Most of you know that I slimmed down. Seriously! I went from a hefty plus size to a 6-8. Some of you have asked for details, and I sent ya'll to the group that helped me. If you are curious, too, about what I did, just email me.
A few knitter-friends have slimmed down, too, using this method, and have been giving me menu ideas and cooking tips.
I've always liked to cook. Now, as I follow this very health-oriented food plan, preparing food at home is the way to go.
In the bad old plus-size days, my meals were skimpy and my snacking was habitual. Today, I eat three meals, and nothing in between, which means that once dinner is finished and dishes washed, there is no more hanging around in the kitchen for the evening. The evening is mine! My meals are big, especially heavy on the veggies, including a big, big salad with supper.
For a person who has major problems with being over-scheduled, the time I spend cooking and cleaning up might seem like a waste. It's worth it, though. I get so much more done than I used to, because I feel so good.
John is a good sport and eats whatever I'm cooking. He says he enjoys the food plan. Since John doesn't have a weight issue, he eats the same foods but he doesn't weigh or measure his food. He actually likes smaller servings than I measure and eat. John adds a little beer and peanuts to his menu, though!
For breakfast, I usually do eggs, oatmeal, and chop up fruit. The fruit varies according to what's in season, of course. It's not that I have to eat eggs and oatmeal - these are just foods that I like that match with the specific food groups for breakfast.
Keeping up with the program meant that I had to get organized, so on Sundays, I pack weekday lunches. Again, following food groups, most weeks, I cook a brown and wild-rice combination for my grain servings, measure and pack that in plastic tubs, then pour in enough frozen veggies for my veggie requirement. (At work, I nuke the tubs in the office microwave.) I also get my raw vegetables, fruit and a protein bagged and piled in the fridge. Often, my protein is string cheese or cottage cheese, because I like those, but some days I pack leftover protein item from the night before into my lunch.
I especially like gadgets - no surprise there! Recently, on a whim, I purchased an Instant Pot from Amazon.com, an electronic pressure cooker/steamer/slow cooker. This cooker has a big stainless steel cooking pot inside that comes out and goes through the dishwasher.
I've always liked using stove top pressure cookers. I have a regular one and a low-pressure one. With the stove top kind, though, you hang around the kitchen, wait for the pot to reach pressure, then listen to the valve jiggle to make sure the pressure is regulated properly.
With this gizmo, I can come home from work, load something in the pressure cooker, set it up, and I don't have to watch it. It has a timer and beeps loudly when it's finished. I have had a learning curve, but gradually improved in my use of it. I've pretty much eliminated using my crock pot and pressure cookers, and this summer, I've hardly used the oven. Yesterday, for instance, I set up the Instant Pot with chicken, wandered off and knitted. I've been making Origami Sweaters. My first one is in the photo. I'll write another post about them, I think.
I checked my watch and came back when it was time to make the salad and cook the side veggies.
I like it for cooking rice using the low pressure setting. I was doing my rice in the microwave, and it was difficult to keep it from bubbling over and making a mess. I could do rice perfectly on the stove, but that means staying in the kitchen and keeping an eye on it.
A friend at my weight control group told me she has one, and how she uses it to cook pieces of chicken right out of the freezer. I tried that myself, with surprisingly good results. I'm still figuring out cooking times, especially if I put in something frozen, but it works for me to underestimate, then put the lid back on and cook more as needed. Eventually, I'll master the timing. I've been visiting some websites with pressure cooker advice and finding those helpful. There are a lot of foods I haven't tried cooking. I tend to shy away from the ones that might bubble up and clog the valve.
I cooked salmon in it the other day. (I'm crazy about salmon. So is my dog, go figure! When I am cooking, he usually ignores me, but if it's salmon, he comes and stares at me with his big, soulful brown eyes. It works - he gets a little after supper. We buy him salmon-flavored dog food, and that's the kind he will always eat.) I've been poaching salmon for years with water, lemon juice and lemon pepper, because that produces moist, tender fish. I found that using the same mix in the electronic pot actually worked okay. I didn't know how long to cook it. You're supposed to be careful not to overcook fish, but my first guess wasn't quite long enough, so I poked at it with a knife and cooked it some more time.
I'm still thinking about buying a spiralizer for cutting my veggies. Next experiment, I guess!