Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

slowcookerchicken

Easy, filling comfort food.  It tastes delicious and is pretty low in calories especially once I portion it into six easy to grab dinners.

When I come home from work, it’s generally close to 7 or 7:30.  I’m tired, hungry and know I don’t have time to whip up a healthy filling meal.  And, if I don’t act fast, I’ll end up eating all the junk food I can find.

I love to eat this with a tiny roasted sweet potato, or a big salad or a side of black beans.

28 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 cup Sweet ’N Spicy BBQ Sauce by Sweet Baby Ray's
1 onion sliced
1 cup coke
1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for about 8
hours or over night.  
Meat will easily shred.  Stir mixture so that the onions are 
spread evenly. Place about 3/4 cup in six tupperware containers.
Keep in fridge or freezer!

265 Calories for each 3/4 cup serving.

Dinner Parties and Diets

Well, Friday and Saturday were not stellar days for my “Fit Girl Plan” and I’m not going to lie about it.  I guess sometimes you just go rogue on your diet.  I had friends over Saturday night and cooked a super fun Asian style feast.

Our appetizers were a kind of DIY spring roll buffet which actually turned out amazing!

The wrappers are very easy to make.  They are rice paper spring rolls which you simply dip in luke warm water for 30 seconds.

After they soften up, fill them with any or all of the following:

Cooked Ground Pork- or steamed shrimp
Romaine lettuce
Cilantro
Chopped peanuts
Shredded purple cabbage
Shredded carrots
Scallions 
Thinly sliced cucumbers
And, what ever else you think you might like!

Dip them in some Thai Chili Dipping Sauce

To Weigh or Not to Weigh….

About six years ago, in 2011, I was in the shape of my life!  Worked out all the time, was strong, fit, thin, eating healthy.  People thought I was a personal trainer.  I kept it up for several years even though I’m naturally a chubby girl.  I was a chubby kid, always on a diet.  As a teenager my weight went up and down.  Sometimes I starved myself, sometimes I binge ate and then purged.  In my twenties I explored all kinds of diet pills and have done the diet circuit like any other pudgy American girl.  Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, LA Weight Loss, The Three Day Military Diet, Paleo, Atkins, Vegan, Raw, The All Smoothie Diet…..the list goes on.

It’s safe to say that I have issues with food, diet, self-esteem, anxiety.  The anxiety of the whole thing only perpetuates the whole thing.  I never sought help for some kind of eating disorder.  Mind you, I did see a therapist for a while years ago, but I don’t really think we discussed my issues with body image and food in any real depth.  I was too embarrassed to bring it up.  So it remained my (not so secret) secret.  It’s hard to hide the fact that you have issues with food when the weight just keeps piling on.

So, since 2011, I’ve put on about 40 pounds.  I haven’t weighed myself in several months. I’m scared to get on the scale.  I know technically, it’s a great way to monitor my progress.  And, if I could somehow take the emotional pain out of it, and just focus on it like a project, I could weigh myself.  However, I feel like I’m in a good place right now, and maybe I should stay away from the scale, and just concentrate on taking care of myself.

Maybe in a few months, if I feel like what I’m doing is really working, then I can start going on the scale again.  So, through writing this, I’ve decided to stay off the scale until I’m feeling stronger and fitter and dare I say…thinner.

Proud of My Start

or, really….re-start.

I did Insanity Max 30 This morning!  Right now I do the low-impact version, but, at some point I’ll pump it up!  This is a nice start though.

Packed up my lunches and snacks for the day.

The only thing I’m worried about right now, is getting home in time to eat my super delicious and nutrient rich dinner that I’ve already prepared.  Sometimes the day is long, and grueling, and sometimes, it just feels better to pick up something unhealthy, quick and easy on my way home.  So, that’s my main worry today.

I’ve been using the app Lose It! which is free and very easy.  I also love the Recipe Builder part to it.  That way, I know how many calories are in the things I cook and how to divide them in appropriate portions.

This turkey chili will be my dinner tonight!  It’s VERY flavorful.  With some crunchy pop corners.

8:02 pm– I wrote that first part around 6:30 this morning.  I’m not going to lie- my diet was fairly far from perfect today.  However a few things that I’m proud of:

  1. Doing my Insanity Max 30
  2. Not allowing a few small-ish indiscretions completely derail my efforts forcing a full-on binge.
  3. Being fully able to hold out for a healthy meal once I got home.
  4. Using the spinner at my desk at work.
  5. Not having that second ice cream sandwich that I almost fell for.

WOW!  That’s FIVE things to be proud of!!

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My African Safari

Africa2017_1060

This is something that my mother always wanted to do.  Of course, it wasn’t something I wanted to turn down either.  It was the trip of a lifetime.  We just got back five days ago, I’m still recovering.

The worst part is, the pictures are ruined.  At least for me.  Tainted by how miserably ugly I feel.  What a stupid thing.  A beautiful trip to Africa.  Something I will never forget, and will always love, there’s me, looking fat as ever.  Of course my big plan was to get back in shape for this trip.  Five years ago, I was in the best shape of my life.  Very fit, a size 4 or 6, working out two hours a day- including hikes and volleyball and spinning and kettle bells.  Well, since then, I’ve gained about 40 pounds.  About 8 pounds every year.

The ‘Big Plan’ never came to fruition.  I’d have one or two good days- then, it would all go to shit.  By the following Sunday, I’d decide, “Start again Monday”.  Then, the cycle would begin again.  Each week just gaining weight from the stress and anxiety of it.

Maybe this blog can help me reach my goals.  I’m hoping it will make me feel motivated, encouraged, and committed.

Then, I’ll somehow treat myself to another amazing trip in a year or two, and have some pictures that I can really be proud of!

The worst part is, in Africa, there really are so many very thin, actually starving people.  It made me feel so silly that THIS is my problem.  Eating Too Much?  Eating the wrong food?  Not being able to control my intake?  Struggling with a food addiction?  How dare I?  It just seems so ridiculous.

I think what it comes down to, is I’ve just been using food to feel more fulfilled, satisfied. I’ve been using food as a way to dull the pain, to stay alone.  It’s a safety net for sure.  In one respect, it keeps me out of harms way.  Somehow being fat keeps me just a bit numb to the world.  Keeps me from really getting involved, really committing.  Well, I guess, I hope that I’m finally ready to begin this journey and fight this fight.

Cherry Muffins

muffinpic1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup almond milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup cherries (or any berry)

Mix all ingredients well.
Bake for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Makes 11 muffins.  165 Calories each.

Turkey Chili

turkeychili1 pound ground turkey
1 packet taco seasoning (or maybe 2 packets)
1 small can green chilies
1 15 ounce can black or red beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 ounce can corn, undrained
1 28 ounce can of tomato sauce

Saute turkey over medium heat in large pot over medium heat.
Cook until just started to brown. Add rest of ingredients and
simmer over low-medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Makes about four 2-cup servings and is about 380 calories/serving.

You can eat this just as is, or with tortillas, chips, cilantro, cheese and sour cream.

What are some keys to success?

  1. Planning– planning what to purchase at the market, planning your menus for the week.
  2. Time Management– making sure there is TIME for exercise, rest, documenting your food, documenting your feelings, time with friends, time with family.
  3. Being Good To You– allowing yourself pleasures, rest, forgiveness, fun.
  4. Balance– the balance between tasting good, and being healthy.
  5. Making it a Game– dieting does not have to feel awful to be successful.  You can enjoy the challange of losing weight and getting healthy.
  6. Patience–  understanding and accepting that it will take some time to lose the weight.  This is often the hardest.  It’s like, sometimes I feel like, if I’m not skinny in three days it’s not working.  It’s too hard, I can’t do this.  But, reminding myself every single day, that it will take TIME, and learning how to be OKAY with that is really HARD.
  7. Special Occasions– often I use dinners with friends, family parties as an excuse to just go hog wild.  I go slightly crazy during the event, then go completely whole hog after the event, sometimes for days.  It somehow gives me free reign to just eat the whole house, then the whole supermarket.  And, somewhere along the way, I have to figure out how to manage this.
  8. One Day At A Time– when I think ahead to “how am I going to manage that dinner party” or “how am I going to manage that special occasion, or trip” I start to get very anxious.  This often makes me just give up on the whole idea.  So, stop worrying about obstacles in the future, and just concentrate on RIGHT NOW.

The Beginning…again.

I know, you know, we all know how this feels.  I’m fatter then ever.  Feeling defeated, feeling stupid, feeling like a failure.  What’s wrong with me?  Why can’t I just do this already?  Maybe if I can somehow journal my feelings, track my journey, maybe this time I can do this.

The trick is…oh, what’t the trick?  I’m not sure I know yet.  But, let’s start this today.

It’s trying to find a balance between enjoying food, eating the healthy kind of food, feeling satisfied all while creating boundaries.

This morning I was ‘supposed’ to eat a smoothie.  But, instead I switched that up for some cereal.  I’m OK with that.  It won’t throw my day.  I worked it into my calorie count for the day.

I’m a strong believer in Calories In, Calories Out.  Because, that works…for me.