbage (or a bag of coleslaw greens) steamed with sausages and bacon
  • Homemade burger on regular bread with a salad
  • Pork chop with salad, spinach/kale/collards on the side
  • Ground beef stuffed with spinach or kale, onions and garlic and topped with a couple tablespoons of spaghetti or pizza sauce (see recipes)
  • A dinner-breakfast of eggs and bacon and a couple of yogurt pancakes
Desserts
  • If I have miracle berries beforehand - Plain, non-fat Greek yogurt/sour cream "cheesefake" (see recipes)
  • A pint of Halo icecream
  • Cheese-fake
If you notice, I don't use any artificial sweeteners. I don't like them and I'm not sure they are any better for my health than real sugars. 

I have to be really honest and tell you that I think the biggest kick-off to weight loss for me was giving up my heavily sweetened coffees. Here is what I was putting at least 3-5 tablespoons into a 16-oz coffee:

Almost 200 calories per mug


If I do need to "soften" some coffee that might be too strong or "bitter", I will use some of this instead:

100 calories is a lot better than 175

Since I tend to drink at least 2 16-ounce mugs of coffee in a day, I try to stick to this Luzianne brand which is too weak or any sweet creamer but perfect to drink black. I am so glad I found it. I know some people who choose McDonald's coffee as the one the can drink black. In my opinion, this Luzianne is way better and more consistent. Just be aware of the sodium in coffee. It varies, I think, by brand. I'm actually kind of over the whole dessert-coffee thing, tell the truth.



The other thing I had to train myself to was eye-balling calories. I faithfully used the Lose It app at first but now I can gauge how many calories a meal or snack is. I would buy the Premium version if it was a reasonable one-time purchase but... Ugh.

What I've learned about myself is that I am never as hungry as I think. What I am is a person who eats for every emotion: happy, sad, mad - everything but depressed. When I am depressed, I am even worse because I don't want to cook or take my time to find something decent to eat. I once ate nothing but some lemon teacake for about 24 hours. TWO lemon teacakes made with enough sugar to induce diabetes by smell and drizzled with a powdered sugar glaze. I didn't sleep, I just lay around in blue funk eating pieces of cake, sobbing and watching Andy Griffith reruns.

Great app but crazy-priced for the Premium version

So, I am that kind of an eater. And I will probably always struggle with depression. What I am doing now when I don't have the energy to cook or choose healthy meals, is fix the overnight oats and I eat a lot of baby carrots. I love baby carrots. I can eyeball what a tablespoon of ranch dressing looks like so I spend my sad or fatigued moments with a bag of baby carrots and ranch dressing. I think I once peed orange and cried white tears.

My big dessert hack is to eat a miracle berry and then snack on a cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt with a squirt of lemon juice mixed in. It's like eating cheesecake. And that brings me to the simple "recipe" for what I call Cheese-fake:
  • 1 miracle berry (to eat just beforehand)
  • 1 1/2 cup of non-fat Greek Yogurt, strained overnight (use cheesecloth or a substitute)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
  • Mix the 2 ingredients together
  • Put into a small container (I use a Tupperware sandwich container) and out into the fridge for a couple hours.
  • You can add more lemon juice or even top it with fresh, peeled lemon slices. The more lemon, the more cheese-cakey the flavor.
  • If you want to splurge a little, you can make a Fiber One crust...
I have ended up with some weak miracle berries and will sometimes have to eat 2 of them to get the same effect so be warned.

Anyway,m here are those recipes. I collected them from various places (online and from memory) and made them my own. You can mix them up by adding different seasonings. By the way, I just used screenshots of my recipes stored in the Lose It! app. It works out all the calories based on the app's listings or what you scan in from your item packaging. Handy.






*** This is for the crust




On one of my OMAD days, I made up my own recipe for stuffed meatloaf using the following ingredients. You basically season the ground beef with seasonings shown (and any others you want) and roll it out on some plastic wrap or parchment paper to get it as flat as possible. Then you layer half of the spaghetti (or pizza sauce) and all of the other ingredients down the middle of the meat. Stay away from the sides. Roll the meat up with the stuff inside and make sure the sides are tucked around so the ingredients don't leak out. Wrap the bacon around it and plop it into a small loaf pan, top it with the rest of the sauce and cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for at least an hour. At the 45-minute mark, I like to uncover the meat and drain all the oil out before I finish baking it uncovered.  I only use the bacon for seasoning and will toss it when the loaf is finished cooking. Although it's a high-calorie meal, it's the only one I eat that day so I can even have a salad with a couple tablespoons of dressing at some point and be done with it. 




So that's it. There are a lot of recipes online for substituting greek yogurt for sour cream or frosting or whatever. Enjoy.

Peace
--Free