Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Healthy Eating

I have to say it has been nice having a weekend off from the markets, there has been no need to be in the kitchen 24/7 and I can have some gallery time and some me time!  Plus I have had the extra luxury of a couple of extra hours of much needed sleep.  Heaven!
With the extra rest under my belt, I also had the opportunity to clear my head and start eating healthy again.  That was my goal for Monday and that is exactly what I did!  The health regime is on again and long may it continue.  I even persuaded my husband to start with me and to entice him, I used the words, 'Support me in my efforts.'  He agreed, so we are on this road to healthy living once again.  We both gained weight over the last couple of months and the Christmas holidays and aftermath with lots of entertaining were killers.  Now we have a reasonably quiet time ahead of us as far as entertaining, so it is much easier to have self control. 
What works best for me with only a little effort is a high protein, low fat diet.  No creams, oils, butters, basically anything I make as the Yummy Yank is off limits!  At least for a little while anyway.  For myself, I am kick-starting the health plan by eating pretty much all proteins, just for a few days, with the exception of some oat bran in the morning.  I eat this either as porridge, mixed with zero per cent greek yoghurt or I make an oat bran pancake, which is very delicious and filling, simple to make as well with only 3 ingredients needed.  When made as a pancake, it can substitute as bread or it is wonderful topped with the non-fat yoghurt or non-fat creme fraiche!  It's a real treat, plus it is very good for ensuring everything is working properly and it helps to reduce cholesterol. 
As for the protein days only, I eat basically any meats other than fatty ham or lamb.  All fish is a go, eggs, as much as you like unless you need to limit your intake, and all non-fat dairy products are fine as well, so cottage cheese, yoghurt, skim milk etc.  I find it very easy and it definitely works.
After a few days, I then add vegetables, as much as I want, but no blatant in your face carbohydrates, no potatoes, rice or pasta!  Salads are great, broccoli, courgettes, aubergine, cabbage, basically anything you want.  In the early stages, keep carrot intake to a minimum because they are very sweet so contain more carbs.  I really don't feel like I am missing anything other than fruit, but again, I add that later, once I am nearing my goal weight. 
Season your foods well to keep it interesting.  Onions are fine to use as are capers, pickles, mustards, spices and herbs.  For sweetness, I love Canderel Vanilla sweetener.  It is a low calorie sweetener, aspartame based, with spent ground vanilla beans and it is delicious in non-fat yoghurt or creme fraiche.  It makes a wonderful dessert or topping to the oat bran pancake. 
It's also simple to dine out with this way of eating.  Any restaurant is quite happy to just grill their meats and fish or prepare without sauces.  It hasn't been a problem anywhere!  Curry restaurants are perfect, they can grill any protein and add their wonderful spices on the side!
I drink a lot of water and a lot of caffeine free coffee and teas.  Diet sodas are absolutely fine to drink as they really satisfy a craving for something sweet.  I am drinking constantly. 
After I reach my goal weight, it is pretty simple to keep your weight off if you make a conscious effort.  If you add to your diet, slowly but surely, whole grain breads, carbs, fruit etc and then once a week have an all protein or mostly protein day, your weight will remain a constant.  It did for me until I went a little crazy with eating everything and anything!  Of course exercise is important in any way that works for you.  Being a couch potato never helps in the effort of losing weight.
There you have it.  I'll let you know my progress over the coming weeks.  So far it is a piece of cake and no I don't mean my New York Cheesecake!
Oat Bran Pancake recipe:
1 1/2 tablespoons of Oat Bran (I use Mornflake Oatbran Sprinkles)
1 1/2 tablespoons of non-fat creme fraiche or yoghurt
1 whole egg (you can use just the whites if you are watching your cholesterol)
Whisk the three ingredients together and pour batter into a very lightly oiled pan (just wiping a little oil in the pan with a paper towel, as little as possible). Heat the oiled pan gently over medium heat.  A small crepe pan or omelette pan works great!  Swirl the batter evenly over the pan and do that a couple of times to disperse the batter from the middle.  Wait to the underside is golden brown and then flip.  The edges will easily pull away from the pan.  You can make one thick pancake or divide the batter into two thinner pancakes. 
Simple, delicious and very healthy!! 
Thanks for reading and if anyone wants to join in this healthy living option, please update me with how you are doing!
Take good care and y'all have a nice day!
Lisa  AKA The Yummy Yank

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