Friday, November 18, 2011

Delicious Endeavours

I love cooking. It has always been fun for me to cook for people on occasion. I love to sit down and think up a full meal to serve to others because it's fun. Sometimes people ask me why I didn't decide to become a chef. Honestly, I have thought of it, but I have my reasons for not following such a path.

Tonight my friend Crystal was over. I was helping her work out a new diet plan to get to her goal weight within about two years. I believe she can do it!

The bonus (and sometimes the drawback) of coming to my place is I will always use my guests as guinea pigs for new recipes. She had the luck to try new recipes that worked out, for the most part.

Tonight I served lamb burgers on homemade gluten-free buns with pickled eggplant and goat cheese. A side of fresh baked sweet potato chips (not french fries!) with a curry garlic aioli. And dessert? Well it was so pretty I had to take a picture.

A mini lemon chiffon cake with creme fraiche. Yeah. I made that.

Overall, it was a good meal, the gluten-free buns were the best I'd ever had, the lamb burgers were perfect and the pickled eggplant and goat cheese worked very well with it. The sweet potato chips should have been thinner so that they would have been crispier, but they still tasted delicious and the dip - well my friend took the rest of it home she loved it so much.

And that gorgeous dessert up there tasted incredible, but the outside of the cake was a little tough. I had made them the night before and I knew quickly that the next time I make them, I'll need to adjust the cooking temperature and time for the smaller size of the cakes and the gluten-free flour.

I'll definitely be using these recipes again with a few changes to some of them. It was a wonderful meal and I am quite proud of myself today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Keep your eye on the prize

Weight. It's something I've always struggled with for most of my life. Every now and again, I get fire under my butt to do something about, mostly I'm not that successful. My greatest weightloss triumphs have usually been due to illness - which is no success.

One week ago I decided to give it a long term shot - all because I got a smartphone.

Yes, you read that right. My smartphone is my dieting tool this time. There are tonnes of apps you can get for smartphones and that means there are apps that help with dieting. I wanted to keep things simple, if it gets to be too difficult, too inconvenient, I'll just say 'to hell with it'. That has been part of my issue with previous attempts.

So moving forward with the KISS mindset, I downloaded a basic calorie counter app. I set myself at a caloric limit that would allow me to lose a reasonable 2 lbs a week with my current lifestyle. Not that I don't want to exercise (or don't enjoy it), but with NaNoWriMo, I knew my exercise would be close to nil. 1500 calories was my daily limit, but I wasn't going to freak out if I was a little over on occasion.

Next came more research, looking for other advice and tips that may allow me to be more likely to succeed this time around. Some tips I ignored, others I considered and some I am actually trying. One of these tips was not to be so strict on my days off. I find it harder to eat healthy when I'm not at work, so I allow myself around 1700 calories, but the firm cap is 2000.

Some of the advice goes against what most experts tell you - such as weighing myself everyday. Yes, I'm well aware that my weight can fluctuate for a variety of reason that have nothing to do with losing weight.

The thing I've found is that even when the scale goes down by .1 lbs, it gives me encouragment, and when it goes up? Well that just reminds me that I need to stay on track that much more. Plus, I love the fact that my app graphs my weight. For me, visual display keeps me interested.

Of course I'm going to keep trying different ideas and suggestions to see what will work best for me over the next month or so. Eventually, I'm going to have a plan that actually works for me - not the diet other people say is the best for me.

So, at the end of one week of my current diet? I'm sitting at a total loss of 6 lbs. I'd say that is pretty encouraging. Can't wait till I can start adding some exercise into the mix.