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Dinner Planning

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm using some great ideas from the latest Spark highlights e-mail to put in here some cheap dinner ideas (abbreviated for easy use and adjusted for my needs, find originals on sparkrecipes.com):

Rainbow Chicken and Rice - Boil chicken with ground garlic, sage, cumin, and black pepper until falling apart and can separate with fork into small pieces. Add veggies: green/red pepper, onion, celery, corn, green beans, carrots. Add rice to pot and cook until tender. Add lemon juice right before rice is done to give dish a zesty taste.

Benny's Ground Chicken and Beans - Cook beans overnight in crockpot. Brown the ground chicken/turkey in one pan with 1 tbs of grapeseed/olive oil. Mix in a couple shakes of Mrs Dash, and 1 tbs of diced garlic. In a seperate pan, sautee peppers and onion, add 2 tbs of minced garlic. Drain beans, add diced tomato's and put into pan with peppers and onions. When meat is browned, add. Let it simmer for approx 10 minutes. Serve over brown rice or with baked/roasted potatoes

Til Payday Casserole - Brown the seasoned (paprika, oregano, basil, rosemary, pepper, garlic, onion) ground beef. In a pot add tomato sauce (1 can), margarine (1 tsp), seasonings (as above) cover and allow to simmer. Placed cooked pasta in a casserole dish, add browned meat. Add the sauce after it has simmered at least 15mins. Mix thoroughly. Cover with cheese and cook until cheese is golden brown.

Fast-n-Easy Southwest Chicken Chili - chicken breast, cooked and cubed, 0.5 c water, diced tomatoes, diced jalapeno, Onion, Chili powder ( or serrano pepper), .5 cups Cooked Brown Rice, boil all together until done. Top with cheese. (Try in crockpot with uncooked ingredients??)

Mediterranean Chicken & Brown Rice Casserole - Cook garlic in olive oil until it has started to soften, add chicken breasts and par cook, about 3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes (with juice or water), turn heat on low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or so. Remove chicken breasts and set aside to chop up into rough bite sized pieces when they've cooled off a little bit. Add sun dried tomatoes and salt, pepper, basil, oregano. Add spinach, cooked brown rice, and feta, mix thoroughly. Place in a large baking dish and sprinkle with grated romano. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is brown on top.


Well, that could be a whole week of cooking there! Although, a lot of rice, so imay break these into two weeks with some potato dishes in between.

  


Gluten-Free Dairy Free Breakfasts

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I've had my eggs with veggies and no cheese for the last two days, and I quit. I don't like it without some cheddar. Therefore, I will have to adjust and eat some other things. Here are my ideas:

Fried eggs with gluten-free pancakes made with egg and almond breeze
Hot quinoa mixed with almond breeze, cut up apples, raisins, cinnamon, and egg
Pumpkin muffins/bread with gluten-free flour and fried eggs
Scrambled egg and sweet potato and ham pancakes

This should hold me over.

  


Elimination Dieting

Thursday, November 06, 2008

So, my minor problems that may have been associated with wheat or sugar from my last blog post decided to become major problems that caused me to be nauseous every time I put food in my stomach for a day, so I stopped eating for a little while and drank tea and fruit juice, and saw a doctor.

The doctor was awful. He completely wrote me off as stressed out and a hypochondriac. I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia (and take a tri-cyclic antidepressant to help me sleep because of it), but I haven't had pain symptoms in a year, and HE brought that up. he asked me if I was stressed out and I said no (I'm really not, i have a boring chilled out life) and he was shocked and suggested that everyone seems stressed nowadays. Anyway, he suggested that these problems are often due to stress, but maybe I'm lactose intolerant (I'm normally a dairy-whore, I drink milk daily and eat cheese with every meal, it would be a wierd acquisition of lactose intolerance), and I should avoid dairy and try some prilosec (I didn't even mention heartburn, I don't get heartburn) and maybe some probiotics (which I usually get in yogurt, but now I'm meant to avoid dairy, ack). I'm taking his suggestions (because ignoring them would be like a hypochondriac), as well as eating gluten free.

So, now I am on a short-term gluten-free, dairy-free diet and taking a handful of extra pills. So far, this combined process seems to be working, my symptoms are way better, I feel okay eating, I even exercised last night. I'm going to stick with the diet through the weekend, and then start slowly re-incorporating things back into it. Milk on Monday, if I'm okay, cheese on Wed. Something with gluten (but not a "wheat" product) the week after that, and then finally bread/pasta. I have a regular doctor's appointment on Mon, so i can discuss this with the NP I'm seeing (NP's are WAAYY better than doctors, they actually listen!) as well.

I do have to say that diet is great for weight loss. It is awfully hard to rack up calories without wheat and dairy. I've lost two pounds since Monday with all the insanity.

  


Food Diary

Friday, October 31, 2008

Not exactly a typical one, I've cleaned up my diet drastically since I last had some annoying digestive issues, and I'm now going to track anything off diet that causes me trouble. For Halloween, although we don't have trick-or-treaters, I decided to give myself a halloween treat, and have some candy corn and pumpkin-spice kisses. They appear to have set off the digestive problems (although only very slightly since I didn't have much). So, here's what I've found:

pumpkin-spice: contain corn syrup and corn syrup solids, lots of sugars and fat, a few interesting colors

candy corn: contain gluten-containing caramel color, corn syrup and solids, lots of fats and sugars, and color.

Clearly I need to sort a few things out. However, I am planning dinner with BBQ sauce with caramel color tomorrow, so that ought to give me an idea. Maybe I'll throw some wheat in early in the day too to see how I react. Oh fun.

SAT UPDATE: had some pretzels a little while ago, and got the same screwy sensations in my stomach. I'm going to try the pumpkin spice kisses with lunch, since they should be gluten-free.

  


TT Update and Eat, Stop, Eat

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I like turbulence training. I can't do it quite as effectively at home as I could in a gym because I need some heavier weights, but the overall program is good for me, easy to do, and I feel like I really get a good workout. The intervals are amazing. Yesterday I did on the bike, 5 min warm-up, then 6 rounds of 30 sec. very fast and 90 sec. slow, and a 4.5 min cool down, and I was wasted at the end. I've got my pumpkin smashing weigh/measure-in coming up on Sat, so I'll get a good idea of whether the TT has been working there as well.

As for my diet, I'm making some serious changes and adjustments and playing around a lot. Lately (like for the past 2 months) I've noticed that when I go off my diet, my digestive system does not appreciate this and causes me massive trouble. Lately, massive trouble is meaning oh so much gas, which makes me think my food is fermenting and not digesting, so something is unable to be digested, and I'm starting to wonder if I have developed or just illuminated some food sensitivities that now I can no longer handle. Therefore, I'm going to run a few diet tests. My first one is gluten because it is so common, so I am going gluten-free for a couple of weeks, and then reintroducing it to see what happens. I may try sugar after that. These are two things that I rarely eat on my regular diet anymore, but almost always eat when off. I would like to find a culprit (or solve the problem) by Thanksgiving, because I'm going to Disney, and don't want to be sick while there.

I am also going to start incorporating intermittent fasting into my diet a la Eat, Stop, Eat. The ESE program suggests that you have two 24 hour fasting periods each week, and eat for maintenance the remaining days to create a weekly caloric deficit. I'm going for about an 18-20 hour fast, and I will continue to eat as I have been (1300-1600 calorie days) otherwise. My plan is to fast from dinner on Mon to dinner on Tues, and then from dinner on Wed to dinner on Fri, always eating dinner. So, I will skip snack, breakfast, and lunch furing fast periods. I tend to exercise after dinner, so I will always be fueled for that. The TT people love this diet, so I'll see what I think of it.

  


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