Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tea

One of my favorite weight reducing tips is drinking tons of herbal tea. When I am eating to excess, and not thinking about eating healthy, I seldom pick up a cup of tea. But, when I am concentrating on eating good whole foods, and managing my portion control, tea becomes my new friend. There is something peaceful and comforting to it. When I sit down to read, or work at my computer, I love to pour a cup of hot tea to join me. When I was younger i would have a glass of wine at night after work. As I have gotten older, I find that the wine not only makes me too tired, but it makes me too complacent to make good food choices. Drinking a hot cup of herbal tea instead is a suitable replacement because it is not only relaxing, but it adds zero extra calories. I've even been able to get my husband to join me!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Breakfast

Back to the business of weight loss:

For me, the most important meal when trying to get back to losing weight is breakfast. Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day. Even though there are some "experts" that advise making breakfast your biggest meal of the day, they obviously are  not people with a "fat" brain. Sure, I can see the logic of having a large meal in the morning, and a small snack for dinner. You have all day to burn off the calories. But, unfortunately, that is not how we fat people roll. Eat a big breakfast and that means you've "ruined" it for the rest of the day. You might as well eat everything in sight and start again tomorrow. For me, if I eat a healthy low calorie breakfast, I am much more inclined to eat a healthier lunch. Then,  if I am 2 for 2, dinner can go either way. If I am prepared, dinner usually turns out to be a success also.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cotton Candy

This is a picture of a plate of cotton candy served at Sammy's Wood Fire Grill. Is it possible that dessert options like this is what helps to create our obesity problem in the United States? Granted, the pretty pink mound of sugar sitting atop the plate like a billowing cloud of sweetness did attract me for a half a second; but really?! Who could possibly eat that much sugar and feel good afterwards? Evidently, the people at the next table! I'm just glad I had the sense to stay away.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Emotional Eating

I have learned two things about myself during this whole weight loss process.

1)      I am an "emotional eater".

2)       I am very emotional.

Basically what this translates to is……… I have fallen off of the wagon.  (Rolled off, if you will.)  I let good times, bad times and any time interfere with my weight loss goals.

When celebrating happy events, it’s hard not to combine the celebration with food and drink. During sad or stressful times, I mindlessly eat.  I use the excuse that I deserve some bit of happiness.  Often, during those times, I just don’t care anymore.  This is not to say that being thin is an impossible task for me. It’s just taking longer than I had hoped.  I need to recommit. I will get my weight loss books out again and move forward. By the way, my dear husband made this delicious spaghetti for me. How could I hurt his feelings and not eat it?

 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mandoline

I have owned a mandoline slicer for about 5 years. I tried to use it when I first got it, but I couldn't figure it out and then I forgot about it. The other night when Lynn made the beautiful radish appetizer using her mandoline it reminded me to try using it again. I spent about an hour last night trying to put it together. I gave up and went to bed. Throughout the night I kept thinking of different ways to put it together. Finally, this morning I tried it again. Voila! Success! I started slicing all sorts of fruits and vegetables. They taste different when sliced thinner. I'm excited because it is making me want to find new ways to eat my vegetables. Here is a picture of my mid morning snack. Radish salad with a hint of aged balsamic vinegar.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chicken Soup

I attempted to resurrect the chicken soup this morning. I skinned the chicken, removed the bones, added a carton of chicken broth, sliced carrots, onion, parsley, celery, and more spices to the slow cooker. I thought for sure that I was going to come home to a great meal. I didn't. It looked like a big pot of watered down broth. I then added two passilla peppers. Unfortunately, this didn't help much. I called cousin Costa in Charleston  for advice. After a few politically incorrect Democratic jokes, I was no closer to dinner than before. He suggested corn starch as a thickener, but I decided to try to salvage it on my own. In a  separate  pot I added orzo, with a teaspoon of butter. After I browned it, I added a small can of V-8 juice.  When it softened I added it to the soup. The last words from Tony, before he fell asleep, after eating 3 bowls of soup was, " that was the best soup I have ever had."

Roast beef and Arugala

Yesterday I started the day with the intention of creating a low fat chicken soup for dinner. I put a couple of chicken breasts with bones in a pot of water. I added carrots, celery, onion and spices. I simmered it all day. At about 4 in the afternoon, I realized it wasn't going to pass the test with Tony. It looked like a light chicken broth  that should be served to a convict on death row, not a hard working husband. I quickly went to Whole Foods and bought a couple of delicious sandwiches. I decided to postpone the chicken soup for another day.

Watermelon Radish

Part of me feels like I would have more fun making this into a food blog rather than a weight loss blog. The pictures would be so much more exciting. For example, Saturday night, I ate dinner at my friend's house. The dinner was so spectacular, I not only forgot about my diet, I forgot to take pictures. Thank goodness, I remembered to have my camera out for the first appetizer. It was as beautiful as it was delicious! The watermelon radish canape was followed by a Korean pork  homemade dumpling, blue cheese wedge salad, and roasted duck that was beyond description. My culinary self esteem flew out the window, and I was ready to sign up for professional cooking classes.  Even without the excellent food, the ambiance of the presentation was beyond compare. Flickering candles were everywhere! I aspire to be that kind of hostess! Fattening food is so much more fun than a salad. (especially a salad with dressing on the side.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Shrimp and Feta

I know I am behind in my blog posts, (that could be a topic on its own)  but I will share with you last night's dinner. Shrimp is very low calorie and I usually eat it just to be good on my diet, and not because I enjoy it so much. However, last night I made it in a way that I remember eating it when I was young and had traveled to Greece. I especially remember going to a taverna called "The Pig and the Whistle." I would get Garides me Feta every time and I adored it. Last night I made it and it was so good. I only ate 4 shrimp so I was still physically hungry, but the emotional eater in me was totally satisfied.  I saut√©ed shrimp in garlic, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper. (Ok, and just a tad of butter.) I put them in a baking dish. then I added Vermouth and chopped tomatoes to my pan. I cooked it a few minutes till the liquid reduced, and poured it on the shrimp. Finally, I crumbled French feta on top and baked it for 20 minutes. Since this was all that I ate, I definitely stayed within a minimum of calories. It just felt like I was splurging.



Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Getting back to my diet was not too hard today. I didn't grocery shop yet, but I had enough things in my refrigerator to have a successful day. I snacked on celery and cucumbers throughout the day.  I had an egg for breakfast, half of a turkey sandwich for lunch, and a big salad for dinner. I also drank a lot of water and tea. It feels good to get back to being on a more structured schedule. Tomorrow I'll make a trip to the grocery store and and get back to reading the Beck Diet Solution. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Vasilopita

Today I made a Vasilopita. (a Greek cake like bread traditionally made on January 1st.) Most years I make it with yeast, but this year I made it more like a cake using baking powder.  It is usually decorated with powdered sugar, blanched almonds, or sesame seeds,  but due to lack of ingredients,  I made a very plain one. The most important feature is a coin placed in the dough. I certainly did not leave that out. When the bread is sliced, the person who receives the coin is supposed to have good luck all year. We had friends stop by when we were cutting it. The good luck coin went to my wonderful friend, Vicki. I don't know many people who deserve good luck more than she does. I ate a slice and finished my last day of "splurging". It's back to healthy eating on Patti's Plate.

Happy New Year!

What hope a new year brings!
Hopefully this year is the year my finances improve, my children all find "their way", I learn to be a better friend, and I lose my weight for good. If all that happens, I promise to have a much more exciting celebration report for New Year's Eve, 2013. As for New Year's Eve, 2012, well, let's just say I did wake up at 11:56 to watch the ball drop again on CNN.  Tony and I sat on the couch under our beloved blankets and spent the evening much like most other nights. I mentally prepared for a higher calorie dinner, but am proud to say that by staying home, I was able to make up for the overeating from the night before. I made a Greek egg lemon meatball soup. It was something a little more labor intensive than my usual weeknight dinner, (I had to roll the meatballs), but there was no frying involved, (they simmer in chicken broth). I was satisfied that it was light enough for Patti's plate, but special enough for Tony's tummy.  Happy, healthy, New Year to all.