October 13, 2010

Yikes! Long Time No Post!

But, I have an excuse! My part-time teaching position and other work have been keeping me really busy! Also my camera has been acting up (it has just not been the same since I dropped it in the sand on the Oregon coast last summer) so I don't have a ton of recipe photos.

I am still so grateful to have had this surgery. I'll hit 8 months out in a couple of days, and as of this morning I am down 92 pounds. In my last post I was hoping to hit a size 14, and in the few weeks since then, I have managed to do this - the size 14 Levi 525s, which I could not wear 2 weeks ago - are now very wearable and even comfortable! Last night I was wearing my size 16 jeans and they were falling off of my backside. (Granted these are Old Navy jeans, which run a bit big - but as far as I am concerned I wear size 14 jeans and skirts now - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Here are a couple photos taken earlier this month:

It is really insane how dependent I am sometimes on the progress I see on the scale in terms of whether I am feeling successful with this whole process of losing weight. I've just been through a long period of minimal weight loss. When I look at the overall pattern (see chart below), my loss has been consistent, but when I am in the midst of 10 or 14 days of no losses, or ups and downs every day resulting in no net loss, I feel mildly depressed and discouraged. It is silly - I KNOW better, and I also know that for some reason I tend to lose inches when I am not loosing pounds. In any case, I'm down 7 pounds so far this month, about average for me, with a couple days to go - so that is pretty respectable.

My Weight Chart:
Weight Chart

Now, how about some food? One of the things I like to cook and eat, and have available for a quick protein fix, is roasted chicken - I am very picky about chicken - it has to be cooked so that it is still very moist and I prefer to buy organic and free-range from my neighborhood butcher - for animal welfare reasons, to support local business and local farmers, to avoid antibiotics and other nasties in my food, and because it tastes so much better. This month I stuffed the breast (under the skin) with some butter and a few sage leaves - delicious, and it looks kind of pretty with the leaves showing through the skin:

Served this with some mixed roasted veg (Mushrooms, beets, carrots and potatoes - roast the beets separately and mix together at the end to avoid a purple platter of veg!)

Don't throw away the carcass when you are finished with the chicken! Dump it in a stock pot with some onion, carrot and celery, plus a few peppercorns and a sprig or two of parsley if you have some on hand. Add cold water to cover all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a couple of hours. Strain into another container, cool to room temp, then chuck it in the fridge. Once it is chilled, remove the layer of fat on top, return to the stove and reduce by about half. Cool and then freeze (if you have no plans to use it soon) or refrigerate. This makes a lovely, concentrated chicken stock. I used it to make some quinoa and butternut squash "risotto" with sage and Parmesan - and it was totally delicious. Also great for soup!

I also enjoy making a large batch of bolognese sauce. Although I do use Dreamfield's pasta - which is supposed to have a low-carb impact on my system, this time the family had pasta and I had my sauce on top of some roasted eggplant. For a side dish, I sauteed some Kale and Chard with garlic, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end, plus salt and pepper - Yum! Tonight we will have the leftover sauce, and I am having mine on top of some ricotta cheese, and topping the whole gooey mess with some Parmesan and mozzarella. (Looking forward to it too!)

Finally, as readers of this blog have probably discovered, we eat a lot of salmon in this household. Recently, the Fraser River here in BC had the biggest run of sockeye salmon in over 100 years. Sockeye is delicious and it was cheap and plentiful. Here is just one of the meals we enjoyed: Roasted sockeye salmon, quinoa, and a salad made with mixed greens and herbs, chopped snow peas, red bell peppers, and steamed /chilled edamame - served with a sesame dressing.

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