Wednesday, January 04, 2006

MEME: Top Three Diet Tips


Tapenade
(picture to follow when my batteries are re-chareged... actually, that's my camera's batteries, really, although mine could do with re-charging , too...)
Now, imagine the above struck out (which I can't do...)
Also, note that the above is Frank's photo as - don't you just love your offsprings??!! - "You take crap photos, mum!"
Recipe below

I've been nominated by Joanna to continue the above meme which was initiated by her. She's already mentioned cutting out saturated fats and adding loads more fresh fruit, and as for her weak tea, I'd like to add that I personally love peppermint tea of which I manage to drink a lot, far more than if I tried to drink just water. I find peppermint tea particularly good because one can still drink it when it's got cold. Another non-caffeine tea is redbush which is very similar to black tea, and the Earl Grey variety from Waitrose is absolutely fantastic.

As already mentioned in the last post, a change of diet and losing weight is definitely on the agenda. Goodness knows how much we've gained over the holidays, and we're not through all the supplies yet... (we had a cheese fondue, and a chocolate one, and I've still got raclette cheese, loads of other cheeses, half a Christmas cake, etc, etc, etc....), but however much it is, it's going to be insignificant in comparison to the amount I've gained over the past 1 1/2 years. Basically since my brother and I had to take the dreadfully hard decision to place our Mum into a safe environment because her Alzheimer's had progressed too far for her to cope any longer with living on her own.
It's not exactly Kummerspeck (lit.: "worry fat", aka fat gained from comfort eating) but it's certainly true that it all started with comfort eating at the time, and when I'd put on 3 kg, I was so cross that I stopped watching it altogether. When Tom was then diagnosed with Angina Pectoris and subsequently had to have stents put in, that wasn't really the time either to get back to dieting and WW points counting because it was more important that Tom gave up smoking.
I haven't been on the scales since before Christmas but just before, I weighed 17 kg more than in June 04, and this morning, I finally gave in and searched for my bra extensions... So, yes, as soon as the unhealthy, fattening supplies are used up, we'll have to draw up a plan...

Of all the things that one can and has to do in order to lose weight, apart from the dreaded exercise, I think the following three will be the most important for me:

1) Always eat breakfast
2) Always carry a small bag of fruit & nuts
3) Don't buy foods you will pig out on

Ad 1:
This might seem like a very strange one for some of you but there really are people who are too fat because they don't eat enough. Tom for instance (who probably needs to lose ~ 5 stone), never has breakfast and hardly ever has lunch, then come 4/5/6 o'clock, he starts stuffing himself. Of course, the body can't cope. To start with, it 'thinks' there's a famine coming, and therefore holds on to the fat. Then when it hasn't been needed for most of the day, there is an onslaught of food which the neglected metabolism can't cope with... For your metabolism to work (i.e. burn off fat) you have to give it fuel!
For me, a very small portion of mini bix with skimmed milk works best, but when I'm in a hurry, I just grab a banana or two apples. BUT I haven't kept to that formula for quite some time now...

Ad 2:
It's the best 'convenience food' there is. A handful packed into small freezer bags, stashed into your handbag and your gym bag - just the right thing when you find yourself having skipped a meal, you're out shopping, etc and suddenly overcome by hunger pangs. It doesn't go off if you don't need it (unlike fruit... I once found a very nasty banana surprise in my bag).

Ad 3:
Ah, yes, that's where number two is difficult for me. If I buy nuts in bulk, I usually end up eating them in bulk... While nuts and raisins are good for you, they're still fattening in THOSE quantities...


There are loads more tips but I must give someone else a chance... ;-)

I shall nominate Mel/the laughing snail who has just posted an interesting piece on a healthier and less fattening chocolate spread on hecticium, and Debbie of Words to Eat By.


I recently stumbled over Debbie's blog, which is of course about food, but also about dieting (on and off). Debbie lost 108 lbs with WW and became a life member in 1998. She has put on about 20kg since getting married (ooh, I know all about that one - am I not married to the man who declared, "Oh, I thought that was what getting married was all about - stop watching your weight, watch TV instead... " ?!!! - I really ought to post some before and after photographs!!). There are lots of interesting stories on her blog (including her own journey), as well as links to other related sites and stories.

She recently published a list of diet blogs, which some of you might be interested in:

Fitness Blogs (click on the “links” to see more than 500 diet blogs!)
The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl
Do You Have That in My Size?
Mr. Ointy
Jim at
Diet-Blog
Coleen at
Weight Challenged
Tracy at
Health Diaries
Erin at
Lose the Buddha (although it looks like she’s just closed up shop)
Yvonne at
Hope Is the Thing

I haven't looked at all of them, but Diet Girl is funny (especially her other site, What's new pussycat?).
Well, as a first attempt at less fattening, low cholesterol eating this year, I tried to serve the very plain chicken breasts, boiled/steamed potatoes and vegetables with green and black olive tapenade yesterday. Tom, hoping this was some butter concoction, put a lot on his plate - where it stayed when he realized it was not melting on his sprouts... I thought it was very nice, and though probably not really a 'losing weight' meal, it's certainly suitable for a de-tox or low cholesterol diet.
I didn't have any anchovies in, which resulted in a very olivy/capery taste, neither of which Tom likes; he adores anchovies though, so I will give this another go, I think a stripey effect on chicken or fish would be nice...
Tapenade
(On the left hand side: quantities of one recipe, in brackets those of another)
20 olives (200g)
TBsp capers (100g)
tsp lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
2 tsp olive oil (unlimited olive oil)
½ tsp anchovy paste (opt.) (100g unsalted anchovy fillets)
black pepper

additional ingredients: (optional and varying from recipe to recipe)
- garlic
- salt
- shallots
- thyme/rosemary/parsley/chives

Process all ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency is achieved.

Use:
dip; on crostini/bruschetta; on meat or fish before baking; or as separate ‘sauce’ for potatoes, vegetables and meat/fish instead of butter/sauces containing saturated fats

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