Saturday, October 09, 2010
I got my 3 Fast Miles in right away when I got up this morning, knowing I'd be in the car for close to 4 hours today. I then ate my normal breakfast of cereal, milk and juice.
It was then off to the German Fest.
I really enjoyed the day at my husband's family reunion. The German meal was awesome! I have to say, I was really surprised to see so many healthy food options on the table! There were those traditional items as expected. I chose to use a regular dinner plate (no salad plate today!) and I covered three fourth of it with vegetables: Haricot Verts with fresh herbs, carrots with a light glaze, red cabbage and my traditional sauerkraut (seasoned with smoked pork hocks). I chose the grilled pork loin for my meat choice, and I had a nice sized slice of rye bread. I passed on the pruned topped Schmierkuchen, though it was a bit of a challenge. I did eat one bite off my husband's slice, and that was just right. I passed on the apple pie and ice cream. But I did indulge in 2 pieces of dark chocolate covered caramels - that really appealed to me today!
So it was worth the calories.
After lunch I then went with the "physical" group for a hike. Lots hills.
I wasn't a 'couch potato' for a change; I was really proud of myself! (I have lost about 24 pounds since I saw alot of these relatives at our nephew's wedding in June.)
It was a beautiful day to be outdoors. 80 plus degrees in October!
I normally would have eaten way more food than I did. One plate was just perfect. I wasn't stuffed, but I was satisfied. It helped me to do some planning ahead of time. It also helped me to get my exercise in early at home.
I focused more on the people I was with and the beautiful day we had to share. Tomorrow we will travel back to the rented turn-of-the-century home on the lake to spend the afternoon again with family. (No large food event is planned for the afternoon. Tonight we had to come home to take care of our animals on the farm.)
I did it! I made choices I was happy with and I had a great time!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend too!
Friday, October 08, 2010
The unique Aroma coming from my kitchen today is German Peasant Food.
Today is prep day - because, tomorrow is my husband’s family reunion.
*Warning: Some of the recipes described below will only fit into a healthy eating program if consumed on occasion and in controlled portions. I keep telling myself this!!!
I am doing this for my husband and his family; not to sabotage my healthy eating efforts.
I will partake of this feast tomorrow with great mindfulness and I will eat a normal breakfast so that my choices are what I really want to eat. Sounds like the thing to say doesn’t it? LOL.
Seriously, I will watch what I eat. One meal is not going to ruin what I have worked to achieve.
So, today my counters and table space are all occupied with various ingredients, utensils, pots, pans and bowls. There are cans of sauerkraut, heirloom potatoes from our garden, onions, smoked pork hocks, apples, cottage cheese, prunes, whipping cream (Yes, real whipping cream), fresh jumbo brown eggs from our hen house and apples. All waiting to be transformed into peasant dishes my in-laws grew up eating. Their mother was a fine cook. Margaret was known for her beautiful cakes; she was an artist. She could take anything out of the pantry and refrigerator and literally whip up a multi-course meal in no time. What we are trying to do this weekend is to remember her and her love for her family by celebrating and ‘trying’ to make the food she used to make for her loved ones. My share of this is to make several dishes that the family has requested.
So today the kitchen is hot!
The oven is on and a fresh apple pie is baking.
I have an enameled Dutch oven pot cooking on the stove with my Aunt Beverly’s Sauerkraut and Pork Hocks in it. This recipe is best made the day before, because the pork hocks, sauerkraut and grated potato need to simmer for hours to reach their state of perfection…or at least that’s what she always says.
I have the Schmierkuchen dough cool rising in the refrigerator. It will be rolled into four kuchens or cakes and then filled with a mixture of cottage cheese, cream, sugar, eggs and flour. Then the filling will be topped with cooked prunes and cooked apples. The kuchen is then baked and cooled. I will refrigerate it over night and tomorrow, I hope it will be enjoyed. This was a recipe that my father-in-law always requested that I make for him during the holidays. He had grown up eating it as a young boy in northern Iowa. So today, as I am preparing it, I think of him and what a kind man he was. And what a wonderful job he did raising his family. I miss Joe. Tomorrow we’ll remember Joe, too.
The main course will consist of meat, meat and more meat. My husband is in charge of that.
He will make a dish using pork loin, another using a couple kinds of sausage, including a blood sausage. The final dish is made with ribs. All very simple food preparations; true peasant food.
I’ll be making a Tomatensalat (Tomato Salad) in the morning that consists of our heirloom tomatoes, some thyme, onion, vinegar, basil and Worcestershire sauce.
Other family members will be adding various dishes to the menu. There will be the traditional Hot German Potato Salad.
So I am very thankful for the opportunity today to be able to spend the afternoon in the kitchen doing something I love, for people I love…cooking!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Is Exercise Helping to Curb My Appetite?
Or is it from Eating Regular, Scheduled Meals?
I was reading that there's new evidence that regular exercise can re-tune your hunger set point, reducing the desire to overeat that makes losing weight and keeping it off so challenging.
Researchers found recently that contracting muscles -- what happens when I’m sweating to Leslie Sansone’s Walk Slim DVD’s -- releases chemical signals that improve my sensitivity to insulin and leptin.
These hormones play significant roles to reduce appetite, and both become less effective in overweight people.
Lately, I have noticed that I am not “waiting” for my next meal. It’s 12:50 p.m. and I usually eat lunch between 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. most days. Today, I have to stop what I am doing and go fix and eat lunch. I can’t say that I have ever forgotten to eat a meal (like a younger brother of my does; he has to be adopted!).
I have a very livable calorie range and that also has made a big difference in how I am eating. Maybe I am starting to eat to live, rather than to living to eat. I can only hope!
This brings me to another thought. I do eat three meals everyday. I have been a breakfast eater for most of my adult life. So that was one good habit I had coming into my Spark People experience. I have however, increased the amount of food and thus calories I eat for lunch. I think this is BIG for me. By doing this, I have almost eliminated the “need” or want for my ritual 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. daily snack. Granted I probably eat lunch later than most folks. I had the late lunch shift at my job for 28+ years. 1:00 p.m. has been my lunch time for what seems like forever, it works for me. Dinner is at 6:00 p.m. or so. I do leave room for a snack around 8:00 p.m. – if I want it.
I think eating at regular times signals my body that I am going to feed it – not starve it like I have on a diet. Maybe it’s responding like it was made to do.
I am sure I will struggle with appetite in the near future. For now I am grateful that I can eat three planned, healthy, satisfying meals and I can go to bed and not dream about food – like I used to do when I was dieting. Obviously, since I am not dieting, I don’t have to dream of food anymore. I can eat real, tasty food during the day – so there’s no need to dream of food…it’s part of my reality each and every day!
Feeding my body and giving it a good dose of daily exercise is part of my personal self-care program. I think my body is starting to get with the program!
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