Another week down…and it was a good one!
First, a few little tidbits about the things I am learning and loving.
1. Skinny Cow Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sandwiches. I am loving these. They are three points, which may seem like a lot. But, for a girl who LOVES ice cream, I think these are fantastic.
2. My salad spinner is my new best friend. Oh, how I miss the days of my Williams-Sonoma discount. And yes, it is just Williams-Sonoma, not Williams and Sonoma. The salad spinner makes washing all types of lettuce (or herb) über convenient and ensures that you won’t have water logged produce. Every household in Europe has one, so I’m not sure why they haven’t caught on here…although I have a few theories, most of which include fast food.
3. Good knives are also hi on my friends list. Seriously, they make such a big difference. Since I’m cooking a lot more than I have in the past year, and cutting up lots of vegetables, herbs, etc., having good knives is key. Even if you can only afford one, do it. And then guard it with your life and whatever you do, do not wash it in the dishwasher. No. Matter. What. As a first (and possible only) good knife, I highly recommend a santoku. The link takes you to a particular one, but really, Henkels, Wustof, or Global are all good brands. I also recommending purchasing that knife at Williams-Sonoma, not just because I worked there. Their customer service is amazing. I’ve had two knives that had some rust issues, and they exchanged them, no questions asked. And it wasn’t at the store where I had worked, either.
4. Cold Stone makes me happy. I went twice this week. How can I go to Cold Stone twice in one week and think that I’m going to lose weight? I just adjusted. Cold Stone has these Healthy Indulgences, as they call them. I love the Sinless Sweet Cream ice cream with strawberries and coconut. It’s absolutely delicious. And now I get a “Like it!”, instead of a “Love it!”. It’s amazing how the little drops in the bucket add up…or, in this case, taking the little drops out, helps.
5. I tried really hard to stop eating at least two hours before going to bed and that seemed to work well. Plus, I don’t like going to sleep with food in my stomach.
6. Instead of making caramel corn when I was craving it, I made some light microwave popcorn and put a little (very little) butter on it (spray butter would probably have been ideal) and then tossed a couple Tbsp’s of brown sugar on it. I got the salty and sweet without all of the calories.
7. When I got home from the grocery store on Saturday, I went Sharpie happy. What does that mean? I went through every packaged food item and wrote the serving size and the point value on the package. That way, I don’t have to mess with my calculator every time I want to eat something. I can just look at the package. Very, very helpful.
8. I have learned that planning to eat out with friends is essential to my success. I think part of the reason I have failed in the past is that I have altered my lifestyle to the point that I am miserable. Not only am I an emotional eater, I am a social eater (pretty much, I just really enjoy food) and I love that social interaction. I love sharing a good meal with good friends. So, I make sure to plan at least one meal out with friends during the week. This helps both my waistline and my budget. How can eating out help my budget? I’m only doing it once a week (okay, sometimes it’s twice) instead of daily, or sometimes twice a day. And by making sure I have that experience, I don’t feel deprived at all.
9. Buying good ingredients and planning good meals has also been very important. Part of the reason I often like to eat out is that a meal at a restaurant is often more appealing than a tortilla and cheese, or whatever I can throw together. If I actually have meals planned and I make something from a recipe (I’m a good cook, but I struggle without a recipe), I get excited about them, which totally minimizes my desire to eat out. I actually look forward to the cooking experience, because I know my food will taste good.
10. Which leads me to my last tidbit before the reveal…Tandoori-Spiced Grilled Shrimp with Mint-Cilantro Chutney*. This was my favorite meal of the week, which I ended up eating on two separate occasions because it was so good. I just added some grilled tortillas (because I don’t keep a supply of naan on hand) and my meal was complete. It was delicious! As both an Indian and seafood fan, I loved this. And the chutney tastes just like what you get at the restaurants. So, so, so good. And yes, cooking is time consuming, and it feels even more so when cooking for one (which is what I am often doing), but it’s totally worth it when you make good food. Plus, all that time spent in the kitchen makes me feel like I’m doing more eating than I actually am and it allows me to construct new posts in my head and contemplate the meaning of life.
Okay, so now to the good stuff (although I think I lost this much partially because of the puking episode on Wednesday)…I lost 3.6 lbs this week! Bringing the total to…13 lbs in four weeks. I have to say that I am feeling pretty good about things and have not felt deprived at all…but maybe that’s because when the World Class Chocolate was calling out to me last week, I just gave in.
*If you decide to make the shrimp, don’t be intimidated by the whole toasting/grind of the spices. I substituted pre-ground spices for their freshly ground and it still tasted great. I like to cook, but I’m not crazy.