Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Counting the ways

I love Fiber One granola bars, that is :)

You would think after a year and a half of almost daily chocolate fiber one granola bar ingestion, I would get sick of these buggers. Sure there have been times when I have eaten less of them, or changed up flavors (apple cinnamon being a distant 2nd favorite), but no other food has had such a constant presence in my diet.

I have two favorite breakfasts (Special K red berries, fiber one, and almonds and kashi waffles with peanut butter and apple butter) if you want to argue about their presence being competitive. But being that there are two breakfasts already reduces their competitive edge.

I have tried other granola bars. My last trip to BJs, I purchased Kashi Chewy bars. I have had them before (the nut and fruit ones?) and they are fine. A bit dry and not sweet enough. I am probably going to go through another BJs size box of fiber one bars before I finish these.

I realize that my favorite fiber one bars have not only high fructose corn syrup, but also have high maltose corn syrup. This may be the reason behind my intense love of them-- they are super sweet.

Anyway- that is all for today. I am gearing up for some new vegetarian recipe entries for my parents who are beginning a "somewhat" vegetarian diet. I am going to their house this weekend with plans to show them at least 3 different ways to cook tofu! Stay tuned :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Leaf

It is a strange new world with CR recently.

I have been recording, thinking about food (I have even been enjoying my cookbooks again!), and loving the food prep!

Keeping track of numbers in my head over a long period of time has always been a problem for me; for example - I was a swimmer in high school and we would have to count laps during practice- my lane would never let me go first unless it was sets of 100's (4 laps) because I would never be able to keep track of anything higher than that.

Also, in my job before I started grad school, I had to count chromosomes (humans have 46) while looking through a microscope. I would select cells where I could divide the chromosomes up into 3 or 4 groups by eye so that I would not lose track of which ones I had already counted...

Learning disability? Maybe... needless to say I have found ways to get around it so that I can do what I need to do.

So how does this relate to CR? I have found a new way to count my calories in my head-- I am now thinking about my meals in blocks of 400 calories. Breakfast: 400, Lunch: 400, Dinner: 400, Snacks: 400. Easy! So much less thinking, especially if I can design meals to fit that structure.

Also this has made food recording in my PDA less stressful. I have not been recording the exact food that I am eating, as long as the calories are the same. When I eat a kashi meal, and it has 360 calories I find my listing for the Amy's burrito (300cal) and say 1.2 servings. Easy peasy! I may be adding in some "generic" 400 calorie recipes to make it even better :)

I think this new way of recording will help me get on my way to be more independent and free from my PDA when this is all over (I only have 7-8months left!!). The time has really flown by... so crazy.

New upcoming posts will include my 400 calorie meal ideas.

Also I will be telling you all about how my new exercise regimen affects my hunger (I am doing 2 sprint triathlons this summer- one with a fellow CALERIE participant!). So far, so good. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Black Bean Soup- YUM

I will not gush about this soup.

It is amazing.

It takes a lot of time.

It is TOTALLY worth it.

Black Bean Soup With Roasted Squash
From the New World Kitchen (seriously we have not made anything from this cookbook that was not to.die.for.). You need to buy this book if you like making good food.
Makes 12cups
Serves 8
455 cal/serving (I was close... the CRON-o-Meter may have been off with the ham hock)
See additional nutritional info below

Recipe is as we made it

6oz bacon
1T olive oil
1 Scotch Bonnet Chili (may or may not have been??)
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 large vidalia onion
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
3 stalks of celery
1T cumin (called for 2T toasted and ground cumin seeds)
2 bay leaves
1c Spanish dry sherry (very important)
5c canned black beans, rinsed (called for 2c dry beans soaked overnight)
1 smoked ham hock (also very important, must be smoked)
3qt Chicken stock (we added it then had to remove some so everything could fit into our 5qt dutch oven)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Squash (Calabaza)
2lb calabaza (we used an acorn/winter squash) peeled and cut into bite size pieces
2T melted butter
2T sugar
1tsp salt
0.5tsp fresh ground pepper

For the Crema
1c Sour cream (we used lowfat)
juice from 1/2 lime
salt to taste
0.5tsp toasted ground coriander seeds

1) Cook bacon in olive oil (seems counter-intuitive to me) in large soup pot over medium heat, until crisp
2) Stir in chili pepper and garlic
3) Turn up heat to medium high and add the onion, bell pepper, and celery- stir to coat
4) Let veggies caramelize (10min)
5) Add cumin, bay leaves and sherry- bring to simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced to half
6) Add the beans, ham hock, and stock
7) Skim the impurities off the top and reduce heat to medium-low
8) Simmer until the beans are tender, but not mushy- 1-1.5hrs

In the meantime prepare the squash
1) preheat oven to 350
2) Combine all the squash ingredients and stir to coat
3) Place on roasting pan and roast until squash is fork tender (30-40min)

For the crema:
whisk together all ingredients in a bowl and chill until ready to serve

9) Remove bay leaves from broth
10) Scoop 2.5cups from the pot and puree in blender (this gives the soup more body)
11) Simmer for additional 30m

Enjoy soup topped with creme!!

General (34%)
Energy | 455.1 kcal 27%
Protein | 29.7 g 59%
Carbs | 45.4 g 35%
Fiber | 9.3 g 37%
Fat | 17.7 g 27%
Water | 534.4 g 20%

Vitamins (40%)
Vitamin A | 900.4 IU 39%
Folate | 251.6 µg 63%
B1 (Thiamine) | 0.9 mg 82%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 0.4 mg 34%
B3 (Niacin) | 8.4 mg 60%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 1.7 mg 34%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 0.7 mg 56%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 1.2 µg 48%
Vitamin C | 35.7 mg 48%
Vitamin D | 2.0 IU 1%
Vitamin E | 1.0 mg 7%
Vitamin K | 10.1 µg 11%

Minerals (51%)
Calcium | 128.5 mg 13%
Copper | 0.8 mg 88%
Iron | 5.4 mg 30%
Magnesium | 133.8 mg 43%
Manganese | 0.8 mg 44%
Phosphorus | 445.6 mg 64%
Potassium | 1436.1 mg 31%
Selenium | 26.1 µg 47%
Sodium | 2095.2 mg 140%
Zinc | 3.7 mg 46%

Lipids (21%)
Saturated | 6.0 g 30%
Omega-3 | 0.2 g 22%
Omega-6 | 1.7 g 15%
Cholesterol | 56.7 mg 19%

Monday, June 1, 2009

Nothing To Say

The diet has not been easy the last few months. I still have had no motivation for recording. I have planned out meals better/eating better and I have started estimated general calorie amounts a little more- but even my modified recording techniques seem like too much for me right now... I keep telling myself- this is life, if I want to keep my weight off, stay healthy, and succeed in lifelong dietary restriction- this is what I need to figure out.

I sound so whiny at our meetings. I have no reason as to why I can't/don't want to/am not doing things well- I know what I need to do- why is it so hard to do?? I feel like I need to go back onto packaged foods to "shock" myself back into the mindset again- but then I think about it and I know what to do, I know how to do it- I should just do it. Ugh.

Last week was a model week. TE and I planned out our whole week worth of food, and we totally stuck to it. I felt really good about it- but this week: TE is traveling, I am crazed: eating canned soup/frozen burritos/anything that does not require thought/more money-- doing the whole week-long planned food was great but it gets expensive... We bought enough stuff for 2 weeks but only 1 week's worth of fresh stuff (meat and veggies)- so week 2 after a big food shopping is always less satisfying...

I will return in a week hopefully with a new can-do attitude! Let's hope!! :)