Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pie

I had a(nother) meltdown last night, and despite a long, deep sleep - usually a cure-all for those things - I woke up still grumpy. I had pie for breakfast and I wish I could tell you that it didn't help, didn't fix it, didn't make me feel better, that I wish I'd had veggies and egg whites and that I've learned my lesson...

but it did.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lunch - Fast and Frugal

Lazy Sundays are great. Lazy Sundays with a tiny bit of productivity that saves time and money? Awesome.

I made a giant pot of chili in the crock pot for Gary and I to eat for lunch this week.

I love chili. It's fast, cheap, tasty, filling, cheap, easy, and cheap. You can make it with meat or without, and there's not much of a difference. It's easy to make a big batch and feed a crowd.

I make my chili without a recipe, but basically if I'm including meat, I brown it with onion and garlic. I open a bunch of cans - a few cans of beans, a can of corn or mushrooms or both, a can of tomato paste, a can of diced tomatoes and a can of stewed tomatoes. Then I add chili powder, cayenne and because we like it spicy, some dried chili pepper flakes.

I've made it with salsa and taco seasoning and chicken breasts; with more beans, barbecue sauce and left over shredded roast beef, with extra veggies and no meat, with ground beef, turkey, chicken and sausage (but not all at once). Basically, throw it in the pot or slow cooker and let it go as long as you can. It's good after 4 hours, or even just as soon as it's heated through, but I think that it's better after a longer cook time. Once I even cooked it for 10 hours, turned the pot off, put it in the fridge overnight and then cooked it again.

In total, the ingredients, not counting one onion, two cloves of garlic and spices cost us $13.13. This will make at least 8 lunches; That's $1.64 a lunch. Pretty good for our budget, which has been hurtin' lately due to all the fresh vegetables, greek yogurt and expensive lean meats (fish and chicken, chicken and fish...) we've been eating. This recipe works for Cycle 2 of the diet, on 'starch' days.

This time, I saved even more money by buying a tube of frozen ground chicken instead of the fresh. It's ALWAYS on sale at the Coop; this week it was $1.99. I've used it before to make meatballs. The texture doesn't matter as much for meatballs, patties and loaf, so it works perfectly. I was a bit hesitant about how this tube o' meat was going to fry up - but turns out, it was perfect. Crumbly, moist - exactly like the fresh stuff for 1/5 the cost. Now, I'm sure it's not the same quality as organic ground chicken, or grinding it yourself, but that's not what I'm talking about here - this is a recipe that's perfect for the week before you get paid, if you know what I mean.

Do you make a big batch of something for lunches? Do you make your lunch in the morning? Take leftovers? Or are you a buying-my-lunch kinda person?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Weigh In

Well, I'm onto Cycle 2 of the 17 Day Diet. This cycle is slightly confusing to me, but I'm sure it's just a matter of wrapping my head around what's changed.

Basically, every other day you add two servings of natural starches, in the form of certain grains (including oatmeal and brown rice), beans and legumes, or starchy vegetables (like corn and yams). These servings need to be consumed before 2pm. There's also an additional list of proteins, like lean pork, beef, shellfish, that are introduced on the 'starch' days. On the other days, you eat from the Cycle 1 plan of fish/chicken/veggies.

In Cycle 1, I lost a total of 5.2 lbs.

Today, I weighed myself, and I've stayed the same weight as last week. I'm quite pleased, honestly, because I had such a huge loss last week. I expected a bit of a gain as my body sort of levels out - as long as it's a downward trend, right?

I'm looking forward to the week ahead. I slipped a little this week, had a few little treats here and there (mini banana muffins, you are the devil!) but overall I'm quite pleased with what I've eaten and more importantly, how I feel.