Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chugging along...

Much like the trains that chug through our community we are chugging along with CFG. With the holidays behind us, we've worked our way back into a nice routine. Actually, the routine is kinda boring. Today is shopping day, and we will be loading up on fruits and veg, and I will try to find our source of meat servings for the week. Typically, I have been buying one large type of meat, be it a roast, a chicken etc. , which serves us for 3-4 days. (We supplement with meat alternatives for a few of our meals during the week too). The cost of meat can be quite outrageous, and as tasty as those steaks and fillets look, they would only offer us one serving. Last weeks roast beef, provided serving options of sandwiches, roast beef with veg and rice sides, and if I do say so myself, 3 truly amazing homemade beef & veggie pot pies. I took a photo of the pies after I made them from scatch, but no other photos, what was I thinking? So I will just have to make them again the next time roast beef is up for the week, and make sure I document the preparation etc. for your viewing pleasure.
What I find I am missing right now is the variety of fruit that we enjoyed over the summer. Now is the time for all the wonderful root veggies to grace our plates, but we do enjoy berries. Frozen are okay, but nothing beats fresh. This is also the time for soups, and I have a number of yummy soups in mind, ham and lentil, cauliflower with corn, broccoli with chicken. I will keep you posted on those as well.
For now, I think I may consider pulled pork for this week's meaty option. Mmmm, pulled pork.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Getting back into the Rhythm

As good as the holiday was, I am finding it challenging to maintain control on the not so good foods in our pantry. Besides having a selection of beer and wine left over from our Thanksgiving weekend, there were a number of tart fillings that needed to be addressed. Making up some tarts with the leftover mincemeat and pumpkin filling, and drinking my share of the beer and wine, I feel really bad?, don't know if that is quite the word. I enjoy following CFG, but I have not enjoyed my lack of will power when it has come to finishing of our treats. They are supposed to be a once a week thing. It has turned into a daily or almost daily thing. The good news, the treats are almost all gone, and we won't be bringing any more in. We will be able to go back to having something special once a week. I personally have always found it difficult to say no, when I know that there is some tasty morsel in the fridge or cupboard. That's why I rarely bring anything into the house. Some days, I do very well, some days not so much. I guess lots of people are like that. That all said, I know that this is something I will have to learn to deal with, and try to control. The only good news about Halloween is that I am not a fan of chocolate bars, and candy, (I'm more of a tarts, muffin, and pies kinda of a girl). So Princess won't have to worry that Mum will raid her treat stash.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Finding the time

I have continued along the merry journey of this experiment, and I think that I really enjoy being the weight that I am, and the fitness level that I have. I sneak a couple more treats into the mix than Bella and Princess (when Bella and Princess aren't looking so as not to tempt them). I feel like it is a little bit of a bonus I get for being at a naturally healthy weight for my body.

I know that I am at a good weight (194-196). This is a good weight because it is in accordance with the BMI for my height and age. Also my weight hasn't really changed much in 2 months of this. Remember I lost 10 lbs or so near the beginning of September, well my weight hasn't changed since then.

I also know that I could increase my athleticism. I don't ride the bike anymore, or run or even really walk the dog (other than the family walks in the mornings ... which are sometimes not happening, and other times are an hour long). I also procrastinate about signing up Princess for ice skating and the early session has passed us by. We will have to try for the later one that starts in January.

I believe this diet is the best thing for our bodies, lets hope that this diet pays off in dividends further down the road.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Blinders and Leftovers

Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, and now it’s time to reflect on how we managed it, and working with CFG. Our charts were ignored for the better parts of Sunday and Monday. Putting on the blinders would be one way of describing it, but I would like to say that we just allowed ourselves the option of eating what we wanted without concern over whether we had any grain, meat or veg servings accounted for. We have become quite accustomed to what is a serving size for most foods, and looking back; I don’t feel that any of us ate much more than what we would have been allowed.

We didn’t indulge in poor quality food, but with an abundance of fresh veggie appetizers, hummus, whole wheat crackers, oh yeah, and beer. Dinner consisted of ham, mashed potatoes, carrots, stuffing, and green salad. Dessert was a selection of tarts; pumpkin, mincemeat, and blueberry with a dollop of custard.

I tried to make our meal and appetizers, healthy and simple. By making tarts, I ensured everyone would have a chance to sample dessert, in an appropriate portion size. Not to mention that the kids like eating tarts. One family member jokingly commented that our refrigerator was just the type she liked; filled with desserts and beer.

The following day, we snacked on our veggies and hummus. What was I to do for dinner? I didn’t want to just reheat the same food, as we would probably be having more of the same for the next few days at lunch. So I looked at the mashed potatoes and came up with an idea for gnocchi with a tomato sauce. I looked up a simple gnocchi recipe and found one here; and proceeded to chop up a bit of veggies and ham to throw into the tomato sauce. It was delicious! A big enough hit that Phatdogg has requested that I make some more on Wednesday for him to take to work for lunch, and as the recipe is so simple, I haven’t a problem doing that, like I said, it was delicious. Below are the recipes for the gnocchi and sauce, and a couple of pics.

1 small can tomato sauce (or your homemade)
½ onion sliced thinly
1 cup chopped left over veggies
1 or 2 cups chopped ham (as much as you want)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic minced
Heat all above ingredients on low for 20 minutes or until the gnocchi is ready. Whichever comes first?

2 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup flour
1 egg
Whisk together egg with mashed potatoes, slowly fold in flour, making sure not to over mix the dough. Flour the surface of the counter top, cut off a portion of your dough, and roll it with your fingers. Cut out bite sized pieces and set aside on a lightly floured surface (a cookie sheet maybe?). Repeat until all the dough has been cut. Boil a pot half filled with water and a teaspoon of salt. Drop in the gnocchi about 10 at a time. Remove them after they float to the surface, which means they are done cooking. I placed mine in a strainer over a bowl until I had completed all of them. When the gnocchi are all done, portion out onto plates, spoon tomato sauce over top, and serve. Nothing beats freshly made gnocchi.

Friday, October 7, 2011

No Wane, Lotsa Gain

At the beginning of our journey, I was curious (and hoping) that following CFG and CPAG would not only improve our overall health, but aide in creating a slimmer body. Today I weigh 11 pounds less, and couldn't be more pleased with how things are going. Where Phatdogg has concerns about his interest waning, I am truly enjoying the freedom the guide gives me. Preparing meals, shopping for groceries, is much easier to plan when you have a chart that tells you what's best to eat, and how much of it to eat. The largest parts of our shops are fresh veggies and fruit. Last week, Princess requested that I put a mini cucumber in our basket. When I reminded her that she didn't like cucumber this summer (we tried it a few times), she put her hands up and said "can we just try it Mum". How could I say no to that! Surprise, she actually ate some of it later that night at dinner, declaring that she loved cucumber.

As a family we agreed on allowing ourselves a sometime treat a week. I find that makes my choices easier, as I would much rather share a treat at home with my family, than have a Halloween chocolate bar that was offered to me at work.

I've made an effort to increase my activity at home. Dancing with Princess is good play and a good heart thumper. We don't run a car, but have made transit a choice on occasion when we could have walked. We've trimmed that down as much as possible, in fact, the last two weeks on my way to work; I have got off two or three stops sooner so that I could enjoy a speedier, longer walk to work.

I really like what we're doing and have no plans to stop any time sooner or later. A fun fact, this Sunday is Thanksgiving, and I will be doling out the food to the whole family. I have tried to create a tasty, but simple menu (14 people in a 970 sq ft condo should be interesting), and will be saving up my treats for this week for the yummy tarts on Sunday. I will post some pictures of the Thanksgiving meal and their respective recipes (if everyone enjoys it).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Waning Enthusiasm

Sometimes I just want to eat McDonald's, or more usually Burger King.  I know that the food there is of questionable nutritional value and yet, I see people enjoying this food everywhere I go.  I see them on billboards and on tv, I hear about people enjoying the latest "the chicken is the bun" sandwich on the radio, even live at the malls and on the streets we are lining up for convenience food.  I don't know where my urge for this food comes from ... I wish it would stop, it is a very difficult temptation at times to not eat a bag of Doritos (which I did last weekend).

Foods goodness and badness seems to be a pretty black and white issue for me.  I can eat a hamburger but shouldn't eat a big mac.  I can have french fries but should have them baked.  Cola can be a limited once in a while thing on this diet.  I just hope that I am not losing discipline.  It takes a lot of self-discipline to do what we are attempting here.