Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It isn't cheating ... It is really relapsing!!

Last night I was talkking to a friend of mine who is fighting the weight loss battle just like I am. She and I have talked about the issues that face both of us and I have tried to give her as much information about what I am doing to lose weight as possible. During our conversation she asked how I was doing with my program over the past week. I told her that the reality was that I hadn't been making very good choices and needed to get myself back on track. It was at that point that I realized that as an obese person fighting to change everything I do to lose weight, I was actually relapsing. People talk about cheating when they are on a diet, but when you are trying to change your lifestyle you aren't cheating. When this happens you are actually relapsing just like any other addict would be who has fallen off the wagon, so to speak. With this in mind it is important to realize that relapsing for 2 - 3 days won't ruin 45 days of hard work. Will it postpone weight loss goals? Yes it will, but it isn't the end of the world unless you let it be. If you are more than 30 pounds over weight when you start this program, you have to realize that you will never completely win the weight loss battle. This program is being developed to help make it easier to lose weight sensibly and keep it off, but you can never declare victory. After I lost 125 pounds the first time, I declared victory. I thought I had won the battle of the bulge, but the reality was that I hadn't. After all these years, I have finally realized that there is a lot more that goes into losing weight and keeping it off than just dieting. You have to change what you eat. You have to change how you exercise. You have to change how you think. When you fall back into old habits, don't get angry with yourself. Look to others to be your support group and let them help you get back on the right track. As more people become followers of this blog I want to try and network everyone together. That way we can have our own network support group to help people with questions and to help with getting past relapses. I am out of time for the day so I will continue this topic in my next post.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

There is no easy fix

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. She had had weight loss surgery over a year ago and lost the weight that she wanted to. Now over a year later she is finding that she is starting to gain weight back and she is not happy about it. The type of surgery she had entailed creating a small pouch for a stomach. The problem is that once you stretch the pouch it is stretched and you can't have further surgery to redo it. I have always though of weight loss surgery as a radical last resort. It is an easy fix, but it isn't permanent. The other issue that I have is that rather than approaching the problem from an information standpoint we avoid the real issue of why the person is overweight to start with. There are very many different reasons that a person can become overweight or even obese. A few years back I went to a an appointment with my doctor and during our talk the subject of my weight came up. He wanted to prescribe me with a pill to help me lose weight. In the end he couldn't because my blood pressure was too high to make use of the pill acceptable. As I look back on that day, I think to myself how ridiculous the idea was. The physician had no real understanding of why I was overweight. He just had the facts in front of him that I was. How do you treat a problem without identifying the underlying causes behind it. It is my goal with this weight loss / food program to provide as much information as possible so that people can make educated decisions about dealing with their weight and how to approach weight loss. By understanding the background of how our body works we can determine the best actions to get the results we want. I know that this is a slow process and that people do get bored easily. That is why I am always trying to find new and exciting options for healthy meals. That is why I also suggest a slow approach to exercise. It is also why I don't consider this a diet plan, but rather a food plan and a way of eating naturally. I want people to be able to share the same type of success that I am. Just remember, there is no easy fix!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Reached my 45 day goal!!

Part way thru the first 45 days of my weight loss program I decided to set a goal for myself. I told myself that if I could lose 36 - 37 pounds I would have lost 10% of my total body weight. I anxiously got on the scale Friday to see where I stood after 45 days. It was close but I just made my goal. I had lost 36 pounds in 45 days. I know that I won't lose as much over the next 45 days because of the fact that my body has a lower Basal Metabolic Rate due to reduction in weight. I need to start to add walking to my daily routine so that I can make up for the lower BMR. I wanted to start walking on Saturday, but I have had a lot of foot pain for various reasons the last 2 days. Tomorrow I just need to deal with it and start walking. It is going to hurt at first, but there is nothing I can do about it. If anyone who reads or follows this blog has a weight problem and would like to learn more on what they can do, I would be glad to help. I will continue to post healthy but interesting recipes on my blog as well. When choices are limited it is easy to get bored with what you eat. It is because of this that I tirelessly look for new and innovative recipe ideas to try. Any of the recipes that I post on the blog will have been made at least two times and final adjustments made for the best possible tasting dishes. My next weigh in will be at the 60 day mark on or about the 26th of December depending if I have access to a scale or not. It is my goal to have lost between 8 and 10 pounds. Check back soon and as I will continue to update my blog with more information.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Spicy Chicken Curry


2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
3 Medium Onions Chunked
2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Cut Into Small Pieces
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
4 Teaspoons Cumin
2 Teaspoons Paprika
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
2 Cups Diced Tomatoes (Drained)
2 Cups 99% Fat Free Evaporated Milk
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Dried Cilantro
4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Can Panang Curry Paste


1) Heat oil in large pan

2) Add onions and chicken to oil and cook for 8 -10 minutes until chicken is no longer pink

3) Add Garlic, Cumin, Paprika and Chili Powder

4) Cook for 1 minute stirring

5) Add Evaporated Milk, Diced Tomatoes and Salt

6) Bring mixture to a boil

7) Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 8 minutes

8) Add Cilantro, Lemon Juice and Panang Curry Paste

9) Cover and simmer for 5 minutes

As with all of my recipes this recipe is made from all low glycemic load foods. Because rice is not a low glycemic load food you can either eat the curry by itself with the Cucumber Raita sauce or you can pick up a 2 small bags of tofu sharitaki noodles. These tofu noodles have no glycemic load. When using them it is best to rinse them thoroughly under cold water and them boil them in a saucepan just like regular noodles but only for about 5 minutes.

Cucumber Raita

1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Cucumber (Peeled & Deseeded)
1/2 Clove Garlic (Minced)
2 Teaspoons Raw Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoons Salt

Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl until well combined.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

People just don't get it!!

I just got finished reading an article about the lengths that contestants would go thru to lose weight on the biggest loser in oreder to win the Grand Prize. It wasn't so much the story that infuriated me as it was the comments left by members of the uneducated public. They think that all fat people eat hoho's and ding dongs and whatever other piece of crap that think causes people to be fat. While there are plenty of people that that may be the case, the reality is that most Americans suffer from obesity because of poor diet and lack of exercise. When I make the statement poor diet, I am referring to the staples of American cuisine as it stands today. People eat tons of potatoes, rice and breads. They eat out on a regular basis and are subjected to the caloric nightmares that the restaurant industry has taught us to ignore. Most Americans partake of a diet that includes tones of processed and boxed foods. Thru it all the biggest factor is how our bodies process the food we eat. The uneductated would have you believe that if everybody ate the same foods that everybody's body would look the same. It is just false. Some people can eat out a couple times a week and then eat processed packaged foods the rest of the week and still not be obese, but put that diet in the hands of someone who's body can't process the food correctly and they will be obese. Thru this whole experience I have been educating myself more and more on how to approach my own obesity. I have made sure to drink a large amount of water on a daily basis so that people cant simply say you are dehydrated and you lost water weight. If I drink 1 ounce of water for every 20 pounds I weight then there is no way I can be dehydrated. People need to wake up and realize that the common foods that we eat on a daily basis are a recipe for physical disaster. I realize that my weight loss has slowed down from the beginning of this program, but I also realize that there are things that I need to do in order to continue to lose weight. My goal is to be at 330 - 332 pounds when I weigh in on Friday. If I can reach that weight then I will have lost 10% of my body weight in 45 days. I have been eating healthier than I ever have in my life and my body has responded very favorably. Since I change dthe way I eat, I have yet to have a single flare up of heartburn. Prior to following this program I would suffer from heartburn on an almost daily basis. My at rest pulse rate has dropped from the high 90's to the low 80's which is more in line with where it should be. My sex drive is higher and my performance is stronger as well. My mood and energy have both changed for the better as well. I never realized that the things that we eat and take for granted can be so detrimental to our bodies.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lebanese Chicken Shawarma with Tahini Sauce

I decided to be a little bold today and take on a Lebanese dish called Chicken Shawarma. It is a very tasty middles eastern sandwich served at most Lebanese restaurants. I tracked down a couple of recipes and added my own little spin to them for the final product. As with all of the recipes posted here, all of the ingredients are all low glycemic load foods. This recipe will probably take you a little leg work as chances are you wont have all of the spices in your cupboard.

Chicken Shawarma:

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 Cup Malt Vinegar
1/4 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Teaspoon Lebanese 7 spice (Found in Arabic food markets or you can make your own)
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
Salt & Pepper to taste

Lebanese 7 spice:
Equal parts of the following spices: Ground Allspice, Ground Black Pepper, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Cloves, Ground Nutmeg, Ground Fenugreek and Ground Ginger

In a corning ware or glass baking dish, mix together the vinegar, yogurt, vegetable oil, 7 spice, cardamom, salt and pepper. Place the chicken breasts into the mixtureand turn once to ensure coating. Cover dish and marinate for a minimum of 5 hours or overnight.

After marinating the chicken cover the baking dish with foil and place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Cook the chicken for 20 minutes and then turn the chicken. Cook Covered for an additional 20 minutes and then remove covering. Uncover and finish baking for 10 minutes.

Remove chicken from the dish and slice into thin strips. Serve sliced chicken with tomato, onion and lettuce with all wheat 6 or 8 inch wraps. Top wrap with juice from marinade and Tahini Sauce.

Tahini Sauce:

1/4 Cup Tahini (Sesame Paste)
1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons Raw Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a small mixing bowl combine together the Tahini, Yogurt, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, and Parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

I made this for the first time this evening and I was totally amazed by how moist and juicy the chicken breast were. I had only been able to marinate the chicken for about 5 hours so it was not quite as flavorful as if it had marinated overnight. The Thaini Sauce isn't something that can stand on it's own, but when combined with the chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion and wrap it blended in amazingly. Enjoy this hearty and healthy dish as a brwak for the monotony that a meal plan can bring.