I need to get my eating under control. Ugh! I eat out way too much and it is showing on my waistline. I don’t eat fast food as much as just eating out.
While on vacation last week, I ate like a pig. I’ve been hitting the gym consistently but with my eating habits, it shouldn’t really surprise me I haven’t lost any weight. And while I’m not overweight in the traditional sense, I am too heavy for my own comfort. I feel like a fat-ass.
Part of my problem is I procrastinate on weekends about doing my meal prep. I have almost no free time during the work week so if it doesn’t get done on the weekend, it doesn’t happen. This last weekend I was pretty good since I didn’t have an excuse. I got all my meal prep ordered, delivered, and prepped. Of course, due to the holiday, it is also a short work week for me. haha1 Since Shawn works Friday’ when I’m off, I really have no excuse for not getting it done. Well, no excuse except laziness!
On a related tangent, I’ve been asked a few times if I’m “ok” or “how I’m doing” in the sense of being depressed. I do not get depressed over being unhappy with my body. One, I’m usually just not prone to depression. Two, I’m not that far outside my range to get too down on myself. I chastise and scold myself but I also keep it focused to my procrastination, not my self-worth. I so rarely get down on myself these days. Overall, my life is damn good and it would be selfish and a bit self-absorbed to let such little things overwhelm my sense of self.2 There are so many bigger more important things to focus on. And at the end of the day it isn’t anyone’s fault but my own. If I want to change it, it is up to me to get it done. So, as a clarification, when I rant here about my failures I am doing so based on the best perspective I can have in relation to my well-being.
In completely random events, I discovered a new recipe for cooking fried okra. With rare exceptions, I try to avoid fried foods on a regular basis. I go thru my phases where I crave fried chicken, but not on a regular basis. This leads me into my ingredient shortage and discovery.
I picked up some okra at the farmer’s market. I had originally planned on boiling it but I got the craving for fried okra. I grew up in the south and the only way to make fried okra is with cornmeal. Guess who didn’t have any cornmeal? You guessed it, me. It’s Sunday night and I’m at the end of my meal prep. It’s only 2 hours to bedtime and I know if I don’t cook this okra it will go to waste. I’m debating on whether to run down to Mollie Stone’s1 to pick up the cornmeal. It whining to myself about not going and hits me. What if I try the pretzel flavor shake & bake mix that’s been sitting in the cabinet? I bought it on a whim and had almost forgotten about it. The moment I think of it I’m sold on trying it. Worst case scenario, it’s awful and I throw it out.
It turned out to be an unholy concoction of deliciousness. OMG, it was so damn good. Just the right mix of salty flavor to go with the okra. I popped it out of the oven and I’d eaten almost half of it before it had time to cool off! I think I have a new way of making fried okra.2 I think next time I’ll throw in a few extra seasonings to give it more kick, but it was really good.
Ok, you’re just dying to know how I did it now, right? If you are familiar with okra, you know it gets slimy the moment you cut it. Cut it up and wash it off good. Don’t let it dry completely but definitely let it dry. The pretzel mix is thicker than the regular version and it will clump up if you get too much moisture into the bag. You also need to use both servings of the mix that come in the box. Trust me, you’ll need it. Mix the chopped okra into the bag with the mix and of course, shake it up. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and put it on an ungreased (or covered in foil) cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Slightly longer if you like it extra crispy. The only draw bike is the mixture will pop off and separate from the okra if you bounce it around too much. I might try a light egg batter next time, but I’m worried it might over do it. Either way, if you like okra you have to try it!
Oh and the okra never made it into my meal prep. I ate it all.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise I’m a
meat and potatoes sorta fella. I grew up on a farm and while we grew tons of vegetables, meat was always our primary meal item. I’ve tried to cut back on my meats and increase the veggies but I always seem to backslide. The struggle is real y’all.
I do a lot of meal preps for my work week. If I don’t, I end up eating out a lot. I still try to eat healthy when I do, but it still ends up being very rich. My fat ass is never gonna have abs if I keep that up. Aaaaaaaaanyway, I’ve been trying to take advantage of the local farmer’s market. The one close to me is on Wednesdays and I do meal prep on Sundays. You see the conflict. I dug the food vacuum sealer out of storage and it’s helping a lot. I just vacuum the veggies and throw’em in the fridge till Sunday rolls around. It’s been helping a lot.
The pic is one of my quick meals. I say quick because I didn’t make it all from scratch. The pasta is a spinach basil. The artichokes came in a jar.1 The spinach, tomatoes, and cabbage came from the Farmer’s market last week. What you don’t see is a small drizzle of olive oil over the entire dish along with the pesto sauce you do see. The chicken is a roasted chicken with all the skin peeled off. And here’s a little secret. If you don’t like your veggies overcooked, just throw them in raw and when you heat the dish for at least 2 minutes in a sealed container it steams the veggies for you. I love the natural taste of most foods and being a super taster2 this works exceedingly well for me. Veggies that need more cooking time like brussel sprouts are easy to cook in advance, just cook’em about half way instead. That way when you do heat up the dish, they don’t get over cooked. As for flavoring, I’m mostly just use salt & pepper. Depending on the dish, I also like the Flavor God line of spices that are specifically designed for adding to food after you cooked it. I’m not a big fan of super heavy sauces and add on mixtures that often add up to a lot of extra fat so it isn’t hard to avoid the heavier items.
This week’s menu is what you see above, the lovely chicken artichoke basil pasta with spinach and cabbage. I also made some turkey meatballs w/potatoes and more cabbage. Needless to say, I’ll be giving Cooper a run for his money this week. I also added some roast chicken and leftover bean chili I had in the freezer. Of course, it helped my ego just a smidge this morning when two of my coworkers commented my arms look bigger. Food is half the battle for weight gain so maybe it’s working!
I’m not perfect by any means but I find if I provide myself opportunity to eat healthy, I will. I’ll never be ripped as I just don’t have the discipline for it. But, if I keep eating better I won’t need to do so much damn cardio, which I loathe!
It’s hard to find them just grilled in oil vs pickled [↩]
That’s just a fancy way of saying I have more taste buds per sq inch on my tongue than the average person [↩]
I’m scheduled to go in for my second (and hopefully) final procedure tomorrow. As mentioned, the first procedure was to clean out the latent infection in my sinus.
I’ve officially been diagnosed with asymptomatic chronic maxillary sinusitis, otherwise known as silent sinus syndrome. It is somewhat uncommon but basically my right sinus is reduced in size. The infection could have been part of that, it could have been genetic, or both. Regardless, the reduced sinus is putting negative pressure on my orbital socket. Basically, it is pulling my eye down.
The procedure tomorrow requires the doc to insert a ‘sled’ into my eye to restore the orbit to its normal position. In most cases, patients with diplopia symptoms, like myself, go back to normal or almost normal vision. I certainly hope I fall into the ‘normal’ category.
It is considered out-patient procedure and I should only need a day or two recovery. Last time I had more recovery from the anesthesia than I did the procedure itself. lol
This will be the 4th official implant. Both collar bones and one leg. If I turn ashen grey and start spouting "we are borg", you know I’ve turned into an evil cyborg bent on world domination. Until then, fingers crossed everything goes well tomorrow!
I’ve been getting back in the habit of cooking my own meals lately as opposed to eating out. Wit the old roomie moving to NY, I needed to make some cutbacks to accommodate the cost of absorbing all of the rent. My eating habits were an easy target as I tended to eat out a lot. Anyway, I’ve been getting back in the habit of cooking. With that comes old favorites that I enjoy immensely and are relatively easy to make. A big one is a simple but versatile dish called Hobo Casserole. You can use any ground meat of choice, (the leaner the better), fresh frozen assorted veggies, V-8 or tomato sauce, and biscuits. Brown the meat, seasoning to taste. Layer in casserole dish, cover with mixed veggies and then layer w/biscuits. That’s pretty much it. Cook at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes. Its a very versatile recipe as you can change up the meat, veggies, and the sauce. The trick is to make sure the casserole dish is full to the top with just a tiny bit of room to fit the biscuits; literally just enough to prevent the biscuits from cooking over the edge. If the dish isn’t full the biscuits will not cook all the way thru and will be gooey underneath.1 If you are a cheese fan you can layer in a cheese of your choice between the meat and veggies. I swap the sauce from V-8 juice to tomato sauce, or my favorite, Campbell’s tomato soup. The tomato soup has a tangy sweet flavor which mixes well with the meat and veggies. I also love to add chopped okra with the veggies. DE-lish! It isn’t very ‘sophisticated’ but makes a filling and healthy meal.
And speaking of roomies, I can’t remember if I told everyone but I found a new roomie.2 As you know, I’ve been very ambivalent about searching for a new roommate. The thought of living with a total stranger has been very unappealing. It took me 2 months just to start putting feelers out. I’ve been very cautious as I’m looking for a good fit vs just having a body to fill a void. Home is my no-drama zone and I wanna keep it that way. Anyway, he saw a blurb on my Facebook profile and showed some interest. We’ve known each other for several years. He dated my ex’s best friend back when my ex and I were still together. While we aren’t overly close, I know enough about him to feel comfortable having him as a roomie. He also has a stable job, his own wheels, and he doesn’t smoke. All pluses in my book. lol Seriously though, I’m looking forward to it. I think he is a great guy and don’t foresee any drama. Unfortunately, this came about because he is breaking up with his partner. I guess he has reached his breaking point as he was originally gonna move in on the first but has already started moving his stuff.3 He seems to have a positive attitude about it though. Oh, and he also rides a motorcycle so we definitely have that in common!
He is supposed to finish moving in this weekend. I’ll be in LA visiting the boy so he’ll have the whole place to himself. I’m quite sure he’ll be fine. lol For my part, I’m excited. As ambivalent as I was, the apt has felt empty w/o someone around. I can turn my attention back to paying down my debt in anticipation of buying a condo around years end.
An alternative is to cook the biscuits in a similar size dish and layer’em on top afterwards. [↩]