Saturday, September 18, 2010

Julie and Julia

I do not wish to pretend that the movie Julie and Julia does not make me want to cook at all times. But remember, this blog is for those that want to eat yummy, but healthy, and who don't have a lot of time. Take me for example. I work 40 hours a week, and don't get off work until 7pm. My husband goes to school all day, and then works evenings, and doesn't get home until 9pm or later, so we don't have a lot of time together. We are still trying to work out timing issues so that we can actually make all of the yummy food that I'm dying to try, so bear with me.

I'm currently working on selecting recipes that I can "start now" and "finish later", like making pancake batter when I am waiting for my husband to come home, and then cooking the pancakes in the morning before work. Or making waffles and then putting them in the freezer, just like Ego waffles, and then pop them into the toaster before the kids leave for school. Quick and easy, and you can make them ahead which is always the best part.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Beginnings

Ok - so I know that there are a lot of weight loss programs out there, but I have the hardest time sticking to them, and what's worse, is that I can't afford most of them. So I have decided to try a combination of weight loss methods, but not pay for anyone to coach me. As far as I am concerned, my husband is my biggest coach (and my family). Some people may need an actual professional weight loss coach, but I'm not here to talk about that.

So some of my recipes will come from weight watchers, others from cooking light type cook books, and others will be adaptations from recipes that I grew up with. Regardless of which method you choose, I am going to focus on a lower calorie method. But first, I needed to know how many calories I needed to MAINTAIN my weight, and how many I needed to lose either one or two pounds a week naturally. Here's how it works.

Take your current weight, and multiply it by 11. That is the number of calories that you need to eat every day in order to stay at the exact same weight that you are at right now. For example: I weigh 208 pounds, so

208 x 11 = 2288 calories per day to stay where I am. But I want to lose weight, so I will subtract 500 calories.

2288 - 500 = 1788 calories that I can eat per day and still lose 1 pound per week. If I wanted to lose 2 pounds per week, I would then subtract another 500 calories.

1788 - 500 = 1288 calories that I can eat per day to lose 2 pounds a week. But to me 1288 calories a day sounds very small and a little scary, so I'm going to set MY GOAL to losing 1 pound per week. Later on, once I feel successful enough, I will drop the other 500 calories and work on losing 2 pounds per week. Of course exercise helps a LOT when trying to lose weight, so even if you only have time for a 20 minute brisk walk, or some outside play time with the kids, it's still a GREAT START towards your NEW BEGINNINGS!

Must haves for my kitchen

1. Clean Kitchen! (yes - it is possible, although sometimes it would seem that Hell would have to freeze over first)
2.  Food Processor (any size, but be aware that if you need to make a lot of the staples, then a smaller processor would consume more time)
3. Calendar (to plan IN ADVANCE what meals you will be eating for the week)
4. Crock pot (the "short on time" cook knows the value of this!)
5. Bread Maker (to make healthier pizza crust, rolls, etc.)
6. Easy access to a computer or cookbook (for recipes)
7. Tupperware and Freezer Bags (to store staples and basics either on the shelf or in the freezer for a later date)
8. Of course, all of the mixing spoons, measuring spoons and cups, and other devices as called for in the recipes (I will try and stick to the basics)
9. Anything else that I may prefer to use, or other items as required in the recipe

1. Flour (white AND wheat)
2. Sugar (white AND brown)
3. Worchestershire sauce
4. Salt AND Pepper
5. Chicken Breasts (Boneless and skinless)
6. Pam (or some other kind of cooking spray)
7. Vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar, regular white vinegar, white/red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, etc.)
8. Wheat Germ
9. Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.)
10. Chicken/vegetable/beef stock
11. Cream of "anything" soup (you can usually substitute ANY kind of Cream of _____ soup in a recipe)
12. Spices (For sure you need Italian spices; I also like crushed red pepper flakes, cinnamon, Nutmeg, etc.)
13. Ground Beef/Chicken/Turkey (I usually use ground turkey, but you can use whatever you like)
14. Butter AND Olive Oil (I try and use Olive Oil whenever possible)

Website Mission Statement

My goal is to make life easier for people that are trying to eat healthy, and possibly even lose weight. I wish to provide quick and easy recipes for the "short on time" cook, without breaking the food budget (or dipping into another budget). Your mission (and mine)...should we choose to accept... is to actually enjoy healthy lifestyles and mealtime with our families.