Not bad for a fat girl

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Walking in Figure Eights

Since school let out, I have some time at home. This free time is both a pleasure and a problem. The pleasure is that I have time to relax, clean up, read, rest, and work on both my summer writing project work and my school work for next year (it comes so quickly).

The problem is that my house is where I keep food (don’t you?) and it’s not exactly a gym (thank goodness). At this point in my life, I need to eat better and eat less, and I need to move more. Being home seems to be at odds with both of those goals. How to cope? Well, here’s what I’m trying:

  1. Get rid of the crap. This isn’t difficult in and of itself, it’s the fact that I live with other people who are healthy and normal and don’t sabotage themselves by overeating particular foods. So far, though, having certain foods in the house hasn’t been a big deal. I just don’t have the foods that I crave, like ice cream, for example. My sweetheart’s chips aren’t that big a draw for me, at least not yet.
  2. 51PoQ8xw5IL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgPlan meals. Picking out meals ahead of time, and shopping for those specific ingredients has been helping. I’m not even too stressed about the specific recipes at this point, as long as I know they’re made with real ingredients (as opposed to heavily processed foods) I’m okay with them. My go-to cookbook is Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely. She’s a certified nutritionist and the recipes are simple and delicious. Her website, SavingDinner.com has tons of free recipes.
  3. Buy good food. What works for me might not work for you, but having stuff I like that’s also good for me helps. I have more fruit in my house, more vegetables, more cottage cheese and yogurt, more oatmeal and cereal, more hard-boiled eggs, and more nuts than I have at other times. These foods fuel me in a way that doesn’t include tons of empty calories.
  4. water-bottle-png-1Drink that water. I get thirsty. I drink. I get hungry. I drink. I take meds. I drink. I want something in my hand. I drink. Drinking water moves me through the day (and down the hall to the restroom…more steps!).
  5. Pay attention to my Fitbit. When it says I better get moving I listen (usually). Every hour we should be moving our bodies, and if I don’t have a certain number of steps with ten minutes left in the hour the Fitbit gives me a reminder to get to it. Sometimes I march in place, and sometimes I walk figure eights around my kitchen island and couch. Why not just go outside? Because we’re already over a hundred degrees here, but the pool is still cold (well, by my picky standards). Soon, though, I’ll be walking laps in there.

I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, and hopefully that little switch in my brain will click into the spot that helps me rather than sabotages me. I’m so thankful to all the wonderful positive people who have stepped forward to offer encouragement. This is a never-ending battle, but one I can’t afford to lose.

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When Life Gives You Chicken, Make Chicken Salad

skinless-chicken-breast-filletsThe grocery store had a sale on chicken breast, so naturally I stocked up. It didn’t even occur to me that the package weighed roughly the same as a cinder block, it was a good deal, and it looked fresh. I was sold.

I dusted off my go-to cookbook, Saving Dinner, and flipped to the dog-eared, stock-stained page with the garlic lime chicken recipe. I measured and mixed up the spices, then got to work cutting up the chicken breast, my own variation on the original recipe. There sure was a lot of chicken, but no worries, I would simply cook it in two batches.

It wasn’t until the second batch was in the pan that it dawned on me that I should have doubled the spices. Duh. Regardless, it turned out fine, and there were zero complaints at the dinner table. Still, I was disappointed.

The next day at lunch I choked down some leftover chicken, tasting regret with each bite. I silently berated myself for my oversight, taking my penance in the form of bland chicken. It was a bleak moment.

Sadly, the regret only intensified several hours later as I steeled myself to prepare dinner. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t eat that sorry chicken for a third meal in a row, but I couldn’t throw it out either. There was nothing technically wrong with it, it just wasn’t quite right.

kalepesto3That’s when inspiration hit, in the form of a tub of pesto. What if I cut the chicken into very small pieces and added some mayo? What if I mixed some pesto into that? What if I made pesto chicken salad? I didn’t have any bread, but I did have fresh spinach and romaine. Yes!

I mixed up the chicken salad and was surprised by how good it tasted. My teenage son not only devoured it, he asked me to add it to the list of recipes to make again. The combination of the chicken salad and the greens was perfect, and the pesto brought out the best of that formerly sorry on-sale chicken.

Redemption was mine that night, won with the help of a few spoonsful of pesto and a glob of mayo. Who would have thought that condiments would become my heroes, but in this case, they truly did save the day.