Tag Archives: eating

The Vegetarian Adventure, Part 4

Week 3 of The Adventures of Shane in Veggie Land. Which is confusing with it being Part 4 up above. Might have to change that up.

This week, went with a bell pepper stir fry from “flavorfull” again. Branching out next week. We decided to go with this recipe because it claimed to be very easy, we like peppers a lot, and we had basil to use up. (We refers to me and the girlfriend, in case you’re new to this. I’m not just crazy like that.) I had to buy a lot of the ingredients like soy sauce, rice vinegar, and coconut oil, but they’re the kind of things that won’t go bad and can be used in a lot of different stuff.

Things didn’t start out well. Every time we’re having a meal involving rice, I forget that it takes about an hour to cook. So we were pretty hungry when I decide to start cooking, aaaaand then remembered the rice. I used the time the rice was cooking to cut everything up and get it ready to cook, however, and it worked out pretty well. Until a burning smell started to fill the apartment.

Turns out, I forgot to turn the heat down on the rice enough. So it wasn’t so much simmering and still full-on boiling. The water ran out and we had a bit of a burned rice issue, but I managed to save most of it. Just threw some more water in and put the heat at the correct temp. I still hate cooking rice.

The rest of the meal was really easy. Just a matter of putting stuff in at the right time and keeping an eye on the temperature (haven’t quite fine tuned my control of the gas stove yet). I’ve cooked quite a bit over the last year, but I’ve found that I’m really enjoying the cooking part of this blog. I’m learning new stuff every week, especially with these vegetarian meals. Useful stuff.

Yummy

Everything turned out great. Very tasty. My only problem with it–not that filling. I had to eat a some walnuts and banana chips before I left for work to try to hold me over. This has been a lot easier than I expected. Might have to get crazy soon and step away from the bell peppers.

UPDATE: Almost forgot! I had never had ginger before this (that I know of). Turns out–I ****ing LOVE ginger.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

Weekly Progress Report #5 — Already?

It’s really already been 5 weeks? I don’t feel good about that. I know moving got in the way for awhile, but I really don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much in the way of losing weight/getting healthier. Drastic changes coming tomorrow though with Operation Suit Squeeze.

Eating: Even though I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much, I would say I’ve made a lot of progress in terms of eating. Kind of enjoying the vegetarian meals. I think I’ve been eating less for the most part. Less overeating too. Just not seeing much yet.

So this week we had a basic turkey/colby cheese sandwich, lasagna roll-ups, and a vegetarian curry (for more info check out the vegetarian adventure–it’ll be up soon if you’re on top of things). The lasagna roll-ups aren’t particularly healthy, but we were able to make them without having to buy too much. And they’re delicious. But, of course, I forgot to take a picture of them so you’ll just have to imagine. Plus there were enough leftovers for me to eat them three nights in a row. All in all, pretty good week. Nothing too fancy. No overeating. With one exception.

Went to the Brewer game friday (Cubs suck!) and pigged out. Special occasion, so no problems. Have to be able to cut loose once in a while. Though I did just remember that we bought some organic (and gluten-free) oreos and ate a lot of them. REMEMBER: ORGANIC COOKIES ARE STILL NOT HEALTHY! (Unfortunately. Sorry for yelling.)

Grade: B-

Working Out: Honestly, working out continues to be my downfall–and probably the reason for my lack of progress. I played tennis once with my brother. Ran with the dog for a little while once. She still struggles to get the whole running thing versus stopping and smelling everything. But that’s it. And that’s a problem.

Grade: D

Mitigating Factors:

  1. None really. I need to stop being lazy.

This Week’s Plan: Consistent workouts start tomorrow. Yay for running! (Blech.) Keeping up the momentum with eating but cutting out more sweets.

Tagged , , , ,

Operation Suit Squeeze

So here’s the situation. Last year, I cashed in my birthday and Christmas presents from my parents for a nice suit. My first and only suit. I needed it for medical school interviews.

Fast forward a year. I just finished all of my secondaries. Round two of interviews are coming up. Aaaand my suit doesn’t quite fit anymore. Awesome.

I know what you’re thinking–take the suit in and have them do some alterations. As I have nooo money, I’m going to try to avoid that. (Plus it makes for good motivation to get into better shape). The vest and coat fit okay still. The coat’s a little tight across the shoulders, but it’s more of a comfort thing than anything else. Besides, I don’t really think I can de-broaden my shoulders. I’ll alter it down the road.

The pants are the problem. Can’t get ’em on. At all. I need to lose at least a half inch off my waist. Maybe a full inch if I want to breath comfortably for the whole interview. So the time has come for drastic measure. I’m talking set-in-stone workout routine. Smarter eating. A complete ban on sweets (like I said, drastic measures).

I figure I’ve got 4-8 weeks before I really have to worry about interviews. The plans will get hammered out over the weekend. Everything will be chronicled under the Operation Suit Squeeze category. I’m going to breakdown what kind of things I need to look out for and avoid, how I’m going to eat, and what I’m doing to work out.

This better work. I’d really like to breathe during interviews.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Weekly Links #4 — Obesity and Another Excuse for Eating all the Cookies

It’s Thursday. Time for weekly links! Only three links this week, because I we’re getting heavy on some stuff. Sorry for the lack of posts this week. There’s a big one coming tomorrow morning and the vegetarian adventure has been postponed to saturday this week. Hang in there. I know you’re excited.

1. “Fat People Are Not Our Enemy” This article talks about a lot of things. It’s main point is that we need to stop hating on ‘fat’ people, citing an article that found overweight people to be just as healthy as their skinny counterparts. A couple things here, from me. First, being a little bit overweight is not necessarily a bad thing. Having a little bit of fat can help the body be more resilient, help it survive difficult times. That is not an endorsement to gain weight, though!

Second, and I agree with the article on this, BMI is a terrible way to measure obesity. The nice thing about BMI is that it is easy to calculate. Therefore, it’s very useful to get a general idea on the population from a public health standpoint. However, easy to calculate also means a lot of error. For example, when I was in some of the best shape of my life during high school, calculating BMI put me at the border of overweight and obese. I most definitely was not! BMI oversimplifies and it doesn’t take into account muscle mass, instead using a simple height vs weight set-up. However, the article claims that our reliance on BMI has changed what we consider healthy. I would disagree with that.

How many people do you know judge health based on BMI (minus healthcare workers)? I’m going to guess not many. Most people can tell the difference between an obese person, someone who is an unhealthy level of overweight, and someone who is maybe overweight but still healthy. Maybe the war on fat has gone too far. Discrimination is never a good thing. But I would not say that science thinks being too heavy is good for you, as the article concludes.

2. “Obesity in America: How the Social Norm on Weight Has Shifted” In sticking with the obesity discussion, this article talks about people’s views on obesity. Most interesting for me was the high numbers of people who skew themselves downward on the obesity scale. (Note: I don’t know if they used BMI or not for the polls). Also, science in this one claims that up to 80% of chronic diseases can be linked to weight. I can understand people’s confusion with science. I’m going to guess the number in actuality comes in below 80%, but I’m also going to believe this side of things a little more than the claim that heavy is good.

Anyways, I love that this article emphasizes the need for bottom-up change. Being honest, I don’t put much hope in top-down change these days. Too much stupid bickering and partisanship for anything to get done. So any changes are going to have to come from below. The community example is nice, and it would be cool to see this pop up in other places too. Good article all around.

3.“Westerners ‘programmed to eat junk food'” Back to busting DNA articles! I’m not arguing with the study. It’s very possible, especially the survival side of things. BUT, the title again! I’ve found that titles tend to be very sensationalist since I’ve started this blog, usually exaggerating the actual claims in the article. Yes, westerners may crave foods that are less healthy due to genetic heritage. But it doesn’t MAKE people eat the unhealthy foods. I crave sugary foods. Constantly. Terrible sweet tooth. Is this because of my ‘switch’? Maybe, but I don’t eat sugary foods all the time. There’s this useful thing called consciousness which allows me to choose what I do and don’t eat. The article doesn’t touch on this at all, mostly just quoting the scientists. Who, I should add, go no further than mentioning that it could control craving and explaining it’s origin. Not saying we are programmed to eat junk food. Saying we might have a genetic based desire for junk food. Programmed is a very different thing. Programmed to crave versus programmed to eat is also very different. Whew! I’m done now.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Weekly Progress Report #4 — Post-Moving

Mostly unpacked now, so I can settle back into a rhythm this coming week.

Eating: This week was kind of the opposite of last week. Didn’t start out great. Ate out a little bit too much at first, but it was convenient with the move. Once I got to the grocery store, things improved though…sorta. The vegetarian meal was very successful. The rest of the week was mostly just eating burgers that I had in an attempt to save some money. Content-wise, not a very good week. On the flip side, though, I did a good job of not overeating. For example, while eating out I chose to share three tacos with the girlfriend instead of getting the usual Frito Burrito Chimi (approximately 1 billion calories). So there is some progress.

Grade: C-

Working Out:Baby steps still. I did a couple of short jogs with the labradile, but she either gets tired or loses focus pretty quickly.

Do NOT be fooled by the cuteness. She will literally chew your face off, given the opportunity. (She is also double that size now)

Better than nothing, but not nearly enough for me. We’re getting there.

Grade: D

Mitigating Factors:

  1. Moving–Eating out was a little too convenient early in the week

Looking Forward: Big plans for this week. It starts tomorrow with a new jogging plan for the dog (expecting lots of improvement, but it relies on the girlfriend being alive before 9am, so we’ll see). Also, brand new series of posts coming! Get excited. They’re gonna be good. Guaranteed, or your money back.

Tagged , , , ,

The Vegetarian Adventures, Part 3

First of all, pictures! Since I was unable to post it last week, here’s my epic fail of a curry.

The Epic Fail of a Curry. Notice the lack of curry-ness

Moving on then. It’s week 2 of the vegetarian adventures. I actually found a lot of different recipes this week, with a little help from my tweeps (twitter-peeps). I ended up using two recipes off of a great blog at flavorfullblog.blogspot.com. The first was a spicy orzo-stuffed pepper. Pretty easy to make, very tasty, no problems. I did, however, have a hard time shaking the feeling that some italian sausage mixed in there would have made them great. Sorry, it’s in my blood. I’m working on it. This takes time. The breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese helped me survive the lack of meat.

Stuffed Vegetarian Peppers

To go along with the stuffed peppers, I made caprese skewers. We had a bunch of small tomatoes from my grandparent’s garden to use up (I don’t know what kind of tomato. Bigger than grape. Smaller than the ones that go on sandwiches. Sorry for the lack of help. [The girlfriend believes they’re cherry tomatoes. But she doesn’t know tomatoes either. UPDATE: Google image seems to corroborate the cherry tomato claim.])

It was a little more time consuming than I expected. This caused me to let the balsamic vinegar cool too much, and it went kind of molasses on me. Whoops. The mozzarella was good though. Not sure I was a huge fan of the basil/balsamic vinegar combo though. Something just seemed a little too strong.

Oooo pretty!

And for bonus points, I just realized I didn’t eat any meat at all today. This is unprecedented. I feel kind of weird. Then again, I ate a donut and half a cinnamon roll. But I think I deserve credit for that as well. I resisted the urge to eat 1-5 more donuts. No easy feat with my sweet tooth.

Overall, very successful second vegetarian meal. Might go eat a cookie to reward myself. Baby steps.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Weekly Progress Report #3 — Moving Week

I am finally moved. Which is also why this post is a day later than normal. Still without internet at the new house so I might be running behind all week.

Eating: Not a bad start to the week. Made some pasta with peppers, mushrooms and onions. Also cut the amount of meat that I usually use for pasta (progress!). I took pictures with my phone to include this week, but now my phone won’t connect to my computer. Maybe next week I can get some in. I made a sausage and mushroom pizza the next day, probably with more cheese than is healthy. Then…the accidental vegetarian meal! If you didn’t read about it, you can find the link here. After that, moving took over and it became a eat-everything-that’s-left-so-we-don’t-have-to-move-it kind of situation. Which lent itself to a nice egg, potato, and cheese scrambler. Other than that it was a combination of eating out and (organic) lucky charms mostly. Not a great finish.

Grade: B-

Working Out: Not much to report here again. Trying to clean the side of the fridge was an intense arm/hand workout (yay). Moved/cleaned for about 20 hours straight. Give me a break, it’s close to working out and it’s all I’ve got. Survey says….COUNTS!

Grade: D- (generous I know)

Mitigating Factors:

  1. Moving–Took up most of my free time and created an incentive to eat all the unhealthy food left and eat out.
  2. Moving–Took A LOT of time
  3. Moving–Did I mention that I hate moving

This Week’s Plan!: There’s a lot of unpacking to do still ( :p ), so working out doesn’t look great. But the new place is close to some good running trails, tennis courts, and the dog park. So I’m going to try to run or play tennis and run around with the labradile (part lab, part crocodile–pics soon, I promise!). Eating at this point is mostly an exercise in not eating very much (probably a good thing for me) until everything is unpacked and a grocery run can be made. Got to try for another vegetarian meal. We’ll see how that goes (have to pace myself). Eating/working out plan evaluations to come soon.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Vegetarian Adventure: Part 2

Or “Where the Fates Force Me to Go Vegetarian”  (or “Epic Fail of a Curry”)

If you missed the first part of “The Vegetarian Adventure”, it’s right here.

I’m not going to lie. Wasn’t going to do the vegetarian thing this week. It wasn’t a total cop-out though. (I swear!) I looked up a bunch of vegetarian recipes and even found some potential dishes. Quick shoutout to healthyeatingstartshere.com for some great advice on vegetarian eating. The girlfriend also found a couple recipes for us to try. We decided to put off some of them until after moving day (Sunday). Trying to avoid keeping food around the house.

Anyways, we picked out our meals for the week at Whole Foods based on what was on sale. Initially, we were planning on making an all-veggie curry. Pretty simple; a nice easy start to the weekly veggie meal. But then…we decided we wanted some chicken in the curry. So the vegetarian meal was pushed back to next week.

Fast forward three days. I cut up all the veggies for the curry, get the potatoes cooking, and I’m all set to dice the chicken. About this time, I realize that I forgot to get the rice cooking. Since the rice takes an hour and the girlfriend was leaving before then, I make the executive decision to leave out the rice. Things are already going downhill.

Back to the chicken. We bought thighs this week, because they were on sale. (Usually, we get boneless breasts). So I wasn’t that familiar with the chicken. But something seemed a little off right away. I smelled it, and it was just a little funky–smelling a little bit like eggs. On top of that, the underside of the thighs seemed a little discolored and they were kind of sticky. So (insert favorite curse word, e.g., ****sticks). I tossed the chicken.

Now normally, I’d shrug it off as nothing and eat something else. This week was a perfect storm. No backup food due to moving day. For some reason I cut the veggies first and got the potatoes cooking, the opposite of what I usually do (forcing me to stick with the meal). The chicken goes bad in only THREE days in the fridge. And all of this during the week where I said I’d be starting a weekly vegetarian meal, and then backed out of it. Coincidence? I’m not so sure.

Oh, and then I discovered that I didn’t have any cream for the curry either. Epic fail of a curry.

Tagged , , , , ,

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Getting Healthy

1. “Things do not happen, they are made to happen.” JFK
Losing weight or getting healthy does not just happen. You can sit around and wait all you want, but until they invent a magic pill to lose weight, it’s not going to do anything. You have to make the changes and stick with them. Being healthy is about perseverance and determination.

2. Losing weight hurts
Your body doesn’t necessarily want to lose weight. You can’t lose weight without either feeling hungry or burning enough calories to make up for what you eat. You will be sore. But eventually, it becomes empowering. Walking through the cookie aisle at the grocery store without getting anything is satisfying. And it gets easier. Once you’re at the weight you want, maintaining it and living healthy is just a matter of making the changes in your lifestyle a part of your routine.

3. Stuff happens, get back to it
Sometimes, things get in the way. Maybe it’s been a busy work week and you just don’t have energy for the gym. Or an injure stops you from working out. We can’t control most things and it is too easy to get knocked out of a routine. It’s important to be able to roll with the punches and not let problems build up. More importantly, though, is to get back to business after things are cleared up. A healthy lifestyle can be a slippery slope for a lot of people. When something knocks you off the path for a healthy lifestyle, you need to climb back up that slope instead of getting stuck in a rut.

4.  Set small goals, but think long-term
There is plenty of evidence to show that setting small, reasonable goals for the short-term is effective. This is a very useful tool, if not necessity. But there always needs to be a big picture too. Most diets work for awhile and then fail. Losing weight or being healthy can’t just be a short term goal. Being healthy needs to be a long-term thing. It’s not just a diet, it’s changing the way you eat or live. Small goals help to keep people focused and from feeling like they aren’t making progress. Keeping the long-term in sight helps changes stick and can help you be more resilient when stuff happens (#4).

5. Just because it’s organic, doesn’t mean its healthy!
Yes, organic is better for you. But my organic cinnamon toast crunch does not count as a healthy food, unfortunately. Neither do organic two-bite brownies or organic chocolate bars. (I know, I was devastated too.) Switching to organic or natural food can help with many potential health problems, but losing weight and being healthy still requires eating well. This means less sweets, cheap carbs, and more veggies (sadly).

6. Everyone is different
Just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it works for you. Find what works best for you. If you aren’t hungry in the morning and feel fine until lunch, you don’t have to eat breakfast to be healthy. If you hate running (I hear ya), find a different workout that you enjoy (rock climbing?). It is a lot easier to stick to changes if you find something you like doing or eating.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Vegetarian Adventure, Part 1

I am a meat eater. My family, big meat eaters. In fact, my extended family actively avoids any green foods, possibly at a subconscious level. My mom discovered that if she brought a green-colored salad, and this could be a jello salad or pure sugary goodness with green food coloring, to a family gathering–wouldn’t get touched.

Now, I’m not as bad as my extended family. Lettuce on a burger, sure. And I will occasionally eat a salad…or a few chunks of broccoli…or yeah. So, not actually much green food getting eaten here. Seriously thinking it might be a subconscious thing. But I do try to work veggies into my meals. I eat a lot of peppers and onions, and a few other things here and there. (Which I can’t really think of, so that’s a bad sign).

But last week, I’m eating at Panera with the girlfriend and enjoying The Onion and the following exchange occurred:

Girlfriend: “So we should try to work in a vegetarian meal each week.”
Me (with increasing dread): “…Should we?”
Girlfriend: “I think it sounds like a good idea, don’t you?”
Me (suppressing feelings of panic): “Yeah, I suppose so.”

And then I took a large bite of my turkey sandwich (For reals). All kidding aside though, I know I need to increase my vegetable intake and decrease the amount of meat I eat. It’s healthier for me and better for the environment at the same time. Unless I find a vegetable that tastes like a cookie, I’m going to have to face my subconscious fear of green food. And it looks like this is the week. Check back for updates throughout the week.

Tagged , , , , ,
Advertisements