Thursday, February 26, 2009

What's for dinner, Mom?

Many of you who know me have heard me say that I think that my name is "What's for dinner, Mom?" as opposed to plain ol' Mom. That is the first question my family asks me when they see me in the afternoon. When I am trying to watch my weight (never say diet!) dinner is hard for me. I have to prepare something that will satisfy my family and not blow the day for me! If I don't satisfy the group, it is snack time all evening, and that's another challenge!

Tonight, we are having flounder filets, broiled with a little butter and lemon, zucchini casserole (2 chopped zucchini, diced canned tomatoes, cut up green pepper& onion, minced garlic and 2 tsp. basil all stewed together w/salt and pepper, then put in a baking dish w/low fat mozarella on top. Bake at 350 for about 30 min.) and oven roasted potatoes.

My challenge, as always, is portion control. It's not what I eat, it's how much I eat! So a big part of my eating plan is to make sure to measure or weigh everything I eat. This may not be your issue. Yours may be different, but whatever it is, address it and deal with it! If you are addicted to junk food, throw it out or give it away -- get rid of it! If you are a late night eater, save some calories or points from the day, and use them to satisfy that urge. If you can not live without your daily chocolate fix, splurge on some good, fat free or low fat ice cream treats. Try air popped popcorn. Whatever it takes to keep you on track. I like those lite Laughing Cow cheese wedges, spread on celery or low fat triscuits as a low cal snack. Filling, salty and crunchy, that's the ticket for me. Figure out what it is that you need and go get it!

The only way to loose weight is to eat less and move more. Period. I watched the weight loss segment on the Today show this morning, and in a nutshell, that is what they said. Less calories, more exercise, slow and steady wins the race! They also said that people who have a good support group are more likely to loose pounds and keep them off.

Are you making time to get in a walk or exercise at all? You know, even marching in place while watching TV counts as exercise. Swing your arms around a little while you march. If you feel embarrassed, do it in your bedroom, in front of your TV. I have pink 5 lb. weights on the shelf under the tv in my room. No one sees me use them, but I do. Movement is movement, and it all adds up.

Hang in there, Girls! We can do this!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We are off...

Ok, here we go. Not only have I been preparing my kitchen, I've been reading some inspirational material. I think it is essential to remain positive and energetic in our quest to improve ourselves.
On the preparing the kitchen front, I have lots of pantry staples, fresh vegs and lean meat. Very little junk around. Only those pesky cheezits, that the hub keeps buying.
On the reading front, "Eat, Pray, Love" is currently in Inja, and she is praying and writing poetry. I am praying too, and planning a course of dedicated spiritual reading for my Lenten study. I have 3 books given to me by friends that I will be starting my day with for the next 6 weeks, I promise. This is a good thing. We can only improve by working to improve.

Now, if we can only remember to weigh ourselves at the right time, every Thursday...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Italian Vegetable Soup Recipe

When I am actively trying to loose weight, it helps me to fill up on things that taste good and are not bad for me. A no brainer, right? Oftentimes, though, that is easier said than done. Here is my version of a soup that I got from Weight Watchers. Their version was a little bland. My version is tasty and good enough to serve your family and friends. It is non fat, high fiber and has no added starches or carbs.

As we used to say, "Try it, you'll like it!"

Italian Vegetable Soup

32 oz. Low Sodium, Low Fat Chicken Broth (that's a big box)

1 c. V8

1/3 c. shredded carrot

1 small can (app. 15 oz.) diced tomatoes

1/2 small onion, chopped

1/4 c. minced celery

2 lg. cloves garlic, minced (about 1 T.)

1/4 c. minced green pepper

1 med. zucchini squash, halved and thinly sliced

1 med. yellow squash, halved and thinly sliced

1 c. frozen baby broccoli florets

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil, or 2 T. fresh basil "chiffonade"

Put all of the ingredients into a medium to large, heavy soup pot. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let cook 30 - 60 minutes on low. The veg. should be cooked through. Turn it off, Take your potato masher and "mash" the soup to thicken it. (You may use an immersion blender if you have one, or cool soup and blend it in the blender, but don't puree completely.)

Then, add:

1 big handful of chopped fresh baby spinach

1/2 c. chopped roasted red pepper (buy it in a jar either on the international isle or near the pickles)

1 tsp. of salt, or to taste

a few grindings of fresh black pepper

Bring the soup back up to boil, turn it down and let simmer 15 more minutes. Garnish with a little fresh basil if you have it. Sprinkle your bowl with a T. of parmesan cheese if you can afford the extra calories!

Let me say that I KNOW this is a lot of ingredients for one recipe, but here is how I look at it: You can eat on this all week, and it will keep you from overeating at meal times. Eat a cup before lunch and or dinner. It's very healthy and full of natural fiber.

If you want to use this for a main course, add a can of drained and rinsed kidney or cannelini beans or a cup of cooked, small pasta, like seashells or elbows. Just be sure to add that to your totals for the day.