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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wanting To Have My Cake AND Eat It Too.

I've learned something interesting lately:  I can't eat anything extra without gaining weight.  I've been trying to lose just 5 pounds so my jeans will be more comfortable.  Plus, I have acknowledged that I have indulged in too many chocolate milkshakes and other goodies over the summer when I wasn't exercising near enough.

I bought a nice set of scales at Target which somehow also calculate your percentage of body fat.  I weigh myself every morning before eating to track my weight.  I have cut back on unnecessary snacks, desserts and alcohol, plus made my portion sizes smaller.  I have gotten back into a better exercise routine.  And it has helped.

Last Friday, my weight was actually 124, 6 pounds lighter!  I was happy but cautious.  Sure enough, by Monday morning my weight was 126.  I'd gained two pounds over the weekend and I really didn't indulge that much.  I certainly hadn't gained two pounds of muscle either.  I guess my downfall was the tiny powdered sugar donut followed by the brat I ate at a band competition because I was bored ( I was supposed to be working in the kitchen making food for the concession stand but we didn't get started for nearly 2 hours.)  Then my sister made a wonderful but fattening chicken dish for Sunday dinner and I had a fuzzy navel too.

But it's not like I had a large brownie with ice cream and hot fudge sauce, a pancake extravaganza at IHOP or guzzled a few beers at a football game.  I do feel discouraged and yes, a bit deprived.  I'd really like my weight to hover around 125 and STILL HAVE MY CAKE AND EAT IT TOO!  Don't we all?

The point is, and you knew there'd be a point,  you really do have to eat right and exercise most of the time to maintain good health and a normal weight.  It won't just happen and there is no magic pill at this time that will make it happen.  It requires discipline, self control, and the desire to be in charge of your own health.  So back to watching what I eat.

Things are not all bad however.  I did find a tasty new version of chili that received especially high ratings from my husband, pleased the kids AND, it's super fast to make.  What could be better on a fall evening?

Paula Deen's Spicy Vegetarian Chili
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. chipolte chili pepper*
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1 16 oz. can black beans
1 16 oz. can white beans
1 16 oz. can kidney beans
1 15 oz. can whole kernel corn
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Open cans of beans and corn, drain and rinse.  Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add onions and saute till tender and starting to brown.  Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more.  Add seasonings and saute 2 more minutes.  Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until heated through. 
*Having an aversion to things chipolte, I used a pinch of cayenne pepper instead. 

I also omitted any extra salt even though I used reduced sodium beans.  Make sure to use veggie broth if you are wanting it to be strictly vegetarian.  If you are too rushed to chop onions, make sure you keep chopped onions in the freezer or buy them in the produce department.  Really, my husband or my children could make this recipe, no problem.  Saute the onion while you open cans and it goes together in about 15 minutes.   

Give this chili a try and let me know how you like it.  You won't miss the meat, my family didn't complain a bit.

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