Friday, 6 May 2011

Weight-In Day!

Today is Friday and yes, the dreaded weigh-in day! I woke up this morning, stripped into my birthday suit, and got on the scale awaiting the results. As the scale calculated (reminding me of the biggest loser) the anticipation set in...will I lose this week? Finally the numbers stopped clicking and came to a stop...166.8...down 2.4 pounds! I felt like dancing (and may have done a little naked jig). I haven't seen that number since last september!

Needless to say I am ecstatic and more motivated then ever! My clothes are fitting better and my boyfriend says it is noticable now (down a total of 6.6 pounds). As I reflect on my week I am noting what I am doing that works and where I have failed so many times before.

I am Italian, and a pasta addict. A good part of my ass inflation is due to pasta...yummy, yummy carbs. And believe me, I miss it. I miss the easiness of making it, the cheesiness of the fresh parmesan and the meat in the sauce. However, as I fantasized about pasta this past week (and actually had a dream about it) I realized it really is not good for me. I want to live as long as I can and this kind of food is just not good for me. So I decided on a compromise and pulled out my handy weight watchers (cannot say enough good things about this program) recipe book. I found a delicious and healthy spaghetti recipe (see below). I cooked it up and to my delight (as well as my boyfriends) it was VERY yummy and it killed my craving.

I am starting to realize through this journey, that in order to lose and to keep it off, I must find substitute recipes for the dishes I love. I can have pasta, I just have to prepare it in a certain way. Deprivation is not in my vocabulary, and therefore substitutes must exist for my sanity and happiness. I am learning to think about food differently and to cook differently. I can have pasta, or cake or long as I cook it in the healthiest way and have the proper proportion.

I do not like saying to people I am on a "diet". Diet implies deprivation and in order to make this stick you cannot deprive yourself. That is my lesson to myself this week, not to deprive myself but to find alternatives to indulge in.

As for the Pasta Recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Healthy Spaghetti

Serves 6
5 Points Plus per serving

1 tsp Olive Oil
1 Cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 garlic glove chopped
1 pound extra lean ground beef (or ground turkey which is even better for you)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried basil
2 cups whole wheat spaghetti cooked and kept hot

1) Heat pan with 1/2 of oil and add carrots, onion and garlic. Cook for about 6 minutes.
2) In another pan, heat other half of oil and cook ground beef or turkey, until browned and breaking up clumps.
3) Add the meat to the carrots, onion and garlic.
4) Add crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes and basil to pan. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and let simmer 5-10 minutes for flavours to blend.

Serve 2/3 cup of sauce over 1/2 of spaghetti.

For Parmesan, the healthiest I have found is Presidents Choice 40% less fat which is 1 point for every tablespoon. You can use any parmesan cheese you want, just make sure it is the lowest in fat you can find.

Hope you enjoy your carb fix this week!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Hardest 2 Weeks!

Well it is official...I have stayed on this diet or "lifestyle change" for 2 weeks...the longest without falling off once. I know, my willpower is amazing (sarcasm). I didn't even fall off through the difficult Easter weekend. Don't get me wrong, I came close. I walked into Fortinos and beelined for my favourite pasta salad. I ordered it and as I was walking to the cash I looked at it and realized if I chose to eat this, what it would symbolize. It wasn't just 10 minutes of tastiness, but the symbolism of completely falling off the wagon in only a week in. Of falling back into my old habits, those habits that got me to this point.

I was in the pharmacy section now and as I looked at that pasta salad I had no desire for it. All that fantasizing about how good it would be after a long hard week without my comfort food just dissappeared and I was left feeling disgusted with myself that I came that close. I placed it on a shelf and promptly walked out of the store.
Now I use to rationalize this as a "treat" for myself, but really a week I even deserve a treat? And why should a treat be food? Isn't that counterproductive? You watch every morsel that goes into your mouth then treat yourself with something awful for you. Why not an alternative treat? How about a cute pair of pants you fit into now that you have had your eye on. I think this would make me feel better then 10 minutes of tastiness.

As I progress through this I am starting to realize that you can fully enjoy yummy food that is decent and good for you. How about yummy frozen yogurt over ice cream? To me, frogurt is my favourite dessert now and I don't even desire the fattier ice cream anymore. Such a large part of this journey is re-programming my brain to enjoy these healthy foods and see what junk food really is...completely bad for you. This retraining is becoming key to my sanity during this period.

On another note, I love to bake and part of what got me through the difficult Easter weekend was being able to have dessert. So I voluntereed to make dessert and here is my new favourite recipe, a twist on a classic that is quite delicious and much better for you.

Tiramisu...the healthier and easier way.

What you need:
8 Inch Loaf Pan
Fat free Angel food cake mix from store (Betty Crocker is my favourite)
12 oz low fat cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 oz Semi-sweet chocolate, grated
4 oz of coffee, the nice the brew of coffee the better the taste

1) Bake the angel food cake as per the directions on the box.
2) After it cools, cut it into 12 equal pieces.
3) In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract well.
4) Combine Cocoa and grated chocolate in a seperate bowl.
5) Dip the pieces of angel food cake, one by one, in the coffee and then place into the loaf pan, crosswise. Break the pieces if necessary to coat the bottom of the pan with angel food cake.
6) Spread 1/3 of Cream Cheese mixture on top of the angel food cake and then sprinkle a 1/3 of the cocoa and chocolate on top of this. Repeat this for another 2 layers, ending with a sprinkling of the cocoa and chocolate on top.
7) Refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow it to firm up.

Slice into 8 equal servings. Each serving is 5 Pointsplus from Weight watchers.

I got lots of applause for this recipe and noone knew it was Weight Watchers!

And in case you were wondering as this is a weight loss blog, I am down 5 pounds in 2 weeks!