Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Some of you know that I've had an ongoing preoccupation with figuring out what my real goal weight should be. As a medium-to-big-boned woman who stands just a smidge shy of 5' 10", I know it would be insanity to aim for the very bottom of my BMI range (128 lbs -- I am not even sure if my bare skeleton weighs that little!), but it's a long way to the other end of the range (173 lbs), and it has been a struggle to figure out where I should set my sights.
I know, I know, the scale isn't everything. It isn't even most of everything. Like most of us I do try to pay equal attention to the way my clothes fit, how I feel and what I'm able to do. I also use a tape measure and track the size of my waist, hips, etc. All of those indicators are pointing in the right direction, and I am now 2 lbs. below my initial goal weight of 165, but I can tell from all of those same indicators (clothing, how I feel, etc) that I am really NOT there yet, and I know it will help me to be able to set my sights on a number on the scale. In the same way that I like a deadline or a grade to shoot for, I need that number to help keep me focused and on track.
The good news is that I really believe I've settled on a number, and that number is 155 lbs. I'm 162 now, so that's 8 more to go. Getting there would put me just above the middle of my BMI range, which should help to account for bone size, and would give me a BMI of about 20. The number 155 also appeals to me because it is 10 lbs. above my lowest recorded weight as an adult, which was taken at some point during my senior year of high school. Maybe if I hadn't had a child or come down with massive fibroids I would try to get back to that weight, but it feels right somehow to settle on a goal that's 10 lbs. higher. My body has changed and there is no use denying it. I am also adding lean muscle mass that I didn't have in high school, so that's another reason to pad the total.
All of these reasons entered into my decision, but in fact I started out by taking a much simpler approach: the grab and squeeze method. I basically just did a tour of my remaining flabby bits (!!) and added up how many times I could grab what felt like a handful of unwanted fat. Two per thunder thigh, one across the bum, one and change in the belly, and maybe two or a little less than two spread across my entire lower body. Grab and squeeze. Eight pounds. There you go. It's hardly rocket science, but it feels right, and I'm making this my stated goal.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
I'm posting this vegan 'butter chicken' recipe for LULUBELLE, but wanted everyone to be able to see it, because it's really that good. I credit this recipe with helping me get to where I am now, which is 2 lbs below my initial goal weight and well on my way to my new, and hopefully final, goal weight of 155 lbs. I make a huge pot of this stuff about once a week, then gradually go through it at lunch time. It's full of delicious, anti-inflammatory spices and leaves me feeling totally satisfied. I usually make it with chicken and tofu, but this version of the recipe just uses tofu.
Vegan 'butter chicken'
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (I usually double this)
3 tbsp Earth Balance vegan margarine (OR 2 tbsp coconut oil or coconut manna and 1 tbsp olive oil)
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1 cup sodium-reduced vegetable broth
1/4 cup almond butter, cashew butter or peanut butter (any nut butter will do)
2 blocks of extra firm tofu, cut into smallish squares
1 cup carrots, sliced or diced, as you wish
1 cup parsnips (or really any other root veggie -- turnips and potatoes also work well)
1 cup Tofutti Sour Cream (Optional -- but if you leave this out, I recommend adding 2 tbsp coconut manna, i.e. coconut meat)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
If using a slow cooker: combine onions, garlic, oils, ginger, brown sugar, chili powder, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper and tomatoes in slow cooker.
Whisk broth with nut butter, and pour mixture into slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or up to 8 hours.
With immersion blender, blend sauce until smooth.
Lightly steam root vegetables until nearly al dente. Add veggies and tofu to sauce. Cook, covered, on high for 30 to 40 min.
STOVE TOP METHOD (I prefer this, but both turn out well):
In a large sauce pan, sautee the onions, garlic, and Earth Balance or oils.
When onions and garlic are soft and almost brown, add ginger, brown sugar, chili powder, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Cook on medioum until bubbly, about 20 min.
Add nut butter and broth to pot and stir. Cover and cook on medium for another 20 min.
With immersion blender, blend sauce until smooth.
Lightly steam root vegetables until nearly al dente. Add vegetables and cubed tofu to the sauce.
Cover and cook on medium-low for about 30 min, stirring occasionally.
Stir in vegan sour cream or coconut manna. Serve sprinkled with cilantro.
Makes 8 servings.
The nutritional values for this recipe are a bit dicey because I have made so many changes from the original. Here are the original values for this recipe, made with chicken instead of tofu. It's not perfect, but it comes close.
Per serving (1/8 of the recipe):
Protein: 36 g
Total fat: 20 g
Saturated fat: 6 g
Carbohydrates: 14 g
Dietary fibre: 2 g
Sugar: 8 g
Cholesterol: 164 mg
Sodium: 580 mg
Potassium: 766 mg
Vit A: 13
Vit C: 32
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
I am going to keep this short video, which my DH shot of me a few days after Christmas, and watch it whenever I need inspiration. Just look at those abs keeping me from humiliating myself by flying off our makeshift sledding run and into the woods! Check out the victory kick at the end! Do you think I could do any of this 3 moths ago? I could not. Yay!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
So I survived Christmas with the in-laws and even managed to lose a couple of pounds. This was rather incredible given that my mother-in-law is the world's best baker and had stocked the house with the usual array of treats: chocolate chip cookies, coconut/cherry dream bars, peanut butter cookies and date squares.
On the way to their house a week ago I vowed to eat no more than two bars or cookies per day, but this rule lasted exactly 24 hours. By day two I was averaging four and five per day, and that continued until we left on Sunday. Of course my MIL sent us home with a bag of chocolate chip cookies, which I could not refuse because they were really meant for my daughter, so I had a feeling that the self-sabotaging behaviour would continue for a little while longer. But something clicked today, and I realized one very important thing: I want to feel good and continue on this amazing journey to better fitness MUCH MORE than I want to fall off the wagon and keep eating cookies! It helped that I had a great cardio and strength training session today. I was sweating like a pig and could almost feel the sugar from the past week flowing out of my pores!
For the past ten years or so I've alternated between total deprivation, where I eat no refined sugar at all, and total indulgence, where I eat it every chance I get. I was stuck on a pendulum that only had two settings: sugar free or sugar overload. I believed I was so controlled by sugar that I had to treat it like a recovering alcoholic treats booze: with zero tolerance for even the most minor slip up. But this year I have shown myself that I can eat a few cookies, and even go a little wild with the stuff for a few days, then return to my Sparkpeople goals almost immediately and rededicate myself to my health. This is hugely exciting! If I can allow myself a cheat now and then without believing that it will launch me on a year-long sugar bender, then I think I stand a much better chance of actually turning this whole fitness journey into a long-term lifestyle change. This is taking away a lot of the fear I've had of what will happen to me if I have a cookie or two now and then. Cookies are not the boss of me; I am in control!
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