Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sucks Being a Skinny Bitch on a Diet

Not THIS skinny bitch...
I get it. Everybody who has ever dieted in their life (so, everybody in THIS country, at least) bitches about their diet. How hard it is. How they're not seeing results as fast as they want. How they just refuse to give up X (coffee, cupcakes, lard). Whatever. I feel your pain, I really do.
But I'll tell you one thing you other dieters have that I don't--sympathy. You see, I only weigh 109 lbs (as of this morning). My goal weight is 102 lbs, mainly because I've got this extra chunk-chunk around my waist, my jeans don't fit comfortably, and 102 lbs is a healthy weight FOR ME, as the entire span of my 20s and 30s has demonstrated.
You can stop looking at me that way. If I say I'm on a diet in public, I get this look like I'm some heroin-soaked has-been fashion model trying to relive her youth. I am not bulimic or anorexic, and I don't believe too many women's magazines. At the age of 44 (nearly 45), I have accepted that I have a tiny bust, a tiny pin-head, a huge nose, a somewhat funny-shaped face, and a husband who thinks I am one of the most beautiful women on the planet.  Quite honestly, it's that last part that is the reason why I'm on a diet. My husband and I are constantly challenging one another, supporting each other's efforts for self-improvement.  However, I'm afraid that while I was busy packing on my whole whopping 7 pounds, he has packed on considerably more. He loses some, then gains it back--it has been quite informative to watch the differences between women and men when it comes to weight loss. My husband can lose up to 5 lbs in a day, then a few days later, he gains that same amount back. Most of the women I've read about (I don't dare talk to them) do the same thing, but over much longer stretches of time. Sure, there's the diuretic loss of that first few pounds of water weight (I got rid of that a while back), but then it's just slow and steady. Except for me, where it's steadily nonexistent.
I have changed my whole life for this new healthy lifestyle, and, to be honest, my lifestyle wasn't that unhealthy to begin with! I exercised and ate a fairly balanced diet, along with the occasional trip to Carl's Jr. (Prime Rib Burger--you can never have too much meat). Now, I exercise a ton more, balancing stretching with aerobics and dance and weight bearing exercise. I eat a ton less. I am trying to get used to the feeling of being slightly hungry most of the time, and never feeling utterly stuffed.
So, with that in mind, I'm posting recipes, exercise, and lifestyle tips that have been helpful to ME, in the hope that they might be helpful to you. While my husband can live off of canned tuna and rice cakes, I'm just like every other woman (and most men) I know--I like variety and flavor, and sometimes I crave stuff that I just have no substitute for. Also, I sit in front of the computer on my ass instead of taking the dogs for a walk or trying out those 15 new exercises I pinned on Pinterest. A little bit at a time, I'm figuring it out, working it out, making the changes, and keeping it that way.
Just so you know, this blog post has been sitting as a draft for several days, during which time, I've finally managed to shave off a couple of pounds!  This morning, before breakfast, I weighed 103.8 lbs! Granted, then I ate breakfast with 2 cups of coffee, so I'm probably back up to about 105, but still, getting there!
My next post will be about some of the exercise regimes I've found--which exercises seem to do anything, and what they do.  It'll probably turn into a series of installments, since there's so many to choose from.  Walking fitness, butt-busters, abdominal workouts, oh, and then there's the exercises to help all the hurting joints I've injured trying all of this out. So stay tuned!
Also, if you  are at all intrigued by the colored pencil drawing of my Doberman Pincher, Mimi, above, you can buy a print of it for your very own in my Etsy Shop. Clicking on the link below the picture will take you right to it!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spontaneous Cannellini Bean Soup with Lemon and Spinach--Healthy Food Porn

La Primavera--in honor of the veggies of Spring! 
Today I started out driving my honey to the airport for a 6 am flight, followed by some oatmeal with quinoa and apples, followed by going back to sleep. When I finally got up, I had a cup of strawberry Greek yogurt and a cup of coffee with 1/4 cup of non-fat dry milk and 1 T sugar-free French vanilla creamer (planning on cutting that source of corn-syrup solids out--more to follow). I took an inventory of the Costco needs and the regular grocery store needs, then decided to take a field trip to Sunflower Market to see about some good veggies and perhaps a substitute for the creamer.

Sunflower market was a big win today, as they had fresh kale!  At a price that I could afford to make soup at!  That made me pretty happy. Bought some fresh lemons, some farro (never tried it), some wheat berries (probably for bread, but we'll see), and some sea salt. I also perused the refrigerated coffee creamer section for some substitute for all the fat and calories in non-dairy creamer without having to resort to black coffee. I decided on So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer in Hazelnut Flavor. I'm trying some in my sugar free hot chocolate right now, and so far, it's not bad. The real test will be tomorrow's coffee. Stay tuned.
Did my usual Costco run for stuff for the boys--they do frozen fish sticks and corn dogs (What the hell, it keeps them alive, and keeps them from complaining about my crazy health food.). Plus, I'll admit, their fish sticks are really good. The oldest keeps making them on the regular (not non-stick) aluminum foil, so if I happen to go out to the kitchen right after he's made some, he has usually left me half a fish stick stuck to the foil.
Next stop was the regular grocery store for canned beans and various beverages. They had canned Cannellini beans, as well as garbanzo beans (organic, storebrand, and on sale!), and Great Northern beans. So the house is all set to toot.
Got home with enough time to try out the Walking Boot Camp regimen I found on Prevention mag's site. Upside: it was pretty strenuous and a good workout. Downside: Could only take one dog, so now the other two are mad at me.  Got home and went to Zumba!
I ate pretty well today, but I also got a lot of exercise, so once I finally got home I was suitable famished. I had been thinking about some Cannellini bean soup that I think I saw on Giada at Home. Since I'm too lazy to look things up, I decided to just make something up.  So here's what I made up:
Someone else's white bean soup, I take terrible photos.

3 (15 oz) cans (drained) cannelllini beans
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
zest and juice of one whole lemon (it was a small lemon, so I added a little more bottled lemon juice to taste)
1 c. Chicken stock
1 c. filtered water

Threw all that in the blender and pureed it a bit. I don't think I completely pureed it, just got it pretty smoothie-like.
Threw that into a soup pot with a bit more water and stock until it looked soup-like and heated it on low. Added a teaspoon or so of dried basil and a pinch (or a few dashes) of ground cayenne pepper. Let it simmer while I took a shower (in case you skipped over the part about the Walking Boot Camp and Zumba class, I was gross.) Took a brick (10 oz.) of spinach out and plunked it in warm water (now that the blender is empty and needs rinsing, I thought I'd use that).
Once I finished my shower, I came out and stirred, tasted, added a bit of salt and cayenne to suit my tastes, then threw in the now-thawed brick of spinach (be sure to squeeze it out first). For some added protein and feeling of fullness, I added a 12.5 oz can of white meat chicken (Kirkland brand from Costco, I believe). If I had used veggie stock instead of chicken stock, I think you could call it vegan up to this point.

Overall, I have to say, it tasted as yummy as that picture above of someone else's soup. The spinach in that amount of beans made it slightly greener, but I'm always happy to have more spinach.  If I put my mind to it tomorrow, I'll figure out what the nutritional content is on that bad boy, because I bet it was pretty stunning.
So, yummy--check. Low fat--check. High protein & fiber--check, check.